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Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Major record companies...

This is the second half of the blog post from Nick Halliwell of the Granite Shore that, five years ago, brought us new Distractions songs.  The stand-out track, Black Velvet, went on to be The Distractions' first EP since 1981's "And Then There's...".  The links to the MP3 downloads are still live, so if you haven't already, fill your Boots.


Sunday, 6 September 2009


I Thought You Were Dead...


What you really want to know, though, is this: are they any good? Well, as Mike has given me permission to upload the tracks here, you can judge for yourselves. For my money the first of them, Black Velvet, is among the very finest things in the Distractions canon. It's unusual in that it's roughly twice the length of anything else they ever did but it is absolutely stunning. It has that apparent simplicity which is the hallmark of all the band's work, even though it actually takes a great deal of subtlety to get anything sounding that simple. Mike remains one of the all-time great pop voices, there's something about his singing that sends shivers up and down my spine. The lyric is very much in the classic Distractions tradition too. As Mike says, this is perhaps the logical extension of a track like Looking For A Ghost; and it reminds you just how special this band were, how different from their contemporaries. As a result their records have barely dated at all, and even though these demos were recorded 15 years later they fit seamlessly into the canon.




Although Black Velvet is the clear standout, the other four are also pretty terrific; they're much more similar to earlier Distractions in that they're short and oh so sweet. None of these would've sounded at all out of place on Nobody's Perfect. I'm also extremely fond of Good Girls Don't Get To Paris, but all five songs here are terrific.

It really is positively criminal that the Distractions' oeuvre has yet to be reissued, with the exception of their classic Factory single, Time Goes By So Slow, which has appeared on a number of compilation albums. Major record companies... Grrr…

Anyway, here are the five tracks which I've converted to MP3 for maximum compatibility. I'll try and write more pieces on this blog over the next few weeks and months.

The Distractions: 1995 demos (MP3)

Where Were You When I Needed You?


Thanks to Mike Finney and Steve Perrin for letting us hear these.




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