ALMOST THERE | ISSUE TWO
Great B-sides I have known.
No. 1 The Gist, ‘Yanks.’
I’ve had a soft spot for the dear old seven-inch single for as long as I can remember. I know times change and you can get just about everything solid state these days, but I’m a collector, I like physical things; and when it comes to music I like a tangible reminder of, say, a gig, or the first time I heard a song, or whatever... And it’s heart-warming to know that despite the best efforts of the music industry to wipe vinyl off the face of the planet, there are plenty of you out there that feel the same.
One of the many things I like about singles is the B side. True, more often than not it’d be disappointing: usually some mediocre filler taken off an album, but sometimes you’d get a half-decent track that you couldn’t get anywhere else. And very occasionally
you’d find a real gem, a song you thought was actually better than the A side you bought the record for in the first place. I put Yanks, the flip side of The Gist’s first single This is Love (1980) in that exclusive category.
Fronted by Stuart Moxham, The Gist were a group (or more accurately a loose association of collaborators) that formed in the aftermath of the break-up of minimalist new wavers Young Marble Giants. I think Yanks is a good reflection of the group’s subtle, understated style, a style that displayed a certain fragile beauty .
In 1982 The Gist released their only album, Embrace the Herd. This has been reissued on CD with a number of bonus tracks, though for some reason neither side of their first single was included. Pity.
Front cover of This is Love.
Click on the Dansette to
listen to Yanks