|PURA VIDA latest update 11th AUGUST 2004|
Pura Vida front man Steve Ludwin dropped us in a tape one day, he'd been flirting around as the replacement Levitation vocalist (an impossible position to fill, no one could really follow Terry Bickers) as they finally fell apart, Steve sang on the last Levitation album as they tried to hold on to former glories - actually it's a damn fine album if you can find it, I think it only officially came out in Australia - he knew it was only a matter of time before the Levitation wheels fell off completely so he'd already started to put his new band together... The tape sounded rather good and we'd already been rather impressed by his performances as Levitation front man - so we said yes, we'll release this, it tastes rather good - and so sometime in 1995 the first Pura Vida EP came out on ORG, four tracks, any one of them could have been the lead track, fine radio friendly pop that oozed songs of quality, a kind of President Of The USA/Foo Fighters thing - the Pura Vida debut single actually came out the same week as the first Foo Fighters single - disappointing for us because they did sound rather similar..... We knew we had something special here, so we said let's do an album, the band said yes and off we went to do the second single with producer Bob White (one of the main musical creators from Ring/Levitation), "Vivien" was an even better single and once again any one of the four tracks could have been the lead tune "Garden Of Unwell" and "Dick Around" sounding particularly good with their Faith No More/They Might Be Giants pop sound... the demo tapes for the debut album had some even better tunes - "California Screaming", "Birds" - The Pura Vida secret weapon was minimalist lo-fi keyboard player Sammie Cannon and her strange new wave moves, for once we knew where the X factor was coming from - the buzz was building, lots of gigs, then suddenly Zack from EMF was drafted in to replace Simon Plunkett (the only other English man in the London based band - the rest of them were from California/LA/Australia) and Pura Vida went in to the studio to record their third single "Birds" as well as to finish the album - we got the tapes of work in progress then things went mysteriously quiet, then phones went dead, we couldn't find them anywhere... then we started hearing stories about how some A&R man at some major label had discovered this new band without a name who had a bag load of brilliant pop songs, then Sammie turned up and told us she'd been kicked out - a big blow, she was a vital part of the song writing team, actually the new tapes of hew own stuff was even better but the chaos and back stabbing took it's toll on Pura Vida's secret weapon, she went home to LA and took up stalking REM and eventually got herself arrested - then we started hearing the sounds of A&R men congratulating themselves for finding this new band with loads of songs and suddenly "Birds" was out and all over the radio and ISLAND records are congratulating themselves on discovering something new and rather special - so Pura Vida got themselves a bag load of money, changed their name and made some fine radio friendly singles for Island... only they threw out the X factor and most of the potential magic when they got in to bed with the major label - we sat back and watched the lumbering major record company wreck it all by trying to force feed CARRIE down every one's throat... you can't do that, you've cried wolf far too many times - you can't force a band on people, the public don't trust major labels any more, you've thrown too many average bands at us, we switch off when you force something new on us, we've had so much shit thrust upon us that we just don't trust you majors anymore so when you do accidentally DO have something most of us aren't going to take notice.... you've got to let people unwrap it for themselves, you've got to allow us the delight of unfolding it all - if you force feed us we're going to spit it out without even trying, you've turned us in to cynics... so a rumoured one million pounds later the rather good (but not as good as it could have been) Carrie album has flopped and the band have been dropped by the major machine and are off home to America with their tails between their legs.... oh well, it could have been... maybe in a couple of years people will revisit that Carrie album and discover the remains of something rather good... it is indeed a good album... and it could have been something even better if Pura Vida hadn't been so greedy/impatient/whatever...... Looks like they blew it.
Those two ORG singles were rather fine...
|PRESS QUOTES AND SUCH|
|RELEASES ON ORG RECORDS|
SISTER WAS SICK CDep Sister Was Sick/Rattlesnake Pie/Loosely/All
Over My Grave
organ019 RHATIGAN/PURA VIDA Free four track sampler cassette featuring 2 tracks from each band
organ020 VIVIEN CDep Vivien/VPL/Dick Around/Garden Of Unwell
org055 Track on Organ Radio 8 CD album Dick Around
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