Back in 2001 when I was running the Creation Records fansite I interviewed Steve Queralt upon the release of the OX4 Best of_ boxset. Below is the accompanying guide Steve wrote about the Firing Blanks album which has been lost in cyberspace for many years, until now.... What's your favourite track? Tongue Tied or Something's Burning? Something's Burning - During the summer of 1993 we recorded two sessions at Courtyard Studios in Oxford as preparation for "Carnival Of Light". Sadly this song, whilst good enough to have been included was dropped along with various other potential tunes. Just too many songs knocking around at that time. Chelsea Girl (4 track demo) - This is Andy and Me demoing tunes during 1988 in my bedroom. I had a four track machine which we used for all sorts of ideas in the early days before we had a proper band. In later months we managed to demo a lot of early songs squeezing the whole band into bedrooms or living rooms much to the neighbours disgust. Blue & Everybody Knows - Written by Loz, these were originally included in the tracklisting for Going Blank Again. Unfortunately they were dropped along with 'Tongue Tied' on the advice of both record companies who were insisting that the album was way too long. I think they had a point. Dreams Burn Down dub - Again we made Creation very nervous when we played them this saying that we had re-thought the whole concept of the song. Although it would be difficult to top the real version, I think this is a fantastic alternative offering an even darker atmosphere. She's So Fine - It took three years for this song to finally make it on to Tarantula. This is the original version recorded back in 1993, another song left by the wayside in preparation for Going Blank Again. We demoed it again in Cornwall with John Leckie, this time looping a 4 bar sample which never made it to the vocal stage. New Age - The only cover on the CD. Recorded at Abbey Road as a potential b-side for 'How Does It Feel To Feel' but later superseded by some instrumental nonsense from me and Loz in the shape of 'Walkabout'. God knows why! Tongue Tied - This in my opinion is the best unreleased track that we ever recorded. I think this is one of the few occasions where the intensity and beauty of Ride was captured perfectly on tape, everything fits together perfectly. Unfortunately it was dropped as a way of reducing the length of Going Blank Again. Why it never turned up on a b-side I don't know. Dropped and forgotten. I'm Fine Thanks - Another song from the early days. It was originally titled 'Why' and demoed several times on the four track before we took it into our first proper recording session at Union St. Studios in Oxford where we recorded Drive Blind. An early live favourite. Xmas Song - Absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. A sign of cabin fever setting in during the Going Blank Again sessions. King Bullshit - Yet another piece of music that could have been included on Going Blank Again. The full version is over 8 minutes long and was edited down to about 60 seconds to bridge a couple of songs on the album instead. This version uses all the best bits without having to endure the full horror of Me and Loz going on and on and on... Smile (4-track version) - We had to work hard to clean this version up as every other demo fell short of the danger that appears here. Again another song that worked really well live but never sounded right in the studio, hence this hissy mess that captures Andy's speakers giving up half way through the outro. Welcome To Paradise - Recorded and mixed for Tarantula but cut from the final tracklisting. In A Different Place (differently) - This is included as it has something that the Nowhere version failed to capture. Andy's lead guitar is way over the top and the rest of us are playing all sorts of bum notes but for some reason it remains the best take we ever did. BarneyS - This is what happens when you're trying to record an album but your singer is still in bed at 3 in the afternoon. It's a tribute (or blatant rip off) to New order that gradually built throughout the day looping Loz's fills and Andy's riffs onto my backing track. However as soon as Mark arrived with axe in hand, normal Ride business was resumed.
Ignition Records CD - IGN CD13C (available as part of box set only) Leave Them All Behind Taste Not Fazed Sennen Like A Daydream Twisterella Time Of Her Time Nowhere Vapour Trail Seagull Close My Eyes Mouse Trap All songs Ride Recorded live at Reading Festival 29.8.92 by Fleetwood Mobiles Mixed at Konk Studios, London by Alan Moulder and Mark Gardener Mastered at Abbey Road, London by Nick Webb Distributed by 3MV/Pinnacle Design & Art Direction by Tourist, London The initial intention was to release 'Reading' as a DVD rather than audio CD, as the entire gig was filmed by Fuji TV in Japan. However, the video tapes have subsequently been misplaced. 'Making Judy Smle' and 'I Don't Want To Be A Soldier' were also played and recorded, but were deemed not good enough for inclusion on this disc. '..Soldier' was released inittialy on the 'NME Mutha Of Creation' cassette and then appeared on the 'Just Say Roe' compilation CD. Both tracks have since been made available for download via ridemusic.net
Ignition Records CD - IGN CD13B (available as part of box set only) Something's Burning Chelsea Girl (4 track demo) Blue Dreams Burn Down Dub She's So Fine New Age Tongue Tied Everybody Knows I'm Fine Thanks Xmas Song King Bullshit Smile (4 track demo) Welcome To Paradise In A Different Place (differently) BarneyS All songs Ride except 1 Gardener, 5 Bell, 6 Reed, 13 words Gardener/Rieley. music: Gardener 1,2,4,5,9,10,12,13,14 & 15 produced by Ride. 3,7,8 & 11 produced by Alan Moulder. 6 produced by John Lecie 1 &5 recorded and mixed at Courtyard Studios, Oxfordshire. 2 & 12 recorded and mixed in Steve's bedroom. 3,7,8 & 11 recorded at Chipping Norton Studios by Alan Moulder and at Black Barn Studios, Ripley by Matt Oliver. Mixed at The Church Studios, London by Alan Moulder. 4 recorded and mixed at Blackwing Studois, London by Marc Waterman. 6 recorded and mixed at Abbey Road, London by John Leckie and Chris Brown. 9 recorded and mixed at Union Studios, Oxford. 10 & 15 recorded and mixed at Black Barn Studios, Ripley by Matt Oliver. 13 recorded at Matrix Stdios, London - engineered at Richard Digby Smith and Paul Motion. Mixed at Matrix Studios by Mark Freegard fo 140db. 14 recorded and mixed in London somewhere. Mastered at Abbey Road, London by Nick Webb Compiled by Steve Queralt Distributed by 3MV/Pinnacle Cover Photograph by Reza Estakhrian Band Photographs by Jayne Houghton & Joe Dillworth Photographs, Design & Art Direction by Tourist, London
Ignition Records 3 x CD (Box Set) (IGN CD13) CD1 OX4_The Best Of Ride (IGN CD13A) CD2 Firing Blanks_Unreleased Ride Recordings 1988-95 (IGN CD13B) CD3 Live_Reading Festival 1992 (IGN CD13C) Mastered at Abbey Road, London by Nick Webb. Distributed by 3MV/Pinnacle. Design & Art Direction by Tourist and Laurence Colbert 3 digi-pack CDs, with booklet, in cardboard slip case