Super Furry Animals: a national treasure
As the band reissue 'Fuzzy Logic' and release a new best of, it's a welcome reminder of how transcendent pop can be.
Published: 10:02 am, November 04, 2016
It takes a special talent to stand out while sharing a record label with Oasis in the 1990s. Fellow Creation alumni Super Furry Animals are a band that understand that music is at its most exciting when there are infinite possibilities; maybe within the one album or even within the same song. With SFA, anything goes.
This week sees the release of a new career spanning compilation of all the Welsh wonders’ greatest hits and bonkers sonic explorations, as well as the 20th anniversary reissue of their thrilling 1996 debut ‘Fuzzy Logic’. These are landmark releases, which highlight one of the UK’s greatest bands in all their glory.
SFA are definitely a pop group, dealing in blissfully transcendent euphoria that makes you punch the air with joy. They’re not only a pop group though. SFA are an experimental art rock band, too. They’re also strung out folkies, techno mavericks, prog rock visionaries and the sort of brilliant odd ball eccentrics that could feature in a playstation football game, commission their own tank and popularise a power rangers helmet as stage wear. Because they have. SFA’s antics are legendary, but they were a by-product of a band whose imagination and creativity endured for longer than anyone imagined and are still relevant 20 years later.
‘Fuzzy Logic’ is the sharp, fizzing debut. It’s an opening salvo packed full of hits yet tinged with a melancholy and a tender heart that would become a hallmark of the band. The early years of SFA were all about statements and making a scene, best represented by ‘The Man Don’t Give A Fuck’ - a single that contains more fucks in its four minutes and forty six seconds than any other in UK pop history. Oh, and it still made number 22 in the charts.
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As the 90s closed out with a the double hit of ‘Radiator’ and ‘Guerrilla’, SFA again went off piste with welsh language album ‘Myng’, before getting their hands on the big recording budget their ideas deserved and making a grand orchestral opus with ‘Rings Around The World’ and follow up ‘Phantom Power’. Despite their output slowing in frequency over the last decade with 7 years of inactivity, there still remains a huge amount of interest in one of the definitive cult bands of the last 20 years.
Many lesser-heralded album tracks and multiple top 40 singles feature on ‘Zoom! The Best of Super Furry Animals’ a compilation that features a quite stunning breadth of hits, ideas and ambition. One thing you could never accuse the Furries of is lacking ambition and following the crowd. SFA are a national treasure and these two reissues are a welcome reminder of how transcendent pop can be.