17 years later, you still can't buy a better album than the eponymous debut of The La's. Every song a perfect little unpretentious (some of it so bare bones it could pass for skiffle) pop gem. Was it irony or coincidence that these youngsters were from Liverpool? Both, actually.
And don't even get me started on leader/songwriter Lee Mavers' vocals. I can't think of a rock frontman before or since who managed to sound simultaneously so winsome and so knowing.
So why wasn't there a second La's album? Rumors abound, and over the years Mavers, who's a bit of a recluse, has developed a (perhaps undeserved) reputation as a tragic burnout a la Syd Barrett. Of late there've been a few hints in the Brit music press that perhaps he's getting something together, but to date nothing conclusive
So while we wait, here's a terrific live clip of their genre-defining signature song There She Goes from the old Letterman show, in 1991. Rickenbacker twelve-string heaven.
Incidentally, there are people who say this sunnily innocent-sounding number is about heroin. Is it? I've listened to the damn thing for what seems like a thousand times and -- damned if I know.
Update: I just noticed -- Letterman's holding up a cardboard CD longbox at the beginning of the clip. Some of you younger readers may not know that's how we enjoyed the rock-and-roll music back in the day.