A Brief History Of The Oxford Based Band Ride
Ride are a finicky band that existed in really seminal fashion, or at least I think so. I’ve found that if you knew them you generally loved them, or were not into it in the slightest. Their sound was unique in that they existed over two periods of British made music, shoegaze and britpop and yet they somewhat survived both before eventually pulling the plug.
The band kind of starts and stops with Andy Bell who later went on to some fame by being the bassist in “Oasis” and Mark Gardener. Though it’s doing a bit of disservice saying that by not including Loz Colbert – the drummer, and Steve Queralt – the bassist, it is in generic terms the truth. It’s really just me not wanting to write me. In any case Ride was all about the guitar and melodies of, or more appropriately about the “ah’s, Mark and Andy. They were the the lead creative forces in both melody and song writing. After many listens you’ll begin to hear Mark song’s taking their own recognizable patterns and then Andy’s as well. Later you’ll really hear them come back in Andy’s new band “Beady Eye” In the beginning when the two were combined it was bliss, and own their own towards the end with “Carnival of light” and ” tarantula”it was always a little lacking in places.
Their first true album “Nowhere” is a classic shoegaze album that somehow managed to tread the line between being too drugged out and a new brand of pop-rock. In the pop-rock realm; Taste and Kaleidoscope are two classic Ride tunes. And in the drugged out world of Shoegaze you have songs like “Dreams Burn Down” – which coldplay re-wrote as in my place and Seagull. Here’s “Taste” and “Dreams Burn Down”
Ride – Taste
Ride – Dreams Burn Down
Moving on from the “Nowhere” album Ride moved towards a more accessible sound with “Going Blank Again”. On the album are songs like “OX4” and “Twisterella” and the monster of “Leave them all behind”. I’m forgetting other amazing tracks but those 3 are great starting points on that album. If you like those then you’ll like the rest. Here, listen to OX4!
Ride – OX4
As the music in the UK started to change so did Ride’s sound with their next album “Carnival Of Light”. Ride became less of a noise rock band and more into what was happening at the time in Britpop. It was a natural progression in many ways but being a music historian you can see the parallels. “Carnival Of Light” or as it was called by the band at the time “Carnival Of Shite” was despite the latter name a well received album by their fans. Just not the greater music fan base. It failed to sell well and generate nearly any of the buzz the previous albums had. It contains quite a few good songs but it largely the dividing point between Mark and Andy with each getting one side of the record. Some songs to watch out for are Mark’s “From Time To Time” and Andy’s song “Birdman”.
Ride – From Time To Time
Ride – Birdman
After that tour the cracks really occured and the band never recovered. Its documented in other areas but essentially that divide between Andy and Mark and even the rest of the band occurred. Tarantula was the output from this period and it never captured what made Ride “Ride”. While also containing a few good songs like “Black Nite Crash” and “Burning” it was essentially a band with nothing left in the tank.
Ride – Black Nite Crash”
Ride – Burnin
As you can hear from the beginning to the end the band really excelled in that space with lots of Melody and interesting guitar sounds. As the band evolved they kind of grew their sound but as most any band does they went in their different directions. With that said I think if you’re here then you’ll most likely enjoy one of the periods of ride. I mean even if you’re just an “Oasis fan” of Britpop I think there are a few gems in the band’s catalog that you’ll like. And that’s not a derogatory stance either, it just shows the depth of the music they made. So give ride a chance, I think you’ll like them