Music For the Herd of Herring


Three-in-one! It’s a miracle, baby! All yer fave John’s Children, Radio Stars, Sparks and Jet tunes, all done very loud, despite their understandable crisis of identity.


John’s Children/Jet/Radio Stars (what’s the difference?) They play stuff from all three bands. Oh, and a Sparks tune. Recorded live at enormous expense in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Order it now then! Does not contain chickens or chicken products. Recorded live during the legendary 2000 tour of Europe. There are even three guitarists on it. Originally there were four, but Ellison’s strumming was unaccountable lost during the elaborate mixing process. We never got to the bottom of this. Here’s all the info.

The Japanese version contains three bonus tracks, and is available only via Radiant Future.

Track list:

1 Intro
2 My River
3 Radio Stars (Japanese version only)
4 Beast of Barnsley
5 Nervous Wreck
6 Sex in Chains
7 But She’s Mine
8 Sara Crazy Child
9 Jagged Time Lapse
10 Perfumed Garden of Gulliver Smith
11 Brian Damage (Japanese version only)
12 Going Deaf
13 Medley – It Would Be Good/Whangedepootenawhah/Diamonds
14 Cover Girl
15 Nothing To Do With Us
16 Barbecutie
17 Johnny Mekon
18 Dirty Pictures
19 No Russians in Russia
20 Crazy Kids (Japanese version only)
21 Desdemona


  1. Marco Boi

    This is what the discerning folk at All Music wrote:

    Sheer brilliance! Few fans of the guilty partners can fail to be familiar with the long and glorious history that attends Messrs. Andy Ellison, Martin Gordon, Chris Townson, Ian MacLeod, and Trevor White, and here it unfolds in the most lucid fashion — from John’s Children to Jook, from Sparks to Jet and on to Radio Stars, 21 songs essentially tell the story of ten years of unabashed genius. Each of the three bands gets its kicks in early — John’s Children, with Morrissey mainstay Boz Boorer filling in for the absent Geoff McClelland and Marc Bolan, are represented by four songs midset, plus a dynamite rendering of “Desdemona” at the end; Jet open up with Davy O’List’s much underrated “My River” before “Brian Damage,” “Nothing to Do with Us,” and a marvelous medley wrap up their part of the proceedings; Jook are showcased by Trevor White’s “Crazy Kids,” enacted here with all the proto-punk savagery that history tends to overlook; and Martin Gordon’s brief spell with Sparks is remembered with the B-side “Barbecutie” and “Cover Girl,” a Jet mainstay that was originally written with the Mael brothers in mind.

    And that just leaves listeners with Radio Stars, the only band of them all to enjoy a bona fide hit single. “Nervous Wreck,” of course, is here, together with a smart sampling of both original Radio Stars albums and a manic closing salvo that slams “Johnny Mekon,” “Dirty Pictures,” and “No Russians in Russia” into brain-charring focus. But to isolate any song, or band, as a highlight here is to do wicked disservice to the rest of the set — from start to finish, Music for the Herd of Herring ranks among the most enjoyable live albums of the century so far, and its perpetrators are revealed as the best time one can have with someone else’s clothes on. 

    Dave Thompson

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