Sunday, 5 August 2012

CODEINE - Peel Session 22/12/1992

2012 has, it seems, seen every band from the mid-eighties who recorded a session for John Peel reform, hoping to achieve some future glories denied them in the past. Codeine, however, came to prominence in the early nineties as grunge's undernourished outcasts in a desolate limbo of lethargy.

Although I was aware of the band, it wasn't until I heard their second session for Peelie that I took a greater interest in them. By the time I purchased my clear vinyl copy of The White Birch in either late '94/early '95 I was oblivious to the fact that the group had already split up.

Towards the end of the decade bands like Tortoise, Mogwai, El Hombre Trajeado, The Yummy Fur and no doubt other minor players who upon the realisation that there was no financial security to be gained in the post-rock genre and so opted to form sanitised versions of Josef K instead, all cited Slint as a point of reference to which all gratitude was indebted. It seemed Codeine were sidelined to the point of extinction...

... until back in the spring when the Numero Uno label announced the release of a 6LP/3CD box set When I See The Sun, plus individual deluxe vinyl reissues of their three albums, with the band temporarily reforming to play a handful of live dates to promote the releases.

Although the deluxe reissues boast a plethora of rare non-album tracks and previously unreleased material, including three songs from the aforementioned 1994 Peel session, this, their debut from December 1992, has not been included in the package.

1. Jr  2. Tom  3. Smoking Room  4. Broken-Hearted Wine.


For the Codeine completist, here are four songs that didn't make it onto the Numero Group's deluxe vinyl reissue series.

Realise and Broken Hearted Wine were originally issued as a white vinyl 7" single in 1992 as part of the Sub Pop singles club.  The songs spawn from several 1992 sessions at three different studios as the group attempted to record what was supposed to be The White Birch album. Stephen Immerwahr was unhappy with the results, so what emerged was the six track Barely Real ep/mini LP instead.

Something New is the 'electric' version recorded at Dessau in 1992 and curiously omitted from the new expanded Barely Real album. A four track acoustic version of this song appeared on the bside to Tom issued as a blue vinyl 7" on Sub Pop the same year. This version is also on the bonus disc of The White Birch.

Pea was a collaboration with Bitch Magnet and was issued as the b side to their Valmead single in 1990. A different version was included as a bonus track on the original cd issue of Frigid Stars. There's also a nice acoustic demo take on the vinyl reissue.

Track list

Realise, Broken Hearted Wine, Something New, Pea.

And finally, an ultra rare live concert recording:
VUB, Brussels 10/2/1991



  1. Cheers, I've been looking for this...

    1. I guess they were excluded from the box set to avoid repetition - I think all songs appear twice as officially released versionsand and alternate demos.

  2. Hi there, thanks for the 1991 show!!! I really greatly appreciate that one!!! I was hoping that the 1993 show on here could be re-uploaded as the link is expired now??? Along with the other one as well. Thanks again!

    1. The link wasn't working for some reason, so I've created a new one. All working fine now :-)