White Rabbit Records - Blog

2023 Albums Thing 206a - Cast “All Change”

Posted on


A new addition to my collection so yes it’s alphabetically out of step, but I’ve decided to drop things like this in as we go along (apologies to anyone suffering from alphabetical OCD).

Think of all the great bands that have released records on Polydor…Slade, The Jam, The Wonder Stuff, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Sam Fender it’s a long auld list. But none of those artists hold the accolade of having the biggest selling debut album in the long history of Polydor Records (it was founded in 1913). That particular marker belongs to Cast and “All Change”.

Cast were formed in 1992 by John Power (formerly of The La’s) and Peter Wilkinson (ex of Shack). Cast are always, unfairly to my mind, included in any conversation about the risible musical “movement” BritPop. BritPop was a lazy journalists invention to pigeonhole three acts who all came flouncing along at roughly the same time, Oasis, Blur(gh) and Pulp. Poor old Paul Weller was roped in as the “Godfather of BritPop” and subsequently the odd coat-tail grabbing, band wagon jumper like Ocean Colour (Duller ?) Scene and The Enemy were included too. Cast were oh so much better than that lame bunch.

There’s something about Liverpool, all that social and musical history, that means it produces music with a certain indefinable something about it. That’s not to say that all the music out of Liverpool sounds the same, very obviously it doesn’t, but it has a sound that is Liverpool. Think of The La’s and Cast and the Real People and Amsterdam and many others and there’s something about what they did/do that when you hear their music, whether you know anything about them or not, you, or at least I, think “this is from Liverpool”, it just sounds like the city. We went up to Ian Prowse’s Monday Club recently (something I would recommend anyone to do) and there were guys on that night that, to me, sounded like that music couldn’t have been made anywhere but Liverpool.

You want examples ? Well…The La’s “Timeless Melody”, Cast’s “History”, the Real People’s “Window Pane”, Amsterdam’s “The Journey”, all have an unquantifiable something about them that point to the City they were birthed in. It’s something that I first heard in The La’s which is probably why I hear it so strongly in Cast too.

“All Change” has sold over a million copies now, it offered up 4 hit singles “Finetime” (#17), “Alright” (#13), “Sandstorm”  (#8) and “Walkaway”  (#9), a record company dream. But it’s not a throwaway “pop” record. There’s great songwriting and melody here, substance which albums that have those sorts of numbers and that many hit singles don’t usually offer up. Had “History” been released as a single I think it would have topped even “Sandstorm”s chart placing. 

It’s an album loaded with hooks and not just in the singles, “Tell It Like It Is”, “Promised Land” and “Mankind” all have little barbs that catch into you so you find yourself humming them a couple of days later. It’s also an album full of positivity both in the way the music sounds and feels and the words, with lyrical nods to honour, truth, good living, fun and getting the girl (but nothing about killing the baddies). Positivity was something I found sorely lacking in “BritPop”. Cast kept it up too. Their 2011 album “Troubled Times” is well worth a listen if you were a fan of “All Change” back then. 

History - https://youtu.be/G1pCIrnGr8s?si=kCa6fSQKOAUVc3l8

Add a comment:

Leave a comment:


Add a comment