The Nils

Green Fields in Daylight

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Since this exceptional '80s Montreal band left behind only one LP, and it was a disappointment thanks to lousy production from a lost-it Chris Spedding, replace that self-titled one on Rock Hotel Records with this true document. At 29 songs it's complete. It not only includes every track released outside of the should-have-been-better LP, but it tacks on 12 live tracks, such as unreleased covers of the Who ("Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand") and Tim Hardin's "Red Balloon" (via the Small Faces cover). The LP tracks are all improved on these live versions, though one can recall Nils gigs as being even better than this OK recording. But what listeners really want Green Fields for is all three better, earlier, rare EPs (and compilation tracks, plus a hot unreleased studio track) which appear here in their entirety. For those who want Nils -- one of the great straddlers of punk and pop North America ever produced -- check the cuts from the super, super rare 1982 Now EP (cassette only, 300 copies), especially the original version of "Scratches and Needles" and the blasting "Give Me Time." This is what the fuss is all about, though listeners have to wait until the last quarter of the CD before they get to this greatness, Nils at their loudest, thickest, and best. Carlos Soria's soaring voice is also well-represented on the original versions of "Daylight" and "InBetweens" from 1985's Sell Out Young EP (these versions blow away the re-recordings on the Rock Hotel LP) and "I Am the Wolf" from 1986's rare Paisley EP. With better production, less pot (and more debilitating drugs), more ambition, and more recording sessions, they could have been Canada's Replacements. Buy this CD.

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