Is it any wonder that people don’t buy singles as much as they used to thirty years ago? Why pay seven or eight pounds for one song when you can listen to it for nothing but the fee you pay to a corporation that had nothing to do with making the song? The sound quality on youtube is probably inferior in terms of compression, however at least “The Wheel” isn’t warped on the internet and one doesn’t have to contend with a stylus bouncing off vinyl as it tries in vain to connect with the audio content which will upon album release be irrelevant anyway. As there is nothing but a daffy etching on the flipside I doubt I’ll ever play this again once I have the album and have paid a smaller fee for the same song again. Piccadilly Records in Manchester, where I bought this, told me every copy they had was warped and it was doubtful that they’d be able to get any more copies in to replace the warped singles as Island records wouldn’t have pressed enough. I was happy to pay seven pounds for one song for two reasons. It’s a great song. Go listen to it on youtube if you haven’t already. The other stupid capitalist bullshit reason is that because Island records have inevitably pressed a limited quantity of this pointless and environmentally damaging artefact it’ll be worth at least twenty pounds in a couple of years, assuming the current monetary system still prevails. Nevertheless I think Island records and PJ Harvey should do something to compensate everyone who bought this faulty product. If it wasn’t warped I could put up with the rip off of only putting one song on the singles, even though there are at least two songs that could have been used as a musical B-side: the song about Guantanamo detainee “Shaker Aamer” that was given away as a download on pjharvey.net or “The Water is Wide” a rendition of a traditional folk song recorded for a TV show I have never seen. Instead we get an etching of a coat of arms that is just a visual remix of “The Hope Six Demolition Project” album cover with a goat and a two headed dog cavorting about gaily in warped hell. Don’t try playing the etching. The stylus will reject that goat and dog even more fervently than it does the intro to “The Wheel.” Luckily “The Wheel” has a very long intro for a single, so it doesn’t matter that much if I have to skip the first five seconds or so just to get the stylus to stick in the groove and ride along a tale of missing children. If I want to hear that parping sax all the way from the very beginning I can always go on youtube can’t I? If PJ Harvey wants to make up for this warped single she is welcome to come and play in my house. I suspect she wouldn’t have time to do that for everyone who bought a warped “Wheel” so maybe a more practical apology would be for Island records to give everyone who has kept a receipt for this single a discount on the new PJ Harvey album. Fat fucking chance!
The Wheel without The Warp:
Shaker Aamer: better than an etching!
The Water is Wider than the Etched Warp...
The Warped Six Demolition Project