Catherine Wheel – Heal (1995)

catherine_wheelNo one who has followed Catherine Wheel over the years will ever understand why they weren’t more popular. Maybe they were ahead of their time. Maybe there just aren’t that many people around anymore with good taste in music.

The band formed in 1990 in Great Yarmouth, England and disbanded in 2000 (officially, the band is on “hiatus.”). I was lucky enough to have seen them at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City in July of that year. Seven tracks from that show are included on a bonus disc on the limited edition of the CD, Wishville.

I think Like Cats and Dogs, the B-sides record, (is my favorite Catherine Wheel album), purely because it’s conceptually different from the studio records. All the songs were recorded very quickly and written very quickly. It just reveals a very interesting side to the band which I don’t think many people are that familiar with.

– Rob Dickinson

It’s not difficult to hear Catherine Wheel’s Pink Floyd influences. A cover of Wish You Were Here appears on the album Like Cats and Dogs. The art for every Catherine Wheel album other than Ferment was designed by Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis fame. Hipgnosis was the team of designers who created most of Pink Floyd’s album covers, as well as most of the notable album covers of the 20th century.

You can see the similarities in the cover art of Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma and Catherine Wheel’s Wishville.

ummagumma

wishville

Singer/guitarist Rob Dickinson continues the band’s sound in his solo album, Fresh Wine for the Horses. His live shows include many Catherine Wheel songs.

The anthemic Heal appears on the album Happy Days, while another version of the song, called Heal 2, can be found on Like Cats and Dogs, an album that contained B-sides and out-takes. A live version of the song is presented here.

• Rob Dickinson’s MySpace page:
http://www.myspace.com/robdickinson

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