- 11 March 1996
- Creation (UK), Sire (RoW)
The recording sessions for what turned out to be the band’s final album started on New Year’s Day 1995 at Matrix Studios in Central London. The album was engineered by Digby Smith and Paul Motion, and was produced by the band.
After the lengthy recording process that evolved for Carnival Of Light, the band wanted to take a fresh set of songs into the studio and record them in whatever way felt right at the time. There had been a couple of demo sessions during rehearsals at the Coldroom in Oxford at the end of 1994 but as the band still hadn’t finished touring the previous album, the recording sessions for Tarantula had to be short, sharp and effective.
Just prior to starting in the studio, the band had played a couple of special UK shows. The venue where things had started for them in Oxford in January 1989, the Jericho Tavern, was closing down and Ride played as part of a series of secret farewell gigs in December 1994 that also featured The Candyskins, Radiohead and Supergrass. Quite a week! Also on 29th December, Ride played an unannounced support slot to Oasis in Brighton due to the Verve pulling out at the last minute because they’d split up (again). They didn’t know at the time but this would turn out to be the band’s last UK show.
Having released albums in 1990, 1992 and 1994 they also wanted to break that 2-year cycle and get an album out in 1995.
The majority of the album was recorded prior to the Japanese tour in the final week of January 1995 and the mixing began when the band returned to the UK. The recording part of the process had gone really well, supplemented by percussionist Jeff Scantlebury and the band’s touring keyboard player Nick Moorbath; however the mixing just wasn’t working out with the album sounding flat.
Tracks were mixed by a variety of people – and a couple of these made the final album tracklisting (Mitch Easter’s Deep Inside My Pocket and Andy Bell’s Castle On The Hill) – until the problem was solved by Mark Freegard who delivered mixes that just bristled with electricity.
However the album, and the band, were being pulled in different musical directions from within and this led to the band deciding in July 1995 that this would be their final record and that they wouldn’t take it out on the road.
Having decided to split up; what turned out to be their final show at the inaugural Benicassim Festival in Spain in August 1995 was a difficult experience for all.
Maybe because of the decision to split up had been made, the final recording sessions for Tarantula in August 1995 (again with Digby at Matrix) turned out to be extremely productive with another four tracks recorded and then mixed by Mark Freegard soon after.
The album and the extra tracks for the Black Nite Crash single were done and there was even a new recording of Let’s Get Lost in the bag ready for release on the recently launched Creation Singles Club – however this has yet to see the light of day as the Creation Singles Club should have really been named the Creation Single Club as it never got past its first release!
As the band had decided not to promote the single and album release beyond a handful of press interviews, Creation felt that it wouldn’t be wise to release the album into the busy period of autumn 1995 and so the album (and announcement of the band’s split) was held over to early 1996.
The press tried to create a story of acrimony between Mark and Andy and Creation’s marketing department decided that the album should be made available for one week only in an attempt to secure a best-possible chart position.
We can only wonder what songs like Black Nite Crash, The Dawn Patrol, Gonna Be Alright and Burnin’ would have sounded like live. Some of these were played during the soundchecks on that Japanese tour but that’s about as close as they ever got to being performed on stage.