Scotland’s anti-capitalist indie rock group, The Jasmine Minks have never put out a poor song or album. While many compilations only include popular singles and do not represent the band properly, Joe Foster and Rev-Ola (along with Cherry Red Records) have put out the definitive Jasmine Minks compilation from their work on Creation Records. The Revenge Of The Jasmine Minks is 24 tracks of soulful, pop poetry. Every single song not only has a timeless quality but a soulful passion. From the first cut Where The Traffic Goes to the final Marcella, the compilation shows the evolution of the band throughout the 80’s.
Originally signed to Creation Records, The Jasmine Minks were an essential part to the Living Room scene and the Creation Records story. With some line-up changes, the group eventually moved to a more softer and soulful sound. They shared the bills with legends like Happy Mondays, Jesus And Mary Chain, Primal Scream, and more. Eventually, they broke up and Alan McGee closed up shop for Creation Records. The Revenge Of The Jasmine Minks is an excellent representation of a majority of their career and a beloved time period.
When many people think of Creation Records, they think of Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, House Of Love, Felt, Oasis, Jesus And Mary Chain or Swervedriver. Only the real obsessive Creation lovers know about The Loft, The Legend, Biff Bang Pow!, Slaughter Joe, or Baby Amphetamine. The Jasmine Minks are one of those under-appreciated legends who never compromised their music or their beliefs. There was always purpose and meaning behind every lyric and chord. Behind every chord and lyric, there was an intense passion. Ever since Creation Records closed up shop, the old Minks LPs and CDs were out of print. Some of them sold for $60 on Ebay! 90% of the band’s discography was out of print! Rev-Ola and Cherry Red have been releasing compilations from Creation bands like Slaughter Joe and Biff Bang Pow! Now, it is time for The Jasmine Minks to have their revenge.
There are many classic Jasmine Minks songs and most of them from the Creation years are included on this compilation. The soulful doo-wop of “Cold Heart” is a timeless track that gets better with age. The double vocals with the 50’s influence mixed in with jangle guitars make this precious. Alan McGee’s favorite, Cut Me Deep, shines with intense emotion that has not been lost over the years. The harder cuts like Where The Traffic Goes, Forces Network, and Think, show the younger, more energetic Minks. Even the cuts like Work For Nothing still hold up today.
The energetic and youthful tracks start the compilation. One of their first singles, Where The Traffic Goes is simply incredible. It rolls over the listener like a juggernaut. The dueling vocals and the loud guitars thrash. Still, the song is incredibly tight. What’s Happening is a sloppy but tight affair that has both the confusion and acceptance of love. “…I don’t know what’s happening but I know it’s just right…”
While the early albums were very energetic with loud guitars, the last two Creation albums were mellow and mature in comparison. Another Age and Scratch The Surface included classic cuts like Cuts Me Deep, Marcella, Soul Station, Veronica, Lost & Living and Reaching Out. Adam Sanderson left the group and the future of the group was in question. Wattie Mink officially joined the group around this time and he was known as the savior of the Minks. While many of the songs on Another Age and Scratch The Surface do sound very similar when packaged together, this compilation presents them in a different context. The magnificent evolution and maturity of The Jasmine Minks are well represented due to the selections from these two albums.
The Revenge Of The Jasmine Minks compilation is a perfect representation of the Creation years. The only minor problem with the compilation is the fact that there are a couple of rare Minks tracks that were left out. The inclusion of b-sides like Black And Blue, Sunset, and You Got Me Wrong would have been wonderful. It must have been extremely difficult to choose only 24 tracks from a catalog of exceptional songs. Every song by the Minks is a gem and these are just some of the brightest.
Other wonderful aspects of the compilation are the 2 articles in the liner notes for the CD. In the sleeve, there are tons of wonderful pictures, album sleeves, and even concert flyers with some very well respected groups sharing the bill. For years, the LPs originally released on Creation have been out of print. Let us hope that all of the Jasmine Minks LPs will be re-released too. Until then, this compilation can serve as an ideal introduction to the band or ‘best of Creation years’ mix for fans. In the classic track Cold Heart, they sing: “They took the chain and they broke the links / The revenge of the Jasmine Minks.” Revenge never sounded so sweet.
The Revenge Of The Jasmine Minks (2004)
Genre: Indie Rock
Record Label: Revola