Single of the Week: Wolfsbane – Ezy (12″ Single)

I’m delving into the world of the single! I’ll buy a 7”, 12” or CD single every week and post my findings here. Who knows what musical discoveries will be made?

Ezy - Front Cover with Sticker. Black.
Ezy – Front Cover with Sticker. Black.

Last week’s purchase of the David Coverdale single was a roaring success. I’ve listened to that one many times over and have grown uncommonly attached to it. With my intention being to reduce my spending, it seems like I’m onto a winner with this single-buying lark. Let’s see if it keeps up.

This week’s hunting ground was the old-school Record Fayre in Glasgow. I saw lots here to tempt me. I couldn’t see any CD singles though and asked if they had any. “There wasn’t any interest in them so they got binned.” Aarghh. If only I’d thought of doing this sooner. Who knows what goodies have ended up as landfill…

Luckily there was plenty of vinyl so I eventually headed home with the 12” single of Wolfsbane’s Ezy for £2.50. My most expensive Single-of-the-Week purchase yet but hardly breaking the bank. A couple of things about this caught my eye. The one sticker on the plain black cover read “Limited Edition”. Always a good thing! The other statement on the sticker read “The Blackest Format in Rock History” and this made me chuckle a lot. We know Spinal Tap beat them to the punch with the all-black cover but Metallica also brought out their “Black” album in 1991, the same year this single was released! Although I can’t find an accurate release date for Ezy, I wonder if Wolfsbane were poking a bit of fun in Metallica’s direction with this release? The scamps.

Ezy - Back Cover. Black.
Ezy – Back Cover. Black.

So, as you can see from the detailed photographs, this is black. Black. Apart from the cover sticker (which implores me to remove it upon purchase. Luckily the previous owner kept it on or I wouldn’t have spotted it!) there are no liner notes here. Unless they are in black. There is no information on the centre stickers of the vinyl either. This really is blacker than a very black thing. Helpfully, a large portion of the A-Side is engraved with the song titles and has engraved signatures of the band members too. These are black.

Well, we’ve established that this is a fun item and that it made me chuckle. But is it any good? I confess to having overlooked Wolfsbane. I liked what I heard of them back in the late 80s/early 90s and I thought they were a charismatic bunch. Any band that calls their fans the “Howling Mad Shitheads” can’t be all bad, right? But, as you will all know, they didn’t exactly set the world alight (can’t hold that against them) and their lead singer Blaze Bayley defected from the band to replace the irreplaceable Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden (I’m definitely going to hold that against someone until I get that time and money back) so I guess I just wrote them off too easily.

Ezy - Close-up detail of engraved signatures. Black.
Ezy – Close-up detail of engraved signatures. Black.

I’m delighted to report that this is rip-roaring fun. They come across like a British Van Halen. Less flashy but with the same kinetic energy and similar riffing style. Blaze sounds much more comfortable and charismatic singing in this environment. Vocally, would have made a more successful replacement for Dave Lee Roth than Dickinson. His delivery is the stand-out feature of Ezy and the excellent B-Sides (previously unreleased tracks Load Me Down and the country-on-speed Dead at Last).

I’ve enjoyed this single tremendously and I’m really excited about delving further into this band’s back-catalogue. Hmm, maybe this Single-of-the-Week project could break the bank after all.

Amount spent on purchases: £3 (I’m just going to round up the 50p.)

Amount spent in total so far: £434

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13 thoughts on “Single of the Week: Wolfsbane – Ezy (12″ Single)”

  1. I continue to be shocked at how consistently you find singles that I’m jealous about. Now, Wolfsbane normally would be a marginal purchase for me — I wouldn’t buy it unless it’s at the kind pf price point you’re talking about. But they’re in my collection already, as I had the first album on cassette (long gone now) and an EP called All Hell’s Breaking Loose Down At Little Kathy Wilson’s Place which is actually pretty good.

    Keep up the good work. With me finding the Fish Credo single this week, I’d say it’s been a good week for all parties.

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    1. I can only presume all this good stuff has just been sitting on the racks FOREVER waiting on me to take an interest! I’m worried that things will eventually dry up and I’ll end up coming home with Bronski Beat or something… Actually, I have just bought next week’s and you will be especially jealous of it!

      I’m glad you’ve found some stuff too! Was that Fish one you especially had you’re eye on for some reason?

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      1. Nope, I just happened upon the Fish one, it had a non-album remix on it, so SOLD. Plus it has the Mark Wilkinson cover art that I always enjoy very much.

        One of these day you’re going to have to give up one of your singles to me. If I want it bad enough I’ll make an offer you can’t refuse. Like for example there are some Darkness ones I still don’t have….

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      2. Cool, I’ve got some nice Marillion 12″ and I always see them kicking about in the shops here. Great artwork. They were right up there with Maiden for great imagery in the 80s.
        I’m fairly sure you’ll want the single I’ve got for next week…

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      3. Alright, well I may have to save my pennies in case I need to put an offer on the table!

        Great feature by the way. Singles are too often ignored, but it’s great that you are shining a spotlight on them. I’ve been attempting to do the same in my album reviews but dare I say it, this is better.

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      4. Thanks so much! Awesome compliment. I just intended this to be a fun throwaway feature but’s its worked out much better than that.

        It’s not even a fraction as comprehensive as your site though and it was partly seeing all the goodies on your blog that made me realise that there was all this cool stuff out there!

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      5. Flattery will get you nowhere good sir knight!

        I intended ALL of my reviews to be throwaways. I wanted Record Store Tales to be the “main event”. But the reverse has happened! Now I do Record Store Tales mostly for my own amusement while the reviews seem to get the best responses.

        You can’t plan these things!

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      6. You certainly can’t! I think reviews get response because people all chip in with their opinions. I still enjoy the Tales, they make your site more unique than if it was just all reviews. It’s just harder to think of things to say about them!

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  2. Never listened to Wolfsbane before…with the name I always expected them to be more Slayerish or something. Youre right they are kind of Van Halenish. Or maybe White Lionish with a better singer.
    Keep posting. I think once I was playing guitar so much I stopped listening to a lot of new rock music since the late 80’s….unless it really caught my ears.

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    1. I’m glad if I’ve turned you on to some new bands Mike. That’s great! I missed out on a lot of bands in the 80s/90s because I could only afford a few albums at a time and I tended to stick to what I knew. So I would hear about a lot of the bands from the era but never really had a chance to properly listen to their albums. I’ve been playing catch-up for over 20 years and there’s still more out there to investigate! It never ends…

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