Stutter (album)

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Studio album by James
Released 21 July 1986
Recorded early 1986
Studio Amazon Studios, Liverpool
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock
Length 39:51
Label Blanco y Negro/Sire
Producer Lenny Kaye
James chronology
Singles from Stutter
  1. "So Many Ways"
    Released: 28 July 1986

Stutter was the debut album from English band James, released in July 1986. The album was produced by Lenny Kaye, although the band had originally hoped to work with Brian Eno. After a bidding war between a number of labels, the album was released on Blanco y Negro, part of Sire. Artwork was provided by John Carroll.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Martin C. Strong (6/10)[2]
NME (favourable)[3]
Robert Christgau (B)[4]
Sounds 4/5 stars[5]

The album initially received positive responses in the UK and Germany where it was voted second best album of the year by writers (and 16th by readers) of the influential indie magazine Spex.[6] AllMusic called it "Thin, spiky, jagged folk music" and commented on the performances by the band: "Tim Booth is a mere bystander to his wild vocals while the rest of the band watch Gavan Whelan have an absolute fit on — what sounds like — four drum kits at once. This is shoddy, shameless chaos. Nothing more than a terribly produced mess of tragic rock-star baiting and deliberate discordance. An amazing debut."[1]

The Guardian listed Stutter as one of the "1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die", praising the record thus: "Before Madchester, and before the Horlicks rock of "Sit Down" became ubiquitous, James were an invigorating prospect: a folk-pop band apparently engaged in a bout of pro-wrestling with their instruments. Their debut album clangs like a grand piano tumbling downstairs - leaving singalong melodies in its wake."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by James.

  1. "Skullduggery" – 2:43
  2. "Scarecrow" – 3:00
  3. "So Many Ways" – 3:46
  4. "Just Hip" – 1:46
  5. "Johnny Yen" – 3:41
  6. "Summer Song" – 4:16
  7. "Really Hard" – 4:13
  8. "Billy's Shirts" – 3:27
  9. "Why So Close" – 3:48
  10. "Withdrawn" – 3:42
  11. "Black Hole" – 5:29

Note: The song "Stutter", later released on the live album One Man Clapping, had already been performed live by the time of recording, but was not included on this, or any other, studio album by James.

Release details[edit]

  • UK 12" Vinyl – Blanco y Negro/Sire (JIMLP 1)
  • UK Cassette – Blanco y Negro/Sire (JIMC 1)
  • UK CD – Blanco y Negro/Sire (JIMCD 1)
  • UK CD (May 1991 re-release) – Sire (7599-25437-2)


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ The Essential Rock Discography - Volume 1: 550. 2006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Haslam, Dave (26 July 1986). "Stutter: Reviews". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "James: Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Levy, Eleanor (1986). "Stutter: Reviews". Sounds. UBM plc. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die - Artists beginning with J". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 

External links[edit]