The La's (album)

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The La's
The La's (The La's album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by
Released1 October 1990
RecordedJuly–September 1988, December 1989 – February 1990
StudioWoodcray Studios, Wokingham and Eden Studios, London
GenreAlternative rock, jangle pop
ProducerSteve Lillywhite, Bob Andrews
The La's chronology
The La's
Lost La's 1984–1986: Breakloose
Singles from The La's
  1. "Way Out"
    Released: 2 November 1987
  2. "There She Goes"
    Released: 31 October 1988
  3. "Timeless Melody"
    Released: 3 September 1990
  4. "There She Goes"
    Released: 22 October 1990 (re-issue)
  5. "Feelin'"
    Released: 4 February 1991

The La's is the only studio album by English rock band the La's, released on 1 October 1990 by Go! Discs. It included "There She Goes", the group's biggest hit, and "Timeless Melody". A deluxe edition of The La's was released on 7 April 2008. In 2013, NME ranked The La's at number 153 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Writing and recording[edit]

All of the songs on The La's were written by Lee Mavers between 1986 and 1987 and after signing to Go! Discs in 1987 and for the next three years, the La's worked with several producers to record their debut album, including John Porter, Gavin MacKillop, John Leckie, Bob Andrews, Jeremy Allom and Mike Hedges. The final sessions for the album were recorded December 1989 – February 1990 at Eden Studios in London with producers Steve Lillywhite and Mark Wallis. "There She Goes" is a remixed version of the original single recording produced by Bob Andrews in 1988. The La's first single song, Way Out, was re-recorded for the album.

According to the liner notes in the Deluxe edition from 2008, The La's did 12 different sessions between July 1987 and May 1990.

In July 1987, Matrix studio, London, John Porter produced "Doledrum", "Son of a Gun", "Failure" and "Jams". "Doledrum" appears on the deluxe edition.

In August–September 1987, Townhouse studio, London, Gavin McKillop produced "Way Out", "Endless" and "Knock Me Down"In October 1987, Ezee Studios, London, Dave Allen produced Doledrum, still unreleased.

In October 1987, Fall out shelter, London, Andy MacDonald produced a remixed "Way out" single. Three Versions were mixed; "Way Out (New Version)", appeared on the 7" EP Version of "There She Goes" in November 1988. "Way Out (mix 2)" appears on the Deluxe Edition. The third version being an unreleased instrumental mix.

In March/April 1988, at Abbey Road, London/Jam recordings/Chipping Norton, John Leckie produced "Doledrum", "Man I'm Only Human", "There She Goes", "Feelin'", "Come In Come Out". A slightly edited/remixed Version of "Feelin'" appeared as the alternate Version on the b-side of the "Feelin'" single in February 1991. "There She Goes" and "Man I'm Only Human" appear on the Deluxe Edition.

In July/September 1988, Woodcray Studios, Workingham/Red Bus, London (mixing), Bob Andrews produced 14 tracks incl the original single version of "There She Goes" and the b-sides; "Come In Come Out", "Who Knows" and "Man I'm Only Human". "Feelin'" and "Clean Prophet" appear on the Deluxe Edition.

In December 1988/January 1989 at Attic Studios, Liverpool, The La's produced an aborted session.

In January 1989, Pink Museum, Liverpool, Mike Haas, Andy MacDonald and Hambi produced "Timeless Melody" and "Clean Prophet", still unreleased.

In February/April 1989, Pink Museum, Liverpool, The La's and Jeremy Allom produced 8 tracks. Only "All By Myself" appears on the b-side to the reissue of "There She Goes" in October 1990. "I Can't Sleep" appears on the Deluxe Edition.

In April/June 1989, Mobile Studio, Devon, Mike Hedges produced 14 tracks. "I.O.U." appears as an alternate Version on the b-side of the "Feelin'" single in February 1991. 13 tracks appears on the Deluxe edition as "Mike Hedges versions", with "Freedom Song" released on the 4-disc "Callin' All" box set.

December 1989, February 1990, April 1990 at Eden Studios, London, Steve Lillywhite produced 15 tracks. In May 1990, Townhouse studio, London, Steve Lillywhite produced 6 tracks in a mixing session for the album.

The album released is largely from the Steve Lillywhite sessions, although some backing vocals appear to be from the Hedges sessions, something Lee Mavers complained about on Rapido TV.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune4/4 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyA+[3]
The Observer4/5 stars[5]
Q5/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[7]
Uncut4/5 stars[9]
The Village VoiceA−[10]

The La's was released in 1990 on Go! Discs in the United Kingdom and in 1991 on London Records in the United States. The album was praised by critics and embraced by fans. It was the result of nearly three years in the studio with a string of acclaimed producers. Each attempted to capture the sound sought by Lee Mavers, the lead singer and principal songwriter of the band. However, due to Mavers' exacting expectations, the sound eluded each of the producers, and the album eventually released was immediately disowned by the band.[11]

A new version of the album, recorded by Mike Hedges (who has also worked with U2, Manic Street Preachers and the Cure) was found on a cassette; this new version was digitally remastered and released for the first time as part of The La's: Deluxe Edition. This edition also includes previously unreleased archive recordings and radio sessions by the band, as well as deluxe packaging and expanded sleevenotes.


In 2013, NME ranked The La's at number 153 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[12] In 2016, Rolling Stone placed the record at number 13 on its list of the "40 Greatest One-Album Wonders".[13] The La's was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[14] Noel Gallagher of Oasis named it as one of his 13 favourite albums.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Lee Mavers (except where stated).

1."Son of a Gun"1:55
2."I Can't Sleep"2:37
3."Timeless Melody"3:01
4."Liberty Ship"2:31
5."There She Goes"2:42
8."Way Out"2:32
10."Freedom Song"2:23
12."Looking Glass"7:51
Total length:35:14
Bonus tracks
Japan bonus tracks (1998)
13."Knock Me Down"3:17
15."Come in Come Out"2:14
16."Who Knows"3:31
17."Man I'm Only Human"4:34
18."All by Myself"5:56
19."Clean Prophet"1:49
20."There She Goes" (original single version)2:35
UK remastered edition bonus tracks (2001)
13."All by Myself"5:53
14."Clean Prophet"1:47
15."Knock Me Down"3:15
16."Over" (live in a stable in Liverpool, Lee Mavers/John Power)5:02
17."I.O.U." (alternative version)2:08
The La's – Deluxe Edition (2008)

Disc 1 tracks 1–12 per original release

Disc 1: Bonus material
13."Son of a Gun" (Gary Crowley, GLR Session Dec '88)1:55
14."Doledrum" (Gary Crowley, GLR Session Dec '88)3:00
15."I Can't Sleep" (Gary Crowley, GLR Session Dec '88)2:34
16."Way Out" (Key 103, Jan '89)2:42
17."I Am the Key" (Key 103, Jan '89)3:05
18."That'll Be the Day" (BBC2 The Late Show Feb '89, Buddy Holly/Jerry Allison/Norman Petty)2:07
Disc 2: Mike Hedges album
1."I.O.U." (Mike Hedges version)2:05
2."I Can't Sleep" (Mike Hedges version)2:43
3."Knock Me Down" (Mike Hedges version)2:56
4."Way Out" (Mike Hedges version)2:47
5."Doledrum" (Mike Hedges version)2:57
6."There She Goes" (Mike Hedges version)2:49
7."Feelin'" (Mike Hedges version)1:48
8."Timeless Melody" (Mike Hedges version)3:07
9."Son of a Gun" (Mike Hedges version)2:05
10."Clean Prophet" (Mike Hedges version)2:09
11."Come in Come Out" (Mike Hedges version)2:16
12."Failure" (Mike Hedges version)3:08
13."Looking Glass" (Mike Hedges version)7:28
Disc 2: Bonus material
14."Doledrum" (John Porter mix)2:53
15."Way Out" (Andy MacDonald mix)2:39
16."There She Goes" (John Leckie mix)2:44
17."Man I'm Only Human" (John Leckie mix)5:00
18."Feelin'" (Bob Andrews mix)1:53
19."Clean Prophet" (Bob Andrews mix)2:02
20."I Can't Sleep" (Jeremy Allom mix)2:41


Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format(s) Catalog
United Kingdom 1 October 1990 Go! Discs LP, CD, Cassette 828,202
Europe November 1990 Polydor LP, CD, Cassette 828,202
United States 1991 London Records LP, CD, Cassette 828,202
Japan 1998 Polydor CD (8 bonus tracks) POCD 1041
United Kingdom 29 January 2001 Go! Discs CD (Remastered edition, 5 bonus tracks) 549,566
United Kingdom 14 April 2008 Polydor 2xCD (Deluxe edition) 5306021
United Kingdom 2016 Polydor (Go! Discs) Vinyl ,Limited Edition Blue 478 974-6

Chart performance[edit]

Charts (1990–1991) Peak chart position
UK Albums Chart[17] 30
US Billboard 200[18] 196


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The La's – The La's". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (14 February 1991). "The La's: The La's (Go! Discs/London)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ Arnold, Gina (5 April 1991). "The La's". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  4. ^ Capper, Andy (3 February 2001). "The La's: The La's". NME. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  5. ^ Boden, Sarah (16 March 2008). "The La's, The La's – Deluxe Edition". The Observer. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  6. ^ "The La's: The La's". Q. No. 174. March 2001. pp. 126–27.
  7. ^ Moon, Tom (2004). "The La's". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 476. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  8. ^ Harrison, Andrew (November 1990). "The Scally Army". Select. No. 5. p. 98.
  9. ^ "The La's: The La's". Uncut. No. 132. May 2008. p. 96.
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 July 1991). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  11. ^ Simpson, Dave (2 May 2008). "The madness of perfection". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  12. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 200–101". NME. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  13. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R.; Spanos, Brittany; Exposito, Suzy; Reeves, Mosi; Grow, Kory; Harris, Keith; Fischer, Reed; Gehr, Richard; Johnston, Maura; Levy, Joe; Greene, Andy (4 April 2021). "40 Greatest One-Album Wonders". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  14. ^ Dimery, Robert, ed. (2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (revised and updated ed.). Universe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  15. ^ Doran, John (17 October 2011). "Noel Gallagher Selects His Thirteen Favourite Albums". The Quietus. p. 5. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  16. ^ a b c d e The La's: Deluxe Edition (booklet). The La's. UK: Polydor Records. 2008. 5306021.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ LA'S | Artist | Official Charts
  18. ^ The La's Music News & Info | Billboard

External links[edit]