Record Machine: “The Roller” by Beady Eye, Limited Edition Single

Friends, I can’t help it – if one of my favorite musicians puts out a limited edition or otherwise rare piece of music, I am compelled to buy it. Yes, sometimes those special releases are beyond personal affordability, but when Beady Eye released their single “The Roller” as a numbered 7″, I had to own it.

Front cover of Beady Eye's "The Roller."

For those of you scratching your heads at the name Beady Eye and wondering why they might excite me at all, the band is comprised of the remaining members of Oasis, after Noel Gallagher quit in 2009. Written by Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer, and Andy Bell, “The Roller” had been kicking around since Oasis’ Heathen Chemistry days. The finished result, from Beady Eye’s debut, Different Gear, Still Speeding, sounds somewhat Oasis-reminiscent, but the end result is more stripped down than past songs with similar lyrical content.

I talked about this song in 30 Years of Music: 2011, and what I said still stands – although I am unabashedly Team Noel Gallagher, he was not the only talented member of Oasis. Despite Beady Eye’s unfortunate band name, they have produced a lot of outstanding songs on their two albums, and “The Roller” is one of my favorites. The above video features an interview with guitarist/bassist Andy Bell and drummer Chris Sharrock, spliced with clips from the video.

On the video’s motorcycle “Wall of Death,” one of only two in the UK, Bell says:

They tour around the country with this thing, they build it. […] You pay what you can afford. It’s kind of funny. […] From a health and safety point of view, it’s mental.

What I also like about Beady Eye is, while they never sing lead, it’s kind of nice to hear Bell and Archer’s voice floating about the background. I know that the two of them were previously in bands where they’ve been singers, but I am not overly familiar with them.

My copy of the 7″ single is numbered 1434. I believe it was out of an edition of 2000 singles pressed, since other vinyl singles of theirs were confined to that number, but I can’t currently find a link that confirms that for this specific song.

Back cover of Beady Eye's "The Roller."

On the B-side, we have “Two of a Kind,” a big, loud stomper where Liam’s voice takes a backseat to the wall of instruments with him. The 1960s are alive and well throughout both this single and the entirety of Different Gear, Still Speeding, and though sometimes other music fans tend to get a bit cranky about the group’s (and Oasis’) persistent and pervasive nostalgia, I dig it. There’s a ferocity behind Liam’s voice that declares, I love what I love, and I don’t give a fuck what you think about that.

Tell me, do any of you compulsively collect vinyl singles?

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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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