Foxbase Alpha

Foxbase Alpha

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Foxbase Alpha

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Foxbase Alpha is the first album by British band Saint Etienne, released in 1991.

The album was recorded in a style which is close to the house music sound of the time, but songs like "Nothing Can Stop Us" and "Wilson" display the group's characteristic love of 1960s pop and several samples. Longer songs like "Stoned to Say the Least" and "Like the Swallow" are reminiscent of ambient house akin to The Orb. Like its follow-up So Tough, Foxbase Alpha's songs are bridged by samples from films or by short songs. At the time of recording, Sarah Cracknell was not fully part of group, and as a result she does not sing on "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", which is sung by Moira Lambert.

Foxbase Alpha was shortlisted for the inaugural Mercury Music Prize.


The album includes one of the group's best-known songs: a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". The cover quite differs from the original in that the original mostly major chord progression is turned here into mostly minor, which emphasizes a more melancholic feel. It is also arranged in 4/4 (as opposed to the original's waltz time), with a driving piano-bass-drum section. Andrew Weatherall later remixed the song to further emphasise the dub bassline; this remix was featured on both releases of the single and on the compilation Casino Classics (on American and European versions of the single, a Flowered Up remix is erroneously featured instead of...
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