Album of the Day
A collection of Ride's first two EPs rather than a proper studio album, SMILE nonetheless merits a place of honor in the band's catalog. The success of these early releases helped keep the group's U.K. label, Creation, afloat while earning the Oxford quartet a spot on Sire Records in America. The headlong rush of “Chelsea Girl,” with its bright melody and call to “take me for a ride,” could serve as a statement of purpose for the young band, and tracks like “Furthest Sense” and the majestic “Like a Daydream” underline the songwriting skills of singer-guitarists Mark Gardener and Andy Bell - these tracks are as catchy as shoegaze music ever got. While the critical praise that greeted NOWHERE the following year was well-deserved, anyone who'd heard SMILE already knew Ride was something special.