Today's date



Katie Melua




Right. We have done with the official studio albums (for the time being) so now we need to poke around the various collections and live albums to see what other tracks we can find. We'll start off with an album that is only available to download or stream, "B-Sides: The Tracks That Got Away". Quite frankly, IMHO, this album was a mistake on the part of Dramatico. Why? Because this material could easily have produced a fully-promoted album in 2011 or 2012, deferring "Secret Symphony" to 2013 and "Ketevan" to 2014. By pitching it as B-sides and tracks that never made it onto other albums it kind of prepared you for songs that perhaps were of lesser quality. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is an outstanding album and contains some of my favourite KM tracks such as "Stardust" and "Market Day In Guernica". Now, of course, Katie was being managed by people that knew far more about the record industry than I ever will and opinions are subjective so you have to accept the decisions that were made. If it had been down to me, "Stardust" would have been on "Call Off The Search". But no doubt I'll bang on about that when I get to TN 90. The thing is, from start to finish this collection is a joy to listen to and there's not a single weak track on there. I've said it before—if this is the standard of material lying around on the cutting room floor in 2012 I for one would like to have a poke around there now and see what has been discarded in the 8 years since.
Anyway, what of "Downstairs To The Sun"? One of Katie's own, and left off "Call Off The Search". It appeared as a "B-side" to "Closest Thing To Crazy", although of course, CD-singles didn't actually have a B-side. Also on that first CD single was "Thank You, Stars" which made it on to "Piece By Piece", unlike this track. What's it about? Possibly a relationship that ended badly. Who knows. You could be forgiven for thinking it was about her breakdown except that it was written almost a decade before that. Anyhow, it's another great song from an under-appreciated songwriter.


Live performances of this are a rarity but here's one from 2004 in Croydon, sadly before the days of HD Downstairs To The Sun (live).


Downstairs To The Sun