20 years of Avril!
Oh, hello! Yep… you’ve guessed it. It’s been aaaages since I last wrote something on here, and I’ve got a perfectly good excuse today!
By the time you’re reading this it’s probably June 4th where you are. Which means, the BEST ALBUM EVER (sorry, Parklife! don’t at me!) is turning 20 years old today and oh my goodness, does that make me feel ancient! And what is that album I hear you cry?
Avril Lavigne’s Let Go.
It came out during an incredible difficult year, but I still remember the day I got it, albeit six months after it was released. My 10th birthday, December 2nd and the grumpy ol’ human pulls it out of his coat pocket when he got home from work. Knowing me, I probably did a tiny, excited squeal when I saw it!
Up until then, I’d been driving him nuts with an overplayed (and still works to this day!) cassette single of Complicated in the car. So, what difference was 12 more songs to prolong his suffering?!
The first time I was made aware of Avril was during an old music show that aired on Saturday mornings here in the UK, a Top of the Pops rip-off called CD:UK* (performing none other than Complicated). I remember being insantly drawn to her. Her pin-straight hair, the baggy camo trousers and dark sunglasses — she looked so badass! The song got stuck in my head and that’s all I remember after that. I was hooked!
Let Go spawned three more singles** after Complicated; Sk8er Boi (if you can’t spell it properly, we can’t be friends), I’m With You and Losing Grip, it also went one to become one of the best-selling debut albums of all-time. I love the album just as much today as it’s angsty, grungy, in-your-face and basically about not taking a shit from anyone. I can’t choose a favourite song, they’re all that good!
Another incident I remember was the school Christmas party that year, we were allowed to bring one CD or video in to watch or listen to, and ol’ muggins here took the Sk8er Boi single with me. I was gutted when everyone else got theirs played and mine wasn’t! No idea why I didn’t take Let Go… maybe I did? I really can’t remember. I also made a magazine*** in class, made up of pages I’d ripped out of magazines.
So, for the 20th anniversary, at the time of writing this, Let Go has just been re-released digitally on all your favourite platforms**** (vinyl is due out early next year). It features the original 13 track album, remastered, along with 6 “new” songs; Why — a new version of the b-side from Complicated (the original version also featured on the My World EP), Get Over It (Sk8er Boi b-side), I Don’t Give (Complicated’s other b-side), along with Falling Down (originally released on a movie soundtrack), Make Up (a longtime leaked, “unreleased” b-side) and the biggest surprise of them all… a “reimagined”, studio version of Breakaway (which Avril originally gave to Kelly Clarkson back in 2004).
Those last three were a nice addition, as two of them deserved to be in higher quality and hearing the new version of Breakaway***** sounds so weird alongside her younger voice compared to all the other songs. However, I do feel like they’d missed a trick and could’ve added the album’s title track****** into the mix to round the release up to 20 tracks (seriously!!). Maybe Avril couldn’t include it just to whoever owns the rights or how many songs could be added to the vinyl coming out etc? Ah well.
One of the many things I love about her is that in a world full of Britneys and boybands, Avril has never tried to be like anyone else. She’d walk out on stage in her then-infamous ties… None of this bubblegum bollocks. She’ll always be my ultimate favourite as she was the very first album I got, gig I went to etc. I was absolutely gutted when she first toured here as I think the shows were restricted to 18+ at the time.
I also love how massive the nostalgia has been for her this year too, she seems to trend on Twitter every other day now, whether it’s a gig or just an appearance somewhere. Definitely think we’ve got her latest, seventh album, Love Sux to thank for that! Only upsetting thing about Avril’s 20th anniversary is I won’t be seeing her next year on her re-re-re-re-scheduled tour because it sold out in minutes — the first time since 2004!
So, if you’ve got an hour to spare and needing to shove you headphones in, y’know what to do. Stick them in and celeberate 20 years of of this awesome album. I’ll probably see you all in 2 years’ time for Under My Skin’s 20th anniversary by the time I get around to writing another one of these!
As ever, you can find me on Twitter and Twitch most Tuesdays at 8:30pm & Thursdays at 7pm (UK/BST time).
[*] ’Complicated’ CD:UK performance, 2002.
[**] The videos for which, have just been reuploaded on YouTube in much higher quality than they were originally released in.
[***] It was bad. Just clippings glued onto plain paper, nothing to get too excited about!
[****] ‘Let Go’ (20th Anniversary Edition), 2022.
[*****] Avril’s “reimagined” version of ‘Breakaway’, 2022.
[******] The album’s title track, ‘Let Go’, 2002.