The Secret History, Vol. 1’ The strangest thing about Pavement? Not that there were ever many non-strange things about Pavement? Even though they made their era’s finest rock albums, the albums only told half their story. Pavement also made some of the Nineties’ best albums that never happened. Until now. Pavement made five proper album-as-albums: ‘Slanted And Enchanted’ (1992), ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain’ (1994), ‘Wowee Zowee’ (1995), ‘Brighten The Corners’ (1997) and ‘Terror Twilight’ (1999). Each has its own sound. Each has its own legend. But each of their official albums has a shadow album – and it’s usually as strong as the album that actually did come out. It’s time for the world to hear the albums Pavement could have made if they’d been a little less ambitious about music and a little more ambitious about the music business. If they’d been the kind of band to sweat the legacy. But if they were that kind of band, would they have written so many great songs? Much less these great songs? The first, naturally, is ‘The Secret History, Vol. 1’, collecting the songs that got away during the era of ‘Slanted And Enchanted’, which Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg and Gary Young recorded on the cheaper-than-cheap in January 1991. This album collects gems from Peel Sessions (‘Kentucky Cocktail’, ‘Circa 1762’) and 7”s (‘Baptist Blacktick’) as well as live slop from the first European tours, with Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich in the fold. Some are outtakes from ‘Slanted And Enchanted’ – imagine leaving these tunes off your first album, when as far as you know or imagine, it’s your only album. These tracks (some of which had never been rumoured among Pavement freaks) came out on the 2002 ‘Slanted And Enchanted’ reissue. But they’ve never been separately available as an album in their own right and many of them have never been on vinyl before.