The Eponymous Critical Error Album (1987)

Critical Error, by Critical Error.

This is the eponymous Critical Error album. It was recorded, engineered and produced during the summer of 1987 by Paul Bateman in his now legendary home studio at 32 Howell Road, Exeter.

Critical Error consisted of Rosie Mullin (vocals and percussion), Steve Mavin (vocals and acoustic guitar), Aidan Whiteley (lead acoustic guitar) and Allan Veal (bass). A variety of extra stars and friends of the band also appear and perform as guests on this album.

Steve had suffered a lot of complicated health problems over a very long period of time and tragically he passed away in 1999 aged just 47. He was a wonderfully warm hearted and kind man as well as a fabulous musical composer and talent. Steve was also a terrific and engaging raconteur whose stories and the way he told them live long in the memory. He is still very much missed by those whose lives he touched.

To be able to leave a small legacy of his memory is a great privilege for us. To hear Steve’s voice again after all these years is nothing less than a miracle of modern technology, The power of his songs is self-evident.

All of those who contributed to making the digital release of the Critical Error album happen hope and believe he would be happy about it. We hope and believe that by sharing these wonderful songs and the lyrics he crafted, Steve will continue to communicate, across the ages and even the great unknown, with fans – old and new – of his amazing music.

Following a few conversations over several months on social media, Rosie managed to co-ordinate and collect all of the information and files from herelf, Paul and Aidan and send them to us. It has been a tremendous effort of logistics to enable this album to be heard at all. Massive thanks go to Rosie, and to Paul and Aidan, for all their help in making this material available.

Paul did a fabulous job of engineering the Critical Error album on his four-track cassette portastudio back in the day. The tracks were relatively easy to clean up and master.

Paul’s talents didn’t end with musicianship and audio engineering. He was a fantastic illustrator whose cartoons and caricatures were loved by those who were lucky enough to see them. It was Paul who created the instantly recognisable and delightfully life-like image of the band as the cover art for this eponymous Critical Error album.

Regretably there is a small element of tape hiss still present, as there always is with material salvaged from cassette. Luckily the human ear is quite good at becoming used to this sound very quickly and ignoring it once the music is playing. We hope it will not affect the listener’s enjoyment of these amazing songs.

We subsequently added three bonus tracks to the album. They are all live bootlegs recorded from the desk to cassette. The audio was then salvaged from cassette and cleaned up as much as possible.

All of these live recordings are wonderful performances featuring the classic Critical Error lineup. Wild is the last song Critical Error ever wrote together and was only ever performed live by the band once.

Some names below have clickable link where you can see more.

Critical Error were:
* Rosie Mullin – vocals, percussion, flageolet
* Steve Mavin – vocals, 6 and 12-string acoustic guitars
* Aidan Whiteley – lead and rhythm acoustic and electric guitars
* Allan Veal – bass

Guest Musicians:
* Paul Bateman (Garbage Grinders, Jackdaw Music) – lead guitar, backing vocals, Roland TR-505 programming, engineering, production
* Baz Bishop (Incubus, Cú Chulainn) – lead guitar
* Stuart “The Amazing Blind Screaming Blue Stu” Cannon (Rough Terrain) – harmonica
* Dave Costello (The Sicillians) – lead guitar
* Tim Peirce (Cheap Linoleum Blues Band, The Sicillians) – congas
* Jim Peters (Invisible Opera Company of Tibet uk, Alchemeon) – backing vocals, keyboards
* Tom Woods (Prism) – accoustic guitar