There have been a number of bands that have gone by Small Town Heroes (or Smalltown Heroes – I’ve never been sure which it is officially for this group) over the years, but the only one that has ever mattered to me is the Baz Warne led UK group from the mid-90’s. Their lone 1996 album Human Soup was an instant classic deserving of far more acclaim and listeners than it seemed to receive. I discovered the group by accident in college, and was amazed that so few people had heard of the band. Then again, it was still the early days of the internet and music culture.
Through Warne’s Wiki page, I learned that the group had recorded a second album, Atomic Cafe, but that their label pulled funding for it before the process was finished and the group disbanded shortly after, with Warne going on to form The Stranglers. I was heartbroken that I would never get to hear more of the group’s music. And then the internet stepped in.
Through last.fm (of which I’ve been a user of since 2005), a fellow fan of the Small Town Heroes reached out to me. The UK fan and I exchanged a few messages, and he soon revealed to me that he had a rare copy of Atomic Cafe, and offered to send me a copy on CD. I am very much in debt to this man.
When I received the CD, I immediately ripped it onto my hard drive for posterity’s sake. Much as I expected, this group had a lot of miles left in them. While all the songs were strong, the stand out to me was “Sun Inside His Head”. Fervent guitar riffs and Warne’s emotive vocals take the song in a far-reaching direction. The big chorus has a streak of melancholy and shimmering warmth, as Warne sings “He’s gone, so they said. He had the sun inside his head. Now I know that he’s dead. He had the sun inside his head”. The chorus has stuck with me for years, and I decided it should not be denied other music fans from hearing.
Based on this site, it looks like CD singles of some of these songs may have been released at some point, but it’s doubtful you’ll find any in print. So, at risk of possibly angering someone out there, I am making the song available to hear below for as long as I’m allowed to. If you like it and want to hear more, maybe Warne can at some point figure out whatever rights issues there are with it and put it legally online for streaming.