Tigermilk is Belle and Sebastian's first album, which was originally released in 1996 with an all-vinyl run of only 1000 on 'Electric Honey Records' - the label on which students taking part in the Stow College Music Business Course release a record every year, usually a single. Belle and Sebastian had enough material for a whole album, so they sat down and recorded ten songs in three days, and put it out as Tigermilk.

With no promotion and an amateurish feel, the record sold slowly at first - later, though, after the release of If You're Feeling Sinister, the few who got their hands on an original copy realised how lucky they were as copies started changing hands for up to £400.

Low-grade bootlegs changed hand, being copied and re-copied among fans; people asking very nicely on the Sinister mailing list received tapes from those with a desire to share the wealth. Eventually, Jeepster (to whom the band signed immediately after Tigermilk was first released) agreed to put out a new edition of the album with different cover art, and in 1999 - after The Boy with the Arab Strap but before Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant - the re-release came out. It was technically their first album, their third album to get a proper release, and their fourth album release, so you should expect people to be confused if you start talking about 'the third Belle and Sebastian album' without making it clear which one you mean.

Tigermilk has much more in common with If You're Feeling Sinister than any of their later albums; Stuart Murdoch sings lead on all of the tracks, the instrumentation is relatively bare, and many of the songs seem to be written from the point of view of a geeky schoolboy.

The sound engineering is not exactly top-notch, but it certainly doesn't stop this from being a great album with some classic songs - the lyrics are generally witty and sometimes touching, and while the band may have matured musically since they recorded this the tunes here are mostly very strong. The full track listing is as follows:

  1. The State I Am In
  2. Expectations
  3. She's Losing It
  4. You're Just A Baby
  5. Electronic Renaissance
  6. I Could Be Dreaming
  7. We Rule The School
  8. My Wandering Days Are Over
  9. I Don't Love Anyone
  10. Mary Jo

Apparently tigermilk is also slang for semen, although I've never actually heard it used that way.