Friday, 23 November 2007

Felt like playing something different today…

While researching this record I found the following description on Casbah Records website: Eighties British soul/jazz group, first of two singles they cut. Featuring an easy grooving melody and slinky bossa rhythms on the classic title track. That sums it up very well, although it does slip slightly into Matt Bianco territory so no doubt I will get more abusive messages. The opening bars remind me of Weekend so maybe that will please those moody types.

I’m pretty sure I first heard this on Tony Blackburn’s old Radio London show. Not a hip name to drop but he did play some good soul.

mp3: Pressure Point - Mellow Moods (1985)

Thursday, 22 November 2007

to the people...

Interview were formed in Bath in 1977. After a short stint playing on the London Pub Rock circuit they signed to Virgin and released two albums and four singles. To The People is their third single and it’s a little new wave/power pop gem. Their dark and cautionary tale section of their website is recommended reading.

mp3: Interview - To The People (1979)

Suitable for grumpy old men demanding three minute pop songs

Thursday, 15 November 2007

A quiet night in on my birthday...

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Today is my birthday and I was supposed to be taking it easy and going out for a meal tonight. Instead I find myself looking after a sick wife, doing the school runs and cancelling the restaurant booking and babysitter.

I’m 47 today!! If that sounds old let me tell you I feel about the same as I did in my 20’s. The downside to that is my taste in music, clothes, hairstyles etc are at least 20 years out of date. The good news is I don’t really care.

There is a 47 Society which claims that the number forty-seven occurs in nature with noticeably higher frequency than other natural numbers. Their website claims that if you pick another number and keep your eyes open for both for a few months 47 will show up more. I don’t know about that but I am 47 today and I share a birthday with Anni-Frid from Abba who was born in Norway, and guess what the dial code for Norway is: 47. Spooky? No, I didn’t think so either.

Anyway, here’s a song from each of the decades I’ve been around.

mp3: The Byrds – I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (1965)
mp3: Roxy Music – Street Life (1973)
mp3: John Foxx – Your Dress (1983)
mp3: XTC – The Disappointed (1992)
mp3: Wondermints – Shine On Me (2004)

Finally, how about a video of birthday girl Frida in action.

Friday, 9 November 2007

The Invaders

Back to the usual stuff today. Two new wave pop gems from 1979. Girl’s in Action is particularly good. Both records were produced by Jimmy Pursey. To the best of my knowledge they only released these two singles and one album called Test Card (1980).

mp3: The Invaders - Girls In Action
mp3: The Invaders - Best Thing I Ever Did (New Future)

Would it be nerdy to point out that the alien on the first sleeve resembles those in This Island Earth, and the other sleeve appears to be based on Things To Come (which you may have seen on BBC 4 the other night)? Probably.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Happy Birthday

16 years ago today the number 1 single in the UK was ‘Dizzy’. I know this because I had just seen my first child born and I went out and bought it. I don’t see him as much as I would like these days due to circumstances (mostly) beyond my control but I don’t want to go there right now. The picture above was taken when life was simpler. I just needed to mark the occasion in some way. Blogging as therapy and all that, don’t you know…

mp3: Vic Reeves and The Wonderstuff - Dizzy

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Passion Killer...

I always thought this single was going to be a hit. It had a prime time plug on The Tube (which is where I first heard it) and had a reasonable amount of airplay but for some reason it stalled at number 71. It has a Bowie-esque feel, which is not uncommon for records from this era, but this one reminds me of Aladdin Sane era when most people were ripping off Low, maybe that was a problem. Their look, which I would describe as ‘gypsy chic’ tended to divide opinion but at least they stood out from the New Romantic crowd.

Several more singles and two albums followed before they finally split in 1985. None of these releases got the same promotion as the debut. I liked Passion Killer a lot but evidently not enough to buy the subsequent singles without hearing them first, probably because electronica was my thing at the time. That’s a shame because now I would like to hear them. Time to start scouring 2nd hand record shops and ebay I guess.

mp3: One The Juggler – Passion Killer

To my surprise I discovered they played a one off reunion gig earlier this year. For more information there is an excellent fan site. As far as I am aware their only CD release is Destination Planet Blue, an album of previously unreleased demos.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Black Heart

I’m going to jump on the mini Marc Almond bandwagon (see here and here). Black Heart by Marc & The Mambas is from the Torment and Toreros album which appears to be currently unavailable, at least in the UK.

The instrumentation is interesting on this record. You have farfisa organ, piano, sax, flute and a string quartet all held together by the incessant beat of the drum machine (which roots it firmly in the eighties). There’s also Matt Johnson from The The supplying guitar parts quite low in the mix. The song itself is about as jolly as you would expect from the title. Brilliant!

It also came in a lovely picture sleeve (see above).

mp3: Marc & The Mambas - Black Heart (1983)

Wouldn’t you love to hear David Gray cover this? No, neither would I.