Friday, 11 January 2008

The Passions


If The Passions are remembered at all it’s for their solitary hit I’m In Love With A German Film Star (their 4th single and only hit). This song fitted in nicely with the electronic/New romantic songs of the era even though as far as I can tell it only features guitar, bass and drums. The production, particularly the tape delay, gives it its atmosphere.

mp3: The Passions - I’m In Love With A German Film Star (1981)

I’m guessing their follow up Skin Deep is their attempt at a dance track, possibly influenced by Talking Heads I Zimbra. I’m not normally impressed by songs that just repeat the title over and over but this one is worth sticking with mainly for Barbara Gogan's vocal which seems (at least partly) to anticipate Liz Frasers style.

mp3: The Passions - Skin Deep (1981)

I recently found an article on The Passions from ZigZag issue 105 (September 1980). It’s easy to forget when listening to old records by bands who ended up as footnotes in musical history that these bands started out full of hope and ambition. The full article is below if you are interested.















The albums Michael and Miranda, Thirty Thousand Feet Over China and Sanctuary(Cars Driven Fast) will be available for download from March. See The Passions website for news.

22 comments:

The Vinyl District said...

Holy coincidence -- I posted a Passions song today as well - "Hunted."

Great minds, me thinks...

Mick said...

Great minds indeed. That's quite a selection you've posted. I haven't worked out the theme yet...

iain said...

Was "German Film Star" 1981? I'm SURE it was 1979....nice to see "Skin Deep" making an appearance, i've always loved it, a great single, and deserved more attention than it got at the time....

JC said...

Thanks for this. Didn't know anything beyond the hit single....

londonlee said...

Small world. I was playing 'Skin Deep' the other day (I'd forgotten what it sounded like) and was thinking of posting something on 'Hunted' too (great single), but looks like someone beat me to it.

I used to have their album, Wasn't it called something like 'Micheal and Miranda'?

Mick said...

Iain,
It was definitely 1981. You're probably thinking of an earlier single (Hunted?)
JC,
You're welcome. To be honest I don't know much about them beyond these singles.
Lee,
Small world indeed. I've almost posted Sailor and Fox in the past but they seemed out of place on this blog. I'm considering starting a new one to cover other areas of interest.

Davy H said...

'Starting a new one'? Frankly, I'm still waiting for a recent post on this (x)

Mick said...

Well, Davy 'two blogs' H, there was supposed to be a new post last night but the missus has discovered BBC i-player and spent all night watching Masterchef and some scottish soap called River City. I couldn't get near the f-ing computer. I thought I would have time this morning but one of my kids decided to be sick!

I will try to throw something together this weekend.

Davy H said...

Spare me your sob stories please. Do I have two blogs? I think one of them may be dead. Or at last lying by the wayside saying 'You guys go on without me. Really, I'm fine. I'll only slow you down'.

Maybe buy Mrs Mick a cat or something?

Just saying.

So It Goes said...

Reminsicent of Arthur Two-Sheds Jackson...love the reference, Michael.

Mick said...

and
here
he is in person.

Logcat said...

Hi
By the way catching the train
I'm desperatly looking for
the "Michael & Miranda", 1st album of The Passions on Fiction.. Never has been re-released.....Anyone ?
Thanks in advance

cheers
keep the faith

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks for this blast from the past, I actually remember doing that interview, the atmosphere was somewhat tense as you can tell.

logcat, you're correct, Michael and Miranda has never been re-released but it will be available to download in March together with the other two albums. Keep an eye on www.thepassions.co.uk for news.

Mick said...

Logcat,
I think that's what you call straight from the horse's mouth.
Anonymous,
It's always a blast when I hear from the people who made the music. The tension in that interview comes across in the finished article. I will update the post with a link to your website.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is even though I can remember the interview being really tense, I can't remember why! The guy must have rubbed us up the wrong way somehow, it didn't take much :-)

The interview took place just before a gig at the YMCA off the Tottenham Court Road with the Au Pairs as support. Good gig, shame about the interview. Thats me in the middle photo staring at my fingers by the way.

Richard

Mick said...

Richard,
To be fair to the writer he does take the blame in the opening paragraph and semi apologises for his hostile approach.

EuropeCrazy said...

"...German Film Star" was featured in "Ashes to Ashes" the other night. Wasn't really into this band so much but I did like "Jump For Joy".

Great blog by the way!

Mick said...

Ah, the power of television. I couldn't give you an exact number but there has been a noticable increase in the number of hits I've had from people searching for 'German Film Star' since Ashes To Ashes aired.

I have to say it was used to great effect, as was Roxy's Same Old Scene.

Anonymous said...

The hits on the Passions website went through the roof for three or four days after the programme. Ten times the usual number. The Pet Shop Boys are releasing a cover soon so we're expecting another wave!

darkdance said...

The Names (from Belgium) reunited for a awhile at the turn of the century (circa 2000) and came up with an absolutely brilliant minimal wave cover of IILWAGFS. Highly recommended. If I was a blogger, I'd post it even though it is post-vinyl. And there you are with a busted stylus.... Let me know if you can't find it.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you didn't post the respective B'sides of these 2 singles!
"(Don't Talk To Me) I'm Shy" + "I Radiate"
there's full of rare single B'sides from THE PASSIONS!!!

German Film Star said...

You can get the aforementioned B sides and other bonus gems on the newly re-issued 'Thirty Thousand Feet Over China' album on Cherry Red Records.

I think you'll find the Names covered German Film Star way back in the early '80s