Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Novelty island

OMG, as those pesky kids say, I must have liked this when I heard it way back in 1982 or I wouldn’t have bought it. Unfortunately, like all novelty records the joke where’s thin after a few listens. Having said that there are a few things going for it: the corny DJ at the start is spot on if you were unfortunate enough to hear those annoyingly mid-Atlantic Radio 1 presenters back in the 70s and 80s. I had the misfortune to hear Tony Blackburn on Radio 2 recently and he still talks like this!! Secondly, the chorus is kind of catchy and I’ve always been a sucker for “Wo-oh-oh-oh’s.” Really.

The Dots - Helen In Your Headphones (1982)

By the way, I’ve broken my scanner and had to find a picture of the record on Google, hence the poor resolution.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Stranger Than Fiction

Another from my seemingly, and in fact almost literally, endless pile of early 80s New Wave/postpunk/synthpop/electronic records.

Stranger Than Fiction - Losing You (1980)

Steve Kennett: vocals + guitars
Stewart Kennett: percussion
Norman Pearce: bass
Sean Mckernan: Moog + ARP strings

Produced by Bill Nelson

Might add the b-side later.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


I was just explaining to young Darkdance how the Vinyl Archive’s singles collection dried up around 1991 (in the comments on my last post) but there are one or two later ones. Last summer I bought seven relatively obscure mid 90’s singles from a charity shop. I’d never heard any of them but they were well looked after and apparently from the same collection so I thought they deserved a good home. I put them in a cupboard (the wife’s wardrobe actually) and forgot about them so they only got their first play last weekend.

By far the best of the bunch was This Is For Real by David Devant & His Spirit Wife – a brilliantly rowdy catchy pop-rock Britpop type of record.

David Devant & His Spirit Wife - This Is For Real (1997)

The other records, which may be featured sometime in the future, were by Jetpak, Ladies Who Lunch, Chopper, Blew, Idlewild, Cake and The Auteurs. OK the last three aren’t obscure but I’m not familiar with their recordings. The Auteurs record is a one sided single that I believe was given away with one of their LPs

Friday, 18 March 2011

Extended Sprout

I don’t know about you but after a miserable Friday where I’ve got caught in the rain and somehow got my feet soaking wet so that my toes still itch like mad I like to relax too the extended version of the opening song on Prefab Sprout’s best album*.

Part of me thinks this should be a bonus track on the ‘Jordan: The Comeback’ CD but 'Doo-Wop in Harlem' finishes the album so perfectly it would be vandalism to put anything after it. Guess that’s why they invented 2-disc sets.

Prefab Sprout - Looking For Atlantis (Extended Version) (1990)
or if that doesn't work try:
Prefab Sprout - Looking For Atlantis (Extended Version) (1990)
Ripped from the 12-inch single

*A contentious statement I know but it’s my favourite and it’s my blog.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Two from 1981

Been meaning to post these since I started the blog but I’ve never been sure what to say about them. I know very little about Hambi & The Dance (except they’re from Liverpool) and I can’t claim either of these are lost classics but they are nice examples of early 80s slightly arty, slightly synthy music, though not electronic enough for me at the time which is why I never bought any more after these.

Too Late To Fly The Flag is the more obvious single (reminds me of Teardrop Explodes) but if you give it a few listens L'image CraquƩ is the better song.

Hambi & The Dance – Too Late To Fly The Flag (1981)
Hambi & The Dance - L'image CraquƩ (1981)

Guitar & Vocals: Hambi Haralambous
Drums: Les Hughes
Bass: Gary Johnson (later of China Crisis)
Guitar: Steve Lovell
Back-up vocal: Jaqui

Friday, 4 March 2011

and you're very welcome..

Last weeks disco record got a decidedly mixed reception so let’s see what you make of this offering – the 12-inch extended version of Chas Jankel’s ‘Glad To Know You’, co-written by Ian Dury. Is that a good enough pedigree for you?

As a bonus I’ve also included the b-side ‘Am I Honest With Myself Really?’and both sides of the ‘109’ single previously featured on this blog back in 2007 and described by one polite contributor as a genius song. These are all new vinyl rips but be warned 3,000,000 Synths is a bit crackly.

Chas Jankel - Glad To Know You (Extended Version) (1982)
Chas Jankel - Am I Honest With Myself Really? (1980)
Chas Jankel - 109 (1981)
Chas Jankel - 3,000,000 Synths (1981)