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THE ALTERED IMAGES SINGLES (7)

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What a comeback!!

Altered Images might have been battered and bruised from he criticism that came in the wake of the release of Pinky Blue but they bounced back in style with their seventh single.

The band had gone into the studio in the autumn of 1982 to work alongside producer Mike Chapman who had rightly received huge credit for his work on Parallel Lines by Blondie.  But it was a band with a different line-up; drummer Tich Anderson (who had been a co-founder of Altered Images) and guitarist Jim McKinven (who had joined after the first two singles had been recorded) had left the line-up and in their place came the multi-talented Stephen Lironi who would fill-in at the initial sessions on both drums and guitar. It was also a band with a different attitude no longer afraid to make music which harked backed to their new wave roots.

The first thing to emerge from the new collaboration was Don’t Talk To Me About Love, a song that I’m prepared to say is a timeless classic in the history of the pop single. It was incredibly unexpected both in terms of quality and sound.  If it wasn’t for the fact that Clare Grogan had such a distinctive vocal style I don’t think any of the fans of old would have guessed which band was behind the music.

It was released in March 1983 and sold well enough in its first week to enter the charts at #36.  The band continued to work really hard at promoting the single with appearances all sorts of TV shows and it was no surprise that the following week it had jumped twenty-four places before then going Top 10 on the back of what was a memorable Top of the Pops appearance with Clare looking sexier than ever in a leather skirt.

Incidentally, this was proving to be a particularly golden time for Scottish music as Eurythmics, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and Big Country were all enjoying singles success for the first time in their careers.  As indeed were New Order as Blue Monday began its first rise up the charts.

This single was released in 7″ and 12″ editions:-

7″

mp3 : Altered Images – Don’t Talk To Me About Love
mp3 : Altered Images – Last Goodbye

12″

mp3 : Altered Images – Don’t Talk To Me About Love (extended version)

The 7″ also came as a picture disc.  Sad man that I am, I pinned said disc on my wall so that the lovely Clare gazed down on me…….

altered_images_dont_talk_pd_7

The b-side is a bit disposable and forgettable, but its more than made up for by the fact that the extended version of the single works so well.

Enjoy

NB : About three hours after this post originally appeared, the full 12″ version was added as a link and not simply the abridged extended version as made available on certain CD compilations.  Please see comments section for detailed explanation!!

 

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #20 : THE LEMONHEADS

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Another fine guest contribution today, this time courtesy of Jen whose long-time love for The Lemonheads comes through nice’n’clear.  She’s gone for a chronological approach that demonstrates how much the band’s sound changed and evolved in a little over a decade and she’s also included a fair proportion of cover versions, none of which are the song that got them the commercial breakthrough here in the UK:-

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM – THE LEMONHEADS

1. So I Fucked Up…[Laughing All The Way To The Cleaners 7” EP, 1986]

Punk was still new in Northern California in 1986, the year the Lemonheads put out their first record. Both singers here, and that great relief of shrugging off your potential and embracing your god given destiny.

2. Hate Your Friends [Hate Your Friends, 1987]

Seventeen and speeding around the San Francisco suburbs with my friends. No sleep for a week, sitting around the living room staring at each other, these lyrics will speak to you.

3. Ride With Me [Lovey, 1990]

Alone. Driving. Loud.

4. Different Drum [Favorite Spanish Dishes, CD EP, 1991]

This is the record where the Lemonheads became a pop band. Dando kept Ronstadt’s POV, singing about a “boy” instead of changing the lyrics to “girl.” It’s hard to remember how bad-ass that was in 1991.

5. Skulls [Favorite Spanish Dishes, CD EP, 1991]

If you take a violent, funny Misfits song (so any Misfits song) and cover it slow and acoustic, the song becomes an amazing sad classic. It’s a good trick. It works every time, as many bands have discovered since Dando.

6. Alison’s Starting To Happen [It’s A Shame About Ray, 1992]

Is Dando more idiot, or more savant? Is it an act, an accident, a joke on us?

7. Frank Mills [It’s A Shame About Ray, 1992]

From the 1968 “Hair” soundtrack. This song was a gift, for us kids hanging out in the park. No school. No work. Lots of characters.

8. The Great Big No [Come On Feel, 1993]

My favorite of the big pop songs.

9. He’s On The Beach [Big Gay Heart, CD EP, 1994]

Kirsty MacColl song about her friend that disappeared in the early 80’s. She started getting beach postcards from Australia. The Lemonheads crush this tune, sending it galloping through the streets of Boston.

10. Hospital [Car Button Cloth, 1996]

Is he trying? Is he not trying? Is he finger-painting with melted crayons? Who calls an album car button cloth? Dando was a sun-slapped gorgeous boy running through the sprinklers with terminal cancer, singing about the cherry flavor of his medicine. He knows rock and roll is for the ugly. He will destroy his own beauty.

Bonus Track: Pin Yr Heart [The Outdoor Type, CD Single, 1997]

As the curtain falls on his first act, he covers Nikki Sudden. Right?

mp3 : The Lemonheads – So I Fucked Up
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Hate Your Friends
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Ride With Me
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Different Drum
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Skulls
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Alison’s Starting To Happen
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Frank Mills
mp3 : The Lemonheads – The Great Big No
mp3 : The Lemonheads – He’s On The Beach
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Hospital

mp3 : The Lemonheads – Pin Yr Heart

Enjoy.

NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Part 23 of 48)

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There’s an incredible amount of the CD86 bands who came from Scotland…and here’s yet another.

The Fizzbombs were a short-lived four piece from Edinburgh consisting of Katy McCullars (lead vocal), Margarita Vasquez-Ponte (guitar/vocals), Angus McPake (drums) and Ann Donald (bass).  This fabulous little number, which would later appear on CD86, was released as a single on Nardonik Records in 1987:-

mp3 : The Fizzbombs – Sign On The Line…

It was the band’s only release with that line-up.  They would release an EP in 1988 by which time Katy had moved on and Margarita was on lead vocal duties after which Fizzbombs were no more.

However, Margarita was a mainstay in other Edinburgh-based indie bands of the time, most notably Rote Kapelle and Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes (of which Angus was also a member), the latter having a career that saw eight singles/EPs and two LPs between 1986 and 1990 without ever coming close to any commercial success.

Here’s the b-side of that Fizzbombs single….it comes with a warning that it’s a bit tuneless and fuzzy and goes on for far too long:-

mp3 : The Fizzbombs – The Word That

Enjoy

 

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #17 : BABY’S GOT A GUN

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This particular song I only have via picking it up on a homemade compilation from an old blogger and so I’m totally indebted to a blog called Worthless Trash for the following:-

Baby’s Got A Gun, consisting of Garry Borland (vocals), Richard Simpson (guitar), Jacqui Crane (bass) and Murray Dalglish (drums) formed in 1985 in East Kilbride and were noted for the inclusion of Murray Dalglish formerly a drummer with The Jesus And Mary Chain.  The following year they moved to Edinburgh where there were more gig opportunities.  Jock McDonald of The Bollock Brothers became the band’s manager after catching one of their gigs which led to the release of this 12″ EP on his MBC label.

01 – Suicide Girl
02 – I Don’t Mind
03 – I Don’t Wanna Be Found
04 – She’s A Sidewalker

Released in April 1987, it was pretty much ignored by the music press. The 4 tracks are best described as sounding like C86-era Soup Dragons if they had been hooked on Fulham Fallout rather than Love Bites. The first two tracks, produced by Donald MacLeod, were recorded in early 1987. Side two came from a self produced demo recorded the previous year.

In 1990 Baby’s Got A Gun would release a single Take The Ride and an album Up for the No Mercy label in a more rockier direction, though by that time both Jacqui and Murray had been replaced by a new rhythm section.

mp3 : Baby’s Got A Gun – Suicide Girl

It’s a cracking bit of music that is ridiculously catchy and with a fab guitar solo thrown in too.

Enjoy.

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #19 : NEW ORDER

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I do like to make things tough for myself with these imaginary albums.  I should stick to bands who came and went in a flash leaving fans with 20-30 songs in total instead of a body of work that stretches back across four different decades during which time their sound changed and evolved somewhat. Or maybe I should take Tim’s advice from yesterday and go with the 11th band/singer that pops up via random shuffle…

I thought I’d better get this piece in just to show I’m not totally relying on the very welcome guest contributions.  But I have made one slight adjustment to make life easier on this occasion by introducing a one-off rule that I must have a vinyl copy of the songs which means, for this particular compilation, that anything post 1990 is ruled out as everything since then is on CD….but having said that, there’s not much would have made the cut in any case.

I was a fan of Joy Division and was pleased that the rest of the band decided to keep things going after the suicide of Ian Curtis but I initially changed my mind after the first time I caught New Order live which was early 1981 at the now demolished Plaza Ballroom on the south side of Glasgow.  To be frank, they were a shambles and the songs didn’t sound anything the way I expected. It almost felt as if Curtis was irreplaceable as a singer, as a presence and as a songwriter.

And then a couple of months later, the debut single was released and I knew that everything was going to be OK, albeit there were wobbles along the way with the debut LP in November 1981 being a bit more patchy than I’d have liked with not many tracks being as good as the debut and follow-up singles from earlier in the year.  But from the release of Temptation in May 1982 through to hitting #1 with World In Motion exactly eight years later there were few who could match the Mancunians in quality.  Here’s my, sure to be controversial, imaginary album:-

SIDE A

1. Age Of Consent (from Power, Corruption & Lies, 1983)

The patchiness of the debut album made me nervous about how good or otherwise the follow-up was going to be. New Order hadn’t disappointed on the singles front and musically were taking things in all sorts of directions.  I put the needle into the groove of the opening track on the new album and was completely blown away to the extent that I thought the rest of the LP to be a bit of a letdown.  But after another two or three plays I realised that it was a really good album….but its opening track was an exceptional piece of music and all these years later I still think it is the greatest piece of indie/pop/dance ever written.

2. The Perfect Kiss (12″ single, 1985)

There was a recent brilliant observation from a reader that Soft Cell always seemed to make tremendous 12″ records which they then edited down to a more manageable form for release in 7″ format or as an album track.  I have absolutely no doubt that this is the case with The Perfect Kiss.

There is not a single second wasted on the full near nine minutes on the 12″ which includes all sorts of weird sound effects including frogs croaking and sheep bleating and is the sound of band brimming with confidence and self-belief. The album version on Low-Life and indeed the even shorter 7″ version are both great bits of music but the full version is just majestic.

3. Lonesome Tonight (b-side to Thieves Like Us single, 1984)

Hooky’s bass lines are behind some of the greatest New Order moments and there’s few better examples than this of him driving a song along and almost challenging his band mates to come up with something as classy and as cool as the notes he’s hitting.  On this much under appreciated song they more than succeed.

4. Temptation (12″ single, 1982)

Having slowed things down a tad with the last song its time to take listeners to the pinnacle of the New Order sound, with what I have long said is the greatest ever 45 in the history of the pop single.  (It’s just as well that Age of Consent remained as an album track as I’d have found it impossible to choose between the two).

Whoever it was that came up with the wiki entry for the song has written something extremely astute by saying that the 7″ version is a more structured version with a commercial synthpop feel while the 12″ is more chaotic with the emphasis on electronic rhythms rather than melody.

I love both versions and regard them as completely different songs, almost to the extent that I considered including each of them on this imaginary album.  But in the end it is the 12″ version that always wins the day…it never fails to put a huge smile on my face whenever I hear it and there’s a real special sensation when John Blain Hunt airs it at his Little League nights as I close my eyes and shake my thang on the dance floor imagining that it is the early 80s all over again and I am resplendent in my raincoat, 28″ waist skinny jeans and bouffant held together by a ridiculous amount of hairspray looking like the perfect blend of Bunnymac, Edwyn, Barney and Moz. Dreams Never End.

5. Run (album version, from Technique 1989)

I love every single second of Technique and consider it to be the band’s most consistent LP in terms of quality – a view that isn’t widely held among the other big fans of the band of my acquaintance.  Run is one of the most outstanding songs on the album and rather bravely the band went for an edited single release in due course in which about 45 seconds are chopped off and by editing down the dreamy instrumental finish to the song and replacing it with more of the re-recorded vocal with Barney’s voice given more prominence than the original mix.  It’s a decent enough mix and does a job of giving us enough changes to think of it as a new song altogether but it’s not a patch on the original.

SIDE B

1. Love Vigilantes (from Low Life, 1985)

This was a band who specialised in providing the wow factor with opening tracks on their albums.  Even the disappointment that was Movement had a belter of an opener in Dreams Never End (although the Peel Session version of the song was/is better) and I’ve already said my tuppence worth about Age of Consent.  In later years, Paradise, Fine Time, Regret and Crystal would all get their respective LPs off to a great start with only Who’s Joe on the 2005 LP Waiting For The Sirens’ Call being a letdown in this respect.

But Love Vigilantes is something else altogether; a ghost story delivered over a jaunty upbeat indie tune that seemed to take a glance over to Robert Smith at The Cure and deliver a ‘beat that’ challenge (which to be fair he just about did shortly afterwards with the release of Inbetween Days, the best New Order song written by someone else!). As my dear friends from Canada would say…..awesome.

2. True Faith (12″ single, 1987)

The sheer brilliance and crossover appeal of this record can be seen from the fact that it reached #4 in the UK when, other than Blue Monday and Confusion (both of which sold well with dance fans), the band had struggled to make much of impact sales wise in the single market.

True Faith is an extraordinary record that admittedly benefits from the input of uber-producer Stephen Hague who had previously helped to refine the sounds of Pet Shop Boys in a way that maintained their credibility while making them huge pop stars.  But there is evidence that the song itself is a belter as seen by the fact that it was given an extensive indie dance remix by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osbourne in 1994 and that version of True Faith also went Top 10 in the UK.

Oh and the original release was also accompanied by an amazing promo video.

3. Ceremony (7″ single, 1981)

The one with the bronze cover, although I could have just as easily used the 12″ version with its dark green cover with gold writing as the two versions are identical.

The songwriting credits indicated that this was a Joy Division song and eventually we would get to hear their take on things with an Ian Curtis vocal via its inclusion in the Heart and Soul box set released in 1997.   But back in 1981, it was an indication that New Order were determined to carry on as best they could and even although it was clear that Barney wasn’t anything like as good a singer as Ian the powerful delivery of the music more than made up for it.  I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat when I first listened to this record and whenever I have heard it in a live setting ever since it has had the same impact.

It was interesting that just six months later the band, having recruited Gillian Gilbert as a new member, felt it appropriate to re-record Ceremony and re-issue it as a single, this time in 12″ form only in a cream and blue sleeve. It was a marginally shorter version in length and sounded more New Order than Joy Division.  If that had been the only version it would be considered a very fine record, but it’s not a patch on the first version.

4. Blue Monday (12″ single, 1983)

This song was in and out of this imaginary album on at least ten occasions.  I had settled on the running order for 9 out of the 10 tracks but just couldn’t make my mind up on what to put in as the penultimate track on Side 2.

Contenders included the 7″ version of Temptation, Love Less, Your Silent Face, the album version of Sub-Culture, As It Is When It Was, Cries and Whispers, 1963, Bizarre Love Triangle and Vanishing Point.  But it is impossible to ignore the claims of what was and still is one of the most groundbreaking bits of music that has ever been recorded.

I had a short-term relationship in the summer of 1983 with a girl I had met on the dance floor of Strathclyde University Students Union.  I was a regular at that venue but this girl wasn’t, and after a couple of dates it was clear things weren’t really going to work out, not least because our musical tastes were so different. She was real disco diva who had only gone to the Student Union to keep a friend company but had taken a shine to me on account of my constant dancing and she assumed I was someone who would have been happy going along to any club or venue. But I’ll always remember that she was an even bigger fan of Blue Monday than I was which says all you need to know about the crossover appeal of this piece of music.  It is a genuine classic.

5. Leave Me Alone (from Power, Corruption & Lies, 1983)

It just somehow seems appropriate that,having started things off on this compilation with the opener from 1983 album which once and for all determined that New Order would do their own thing and not be mere JD copyists,  it should close with this lovely little underrated number.

So there you have it folks.  My imaginary New Order album of 10 songs.  It has a high number of singles on it but then again this was a band who, together with their much-loved and much missed manager and their equally much-loved and much-missed label owner, knew a cracking tune when they heard it and wanted to get it out to as wide an audience as possible.

mp3 : New Order – Age Of Consent
mp3 : New Order – The Perfect Kiss (12″)
mp3 : New Order – Lonesome Tonight
mp3 : New Order – Temptation (12″)
mp3 : New Order – Run
mp3 : New Order – Love Vigilantes
mp3 : New Order – True Faith
mp3 : New Order – Ceremony
mp3 : New Order – Blue Monday
mp3 : New Order – Leave Me Alone

Enjoy.

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #18 : ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION

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I really am chuffed to bits that so many folk are wanting to contribute to this series and after The Robster’s ingenious and entertaining piece on Super Furry Animals the other day it’s now the turn of a new guest to do something just as ingenious and entertaining.  So here is Tim Badger, a good friend and travelling companion of S-WC:-

Just two guys messing around (An Imaginary Compilation of sorts)

The other day S-WC and myself were in a car driving up the M5 on our way to Worcester to watch some cricket. Do not judge us on this, we are getting on a bit.

Anyway, S-WC was surfing the net in the car and he started talking about the Imaginary Compilation Series on T(n) VV. For the next twenty minutes or so we discussed bands that we would like to see in the series. There were so many, too many to write about if we are all honest. So he said, let’s do one by random. He plugged my iPod into the car and said – which ever band plays the 11th track you will produce an imaginary compilation on. No exceptions. We then discovered one exception – if that band doesn’t have ten commercially available tracks. I agreed on the basis that he did the second 11th track if that makes sense – he agreed.

So we sat in the car driving a bit slower towards our destination, track ten came on, it was Karma Police (doing an Imaginary compilation for Radiohead, would for me take forever). I realised then that I was nervous, genuinely concerned – what if it was Hall & Oates ( I have one song by them on my iPod (Maneater since you ask), again don’t judge me)? What if was Radiohead again? The Smiths? Ministry?….

It was, if you haven’t guessed by scrolling down the page already…Asian Dub Foundation. The 11th song was as it happens one of my favourites by them Buzzing. But this was a band that I hadn’t really listened to for about ten years since I saw them live down at the Eden Sessions in Cornwall.

So – here goes, ten songs by Asian Dub Foundation….

According to Wikipedia Asian Dub Foundation are an English electronica band that plays a mix of rapcore (nope me neither), dub, dancehall and ragga, also using rock instruments, acknowledging a punk influence. Their distinctive sound also combines indo dub basslines, searing sitar inspired guitars and traditional sounds, shot through with fast chat conscious lyrics.

In the late 90s and early 00’s Asian Dub Foundation released two wonderful records, these being (Mercury Music Award Nominated) Rafis Revenge and the seminal Community Music;  the latter is described by some as the most important record ever released. It isn’t quite that, but it is certainly utterly wonderful. Both are angry, overflowing with polemic lyrics and a strong sense of trying to right the wrongs of society. These two records are their best – and obviously make up the bulk of this compilation. If you need an introduction to them, start with those two records. It was these two records that took them from being whispered about underground urbanistas to overground in your face forces to be reckoned with.

Anyway enough chitter chatter, heres the tunes.

Side One

1.Taa Deem : from Community Music

Perhaps the not obvious album opener. I mean technically its not even their song – this is a remix of the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan track – but they pretty much turn it into a cover version. It is a five minute blend of bhangra, breakbeats and punky guitars. After a couple of listens you will try and sing along to it. In Bengali.

2. Oil : from Tank

Oil is another obvious single, the lyrics of which lash out at (I’m guessing here) George W Bush, “petro-junkies” and “SUVs with warheads”. ‘Oil’ also refers back to Michael Moore’s use of interviews with US tank soldiers in Iraq in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, in which the the soldiers admitted they played death metal as they drove their war machines into battle. Lyrically this song is wonderful, its angry and completely unapologetic about it, and whilst I cringe a little as I quote the most memorable lyric ‘No Iraqi, ever called me Paki’, you can’t help but agree with everything they say.

3. Rebel Warriors : from Community Music

Obviously you all know that this song was inspired the Bengali poem Bidrohi by Kazi Nazrul – what Asian Dub Foundation did was roughly translate the song from Bengali and used the song to support a modern take on Nazrul’s original stance. The poem was chosen in part because of its significance to the Indian independence movement and because of its place in Indian traditional culture and its powerful and unifying lyrics. Its a bit like what Oasis did with the Slovakian protest poem ‘Wonderwall’.

4 Real Great Britain :  from Community Music

One of their more recognisable tunes. I love the way that the breakbeats in this blend in with the guitars making one heck of an angry noise, but then, some trumpets join in and it becomes a pop record. Albeit a pop record all about the shifting sands of British multiculture.

5. Naxalite : from Rafis Revenge

Back in 1997 when ADF are beginning to make some inroads into the mainstream, they needed a radio friendly record – but instead of actually releasing one (which they had in the cupboard with ‘Buzzing’) they decided to release this instead, a massive shout out to the 1960s peasant uprising in West Bengal. The radios didn’t play it, well not much anyway. It didn’t chart. The band didn’t care.

Side Two

1. Flyover :  from Tank

A lot of ADF’s roots have been in jungle and drum n bass, and they I think got lost in the Roni Size inspired bandwagon that started rolling in 1995 – the genre runs through each of their albums, ‘Flyover’ is for me the best exponent of this – a riot of ragga vocals and pumping drums which is almost as incendiary on the stereo as it is live.

2. Blowback : from Enemy of the Enemy

‘Enemy of the Enemy’ was the album that was supposed to make ADF household names, it never happened, largely because the band refused to mellow in order to win popularity. ‘Blowback’ starts with an Afghani sample and I think its one of the most important tunes on this album. However for most the band seem to be preoccupied with the events of a few years earlier in the United States – “Blowback is the CIA term for the unintended consequences of secret operations. Or when the Monsters you’ve created, like Saddam, no longer serve your interests and start to bite you. September 11th was the biggest blowback of them all…”. The general audience reaction was ‘Yeah, we know, can we have less politics now…’.

3. Change A Gonna Come : from 12” single of same name

The day after the iPod chose ADF for me, S-WC turned up at my house with a 12” record under his arm. He said – you have to include this – so here it is. ‘Change..’ was I think the bands first single although I may be wrong. It takes the bands punk funk bhangra reggae fusion and turns it upside down. Again your ear is drawn to the inevitable political message but on this occasion you can focus on the music as well.

4. New Way New Life : from Community Music

This song celebrates the achievements of Asian Communities and is I think the song that sums up ‘Community Music’ the best. It underlines the magnificent sound of ADF, at their prime, the sound of them winning their power struggle. The sound of that dhol battering away oppression. Considering that, still, some fifteen years on bigotry and hatred is rife in society, and for some the Asian population are considered the enemy, this is a massively important statement.

5. Buzzing : from Rafi’s Revenge

Easily their best record.

This is not a lie, at 3.27am this morning, I woke up and wondered if I still had the Dylan Rhymes remix of this track. So I got up and wandered downstairs to the vinyl cupboard. I couldn’t find it, so make do with the album version. Mrs Badger arrived about nine minutes later and said ‘Tim, what the fuck you doing?’ – Mixtape was my answer, she sighed and went back to bed.

That last sentence perhaps sums up the pain it has taken to do this, and this from a band that I like, but don’t love, most of the imaginary compilations have been on bands that the author adores. It is probably harder to do it on a band you don’t understand or listen to everyday.

I presented S-WC with the ten tracks about five minutes ago, he smiled, and said he would have included nine of these – I think I know which track he would have left off, but that is faint praise from a notoriously grumpy bastard.

I’d also like to apologise, I’m not a writer, I’ve definitely waffled and I have definitely borrowed a couple of sentences from Wikipedia. But I hope you enjoyed this and the music.

mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Ta Deem
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Oil
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Rebel Warriors
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Real Great Britain
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Naxalite
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Flyover
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Blowback
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Change A Gonna Come
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – New Way New Life
mp3 : Asian Dub Foundation – Buzzing

I would also, finally say, please try this, stick your iPod on, wait for the 11th track (it has to be 11 – I don’t know why ask S-WC) and then produce a mixtape on that band –whoever they are. Oh and S-WC got a real tricky one on the journey home, he’ll tell you more I’m sure.

Tim Badger

CAN’T STAND………………

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Last Friday’s guest appearance by Fay Fife at the Big Gold Gig led me to search the archives for this posting over on the old blog back in September 2011…..

Is this a classic of the post-punk era or a cartoon joke that all too quickly wears thin?

The one album released by The Rezillos back in 1978 divided opinion then and even today, it took me a while to determine which side of the fence I come down on. Visually, there were few like them at the time (although plenty since have stolen some of the ideas). Musically, they were like lots of other acts as they raced through their songs at a blistering pace with spiky guitars to the fore. There’s an awful lot of the guitar work that sounds very like the debut LP of The Clash while the tunes are as poppy as many of those performed by Buzzcocks – the big difference being that when co-vocalist Fay Fife comes to the mic there’s no mistaking that this is a band from Scotland.

It contains 13 tracks all told and clocks in at a mere 31 and a bit minutes. There are ten band compositions (most of which were written entirely by Jo Callis (who would find huge fame and fortune a few years later with Human League) and three covers. The covers are truly bizarre – one is of a huge hit for the Dave Clark Five, another a huge hit for Gerry & The Pacemakers and one of an obscure b-side on a Fleetwood Mac single. And until I was doing the research for this piece, I had assumed the last of these covers was actually a Rezillos original!!

It was August 1977 that saw the band release their debut 45 on a small indie label and although it wasn’t a hit, it showed enough promise for Sire Records to offer a deal. Three more singles and the LP followed between November 1977 and July 1978 followed by a further single in November 1978 when the band called it a day – of sorts.

What happened was i splintered in two out of which came The Revillos…who were active up until early 1984 without ever achieving much success.

Going back to the debut LP. This was one I owned for years and played a fair bit. To my late teenage ears it was as thrilling as anything ever put out on vinyl. But as my tastes matured so my fondness for this record diminished and I probably didn’t listen to it again after maybe 1982. In fact I must have at some point given my copy away to someone around this time but I honestly can’t remember. No matter though as I saw a copy in a shop a few months back and handed over £5 for it.

It’s not as great as I remember – the cover versions of the 60s hits are pretty awful – but at the same time I found myself really enjoying at least six of their own songs and thinking they were great tunes that have aged well. And while it’s not an album that I could play in its entirety over and over and over again the way I did all those years ago I do very much regard it more of a classic than a cartoon joke.

mp3 : The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack
mp3 : The Rezillos – No
mp3 : The Rezillos – Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
mp3 : The Rezillos – Top Of The Pops
mp3 : The Rezillos – 2000 A.D.
mp3 : The Rezillos – It Gets Me
mp3 : The Rezillos – Can’t Stand My Baby
mp3 : The Rezillos – Glad All Over
mp3 : The Rezillos – (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures
mp3 : The Rezillos – I Like It
mp3 : The Rezillos – Getting Me Down
mp3 : The Rezillos – Cold Wars
mp3 : The Rezillos – Bad Guy Reaction

I’m more than happy to have the LP back in the cupboard again. And knowing that some of their stuff will now be popping up occasionally on random play on the i-pod is a good feeling too.

Enjoy

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