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THIS YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Postscript 2)

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Today sees the second and final part of the look back at A Different Kind of Tension, the 10-track compilation released in 1986. Here’s the b-side of the album:-

1. The Beloved – A Hundred Words
2. Vee VV – The Romance Is Over
3. Stump – Kitchen Table
4. The Wedding Present – Once More
5. The Shamen – Happy Days

The Beloved, in their dance guise, were featured a couple of months back. It’s hard to believe that it is the same band who would go onto enjoy such massive success with the club crowds in the early 90s. But before they were embraced by the dance brigade, The Beloved were just another indie-pop guitar band. This is actually their debut single from April 1986 on Flim Flam Records which made #15 in the UK Indie Chart (which I’m guessing amounted to about 5,000 sales).

mp3 : The Beloved – A Hundred Words

The next lot needed a bit of detective work on the t’internet. They emerged from the ashes of a band called Tunnelvision who released one single, entitled Watching The Hydroplanes, on Factory Records in 1981. And no, I can’t say I’ve ever heard it. They seem to have been an act signed on a whim by Tony Wilson after they appeared on the bill at the first ever New Order gig in Blackpool. Anyway, it seems they were a band that were continually slated by the music press and continually compared to Joy Division.

Members of Tunnelvision would, in due course, form Vee VV. The band recorded a flexi single for a music magazine before releasing a double-side 7″ single on Cathexis Records  and the track featured today was part of that artefact. A second 12″ single soon followed and Vee VV gained some exposure through support slots for My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses and the afore-mentioned New Order. But before long they had broken up unwilling to embrace Madchester.

mp3 : Vee VV – The Romance Is Over

Stump were an Anglo-Irish band that featured former members of Microdisney.

This is the only track of the ten on the compilation that hadn’t been released at the time, although it would eventually appear on the Quirk Out mini-LP that came out in late 1986 on Stuff Records. The band would gain enough fame to be featured on the covers of both the NME and Melody Maker, and there was enough of a buzz about them that they eventually inked a deal with Ensign Records who released the LP A Fierce Pancake in 1988, from which the single Charlton Heston reached #72 in the UK singles charts. But the album did not bring the crossover success the label had hoped for and, after recording a few b-sides and some demos, they split before 1989 was over.

mp3 : Stump – Kitchen Table

Ah….the wonderful Weddoes. This was a very early single from 1986. ‘Nuff said.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Once More

The final track on the compilation is technically, the first ever single by The Shamen, released on One Big Guitar in 1985. The band had changed their name from Alone Again Or and moved to a different record label after just two singles. Frontman Colin Angus was one of the first to realise that indie-pop didn’t guarantee fame and fortune, and by mid-1988 the band was down to a two-piece who were more focused on dance. Four years later they were among the biggest acts in the UK with a string of chart hits including the unforgettable (not necessarily in a positive way!!) Ebeneezer Goode which was #1 for a number of weeks in August 1992.

By the mid-late 90s, the band had turned their backs on commercial soundimg dance music and frustrating the life out of their record label bosses at One Little Indian. The Shamen called it a day in 1999, but will be remembered fondly by a great many clubbers of a certain generation. However, they would be hard pushed to recognise this as one of their songs:-

mp3 : The Shamen – Happy Days

And that concludes the look back at the songs of 1986 for this series at least. Tune in next week for something going back even further in time….

Enjoy

HAPPINESS AND BLISSED OUT

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220px-BelovedhappinessBeloved_BlissedI missed out on the club scene of the late 80s and early 90s.  You could put it down to me having gap years as a result of getting married and trying to settle down (only for the best laid plans and all that to be blown out of the water by meeting the now Mrs Villain just a few months after my first wedding day).

Indeed, if it wasn’t for Jacques the Kipper and his very welcome C90 mixtapes then there’s every likelihood that I’d have no knowledge at all of some 2-3 years worth of really decent indie and dance music including the tremendous pieces of work that are Happiness and Blissed Out by The Beloved.

The former was released in March 1990 and was the first release by the band since it had slimmed down to a core of Jon Marsh and Steve Waddington.  The synth sound was still there but was now increasingly influenced by acid house and techno, and the duo were able to fuse the sounds with some fabulously catch pop tunes and so take the music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of popular daytime radio and in due course into the singles charts:-

mp3 : The Beloved – Your Love Takes Me Higher
mp3 : The Beloved – The Sun Rising
mp3 : The Beloved – Hello
mp3 : The Beloved – Time After Time

The first of these singles was a flop first time round in January 1989 but its re-release in March 1990 saw it hit the top 40.

The increasing attention the band were attracting led to a decision to record and release Blissed Out in the summer of 1991, it was a series of remixes of songs from Happiness Some worked better than others:-

mp3 : The Beloved – Your Love Takes Me Higher (Calyx of Isis)
mp3 : The Beloved – The Sun Rising (Norty’s Spago Mix)
mp3 : The Beloved – Hello (Honky Tonk)
mp3 : The Beloved – Time After Time (Muffin Mix)

But having said that, the remix album also provides this great tune:-

mp3 : The Beloved – Up, Up and Away (Happy Sexy Mix)

Now if that doesn’t cheer you up on what is likely to be a dull, cold and dreary November Monday morning then there’s no hope for you.***

Enjoy.

*** see what happens when you draft things days in advance??  It is far from a dull, cold and dreary day here in Glasgow.  Indeed, it is positively as unseasonal as can be imagined!!!  Still, the music should cheer anyone up no matter the circumstances.

LAZING IN LANZAROTE WEEK : STUFF FROM THE OLD PLACE : MONDAY

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By the time this post appears. I’ll have been in Lanzarote enjoying what I hope will been a few days in the sun with Mrs V.  Not due to get back to Glasgow till late on Thursday night, so for the rest of this week as I won’t be able to check in on the blog I thought I’d re-post some of the stuff that has been retrieved from told place (probably got about 20% of the 2,500 posts).  From December 2006:-:-

WHO WANTS TO BE THE DISCO KING?

Hey ho it’s Monday Morning.

Now I haven’t taken any artificial substances or stimulants to keep the happy posts going (my secret for this one is to type it out on Sunday night and hold it as a draft till the morning – it’s well-known I’m incapable of human interaction on Mondays for at least 4 hours after wakening up).

As a young teenager, I loved disco music – Earth, Wind & Fire, Donna Summer, Chic and all the rest of it. I loved getting out of the chairs at the side of the local church hall and getting on to the floor that doubled up as a badminton court on other nights.

Even as I moved on into the world of white-boy indie guitar bands, I still had a notion to shake various parts of my body in darkened dens of iniquity on suitable occasions. Or even just at the annual works Xmas party – and I know you’ve all got David Brent images in your head just now but I promise it wasn’t like that.

For a while, I even organised and ran the music at annual office parties – and I was therefore able to get maybe 20 minutes of the night where I could play stuff that I really liked. And I remember playing this and enjoying the moment as the floor emptied save for myself and one other single male colleague. Strange thing is, a woman in the room was so entertained by his performance that they soon got hitched and are now happily married with 2 great kids.

Me?? I was coming out of a messy separation and was rejoicing in my first Xmas with a new love in my life. She became Mrs Villain and even now forgives my forays into dance and disco music.

mp3 : The Beloved – Up, Up & Away (Happy Sexy Mix)

I must have been a lot fitter back in the early 90s – the song goes on for more than 7 minutes – I’d most likely damage a hamstring muscle if I danced to this in 2006.

For Jazf, Anna, Clara & Grace.  Great friends for so many years.

2013 Update

Still great friends with Jazf and his family – indeed I’d go so far to now say he’s my best mate and we’ve had loads of great times, particularly at gigs and football matches for well over 20 years now.

Jazf would later take up my pestering and become a regular contributor to the old blog under the moniker of Jacques the Kipper.

Bonus song from where I stole the heading for the post:-

mp3 : The Wonder Stuff – Who Wants To Be The Disco King?

Enjoy.