Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Don't scratch my vinyl 2

Earlier this year I uploaded some of my vinyl after a mammoth listening sesh. And here's another. The only common thread is how eclectic the collection is. Needless to say the ones below are the creme de la creme.

Blancmange - The Day Before You Came (zShare) 1984

This was ABBA's most non-song - a poem to a backing track. It sounded the death knell for their career but Blancmange took it and made their own reaching a respectable number 22. Here's the video for Blancmange's version, which I don't remember but which is quite timeless despite the Neru jackets; a nice Parisian scene a la blanc. And a wee mention for the brilliantly detailed illustration on the sleeve cover: note JR on the telly with a bullet hole in his head, a reference to a line in the song - try doing THAT with a postage stamp sized iTunes jpg... just saying!

The Funky Worm - Hustle to the Music (zShare) 1988

The Funky Worm were a Sheffield trio - it is amazing how this northern city produces LOADS of great music - who, together with Moloko's Mark Brydon, had a top twenty hit in 1988. Have a look at their Top of the Pops appearence here - the crowd think they're in a warehouse party, they're loving it.

The Kane Gang - Gun Law (Full Version) (zShare) 1984

This was the north east band's follow-up to their two hits Respect Yourself and Closest Thing to Heaven. The Kane Gang were one of those talents that should have been massive, but if pop music is about sex then the incongruous image of the three of them together - lanky, baldy and shorty - is probably the reason why they didn't hit it off with the British public. But it's a crying shame because they have since gone on to write and produce hits for other artists (who DO have a sex thing going on like James Morrison and Beverley Knight). Their old label Kitchenware had the good sense to package their two albums together as The Miracle of The Kane Gang available here.

Bassomatic - Funky Love Vibrations (zShare) 1991

Sir William of Orbit's band already had a top ten hit under their belt with the BRILLIANT Fascinating Rhythm and this follow-up flopped. But it's still funking excellent. The chorus is a killer.

Eurythmics - Take Me to Your Heart (zShare) 1981

This is a track from one of my favourite Eurythmics albums, their debut In the Garden which I discovered after Sweet Dreams. It's a cracking record with two great singles Belinda and Never Gonna Cry Again and was re-released in as a deluxe version in 2005.

Fad Gadget - One Man's Meat (zShare)

Fad Gadget aka Frank Tovey has a very loyal following. He unfortunately died in 2002 but still attracts glowing words. Rob at Electronically Yours has always had a soft spot and every now and again, there'll be some reminiscing. This song always featured on my mix tapes and has strangely never dated.

Vince Clarke and Paul Quinn - One Day (zShare) 1985

After Yazoo, Vince Clarke formed The Assembley with Yazoo producer Eric Radcliffe, as a vessel band for singers like Feargal Sharkey. With ex Bourgie Bourgie singer Paul Quinn and minus Eric, he released One Day to total disinterest (in his terms anyway). Not long after, Erasure was born and the success equalibrium was restored (after a couple of false starts). His volte face from the sparseness and bleakness to the fullsome sounds with Andy Bell is typical Vince Clarke: if he gets stuck in a rut or bored he will just flip his life around.

The Woodentops - Move Me (zShare) 1985

Not to be too disparaging, but The Woodentops were early examples of the indie firework band: successful debut album and then pftttt. But they were also pioneers. Their dance-influenced guitar sound was a forerunner to Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. Good Thing, the fourth single from the album, was one of the first big Ibiza records. I LOVED the first two singles from Giant. Well Well Well was monolithic and very different to everything else around and Move Me (above) was impossibly catchy.

Paul Haig - Never Give Up (Party, Party) (zShare) 1983

Alex Sadkin, the Thompson Twins' producer, was drafted in by Paul Haig to give him a hit. He was hungry for it after years of critical success of his (now seminal) band Josef K but with no real commercial succes to match. Never Give Up bounced and fizzed on the radio but he was at odds with his label, Island, as to how the record should be promoted. Paul said: "Island wanted a pop image to sell... and they didn't get one". Mind you, he had said earlier he wanted his pop career to be manipulated. Well hey ho, this single still stands up as a master stroke; a perfect example of 80s pomp pop.

The Cure - The Dream (zShare) 1983

I had a brief but glowing love affair with The Cure. It went from the single Let's Go To Bed in 1982 to the album Head on the Door in 1985. The Dream was on their interim compilation album Japanese Whispers which came between studio albums Pornography and The Top . I played this record to death as it contained the singles Let's Go to Bed, The Walk and The Lovecats . Their b-sides made up the rest and were just as strong.


DanProject76 said...

Funky Worm! God I used to have that but not anymore... must have gone in one of the clearouts between houses :-(

Paul said...

Amazing post! I always forget that i loved the blancmange version of Day Before You Came before i loved the Abba version.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh I *so* love The Kane Gang Phil :)

I paid a fortune for the debut album on Ebay a few years back. Gun Law is a genius track :)


V said...

Oh Fad Gadget. He was amazing. He really had some nice catchy tunes. One of my favorites was "Collapsing New People"

Alison Moyet did some back-up for some of his songs.

xolondon said...

Why do I know Paul Haig? GREAT post!

Michael said...

Great set of rips, and extra special kudos for the Kane Gang and Paul Haig!