Tonight I'm drinking pear cider (yum!) and revisiting some old posts on my blog. Do other bloggers out there read their own stuff? I find it really interesting and it makes me wish I'd done and written more in the past.
I'm going through old posts at the moment and fixing videos that YouTube have deleted and resizing the ones that still work. I'm also checking out old links.
I've let my rapidshare files die a slow death as I get the feeling no one really likes using RS any more. I'll continue to use MediaFire for my singles posts but I'm looking for a new home for my longer album shares.
When I started my blog 4 years ago I kept changing the design often. Now, I've kept the same look for a while and I think it's good to be recognizable.
Here's an album I've been looking for over a number of years. Finally, this is my own rip so others can enjoy it too.
Still Life was Karel Fialka's debut album, released on the Blueprint label (a Pye subsidiary) in 1980. It included the hit single "The Eyes Have It" as well as another single "Armband" and a cover of The Doors' "People Are Strange".
Karel has hardly been prolific in his career, just releasing two other projects Human Animal in 1987 and Film Noir in 2009. His style is fairly unique, combining a pop sensibility, a willingness to experiment, and a sense of drama. Over the course of an album his vocal style grates a little - he tends to sing-shout and has a slight accent - but every track is different and succinct. It's easy to forget that this was pretty cutting edge new wave at the time he recorded it.
You have to admire the cover artwork (presumably an allusion to the track "File In Forget") but I'm not sure what the cutaway picture of the machine gun is all about.
"The Eyes Have It" would also be later re-recorded. This album has never been released on CD however.
1. The Eyes Have It
2. People Are Strange
3. File In Forget
4. The Cost
5. Rough and Ready
7. Still Life
8. The Good The Bad and The Ugly
9. Exude When I'm Bruised
10. Appointment In Samarra
Download [Link removed]
Update: I got a DMCA complaint on this one, which is interesting. I'd be more than happy to point people towards a place where you can legally obtain these tracks, either on a CD or as a download. As far as I know, there is nothing out there. If I'm wrong, I'd love to know!!
Lots of music related events today. I started off by buying albums from The Lover Speaks and Summerhill at a car boot sale. While rummaging around a charity shop before lunch I found CD's by The Models, Band of Horses, Indecent Obsession, Randy Newman and Depeche Mode.
In the mail I got singles by One By One and Clox.
I drove around this afternoon listening to Blondie (Rip Her To Shreds, Picture This, One Way or Another).
I ripped a few vinyl singles this evening - including Apple Mosaic, Lick The Tins, Quando Quango, and Big Sound Authority.
With days like this I may start enjoying my weekends again!
Here is the elusive first single by Private Lives. There seems to be quite a few fans of John Adams and his various outputs which has provided an alternative music soundtrack to the 80's including synth pop, dance pop, moody balladeering and, as here, new wave power pop.
I wrote to Cherry Red a while back suggesting they might like to reissue some Private Lives stuff, especially as the recent chart band Hurts is basically a carbon copy. But, they do not feel there would be enough interest, apparently.
I will continue to feature more Private Lives material as I am able to track it down. Enjoy!
Don't know much about these guys. They released a few singles and a couple of albums in the late '80's and early '90's. This is a CD rip from my collection. The singles were "Shotgun City", "Starlight", "Get Back" and "Lucy".
2. Love Is For Keeps
3. Medicine Man
4. Heaven (Must Be Playing Games)
5. Build A House
6. Get Back
8. Shotgun City
10. Never Street
Here's another recent find from Notting Hill, a 12" EP from the ever popular Scottish songbirds. "America Blue" was from their album In The Neighbourhood but I believe the other three tracks were exclusive to this release.
His Latest Flame - America Blue
1. America Blue
2. Tongue Tied
4. Londonderry Road (Acoustic Version)
Over the years I have posted music on the blog, I've always been excited to feature rare and unusual acts I have not seen anywhere else. A couple of years ago I featured a single by Seeing Red from my home island of Guernsey. After attending a local record fair last autumn I also found this LP, which I vaguely remembered being advertised locally at the time, but I had not seen since. I don't know anything about Unique as an artist, but the album was produced by Tim Bran who went on to be involved in Dreadzone. A very rare example of a modern rock/new wave/indie dance record wholly recorded and sold in the Channel Islands. I hope you enjoy this one!
Unique - His Golden Hand (1988)
1. Moon Music Overture
2. I Got Younger
5. Tear of Fire
6. I Got Younger (Nappy Remix)
7. Safe As Houses
8. But I Wasn't Laughing
9. When The World Started Turning
10. I Am Not An Animal
[Update] After discovering the second album, Psychadermic (released in 1991) I found a MySpace page here, in which Unique and his band The Style Warriors show every intention of growing old disgracefully!
[Second Update] I've now re-ripped and posted the album again in two parts.
Someone asked if I had this one ages ago, but I didn't have it. Then, recently, I was visiting Notting Hill in London for the first time in about 17 years and I found it in the bargain basement at Music and Video Exchange. Appropriately enough, I bought it on Father's Day.
From the band's Soundcloud page: "Still Life were an 80's new wave band formed by the songwriting
partnership of Jon Newby and Ian Campbell in Louth in Lincolnshire.
Signed to a management deal by Richard Ogden (Ozone Mgmt) the pair soon
found themselves the proud owners of a 4 track reel to reel and set
about writing songs in their parents front rooms. After spending time
working with producer Rod Thompson on several of their songs it was
decided to record Away From This Town. In 1981 the track was recorded at
Producers Workshop, Chelsea, with additional overdubs and mixing taking
place at SARM East, Aldgate. Engineer was Julian Mendelsohn and
musicians used were Phil Towner - drums, Mathew Seligman - Bass, Anne
Dudley - Moog bass and Tessa Niles - backing vocals. Two further tracks,
Teenage Fun and Tired of Dancing were recorded as demos for EMI in
their Manchester Square studio with Producer Rod Thompson aided by Bram
Tchaikovsky. After talks and offers from EMI, Chrysalis and Regarde
Records it was decided to sign to Regarde and Away From This Town with b
side Teenage Fun was released in 1982 (a 12 inch version was also
recorded). The track was reviewed on Radio 1's Round Table and went on
to be played on Radio 1 along with plays on regional radio stations for a
further 6 weeks. Regarde were unprepared for this instant radio play
and had only pressed 100 promotional copies of the single By the time
any pressings had been delivered the radio play was long gone. Undaunted
a further song, Little Innocent was recorded at Producers Workshop,
however, it was soon decided to part company from Regarde and a band was
formed with Jon on vocals and guitar, Ian on synth and musicians Mark
Reeves - keyboards, Tim Bradley - bass and Paul Barrett - drums. The
band recorded further tracks at Sarm West and Redan Recorders with Rod
Thompson producing, recording live demos and two further tracks at
Chapel Studios with Pink Floyd engineer Nick Grifiths in the producers
chair. The band went on play live up and down the country, including a
support slot with Culture Club. Following a "pie throwing" incident Tim
left the band to return to Doncaster and soon afterwards Mark left and
returned to Horsham. Jon and Ian decided to disband Still Life in late
Classy new wave pop from Joey, who sadly died a few years ago.
1. If You Don't Want My Love
2. Taking Me Back
4. Hold On Girl
5. Women With Ideas
6. Call Off Your Dogs
7. I Was A Fool
8. My Car, Your Car
9. Chances We'll Take
10. Out of Our World
11. Underground (Reprise)
12. Going Up
Over the Christmas holiday I was back at home in the US and took the opportunity to rescue my turntable from storage and rip a few more obscure singles.
Some of these were requests, but most were just random picks. I did not have time to scan the covers before flying back to Europe and if there are any problems with the rips just let me know - I went through them quite quickly.