Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Random 80's Wednesday

Press play on tape to hear all this week's selections!
[mp3] Stepping Razor - Latin Tears (CD Single, 1989)
[mp3] Climie Fisher - Love Like A River (CD Single, 1989)
[mp3] Big Bam Boo - Shooting From My Heart (CD Single, 1989) Video
[mp3] Ben Liebrand - The Eve of the War (CD Single, 1989) Video
[mp3] Indian Givers - Hatcheck Girl (CD Single, 1989)

Not entirely random this week - I saw a thread developing and went along with it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Jeremy Days - The Jeremy Days (1988)

Watch out for hard-to-find, deleted, out of print or critically ignored compact discs released in the last thirty years...

The Jeremy Days - The Jeremy Days (1988)

  1. Fantastic Friend
  2. Julie Through The Blinds
  3. Are You Inventive
  4. Raintree Country
  5. This World
  6. That's What I Call Love
  7. Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
  8. End, The
  9. Starting To Pretend
  10. Food And Coffee
  11. Brand New Toy
Download Now available legally through Amazon!

I recently discovered the band The Jeremy Days through the usual mixture of happenstance and internet rambling. While I was looking for info on Sven Schumacher I found a reference to a band fronted by Dirk Darmstaedter. Dirk caught my eye because I noted that he founded Tapete Records in Germany which I also remembered was the label that talented American expat Tess Wiley is associated with. I had previously heard of Tess through a Paste magazine music sampler. A bit more digging and I discovered that Dirk had previously fronted a band called The Jeremy Days. I managed to find a couple of tracks on some German 80's music boards and then saw the debut CD at a local used CD store for $2.99. That's the way it goes sometimes.

I'm not sure how the band slipped through the net in the late 80's but there's some great music on the debut CD. All the videos have been uploaded to YouTube by Dirk himself.
Dirk Darmstaedter - Official Website
The Jeremy Days Official Website (in German)

**UPDATE** Got a nice link back from Dirk's blog. Gesundheit!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pop Charts and Lists

Just a quick mention of a few online resources I'd recommend:

Julian's Rocklist is a comprehensive round up of various end of year lists and well-reviewed albums from several music publications including Q Magazine, NME, Uncut and Mojo. It's a great starting point for discovering something new.

Martin Newton has a site devoted to Top 40 Chart hits in the UK. Very useful for researching that obscure band that had one or two hits back in the day.

James Masterton has been providing commentary on the UK charts for many years now. Highly recommended. It's always interesting to see new artists taking off in Britain and then making a splash in the USA a year or so later.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sofia Shinas

Bit disappointed no-one seemed very interested in Sofia Shinas' CD when I listed it as a new purchase the other week. After all, you couldn't fault the CD inlay picture.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trees - Sleep Convention (1982)

In which we imagine a world where the compact disc was introduced in 1980, and now-obscure artists and albums could be preserved for posterity...

Trees - Sleep Convention (1982)
  1. Come Back
  2. Shock Of The New
  3. Delta Sleep
  4. No Stranger
  5. Midnight In America
  6. 11:00 AM
  7. Wildwood
  8. India
  9. Gotta Moon
  10. Red Car
From Ira Robbins' fantastic Trouser Press website:

A one-man synth army from San Diego, California, Dane Conover (here dubbed Trees) offers a wonderful collection of modern musical ideas and clever tunes that efficiently combine up-to-date electronics with old-fashioned rock instruments, tossing in inventive production and intelligent, provocative lyrics. Sleep Convention is a stunning debut which shows remarkable originality and talent. That this record died the commercial death is not just incomprehensible, it's criminal.Wikipedia Entry

Dane Conover's MySpace Page

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Random 80's Wednesday

Press play on tape to hear this week's selections

[mp3] The Silencers - Painted Moon (from A Letter To St. Paul, 1988) Video
[mp3] H2O - I Dream To Sleep (from
Faith, 1984)
[mp3] Furniture - Brilliant Mind (from
The Wrong People, 1986) Video
[mp3] Prefab Sprout - The King of Rock 'N Roll (from
From Langley Park To Memphis, 1988) Video
[mp3] Vitamin Z - Burn For You (from
Sharp Stone Rain, 1989)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Basia - Time And Tide (1987)

By Popular Request...

Basia - Time And Tide (1987)

Basia is Polish siren Basia Trzetrzelewska, with music provided by Danny White - the two ex-members of Matt Bianco who've kept the sound instead of the name. They've built on the latin jazz splashes that made White's compositions a worthwhile proposition three years ago, while Basia's voice has matured greatly from the almost secondary role she took then. Here she soars above the South American swing or gets underneath the torchy slower numbers with confidence. But on Time And Tide the songs themselves are the stars: from the busy instrumental opening of the first number, "A New Day For You", to the sultriness of the title track. The frantic percussion, dazzling vibraphones and warm electric guitar and keyboards are undercut with an earthy understanding of funk. It is seldom that a relatively young British act convincingly gets to grips with one foreign style; Time And Tide masters two, and brings them together in an explosion of patterns with depth as well as vitality. (Lloyd Bradley - May 1987)
  1. "Promises" (Basia, Ross, White) – 4:03
  2. "Run for Cover" (Basia, White) – 3:38
  3. "Time and Tide" (Basia, White) – 4:03
  4. "Freeze Thaw" (Basia, White) – 3:57
  5. "From Now On" (Basia, White) – 3:45
  6. "New Day for You" (Basia, Ross, White) – 4:27
  7. "Prime Time TV" (Basia, White) – 5:22
  8. "Astrud" (Basia, White) – 4:40
  9. "How Dare You" (Basia, White) – 3:24
  10. "Miles Away" (Basia, White) – 4:10

Wikipedia Entry

Friday, October 19, 2007

Holding Pattern

Due to family commitments I will not be posting for a few days.

Basia, the Jeremy Days and Richard H. Kirk were the recent poll winners and I will feature them soon, as well as several recent acquisitions.

If there is a particular artist or album you would like to see mentioned, please leave me a comment.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


RObert POland has posted a collection of Peter Gabriel mixes, as well as albums by Slow Children, several Duran Duran concerts, and some Pet Shop Boys demos.

Saltyka has featured a rare gem by Glass Museum and an excellent collection of Leisure Process recordings.

I've been finding a lot of good music on Multiply Blogs lately. Apollo Jukebox is one of the best. Funky Green Tabs has singles from Red Flag, Moev, Yello, and many others.

If you liked the Latin Quarter single I posted earlier today, there is a good website at

It's also about time I gave props to Lewis Slade's excellent Red Box website Valley - a true labor of love. Make sure you sign the petition!

Random 80's Wednesday

[mp3] Howard Jones - It Just Doesn't Matter (B-Side of "What Is Love", 1983)
[mp3] Latin Quarter - No Rope As Long As Time (from Modern Times, 1985)
[mp3] T'Pau - Secret Garden (from Rage, 1988)
[mp3] China Crisis - Hampton Beach (from What Price Paradise?, 1986)
[mp3] Alexei Sayle - Didn't You Kill My Brother? (from Panic, 1985)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cause & Effect - You Think You Know Her (1990)

Latest Goodwill acquisition...

Cause & Effect - You Think You Know Her (1990)
  1. You Think You Know Her [7" Version]
  2. You Think You Know Her [The Deceptive Edit]
  3. You Think You Know Her [Promiscuous Edit]
  4. You Think You Know Her [The Deception Mix]
  5. You Think You Know Her [The Promiscuous Mix]
  6. You Think You Know Her [The Devious Dub]
  7. You Think You Know Her [Promiscuous Inst.]
Wikipedia Entry

Official Website

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lullabies With A Difference

A couple of people have asked me about one of the Midge Ure tracks I posted last week. "Baby Little One" was a previously unreleased song included on a 1998 compilation Lullabies With A Difference, which was a project organized by Joan Armatrading to provide support to the Sheffield based charity PACES, an organization dedicated to supporting children who suffer from Cerebral Palsy and their parents.

Like many other compilations the CD was only available in the stores for about 18 months. It used to be possible to purchase the CD directly from the PACES website, but that address is now defunct. I was surprised to see that a used copy was listed on sale at for sixty pounds ($120) which seems like an outrageous amount. It's possible that other retailers might have a copy in stock.
  1. Truthful Lullaby - Melissa Etheridge
  2. Dreaming My Dreams - Cranberries
  3. Window World - Paul Young
  4. Willow - Sarah Randle
  5. Etude No 53 - Jools Holland
  6. My Boy - Brian may
  7. Baby Little One - Midge Ure
  8. In Your Eyes - Joan Armatrading
  9. Wild Theme - Mark Knopfler
  10. Cherry Blossom - Lewis Taylor
  11. Let's Stay Together - Tina Turner

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Strawberry Switchblade - Porcelain and Polka Dots

To start with, let me point you in the direction of the best Strawberry Switchblade website.

For one-hit wonders, the duo have always had a strong cult following, and their signature tune "Since Yesterday" was recently featured on the soundtrack of This Is England. They only released one album but there have also been plenty of sessions, demos, remixes and B-Sides to keep the collectors happy. And what 16 year old didn't have a crush on either Jill or Rose for about 5 minutes back in 1985?

The title of today's post is partly derived from a picture I found on the net while doing a google search for polka dots. Looks familiar, no?

Strawberry Switchblade - Porcelain And Polka Dots
  1. Who Knows What Love Is? (Extended Mix)
  2. Beautiful End
  3. By The Sea
  4. Sunday Morning
  5. Trees And Flowers (original 7" version)
  6. Let Her Go (Kitchensynch Mix Up)
  7. Go Away (Peel Session)
  8. Ecstacy (Apple Of My Eye)
  9. Since Yesterday (Scott's Remix)
  10. Jolene (Extended Mix)
  11. Poor Hearts (Robin Millar version)
  12. Don't Fear The Reaper (Demo)
  13. Crystal Days (Demo)
  14. Who Knows What Love Is? (David Motion version)
I've been careful not to include anything that got onto the excellent Platinum Collection release by Warners that combines the complete Strawberry Switchblade album with several B-Sides and the extended mix of "Trees And Flowers". If you live in Britain, you can buy the CD from for less than four pounds, and elsewhere it is available from Amazon [Update: Now out of print, the compilation will cost you $29 in the USA] or stores like The Ideal Copy for under $10. So there's no excuse for not owning that one.

Wikipedia Entry

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random 80's Wednesday

Press play on tape to hear all this week's selections!

[mp3] Kevin Kitchen - Tightspot (from Split Personality, 1985)
[mp3] Neon - Victims of Fact (Unreleased, 1981)
[mp3] Thomas Lang - The Happy Man (from Scallywag Jaz, 1987)
[mp3] It's Immaterial - Ed's Funky Diner (from Life's Hard And Then You Die, 1986)
[mp3] Phil Carmen - Moonshine Still (from Wise Monkeys, 1986)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Confessions of a Music Junkie

How much fun can you have for three bucks? When Hastings is having a 'four for a dollar' CD sale, the answer is quite a lot. In order to share the joy, I have created an instant mixtape of the first track from each album, plus a couple of extras I picked up last week. Vote for your favorite in the poll and I'll post a feature on the most popular album.

Basia - Time And Tide (1987)
Download "Promises" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Ghost of an American Airman - Life Under Giants (1992)
Download "Bring On The Mystery" Amazon Allmusic

Kevin Coyne - Sugar Candy Taxi (1999)
Download "Sugar Candy Taxi" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Cretu - The Invisible Man (1985)
Download "Samurai" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Richard H. Kirk - The Number of Magic (1995)
Download "Lost Souls on Funk" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Peter Koppes - From The Well (1989)
Download "In The Wake" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Ozric Tentacles - Jurassic Shift (1993)
Download "Sun Hair" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Ultra Vivid Scene - Joy 1967-1990 (1990)
Download "It Happens Every Time" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Squeeze - Play (1991)
Download "Satisfied" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Sofia Shinas - Sofia Shinas (1992)
Download "The Message" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

Various Artists - Help (1996)
Download "Fade Away" [Oasis & Johnny Depp] Wiki Amazon

Peter Kingsbery - A Different Man (1992)
Download "Do A Dance" Wiki Amazon Allmusic

The Jeremy Days - The Jeremy Days (1988)
Download "Julie Thru The Blinds" Amazon Allmusic

Goodwill Goodies

I was going to say something about the band Wire Train, seeing as I just picked up two of their albums at Goodwill this week. I managed to find a CD copy of Ten Women (1987) and a cassette of In A Chamber (1984). However it looks like Blog Kihn at PVAc to 44.1 kHz just beat me to it, featuring detailed entries (just a couple of weeks ago) on the entire Wire Train discography here, here and here. Great blog, with a lot of info on early 80's U.S. new wave and power pop bands.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Nick Kamen - Loving You (1988)


As Paul Simon put it, "every generation throws a hero up the pop charts". Fortunately for us retro pop aficionados, it also throws up a clutch of reassuringly talent-free loafers who somehow manage to parlay five minutes of fame into a hit record. Take, for example, Nick Kamen, who found fame in 1985 by literally taking off his trousers in a laundromat for a Levi's commercial. Next thing you know, he has a top ten hit Each Time You Break My Heart, co-produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray. In retrospect not a bad dance track at all, the single was also remixed by Shep Pettibone. Nick had one more solid chart hit, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever which could also have been titled "I Can't Believe I'm Getting Paid To Do This - Again!" and sure enough after an album and a few more releases with diminishing returns, Nick left the pop scene in the early 90's. The album I'm featuring today, Loving You, is a mixture of some new songs and the best songs from his first two albums, several of which are remixed.

Nick Kamen - Loving You (1988)
  1. Oh What a Night
  2. Miss You
  3. Each Time You Break My Heart (Shep Pettibone Mix)
  4. Better Be Good Tonight
  5. Come Softly To Me (12" Version)
  6. Win Your Love (The Love Mix)
  7. Don’t Hold Out
  8. Lonely Boy
  9. Bring Me Your Love (Extended Mix)
  10. After Tonight
  11. Tell Me (Extended Mix)
  12. Loving You is Sweeter Than Ever (Extended Dance Mix)
There's a couple of dedicated websites out there. is the more current with some attrractive touches. is older but also has a whole page of downloadable remixes. There's also the obligatory Wikipedia page and an unofficial MySpace page.

Friday, October 5, 2007


If you like extended mixes, particularly from the 1987-1991 era, then run over to Brave New Waves, another new blog with an impressive array of goodies. In addition to mixes of tracks from ABC, Shakespeare's Sister, Oingo Boingo, Midge Ure, Secession and others, you can also find Industry's Stranger To Stranger album, Our Daughter's Wedding's Moving Windows and Digital Cowboy EP and lots of other stuff. Well done, sir! [Update - this one's gone]

If you can't beat them, link to them! At Jacyk's 80>90+ music memories you can find some Fra Lippo Lippi, Comsat Angels, and a group I will probably be featuring myself at some point, the synthpop duo Minor Detail. [Closed in 2011 apparently]
Probably the most 'schizophrenic' blog I have come across is Rockistory, a Spanish language blog that includes artists from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and current. It's like cruising the racks at the public library. That being said, there is a lot of material from the 1988-1992 period such as the Milltown Brothers, Real People, The La's, and others which are worth checking out. [Closed in 2011 as well]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Random 80's Wednesday

[mp3] When In Rome - Heaven Knows (from When In Rome, 1988)
[mp3] Bamboo Industry - Hypnotized (7" Single, 1984)
[mp3] How We Live - A Beat In The Heart (from
Dry Land, 1987)
[mp3] Jon Astley - Jane's Getting Serious (from
Everyone Loves The Pilot, 1987)
[mp3] The Adventures - Broken Land (from
Sea of Love, 1988)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Game - Under The White Bible Law (1989)

Very little is known about this French new wave band. Mining similar territory to the British "gloss-pop" bands of the time such as Waterfront, Breathe and Johnny Hates Jazz, the group released two singles, "Walk Away" and the intriguingly named "Under The White Bible Law", followed by a solitary album of the same name. Impossible to find except in French record shops, the compact disc frequently sells at auction for over $100. The LP features ten tracks, and the CD includes a bonus track "Over The Sea".
The Game - Under The White Bible Law (1989)
  1. Walk Away
  2. Wise Men
  3. The Liberator
  4. Sun and Rain
  5. Celebrate
  6. The Spell
  7. Don't Push Me
  8. Blind Vision
  9. Time Is Mine
  10. Under The White Bible Law
  11. Over The Sea [Bonus Track]
  12. Walk Away [Extended Mix]
  13. Walk Away [Different Mix]
Download Under The White Bible Law

Marc Dimitri (vocals)
H Lorthioir (guitars)
Patrick Larrieu (guitars)
J.-laurent Lardaud (bass)
F. Rottier (drums)
Dominique Cointre (keyboards)
Claire (backing vocals)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Private Lives - Prejudice & Pride (1984)

In which we imagine a world where the compact disc was introduced in 1980, and now-obscure artists and albums could be preserved for posterity...
Yes, it's dated. Like a classic automobile, Private Lives' Prejudice & Pride album symbolizes a specific time and place. First of all, the keyboards sound old, and secondly, its studio gloss is totally '80s. But those are just two reasons why the LP is highly attractive to new wave disciples. The term "dated" is only bad to people who weren't born during the era the work originated in, or who have no affection for it. On Prejudice & Pride Private Lives combine their love for jazz and funk with the synthesized beats of mid-'80s England. The result is a hybrid of blue-eyed soul and new wave à la Fiction Factory, a group that Private Lives stylistically resemble. The music is often upbeat; however, the lyrics mainly consist of torn love letters, filled with bitterness and regret. "Living in a World" is the best track, the story of a promiscuous girl whose life has been overturned and who can't find her way to happiness; consequently, she begins having suicidal thoughts: "You say you want to drink and drive/Over the bridge to the other side," vocalist John Adams sings with both anger and empathy. The words veer between resentment and compassion, but it becomes obvious that he still cares for her: "No, you're just hanging around/Waiting for someone to rescue you." It's a beautiful ballad, hauntingly sung and sharply arranged with mournful synthesizers and toe-tapping basslines. (The 12" extended version, "Living in a World (Turned Upside Down)," is also worth searching for.) As strong as "Living in a World" is, one would assume that Private Lives used all of their ammo on one track; thankfully, they didn't. Prejudice & Pride has no filler. It may take a few spins for the record to sink in, but songs such as "River to a Sea" and "God Only Knows" are just as catchy -- if not as moving -- as "Living in a World." The angst level is pretty high; Adams seeks liberation from a dying relationship in "Break the Chains," and "No Chance You'll Pay" and "Break the Whole Thing Down" offer more romantic diatribes. All the dourness may seem a tad overwhelming; however, many British new wave artists weren't exactly cheerful. Prejudice & Pride details heartbreak with a sweet tooth for pop that is hard to resist. ~ Michael Sutton, All Music Guide

Private Lives - Prejudice & Pride (1984)
  1. River To A Sea
  2. No Chance You'll Pay
  3. Living In A World (Turned Upside Down)
  4. Stop
  5. God Only Knows
  6. Break The Chains
  7. Don't Wanna Cry
  8. Win
  9. Break The Whole Thing Down
  10. Prejudice & Pride
  11. Living In A World (Extended Version) [Bonus Track]
  12. Because You're Young [Bonus Track]