Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Blue Hour

'I'm going down the waterfront tonight'

Okay, so here's a weird one. One of the tricks I use to find random tracks to listen to is to search my hard drive for a particular word and copy over a bunch of tunes with the word in the title. A few weeks ago, I chose 'blue' and went from there.

I had to laugh when one of the tracks cued up while I was driving home. Evidently, I had recorded "The Blue Hour", a track from a 1984 EP by British band Raise The Dragon, at the wrong speed. I let it play for a while so I could chuckle at the helium vocals. Then something strange happened.

We went away to Denver for the weekend, and several times during that great trip, the keyboard part from that sped up track floated into my head. Evidently, there was something there. I had to wait until we returned to find the track, correct the speed, and replay it. Unfortunately, slowed down, it sounded wrong. It didn't sound 'right' at all. Even as a track re-recorded by the band (under the name Intimate Strangers, from the Charm LP) I missed the keyboard riff I heard that first time.

Thanks to Audacity, I got my remixing head on and got to work. I found that if I sped the track up to just slightly less than what I inadvertently did previously, and corrected for the change in pitch on the vocals, I now had a very listenable track indeed. Having listened to it about a hundred times, I still have no idea what it's about - but 'fire up the engines of love' definitely has a somewhat lascivious ring to it.

See what you think.

Raise The Dragon - The Blue Hour (remixed version)

Random 80's Wednesday

I bought some great vinyl in Denver over my birthday - mainly thanks to Andy at Albums On The Hill in Boulder and Black And Read in Arvada. Here's some tasters.

The Lonely Now - If I Could (from Original Intentions, 1987)
Dietplan - Counting Houses (from The Melting Pot, 1986)
Mondo Vita - Technical Difficulties (from Fins De Paris, 1983)
Tom Bright - Younger Days (from Torture Land, 1986)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ward Brothers - Easy Prey

7" Single, released in 1986

I've wanting to post something about the Ward Brothers for a few months now. I'm not sure why their album The Madness of It All is not available digitally, but to be fair there are a lot of releases on the Siren label (a Virgin Records sub-label) that have gone AWOL. Here's a nice introduction - their first single - coupled with a B-Side that was exclusive to this release. More from the Ward boys soon.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Boys From Syracuse - I Cry For You

7" Single, released in 1986

Another single that was much better than I anticipated. Credits mention the Bucherri brothers and New England Records seem to have been based in London - which leads me to suspect that the Syracuse reference was symbolic rather than literal. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Frankies - Yo Yo

7" Single, released in 1980

Probably a bit earlier and somewhat atypical of the kind of singles I look for. But look! Doesn't the young lass on the back cover seem familiar? Maybe, if you've watched British TV in the last twenty years. None other than comedienne Caroline Quentin, famous for playing Maddie in Jonathan Creek and Dorothy in Men Behaving Badly. She seems to have kept this gig quiet.

A fairly ridiculous track to be sure, and hardly likely to be officially licensed from Disney, what with all the sexual innuendo apparent. Her collaborator was a well travelled musician, the late Kevin Westlake, who you can read more about here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Empire - This Is My Word

7" Single, released in 1988

Empire was a project featuring talented songwriter, the late John Uriel, and Mark Lee Kemp. They released three singles, all very listenable, in 1988 and put together an album which was never released. The group continued to demo songs for a second album before calling it quits.