It’s The Buzz, Cock! Pete Shelley (real name Peter McNeish) R.I.P. Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t ‘ve? Have a great weekend.
Good morning folks. There’s not enough Debbie Harry on this blog. ‘Atomic’ first surfaced on side B of the band’s platinum-selling album Eat to the Beat. The song was strong enough to be released as a single a year later, but would effectively act as swansong for the band. A cover (‘The Tide is High’) and a novelty record (‘Rapture’) would follow, but the final few movements of producer Mike Chapman’s atomic disco sound were when the party really ended. Have a great week.
Good morning! Released in March 1980, ‘Going Underground’ was the first UK chart-topping single by The Jam. Such was the buzz about the band, it went straight to number one as part of a double A-side with ‘Dreams of Children’. Still, it came as a surprise to the band. They were caught on the hop in the US and had to cancel their tour immediately, flying back on concorde to do their promo work in Blighty. The song was released as a single, but not as part of the band’s six studio albums.
‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ was the second single off The Police’s fifth, final and most successful album Synchronicity. Written by Sting, it was never going to be one of Andy Summers’s favourite tracks, but he still got to play around with his trademark effects, even when playing second fiddle.
While synth pop continued to eat up the charts both sides of the pond, something very different was happening in Athens, Georgia. 1983 saw R.E.M. release their debut album Murmur, revealing a sound that didn’t sound half as transient as daytime radio play. The heady mix of West Coast pop, Michael Stipe’s new wave vocals and Peter Buck’s jangly guitar signal the signs of greatness to come. ‘Talk About The Passion’ my friends, talk about the passion.
Before he had started to love the sound of breaking glass, songwriter Nick Lowe had already metamorphosised into the Jesus Of Cool. Suddenly happy to quote Kurt Vonnegut, the pub rock veteran releases a stellar first single on Stiff Records. Now that is the transition of a man unleashed. And so it goes…
Decent festive songs are scarce, but then Christmas sounds were better in the 1980s. The riff may be military-grade cheese, but the rest is pure New Wave Yuletide.
I will be doing my own wrapping up on Boxing Day with a listen back at the year. That review will be beginning of a holiday hiatus; I’m taking some time out until January. Until then, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
‘Blue Monday’ is widely regarded as a key bridge between synthesized disco and house music scene that would take the dance floors by storm by the end of the decade. According to Bernard Sumner, the track is a derivative of Klein + M.B.O.’s ‘Dirty Talk’, Sylvester’s ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), ‘Donna Summer’ ‘Our Love’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘Uranium’. Whatever the source of inspiration, this was alternative dance 101. Bernard Sumner’s machine-like vocals were the icing on the cake.
‘Annie Get Your Gun’ was last single that Squeeze released prior their break up in 1982. Despite its quality, It was never released on a studio album, but followed the single releases off their relatively unsuccessful fifth studio album Sweets from a Stranger. Success is a fickle thing, but Glenn Tilbrook’s song-writing ability is unquestionable.
In the same year, The Teardrop Explodes released their album Kilimanjaro – not that I would have known at the time. However, the following January, Julian Cope and gang released ‘Reward’ as a single and its sound was able to bridge the gap between post-punk and the pop charts.
It’s not ‘Down Under’, but that’s a good thing right, because this is ‘Overkill’. “I can’t get to sleep/I think about the implications,” Colin Hay laments. “I worry over situations/I know will be all right/Perhaps it’s just imagination.” Genius songwriting; it featured on Men At Work’s 1983 album Cargo.