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  • Radiohead - Pop Is Dead

    Radiohead - Pop Is Dead

    Title: Pop Is Dead
    Format: CD Single
    Label: Parlophone
    Year: 1993

    Tracks - Pop Is Dead / Banana Co. (live) / Creep (live) / Ripcord (live)


    Pop Is Dead

    Oh no, pop is dead, long live pop

    Pop Is Dead was left off debut album Pablo Honey and subsequently disowned but I always liked the way it flailed around with its veiled contempt for an industry that had spent money and was looking for a quick return. The slow rise of Creep almost definitely saved Radiohead from the drop and bought the breathing space that would lead to OK Computer and In Rainbows.

    As for the state of pop, that's probably a discussion best left for the pub...

    So what, pop is dead, itís no great loss

  • U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

    U2 - War

    Title: War
    Format: LP
    Label: Island
    Year: 1983

    Side 1 - Sunday Bloody Sunday / Seconds / New Year's Day / Like A Song... / Drowning Man
    Side 2 - The Refugee / Two Hearts Beat As One / Red Light / Surrender / "40"


    Sunday Bloody Sunday

    It comes to something when the likes of U2 are giving their stuff away but I guess Apple paid heavily for the privilege of foisting the new album upon us whether we liked it or not.

    Thirty years ago, the group's third LP was still a way off the world conquering Joshua Tree but did contain their best single to date in New Year's Day. As we're at war again here's U2's comment on sectarianism and the non-beneficial influence of a certain third party. I'm not actually sure who the 'psychopathic people' are these days...

    U2 - War gatefold

    How long must we sing this song?

  • Felt - My Face Is On Fire

    Felt - My Face Is On Fire

    Title: My Face Is On Fire
    Format: 7"
    Label: Cherry Red
    Year: 1982

    Side A - My Face Is On Fire
    Side AA - Trails Of Colour Dissolve


    My Face Is On Fire

    Here's some early Felt more famously included on the Pilllows & Prayers compilation. Besides the Felt Box, the non album single My Face Is On Fire hasn't featured on any other of the group's round ups although there's an expanded reissue of Cherry Red's major selling loss leader for slightly more than the original 99p which may explain why.

    Pillows & Prayers ensured most people of a certain age could name at least one Felt song and there's thick shades of The Bunnymen amidst MFIOF's gunslinging rumble. It still triggers that Pavlovian itch to turn Cherry Red's finest moment over before A Bang And A Wimpey ruined the moment...

    I was kneeling by the burning bush and the sea was a bed of flames

  • Aztec Camera - The Boy Wonders

    Aztec Camera - High Land Hard Rain

    Title: High Land, Hard Rain
    Format: LP
    Label: Rough Trade
    Year: 1983

    Side One - Oblivious / The Boy Wonders / Walk Out To Winter / The Bugle Sounds Again / We Could Send Letters

    Side Two - Pillar To Post / Release / Lost Outside The Tunnel / Back On Board / Down The Dip


    The Boy Wonders

    Switch on the TV right now and you can't avoid a desperate (and mainly English) rent-a-mob spreading fear and rubbish ahead of the Scottish Referendum. Whichever way it goes we'll always have the sound of young Scotland, a small country that seems to churn out musical coolness at a disproportionate rate to the rest of the union.

    The possibility of Scottish independence was a long way off in 1983 when Aztec Camera released their debut LP High Land, Hard Rain. From the mountain tops of big hit opener Oblivious to the soft slopes of Down The Dip it's Roddy Frame at his youthful peak and sounding as faultless as he did on a hand me down stereo thirty odd years ago.

    Here's The Boy Wonders with the album title chant and a distinct sense of Scottishness...

    Come Hogmanay when love comes in slurs

    Aztec Camera - High Land Hard Rain inner sleeve

    Postcard era Aztec Camera here and here and here

  • Marc And The Mambas - Untitled

    Marc and The Mambas Untitled

    Title: Untitled
    Format: LP & 12"
    Label: Some Bizzare
    Year: 1982

    Side 1 - Untitled / Empty Eyes / Angels
    Side 2 - Big Louise / Caroline Says / Margaret / If You Go Away

    Side 3 - Terrapin / Twilights + Lowlifes
    Side 4 - Twilights + Lowlifes (Street Walking Soundtrack)


    Untitled

    Untitled was the first of two studio albums by Soft Cell sidekicks Marc and The Mambas. Almond's synth pop duo were all over the charts so I guess it allowed him to peel back the gloss and work with a few fellow experimenters.

    Over an album and a 12" 45 you get well chosen covers from Barrett, Reed and Brel alongside originals written with The The's Matt Johnson and soon to be long term collaborator Ann Hogan.

    Johnson provides all the instrumentation on the title track and there's a definite French movie feel to the chorus as the piano tumbles like the wet stuff onto a non-descript European city...

    Marc and The-Mambas Untitled gatefold

    It's such a shame when I'm out in the rain

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