• Psychic TV - Godstar

    Psychic TV - Godstar

    Title: Godstar
    Format: 7"
    Label: Temple Records
    Year: 1984

    Side A - Godstar
    Side B - Godstar (B.J. Mix)


    This is a story, a very special story. It's about Brian Jones, one of The Rolling Stones.

    Psychic TV's eulogy to the founder of The Stones is not only PTVs pop peak but I reckon its also one of the greatest records of the Eighties.

    Godstar opens with a 2000 Light Years From Home flurry before Micky Groome's bass and Alex Fergusson's six string slashing kick in behind Genesis P-Orridge's barely sung tale of how a rock star ended up in a pool. It shouldn't work but its an almighty concoction topped off with the spectral oohs and ahs of Strawberry Switchblade's Rose McDowall who guests as one of The Angels Of Light.

    I remember Brian Jones from countless grainy monochrome clips looking impossibly cool with a white Vox Teardrop. By all accounts he was impossible to manage as the drug consumption escalated in line with his jealousy of Jagger and Richards ability to churn out the hits and he was dead within a month of exiting the group in what many still claim were mysterious circumstances.

    Psychic TV - Godstar picture disc

    Title: Godstar
    Format: 12" Picture Disc
    Label: Temple Records
    Year: 1984

    Side A - Godstar (Hyperdelic Mix)
    Side B - Godstar (California Mix)

    Godstar (Hyperdelic Mix)

    I'm not sure who first thought it was a good idea to sandwich a picture between two slithers of clear vinyl at the expense of the music within the grooves but you do get the full glory of the Gered Mankowitz photo that was cubed in miniature across the single's other formats. The picture disc shares the two extended, dubbed up mixes of the regular 12" so in substantially lower fidelity here's the Hyperdelic Mix gliding in on a wave of fuzzed up punk.

    GPO maintains BJ's ghost was present at the recording of their tribute and finest moment...

    Godstar, Godstar

  • The Sugarcubes - Deus

    The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good

    Title: Life's Too Good
    Format: LP
    Label: One Little Indian
    Year: 1988

    Side 1 - Traitor / Motorcrash / Birthday / Delicious Demon / Mama

    Side 2 - Coldsweat / Blue Eyed Pop / Deus / Sick For Toys / F***ing In Rhythm & Sorrow / Take Some Petrol Darling


    I'm not long back from Reykjavik, the most northerly capital in the world and even in the sunshine and snowfall it's a pretty windswept, godforsaken place. For sure there's a desolate beauty to the endless, black lava flows and white capped mountains but even the rocket shaped church of Hallgrímskirkja held few clues as to what shaped the biggest thing to come out of Iceland since the Vikings.

    The Sugarcubes debut album Life's Too Good followed soon after the seismic shift of Birthday in five flourescent sleeves and featured subsequent singles Coldsweat and Deus as well as Petrol, an uncredited 11th track performed in the group's native tongue. Twenty six years on it may well have suffered relegation to a footnote in the career of an Icelandic singer but back then it's punk and pop otherworldliness made everything else seem merely mortal.

    Deus does not exist...

  • Super Furry Animals - Northern Lites

    Super Furry Animals - Northern Lites

    Title: Northern Lites
    Format: CD Single
    Label: Creation
    Year: 1999

    Tracks - Northern Lites / Rabid Dog / This, That And The Other

    Northern Lites

    This time next week I'll be in Reykjavik with a chance of seeing the greenish glow of the aurora borealis so here's Super Furry Animals with an appropriate track from their third album Guerrilla.

    The Beach Boys gone calypso of Northern Lites almost scraped the top ten when originally released and features a cool Pete Fowler designed abominable mutant on its sleeve more befitting of Iceland's sub zero temperatures. I'll be wrapping up warm...

    There's a distant light, a forest fire burning everything in sight

  • The Smiths - You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby

    The Smiths - The World Won't Listen

    Title: The World Won't Listen
    Format: LP
    Label: Rough Trade
    Year: 1987

    Side 1 - Panic / Ask / London / Bigmouth Strikes Again / Shakespeare's Sister / There Is A Light That Never Goes Out / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

    Side 2 - Asleep / Unloveable / Half A Person / Stretch Out And Wait / That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore / Oscillate Wildly / You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby / Rubber Ring

    You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby

    The World Won't Listen collects A's and B sides from The Smiths halcyon days, a mid 80s golden age for guitar pop where Morrisey & Marr led the pack and left pretty much everyone else in a cloud of dust.

    Proof lies in the fact that projected single You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby was passed over for Shoplifters Of The World Unite and relegated to compilation filler. Despite their abandonment I reckon it's up there with the group's finest and I just love the Jürgen Vollmer sleeve, especially the back cover shot of the 60s French girls and the cute one on the right with her mouth ajar.

    If you're wondering why...

  • The Panik - Modern Politics

    The Panik - Modern Politics

    Title: It Won't Sell!
    Format: 7"
    Label: Rainy City Records
    Year: 1977

    Side X - Modern Politics
    Side XX - Urban Damnation / Murder

    Modern Politics

    Sad news that the great socialist icon and man of the people Tony Benn has passed away.
    He was possibly Britain's finest political speaker of modern times, an eloquent and passionate champion of the working class and also proof that what really matters is where you're at rather than where you're from.

    Benn famously relinquished an unwanted peerage to remain in the House of Commons and fight for the things he believed in, over time becoming a figurehead for the Labour left, CND and anti war movement and firing up countless young minds along the way including mine.

    Forever a thorn in Labour's side he retired from parliamentary duties in 2001 'to devote more time to politics' which never fails to make me smile...

    This take on governance by Manchester's The Panik may have been blunter than Benn's but in amongst the superficial punk by numbers there's a distinct electric grey northernness that others were undoubtedly noting.

    The Joy Division connections continue for sure with Rafters DJ Rob Gretton trying his first hand at management and drummer Steve Brotherdale moonlighting briefly with a fledgling Warsaw.

    Modern politics, a bit like modern music, often seems overshadowed by what preceded it and with one less maverick the world will always be a poorer place...

    Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn 3.4.25 – 14.3.14


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