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Preview: 45 & 12

45 & 12

Updated: 2018-03-02T17:02:59.097+00:00


The Comsat Angels "Independence Day" (1980)



  • The Comsat Angels were the forgotten band of the early post-punk phase of British independent music. That can be best ascribed to the fact that their label, Jive, wanted them to be more like Duran Duran and less like the Chameleons when in truth their affinity as they saw it was closer to the latter.

  • As a result, the band put out a slew of singles which often abrely reflected what their music was about and frequently clashed with record company executives. Most of their singles are among their more forgettable tracks as a result, but the exception is “Independence Day”. Ironically it was also one of their earliest. It has much more of the brooding, moody young man about it and is one of the best tracks from their early years.

The Korgis "Everybody's got to learn sometime" (1980)



  • I have heard only some other songs by the Korgis, haven't liked them that much, so I am only praising their most famous single.

  • "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" is probably one of the best pop songs that have ever existed. Everything is in great balance, and while the recording date is 1980, you may find some "dated" effect but surprisingly, for more modern ears, the synth sound seems a bit like ambient.

  • The classic song itself lies somewhere (interesting) between 1970s soft-rock and 1980s synth-pop, offering a melody and chord changes worth calling them "genius". Check this.

1984: Siouxsie And The Banshees "The Thorn EP"


  • "The Thorn EP" from 1984 - a splendid 4-tracker consisting of old Banshee favourites re-recorded with a full orchestra and dripping with enough drama, tension and pathos to lift the roof clean off the Royal Albert Hall......


  • This was an interesting and unique project for The Banshees: go into a studio and fully re-make 4 songs that they'd already put out on record in their early punk days - but this time with a full orchestra. The new versions change the character of the songs radically; from minimal spiky punk into powerful, majestic goth. Drummer Budgie (who hadn't been on 3 of the original versions), puts his distinctively brilliant stamp on these new versions.


Some more info about Siouxsie And The Banshees

1978: Siouxsie And The Banshees "Hong Kong Garden"


  • The 18th of August, 1978, Siouxsie and The Banshees relased their debut 45'.

  • I had bought "Hong Kong Garden" on its release, an oriental post-punk assault of the dance floor. One of the pogo-ing staples of the time. My girlfriend way back then thought she was Siouxsie Sioux (unfortunately not as attractive, and I was no Budgie).

  • Still holds a hypnotic sway over me. A brillant debut from a band, who was never less than interesting and often a whole lot more than that! Though they were lumped in with the punk movement they were from the beginning so much more than that. As this single amply proves.


Sweet Complete - 45's from 1968 - 1981


Sweet's origins go back to 1965, with UK soul band Wainwright's Gentlemen, which included drummer Mick Tucker and vocalist Ian Gillan. The group were limited to small UK clubs playing a mixture of R&B and psychedelia. Gillan quit in May 1965 to join Episode Six, and, later, Deep Purple. Gillan's eventual replacement was vocalist Brian Connolly. Tucker and Connolly remained with Wainwright's Gentlemen until early 1968. In January 1968, Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker left Wainwright's Gentlemen to form another band, calling themselves The Sweetshop. They recruited a bass guitarist/lead vocalist named Steve Priest from a local band called 'The Army', having previously played with another local band 'The Countdowns'. Frank Torpey, a friend of Tucker's, was recruited to play guitar. It did not take long for Sweetshop to develop a following on the pub circuit, and they were signed to the Fontana record label. At the time, another UK band released a single under the same name Sweetshop, so the band shortened the name to The Sweet.Their debut single "Slow Motion" (July 1968) failed to chart. Sweet was released from the recording contract, and Frank Torpey left. Steve Priest in his autobiography says Gordon Fairminer was approached to play for them when Torpey decided to leave but turned the job down as they were only receiving £15.00 per week at the time.In 1969 guitarist Mick Stewart joined, and Sweet signed a new record contract with EMI's Parlophone label. Three more bubblegum pop singles were released, "Lollipop Man" (September 1969), "All You'll Ever Get From Me" (January 1970), and a cover version of Archies, "Get On The Line" (June, 1970), which all failed to chart. Stewart then quit, and was replaced by ex-Scaffold, Mayfield's Mule, and Elastic Band guitarist Andy Scott.Out of all the members, Scott had the most professional experience. As a member of the Elastic Band, he had played guitar on two singles for Decca "Think Of You Baby" and "Do Unto Others". He also appeared on the band's lone album release, Expansions On Life.With the new line-up now in place, a management deal was secured with a newly formed, and unknown song writing team, consisting of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Phil Wainman was the executive producer. This management deal also included a worldwide (except U.S.) record contract with RCA Records.Sweet initially attempted to combine various musical influences, including 1960s bubblegum pop groups such as The Archies and The Monkees, with more heavy rock-oriented groups such as The Who. Sweet adopted the rich vocal harmony style of The Hollies, with distorted guitars and a heavy rhythm section. This fusion of pop and hard rock would remain a central trademark of Sweet's music. Another influence on Sweet's music was 1960s drummer Sandy Nelson, who partially influenced Mick Tucker's drumming style. In particular, Sweet tracks such as "Ballroom Blitz" and "Man With The Golden Arm" contain elements of Sandy Nelson's 1961 U.S. Top 10 hit, "Let There Be Drums".Sweet's first album appearance was on a Music For Pleasure release: the Sweet had one side, The Pipkins (after whose sole hit, "Gimme Dat Ding", the LP was titled) had the other. The LP features the A-side and B-sides of the three commercially unsuccessful Parlophone singles before Sweet finally found success with "Funny Funny", which was the band's first single release for RCA. Despite the album cover shot of Sweet featuring Andy Scott, he was not actually a band member until "Funny Funny" and does not feature on any of these recordings. The band's guitarist then was Mick Stewart and wrote two of the featured B-sides on this compilation. The official release date was December, 1970. In January 1971, Sweet made their UK television debut on a pop show called Lift Off, performing "Funny Funny". In March 1971, "Funny Funny" became their first international hit, climbing to the Top 20 on many of the world's charts."Co-Co" (June 1971) became a h[...]

Jona Lewie - Some great 45's


Jona Lewie (born John Lewis, 14 March 1947, Southampton) is an English singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Lewie formed his first group, Dramatis Personae, while still at school in 1964, and started in the music industry as a session pianist, before joining the already popular cult rock band, Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts, in the late 1960s. The group has been a popular live act for 40 years, their mainstream hit single being "Seaside Shuffle" (1972), released under the one-off nom de disque Terry Dactyl and The Dinosaurs, "Seaside Shuffle" was an unashamedly commercial disc, quite at odds with the Thunderbolts' usual style, and reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart.However, Lewie looked likely to remain a part of a one-hit wonder until he was signed up by Stiff Records in 1977. Following appearances on the Stiff package tours, he finally scored a solo hit with the humorous synthpop number, "You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties" (1980) which made the British Top 20. Although his next single "Big Shot - Momentarily" failed to make any impact, by the end of the year he was back in the charts with what became his biggest (and, to date, last) UK hit, "Stop the Cavalry". Although now one of Britain's (and, incidentally, Germany's) most familiar Christmas singles, "Stop the Cavalry" was not originally intended as a Christmas song – it was released in late November after the record label spotted the line referring to the festival: "'I wish I was at home, for Christmas'". Not only this but the specific style of the brass instruments and bells in the chorus are very noticeable as a 'Christmas' style theme. The melody is loosely based on a theme from Swedish Rhapsody No. 1 by Hugo Alfvén, and its major musical elements copied directly from Mozart's Rondo in D Major, K382.He reached No 2 on the Australian chart in 1981 with "Louise (We Get It Right)", but failed to enter the Top 100 in U.K.His last single for Stiff came in 1983, the lovely and quite strange "Love Detonator" flopped big time, and Jona took a long break from the music industry. Lewie has not performed for many years but is currently recording a new album for release in 2008.Track-List:Terry Dactyl and The Dinosaurs - Sea Side Shuffle (1972)You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties (1980)Big Shot - Momentarily (1980)Stop The Cavalry (1980)Louise (We Get It Right) (1981)Love Detonator (1982)Love Detonator (Extended Version (1983)Music-Videoes:You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties Stop The Cavalry Louise (We Get It Right)More info about Jona Lewie[...]

1979: Buggles "Video Killed The Radio Star"


  • "Video Killed the Radio Star" is a Synth Pop song released in 1979 by the British group Buggles that celebrates the golden days of radio. It tells of a singer whose career is cut short by television. The song topped several music charts and has been covered by numerous recording artists. It has also been widely parodied and utilized in popular media.

  • The song was written by Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes, and Bruce Woolley. The first version was recorded by Bruce Woolley & the Camera Club (with Thomas Dolby as a guest artist) for his album English Garden, which was a hit in Canada. The complicated arrangement and production of the song, which includes a chorus sung by a group of very high-pitched backup singers, foreshadows Horn's later career as a producer. The Buggles later recorded the song and it reached number one in the UK charts the week of October 20, 1979, the first-ever number one for label Island Records. It also would top the Australian charts, but only barely made the Billboard Top 40 in the United States. It appears on the album The Age of Plastic, where it has an additional piano coda.


  • The music video for the song, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was the first to be shown on MTV, when the music channel debuted on August 1, 1981, at 12:10 A.M. On February 27, 2000 it also became the millionth video to be aired on MTV.

  • The B-side? "Kid Dynamo" ? How does a theme song to a never-realized superhero cartoon sound? If your answer is "good," I recommend the rest of The Age of Plastic without further reservation.


More info about Buggles


1969: The Marmalde "Reflections of My Life"


  • Marmalade were a successful Scottish pop/rock group, originally fronted by the vocalist Dean Ford, and later by Sandy Newman.

  • Unusually, Marmalade had two bass players, and were originally called Dean Ford & The Gaylords; they released several unsuccessful singles between 1964 and 1966, before changing their name. Their next few singles also failed to chart in the UK, although one, "I See The Rain," was highly praised by Jimi Hendrix and became a Top 40 hit in the Netherlands in 1967.

  • Marmalade's record label, CBS, threatened to drop them if they did not have a hit, and after the failure of another self-penned single later that year, "Man In A Shop", insisted they record more chart-oriented material. They rejected "Everlasting Love", which became a Number One for Love Affair, but later gave in to pressure and recorded a cover version of an American hit by The Grass Roots, "Lovin' Things", which reached number 6 in the UK Singles Chart in the summer of 1968. After a lesser hit with the follow-up "Wait For Me Mary-Anne", which only made number 30, they enjoyed their greatest success with their cover of The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", which topped the UK chart in January 1969. As the first Scottish group to ever top the UK chart, the week it went to the top spot, they celebrated by appearing on BBC1's music programme Top Of The Pops, dressed in kilts.


  • This was followed by further successes with "Baby Make It Soon". After a change of record label to Decca Records, under a deal allowing them to write and produce their own songs, they recorded what would be their only American hit, the melancholy "Reflections Of My Life", with its distinctive backwards guitar break. Other UK hits included the mainly acoustic "Rainbow", and "My Little One". Other minor hit was "The Ballad of Cherry Flavor". They toured extensively and gave rise to a cocktail — the Marmaladdie. They were managed by Peter Walsh, a 1960s and 1970s pop entrepreneur whose portfolio also included artists like the Bay City Rollers, Billy Ocean, The Troggs and Blue Mink.


More info about The Marmalade

1986: Hipsway "The Honeythief"



  • Hipsway were formed in Glasgow in 1984 by ex-Altered Images guitarist Johnny McElhone on bass, and featuring Grahame Skinner (vocals), Pim Jones (guitar) and Harry Travers (drums). They were quickly signed up by Mercury Records and by 1986 had released their first album Hipsway. The album was a moderate success in the UK; while the single The Honeythief made number 17 in the British charts, and also reached the Top 20 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  • Another song from the album, "Tinder", became well-known in Scotland as the soundtrack to a McEwan's Lager commercial. However the band failed to build on its success; McElhone left to found Texas, and by the time the second album Scratch the Surface was recorded, Travers had also left (to be replaced by Stephen Ferrera). Released in 1989, the album was not as critically or commercially successful as its predecessor, and the band split up shortly afterwards.
  • Skinner and Jones subsequently went on to found the band Witness before Skinner joined former members of Glasgow peers Love and Money in the band Cowboymouth.


More info about Hipsway

1979: U2 "Another Day"



  • This was U2's second single, and Another Day was recorded at a session in London in December 1979. It's not exactly what you'd call a spectacular song, but I enjoy it anyway. Early U2 was full of passion and enthusiasm for what they did, and it makes even mediocre songs have a special spark.

Music-Video (Slide-show with lots of pics of U2 anno 79')

1979: U2 "Three" (EP)



  • Let's be honest: the sound quality isn't that good, the two songs that were to later appear on the Boy album are yet to fully mature, Bono hasn't yet really learnt to control his voice, and it just screams that this is U2's first release.

  • But damn, feel the energy! What U2 lacked in technical skill and good recording equipment, they well and truly made up for in energy, drive, passion, commitment - whatever you want to call it. You can tell these guys believed in what they were doing and had a true enthusiasm to make and perform music.
  • It's genuine (which is more than I can say for some later U2 material). I recommend it. It's a great insight into where U2 came from and how hard they tried back in the day.


A1: Out of Control
B1: Stories for Boys
B2. Boy/Girl

1970: Don Fardon "Indian Reservation"



  • Don Fardon (born Donald Maughn, 19 August 1940, Coventry, Warwickshire) is a pop singer. His biggest success was his rendition of John D. Loudermilk's "Indian Reservation" (1970, UK: #3). Before that he was singer with The Sorrows.

  • Fardon also released a cover version of "Running Bear". In 2006 he re-released his single, "Belfast Boy", in tribute following the death of George Best.
  • Before becoming a singer he worked as a draughtsman in Coventry.

1984: Animotion "Obsession" (US 12" Version)



  • Animotion is a 1980s U.S. New Wave/synthpop band best known for their songs "Obsession" (originally written by Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight), "Let Him Go", "I Engineer" and "Room to Move". Formed in 1983 from the remnants of a retro science-fiction band called Red Zone, they signed a record deal with Polygram Records in 1984 and made three albums. During 1986 and 1987, Animotion toured extensively, appearing alongside famous performers such as Depeche Mode, Howard Jones, INXS, Eurythmics, Simply Red, Phil Collins, and Genesis. They had great success in Germany and South Africa with their two first albums, thanks to the singles "Obsession" and "I Engineer" (both Top 10 in those countries), and entered several European charts in high positions during this period.


  • In the midst of recording their third album, Animotion went through personnel changes as all three founding members (Bill Wadhams, Astrid Plane and Charles Ottavio) departed. Following their departure, Ottavio and Plane married. Actress/dancer/singer Cynthia Rhodes, known for her performance as the character "Penny Johnson" in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, replaced Plane as female lead singer, and former solo artist/Device member Paul Engemann replaced Wadhams as the male lead for Animotion's second self-titled album, informally known as "Room to Move" (due to the success of this song) to distinguish it from their first LP. The single "Room to Move" became a radio hit in April 1989, and their second Top 10 hit in the U.S., after "Obsession" in 1985; but the album itself failed to chart and Animotion disbanded for good after that.

1980: Visage "Fade to Grey" (Extended Mix)


  • Visage was a British New Romantic band that formed in 1978. Founder members Steve Strange and Rusty Egan were hosting club nights at Blitz nightclub in Great Queen Street, London at the time and were eager to find new music to play, ultimately opting to create music themselves. Strange commented about the meaning of the band's name: "The meaning of Visage, apart from being French for face, is that the Vis is for the visual side of the band... and the Age is the new age in dance music. That's how I see it."

  • 1980 saw the release of their second single, "Fade to Grey". The single became a huge hit (making the top ten in the UK and topping the chart in several other countries) and was quickly followed by the release of their self-titled debut album which was also a chart success.


  • Fronted by club kid Steve Strange,the band was made up of various members of Ultravox,and also featured guitarist John McGeoch and bassist Barry Adamson.They broke onto the scene with "Fade To Grey",and continued to have a few more hits over the next few years. They were a big part of the Futurist/New Romantic scene.


1981: The Passions "I'm in Love with a German Film Star" (12 inch mix)


(image) #
  • The Passions were a British pop band which formed in 1978 and disbanded in 1983. They were archetypal one-hit wonders with their misty, trance-like pop song, "I'm in Love with a German Film Star".

  • Contrary to popular belief, the German Film Star referred to in the song is not Klaus Kinski, Bruno Ganz, Rutger Hauer or even Marlene Deitrich! In fact he was neither German nor a star but a certain Steve Connelly, aka Roadent, one time roadie for the Clash. However, rumour has it that he did actually appear in a German film at some point.

  • The echoplex guitar sound was inspired in part by the early 1970s recordings of John Martyn. The strange bass drum sound on the record was achieved by feeding the signal through a vocoder.

  • The track was produced by Pete Wilson who was the in-house Polydor producer at the time. He also worked with the Jam and produced ‘Waiting for a Miracle’ with the Comsat Angels. He was responsible for the ‘drums in the stairwell’ sound on that album.

  • The record was single of the week in all the music weeklies, ‘Peoples Choice’ on London’s Capital Radio and sold more than 130,000 copies in the first few weeks of release. Despite all this and two ‘Top of the Pops’ appearances, it only reached number 25 in the UK charts. Strange but true. Did this have anything to do with the record company not being able to get sufficient records into the shops because they hadn’t pressed enough?