Monday, May 12, 2008

Made For TV - So Afraid Of The Russians

Made For T.V.'s "SO AFRAID OF THE RUSSIANS" could ONLY come out of the early/mid 1980's. “They’ve got ships at sea/ Planes in the air/ Tanks on the border of Europe/ And spies everywhere.”
OK...well....first of all of COARSE we have SHIPS AT SEA. Where ELSE are we going to put them. This little ditty about paranoia was actually produced by John Cale!!! Stranger things have been linked to him, I'm sure.
This song holds a special place in my heart. WLIR used to play this track non-stop in 1984. I made a random quote of the lyrics On top of the Twin Towers during the summer of that year to my friend's girlfriend and she got the refference right away. At that moment I thought we were the two coolest people on the face of the Earth.I miss that crazy cold war. The Russians were a fun enemy. Whatever happened to them?


What happened to these guys? They started out as a nice little post-punk funky kinda band and somehow morphed into a stadium rock act. My favourite period for INXS is definitely before Michael Hutchence had his Jim Morrison complex. SHABOOH SHOOBAH has to be one of my favourite records of the era, but THE SWING was their masterpiece, and their best song on that LP is "I SEND A MESSAGE"(MP3). Listen to this rare 12-inch mix. It's a crime that they never released this version in the states. From the strange way they used a sax in the opening to that sped-up voice at the end (YEAH) you could tell they didn't take themselves too seriously. Then he went all I NEED YOU TONIGHT on us and the GIRLS started listening....THEN HE....uh....nevermind

THE QUICK - Bed Of Nails

Remember when POP wasn't such a dirty word? When something could be catchy and stupid and stick in your head , yet still remain cool and sorta underground. The 80's were just a different time. Here's a little mindless catchy ness from a U.K. band known as THE QUICK:
The Quick was a dance pop duo from England that consisted of vocalist Colin "Col" Campsie and bassist/keyboardist George McFarlane. Their greatest success in US came in 1981 when their song "Zulu" spent two weeks at #1 on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
McFarlane and Campsie originally met in California in 1978, and began working together when they returned to England, taking the name "The Quick". Their debut single, "Sharks Are Cool, Jets Are Hot," was released on Epic Records in 1979. In 1981, the duo's single, "Hip Shake Jerk," became a hit in Australia, reaching #12, and their first album, On the Uptake was quickly released there. Remixed and repackaged as "One Light in a Blackout" (in Canada) and "Fascinating Rhythm" (in Europe), the album was released to the rest of the world in 1982, spawning a U.S. dance hit, "Zulu". The single "Rhythm of the Jungle" was another Top 20 success in Australia, reaching #13, and also became a hit in Europe. A second album, International Thing, followed in 1984.
By that time, McFarlane and Campsie had started doing studio work for other musicians, producing an album for Endgames among others. Their last album, Wah Wah, came out in 1986 on A&M Records.
New York underground radio station WLIR played the hell out of "BED OF NAILS" from this LP. This is the twelve inch version. A great staple of Long Island dance clubs 007, SPYZ, Paris New York and Malibu.


General Public

They were never going to be as cool as THE BEAT (or THE ENGLISH BEAT as they were known here in the US) But General Public still had a little bit of that 2-tone reggae beat. Especially the final track from their debute LP ALL THE RAGE.

This is the special 12-inch mix of "GENERAL PUBLIC" 12-inch version (MP3). To me this kicks the ass of the LP version. From the opening organ riff to the dub breakdown in the middle. This is truely a lost classic that deserves another listen. It wasn't all Tenderness you know.

The Higsons - Run Me Down

The Higsons have never had luck with timing. They signed to the influential 2nd-wave SKA lable 2-TONE just as that scene was dying and a new one emerging. The Higsons were neither SKA nor New Wave but something in between. Their most commercial song " Run Me Down " was a medium success in their native U.K. and a local hit on influential Long Island radio station WLIR.
This here is the 12-inch version.
Marking The Higsons exit from 2 Tone, the band returned to official independent label status with their next single, "Got To Get This Heat Out" (WAAP 3), in July 1983. Their debut album 'Curse of The Higsons', finally materialised on Upright in October 1984. Terry Edwards fonts his own band these days and is a prolific session player, while Charlie Higson found fame with Paul Whitehouse on TV's The Fast Show.