Sunday, July 25, 2004

Digging In The Crate Part 2

This week's tunes are pulled from my old crate of early '80s 45s -

Bill Nelson played guitar in '70s rock band Be Bop Deluxe. Upon going solo he began to experiment with electronics, and Do You Dream In Colour? from 1980 was my first exposure to the man. A hissing dum machine beat, twangy guitars and some cool sax all combine for a tasty new wave treat with a very catchy chorus. Also of note is the fact that it was produced by noted Brit studio ace John Leckie who went on to help produce many of Bill's other solo records as well as some by Stone Roses, Verve, and XTC. This track still sounds pretty good today.

Famous Names released Holiday Romance in 1980. This is classic new wave stuff - another big twangy riff, a touch of keyboards, some female counterpoint vocals to the herky-jerky male vocals. This band came out of the ashes of post punkers Writz, and some of that post punk is still evident here. I thought this could have been a hit, but it wasn't and I never heard of them again.

B Movie's Nowhere Girl from 1982 is the single that almost broke the band into the charts. I first heard of them on 1981's SomeBizarre Album compilation, which also had the first vinyl releases from Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, The The and Blancmange. Sadly they never quite hit the heights of some of those other acts, and IMO Nowhere Girl was their best shot - a memorable synth line, some nice guitars and a very catchy chorus - imagine a mix of The Stills' moody rock mixed with Depeche Modes poppiness and you have an idea of what this is all about.

Killing Joke's Tension from 1981 is actually the b-side to Follow The Leader. I love the a side but this tune is also big - a pounding tribal drum beat, a big meaty bass riff and shredding guitar riffs with Jaz shouting over the top about the tension building. The mix of beats, funky bass and punk rage always gets to me - as a 16 year old I was amazed at this energy, and it still sounds vibrant and unique today.

2 comments:

Darren said...

What a cool taste in music - keep up the good work.

heath said...

yes! I just found b-movie's nowhere girl 12" on holiday in san antonio...