Saturday, May 29, 2021

Gary Crowley's Lost 80s Volume 2

Gary Crowley's Lost 80s Volume 2
Gary Crowley's Lost 80s Volume 2

From the pages of Smash Hits to your stereo!

Everybody's favourite DJ, Gary Crowley, has been back down the music mines, digging up another trove of rare and unfamiliar treasures for his latest collection of lost gems from the best decade of all and picking some lesser-known songs from better-known names and tracks you might have forgotten about or missed completely the first time around.

The sixty-five songs are arranged across four discs, each with its own theme. Disc 1 - A Beat Confection - kicks off in lively style with The Style Council's Mick's Up and keeps moving with Madness, Elvis Costello, Fine Young Cannibals, The Monochrome Set - when the chorus of Jacob's Ladder kicks in, I am instantly fifteen again and studying for my O levels! - and The Undertones at their most transcendent in Save Me.

Disc 2 - A Rock And A Dance Place - will get your toes tapping even more with The Waitresses, Nick Heyward, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy and the sublimely timeless Free Yourself, by The Untouchables.

The dance party continues on Disc 3 - Ear And Foot Refreshment - where Kid Creole, Linx and the B-52's jostle for your attention with Blancmange, Sade and Dennis Bovell's remix of Animal Nightlife's Native Boy.

Disc 4 - The Vinyl Curtain - rounds things off in spectacular style with The Human League's Hard Times and extended mixes from Thompson Twins and Big Audio Dynamite, as well as Medium Medium's wonderfully angular Hungry, So Angry and the Special Dance Mix of General Public's Tenderness - two of the highlights of the whole set.

Other highlights include unlikely covers - Bananarama's version of No Feelings and Staples Singers tackling Life During Wartime - and The Valentine Brothers with the original version of Money's Too Tight To Mention and the whole package includes a book containing Gary's track-by-track notes and eighties-era reminiscing from Mick Talbot, Dr Robert, Glenn Gregory and others. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we were spoiled then and Gary is still spoiling us now with yet another essential collection - the soundtrack of your summer and beyond.

Gary Crowley's Lost 80s is available from Amazon UK and Amazon - and you can find even more news and information about the set on Facebook.

Friday, May 28, 2021

May 28 - June 10, 1981

Smash Hits, May 28, 1981
(click on the image to see the full issue)

Cover: Stray Cats
Interviews: Stray Cats
Lyrics: Stand And Deliver - Adam And The Ants; Norman Bates - Landscape; Don't Let it Pass You By - UB40; Rockabilly Guy - Polecats; Ghosts Of Princes In Towers - Rich Kids; Is That Love - Squeeze; Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes; Being With You - Smokey Robinson; How 'Bout Us - Champaign
Bitz: Jam tour; Prince; Specials; Madness; Slade, Castle Donnington; The Action, The Who; Kraftwerk; Van Halen, Motivation (Steve Garvey, Dave Price, Dave Rowbotham, Snuff); Woody and Jane snogging; Ron and Russell Mael, Sparks; personal file: Chris Difford
Other: Strange Tails From A Music Paper
Single reviews (Steve Bush): Mickey - Toni Basil; Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag - Pigbag; Spell-bound - Siouxsie And The Banshees; All Those Years Ago - George Harrison; Let Him Have it - The Bureau; History Never Repeats - Split Enz; Me No Pop I - Coata Mundi; Let's Jump The Broomstick - Coast To Coast; Funeral Pyre - The Jam; Cutter's Lullaby - Fischer-Z; I Want More - Can; Someday Sunday - Nautyculture

The Middle: Landscape

Smash Hits, May 28, 1981
(click on the image to see the full issue)

Cover: Kim Wilde
Interviews: Kim Wilde
Lyrics: Funeral Pyre - Jam; Houses In Motion - Talking Heads; The Art Of Parties - Japan; Bad Reputation - Thin Lizzy; Them Belly Full (But We Hungry); Angel Of The Morning - Juice Newton
Bitz: Spandau Ballet, Francis Ford Coppolla; Rough Tapes (Ian Dury, Raincoats, Scritti Politti, Beat, Robert Wyatt, Pere Ubu, John Cooper-Clarke, Orange Juice, Wah! Heat, Buzzcocks); all time top ten: Sketch; Ultravox; Radio Invicta, Tony Johns; The People (Charlie Anderson, Desmond Brown); Landscape, "Psycho", Pamela Stephenson; Tenpole Tudor badges; Echo And The Bunnymen; Duran Duran; Bette Davis
Independent Singles (Ian Birch): Don't Cry Your Tears / So It's Not To Be - The Delmontes (Rational Records); Kites / A Girl Named Property - 39 Lyon Street [Billy MacKenzie, Alan Rankine, Christine Beveridge] (RSO); You've Got To Make Mistakes / Short Sharp Kick In The Teeth - Close Rivals (Hyped Records); The Witch / Air Raid Shelter (Pill Box) / One More Fool - The Human Cabbages (Boys And Girls Records); Attention Stockholm - Virna Lindt (The Compact Organisation); Dream - The Sinking Ships (Recession Records); Compatibility - Visitors (Rational Records); Dream Soldiers - Fallout Club (Happy Birthday); A Certain Bridge - Last Man In Europe (Cocteau Records); (It's Not Me) Talking - A Flock Of Seagulls (Cocteau Records); Go For Gold - Girls At Our Best (Happy Birthday)
Album reviews (Deanne Pearson / Fred Dellar / Robin Katz / Bev Hillier / David Hepworth / Ian Birch / March Ellen): Heart-twango & Raw-beat - Original Mirrors; The Phenomenal Rise Of Richard Strange - Richard Strange; There Goes The Neighbourhood - Joe Walsh; Drivin' Hard - Shakatak; Nightclubbing - Grace Jones; Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam - Bill Nelson; Night People - Classix Nouveaux; Hard Promises - Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers; Stand Your Ground - Wild Horses; Talk, Talk, Talk - Psychedelic Furs; Whomp That Sucker - Sparks; Heart Of Darkness - Positive Noise; Anthem - Toyah

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

1982: From One Extreme To Another

1982: From One Extreme To Another

1982. Toto Coelo and Kid Creole. Pelican West and The Number Of The Beast. Marines yomping into Port Stanley and Socrates gliding into the opposition penalty area. English Settlement and Upstairs At Eric's. Martin Fry's gold lamé suit and Kevin Roland's dungarees. Duran Duran on a yacht in Sri Lanka and The Fall in a disused cinema in Hitchin. Ozzy Osbourne vs. The Alamo and Alex Higgins vs. Ray Reardon. The Young Ones and The Kids From Fame. Combat Rock and Thriller. E.T. and The Thing. The Day Before You Came, House Of Fun, Mickey, Promised You A Miracle....

Whatever your memories of 1982, chances are Eddie McKenzie has mentioned them in his monumental [in every sense of the word] romp through the year in music, movies, art, sport, news, politics and more. The activism and idealism of the late seventies gave way to escapism and indulgence and Thatcherism's icy grip tightened, all of which was reflected in the charts....and in what failed to set the charts alight.

McKenzie's massively-researched book tracks and traces all the year's developments, major and otherwise, giving a socio-political context for the changing face - and changing faces - of music. You might not agree with all of his opinions - and McKenzie has a lot of opinions - but his enthusiasm is irresistible, simultaneously ridiculing the silliness of pop stars and reveling in the glories they created.

If you listened to the chart rundown with your fingertips hovering over the REC button, this book is for you. If you pored over the pages of Smash Hits and Blu-Tacked the centrespreads to your bedroom wall, this book is for you. If the intro to Goody Two Shoes still gives you the chills and the headlong rush of A Town Called Malice still leaves you gasping for air, this book is for you. Don't be put off by the length - just dive in and enjoy.

1982: From One Extreme To Another is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Friday, May 14, 2021

May 14 - 27, 1981

Smash Hits, May 14, 1981
(click on the image to see the full issue)

Cover: Department S
Centrespread :The Undertones
Back cover: Kim Wilde
Interviews: Department S; Tenpole Tudor; Human League; Honey Bane Lyrics: I Wanna Be Free - Toyah; Careless Memories - Duran Duran; Swords Of A Thousand Men - Tenpole Tudor; Stars On 45 - Star Sound; Don't Say That's Just For White Boys - Way Of The West; The Sound Of The Crowd - Human League; Love Games - Level 42; Chequered Love - Kim Wilde; Perfect Timing - Kiki Dee; Future Management - Roger Taylor; Small Ads - Small Ads; Night Porter - Japan; Candidate For Love - T.S. Monk; You Drive Me Crazy - Shakin' Stevens; When He Shines - Sheena Easton
Bitz: The Rollers; Star Sound, Jaap Eggermont; personal file: Kim Wilde; Adam Ant; Stuart Henry; Belle Stars; John Cooper Clarke tour; Anne Nightingale, "Chase The Fade"; Peter Gilbert, Ultravox; Toyah; Teardrop Explodes tour; all time top ten: Bernie Nolan; weddings: Jim Honeymoon-Scott and Peggy-Sue, Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach; "The Nutty Boys Madness Comic"; Squeeze tour; Elton John buys Spike Milligan's original Goon Show scripts
Single reviews (Pete Silverton): Safe As Houses - Stiff Little Fingers; Rockabilly Guy - Polecats; Lipstick - Suzi Quatro; Ossie's Dream - Tottenham Hotspur; Pocket Calculator - Kraftwerk; Stand By Me - John Lennon; The Waiting - Tom Petty; About The Weather - Magazine; Working Girl - The Members; International Language - Richard Strange; Chequered Love - Kim Wilde; Houses In Motion - Talking Heads; The American - Simple Minds; I'm Your Money - Heaven 17
Album reviews (Ian Cranna / Mark Ellen / Fred Dellar / David Hepworth / Red Starr / Robin Katz ): Positive Touch - Undertones; The Right To Be Italians - Holly And The Italians; Welcome Back - The Plastics; Waiata - Split Enz; Ambience - Lambrettas; The Completion Backward Principle - Tubes; Animal Now - Ruts DC; East Side Story - Squeeze; Psychedelic Jungle - The Cramps; Play For Today - The Searchers
Independent Singles (Red Starr): Slates - The Fall (Rough Trade); Pretty - Mark Beer (Rough Trade); You're No Good / UFO / Moody - ESG (Factory); Urges / Leipzig - Thomas Dolby (Armageddon); The Model / Set Me On Fire - The French (Sanguine); Chance Meeting / Pictures - Josef K (Postcard); Life In Reverse EP - Marine (Les Disques du Crepuscule)
Independent Albums (Red Starr): To Each His - A Certain Ratio (Factory)
Other: Strange Tails From A Music Paper