When I had this one in the queue, how could I not post it on the weekend before Christmas? Of course, it’s not actually anything to do with yuletide, nor is it even camp. Christmas was the band that singing guitarist Michael Cudahy and singing drummer Liz Cox were in before forming Combustible Edison, and it’s really nothing like that group’s lounge revival sound – more like angular art-school new wave. They released three albums in this guise, of which this from 1986 was the first. Some actual Christmas music from Combustible Edison can be found here.
Link: “In Excelsior Dayglo” by Christmas (password: salad)
1. Big Plans
2. Loved Ones
3. Boy’s Town Work Song
4. True Soldier of Love
5. Tommy The Truck
6. Girl Police
7. Dig We Must!
9. Everything You Know Is Wrong
11. A Pig Amongst Men
12. The Hottest Sun
13. Fish Eye Sandwich
The answer being: none of them, because this isn’t those Springfields. As mentioned a couple of posts back, this lot were a jangly all-male indiepop band from Chicago and released a tiny smattering of singles between 1986 and 1991, but no album, though the core members Ric Menck and Paul Chastain were reasonably prolific, having a couple of other bands (Choo-Choo Train and Bag-O-Shells) on the go at the same time, and went on to form Velvet Crush, which reminds me that I probably haven’t played any Velvet Crush this millennium either…
Anyway, this was The Springfields’ first single, issued on The Bus Stop Label (its inaugural release!) in the US and Sarah in the UK, pairing their own “Sunflower” with a cover of a Hollies album track, “Clown”. The Sarah release added an extra song, “Are We Gonna Be Alright?”, written by Matthew Sweet, though I’m not sure he’s ever released it himself. If you tend to like stuff from the Bus Stop / Sarah axis, you’ll probably like this…
3. Are We Gonna Be Alright?
The answer is: yes, but honestly I just don’t feel like posting anything christmassy. So something by The Jesus And Mary Chain is about as close as you’re going to get from me, and they only get a pass because they’re doing a song about a different time of year altogether. I would have suggested that the mid-April singles market is somewhat less lucrative than christmas, but this was their biggest hit, so what do I know?
Link: The Jesus And Mary Chain – April Skies (double 7″) (password: salad)
1. April Skies (7″ version)
2. Kill Surf City
3. Mushroom (live in Nuremberg 1986) (Can cover)
4. Bo Diddley Is Jesus
Well, someone had to mark his passing by posting this…
It tends to take me bloomin’ ages to write these posts, and I go on so much that I’m always a bit worried about the whole “dancing about architecture” thing. So I thought I would have a go at writing a post in the time it takes to rip and upload my chosen tracks.
So, Win. The band, not the concept. Actually I probably should know more about Win, but I’m not a native Scot and so missed out on the whole thing where they almost had a hit with “You’ve Got The Power”. Still, armed with a CD compilation someone made for me a few years back, I have ripped some tracks… and just realised they don’t quite match the 12″ single I thought they did, because according to Discogs the 12″ mix didn’t actually actually appear on the 12″ single at all. Brilliant. So, instead of the actual 12″ single, what I’m posting here represents the 12″ single as it clearly ought to have been. That’s my excuse, and if you don’t like it, tough.
Oh yeah, anyway… this is one of the singles from Win’s first album Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon). According to Discogs, “Win were a Scottish band from the 1980s. Formed by Invalid Artist after the demise of Fire Engines.” Good old Invalid Artist, I really dug his solo album Entry Not Found. In any case, Win were an arty alternative pop band. I imagine some of them went to art school. What you need to know is that “Shampoo Tears” has an earworm of a riff and a lyric that I’m pretty sure isn’t meant to make any sense whatsoever. And one of the B-sides is a T.Rex cover.
Link: Win – Shampoo Tears (12″ mix which as we’ve already established isn’t actually a 12″ mix at all)
Link: Win – Shampoo Tears (dub mix, we’re on fairly safe ground with this one. Sorry about the surface noise, it’s the only rip I’ve got)
Link: Win – Empty Holsters (B-side version)
Link: Win – The Slider
I would say that went about as well as could be expected.
The electro-dub-pop wing of the 4AD empire, Colourbox were another one of those cult-ish bands that never quite broke into public consciousness – except of course for that one time when they were hidden behind the banner of MARRS. The success of 1987’s “Pump Up The Volume” was rather a pyrrhic victory, given that the lawsuits, and the weight of expectation, resulted in Colourbox never recording again.
Although it seemed to have come out of nowhere, “Pump Up The Volume” was merely the cap on five years of inventive, genre-melding records stretching back to 1982’s “Breakdown”. Today, you get the 1986 reissue of their 1983 mini-album “Colourbox”, not to be confused with the 1985 full-length album… “Colourbox”. Let’s face it, they weren’t great at picking album titles.
Actually, it’s a bit more than just a reissue, as 4AD took the opportunity to get a few more previously 12″-only tracks out on CD for the first time, more than doubling the length. To clarify, the original mini-album makes up tracks 4-7 here. Take a listen and tell me that Big Audio Dynamite (debut single: October 1985) weren’t taking notes. The first two tracks are singles from 1986, the last is a single from 1983 (a remake of their 1982 debut), and track 3 is the B-side of track 2.
Link: Colourbox – The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme
Link: Colourbox – Baby I Love You So
Link: Colourbox – Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse / Shoot Out
Link: Colourbox – Shotgun
Link: Colourbox – Keep On Pushing
Link: Colourbox – Nation
Link: Colourbox – Justice
Link: Colourbox – Breakdown (1983 12″ version)