Janice Long, 1955-2021

Sad news for Christmas Day this year, learning of the death of Janice Long. I grew up listening and finding out about so many great acts from BBC Radio 1’s evening and weekend shows and Janice Long was one of the key DJs that made a big difference. She had great taste and brought a genuine enthusiasm and warm-hearted humour to proceedings that was a welcome relief from many others. It comes as no surprise to learn of so many wonderful tributes from many of the well-known acts she met along the way. If you are unfamiliar with her, I recommend a 33 minute primer courtesy of the Radio 1 Vintage series that was produced in 2018 and featured a Janice Long compilation.

BBC Radio 1 Vintage - Janice Long compilation
^ BBC Radio 1 Vintage – Janice Long compilation

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Dome ‘Dome’ and ‘Dome 2’ UK LPs

It would be the late summer of 1981 before my curiosity got the better of me and I bought my first record by Wire. It was an educated guess – I’d heard nothing by them (not even on the John Peel show, which I had begun to tune into fairly frequently from 1980 onwards), but every time I read about them (and related solo releases) in the music press it seemed to make sense that I would like them. The first releases I would get hold of were the ‘Our Swimmer’ single (which has been covered in a previous post) and the ‘Ends With The Sea’ 7″ single by BC Gilbert and G Lewis – names I was already well familiar with by the more intriguing moniker of DOME. Smash Hits reviews had enthused about the first two albums released by Dome – particularly ‘Rolling Upon My Day’ from the first album. Photos of the duo pictured a serious and no nonsense duo, the record sleeves equally arty and intriguing. The calling card of that first single purchase convinced me enough that when readies allowed, I would definitely investigate further.

^ Dome 'Dome 1' 1980 UK LP front cover
^ Dome ‘Dome 1’ 1980 UK LP front cover
Dome 'Dome 2' 1980 UK LP front cover
^ Dome ‘Dome 2’ 1980 UK LP front cover

The first of those two Dome LPs I would come across was actually ‘Dome 2’, a second-hand copy, in December 1981. I bought it along with Joy Division’s ‘Still’, New Order’s ‘Movement’ (both of which quite recent releases) and ‘154’ by Wire (complete with its free 7″ EP). A mammoth listening session awaited that Saturday afternoon. Continue reading “Dome ‘Dome’ and ‘Dome 2’ UK LPs”

VersionCrazy Rewind #1

In the first of what will likely be an occasional series, rather than post something new, time to rewind and revisit earlier posts where since first publication new information has come to light either via valuable reader comments or subsequent info coming to light.

Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 double album reissue

At the the time of publication, I noted that one of the unique things about this latest (of many) re-issues to Gary Numan’s 1980 album ‘Telekon’ was that it included a previously unreleased ‘Alternative Mix’ (as listed on the cover) of ‘I Die: You Die’ which was a much earlier, less developed version – and that this release appeared to be vinyl only, so no easy way to get a digital format. Since then, I note that the full double album re-issue has become available to download in high quality (or stream) from Qobuz.com. Check this mix out for yourself here: Telekon 2015 on Qobuz.com. Continue reading “VersionCrazy Rewind #1”

John Foxx – ‘Burning Car’ UK 7″ single (Metal Beat/Virgin VS360, 1980)

Near enough to the day (11th July 1980), forty years have passed since the impeccably eerie synthetic ‘less is more’ dynamic of ‘Burning Car’ appeared. As Spring moved into Summer of 1980 it was exciting times for music for me. Spring had brought Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark with ‘Messages’ and The Human League with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to my ears and Gary Numan had released the exciting ‘We Are Glass’ single. New Musik and The Cure had also kept my cassette recorder busy, taped from the top 40 show. I had read about the forthcoming release of this latest Foxx single mid June in Smash Hits. It had competition from former band mates Ultravox, who had reactivated and were releasing the first notes with Midge Ure in the shape of ‘Sleepwalk’ – and would be an earlier release than Foxx’s latest.

John Foxx - 'Burning Car' UK 7
^ John Foxx – ‘Burning Car’ UK 7″ single picture sleeve front

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Tones On Tail – ‘Tones On Tail’ EP (4AD, BAD203, 1982)

The first 12″ EP release by Tones On Tail, at the time very much the prime focus was shining on Daniel Ash as a solo project from the day job with Bauhaus. The record itself has an interesting history in that respect, with ‘Copper’ having its roots in Bauhaus, but the mix of input from both Ash and fellow Tones collaborator, Glenn Campling, who was famously at this point involved in Bauhaus in the capacity of their road crew, brings a richer variety to it all. Campling’s basslines are somewhat unique on ‘A Bigger Splash’ and ‘Means of Escape’, while the record also showcases some lower-end of the market rhythm boxes, long before the arrival of Kevin Haskins to the drum stool in the project. The record also established two elements that would become definitive Tones On Tail – the moody and mysterious cover painting face and the use of Caslon Antique for the band logo.

Tones on Tail EP front cover design
^ Tones on Tail EP front cover design

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