Archive for the ‘Missing in action’ Category

Janice Long, 1955-2021

Tuesday, December 28th, 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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Side by side: Wire – ‘Our Swimmer’ and ‘Second Length’ versions, versions

Sunday, March 28th, 2021

 


Our Swimmer

‘Our Swimmer’ dates from a late 1979 recording session* at Magritte Studios which also witnessed the recording of ‘Go Ahead’ (which would be released on the B side of the ‘Map Ref. 41N 93W’ 7″ single) and ‘Midnight Bahnhoff Cafe’ (which would be released on the B side of the ‘Our Swimmer’ 7″ single). It was after the recording sessions that produced the ‘154’ album and the first time without the involvement of long-term producer, Mike Thorne – self-produced by the band. It was proposed as a single release while the band were still signed to EMI records, but rejected by the company.

* The 2014 re-issue of ‘Document and Eyewitness’ states ‘recorded at Magritte Studio, Harmondsworth Dec 1979’ – but I question that date if indeed it was the same session that also produced ‘Go Ahead’, since it was already released long before December. The ‘Nine Sevens’ singles box set also gets it wrong by stating 1980 as the recording year.

Wire - 'Our Swimmer' and 'Second Length' singles

^ Wire – ‘Our Swimmer’ and ‘Second Length’ singles

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Win ‘Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon)’ cassette and CD version craziness

Saturday, November 21st, 2020

A fine example of the mid-‘80s trend to load up the cassette version – and increasingly the CD too, with its rise to format dominance – of albums with extra tracks and/or extended mixes. Win’s wonderful high-tech pop debut, ‘Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon)’, got the treatment good and proper.

Win 'Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon)' cassette box front

^ Win ‘Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon)’ cassette box front

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The Cure – ‘Concert and Curiosities’ UK cassette (Fiction, FIXHC10, 1984)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

The Cure were no strangers to giving fans a bonus side of music to their cassette releases, with 1981’s ‘Faith’ cassette coming with the long form ‘Carnage Visors’ soundtrack piece as a cassette-only exclusive. By 1984 and their renaissance as a more pop-oriented act (on the surface at least as the Sturm und Drang outings from ‘The Top’ such as ‘Shake Dog Shake’ and ‘Give Me It’ would attest), time was ripe for their first live album in the shape of the faux bootleg look and feel of ‘Concert’ (The Cure Live)’. Limited to a single album rather than the more traditional sprawling double, it was a fair trawl through various highlights, heavy on the singles and a side order of more recent album tracks. Fair enough. But of more interest, certainly for longer term fans, was the cassette-only ‘Concert and Curiosities’.

The Cure ‘Concert and Curiosities’ UK cassette

^ The Cure ‘Concert and Curiosities’ UK cassette

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The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981, UK cassette (The Human Condition, THC 1, 1981)

Friday, August 28th, 2020

The Human Condition was a short-lived band featuring reunited PiL band-mates Jah Wobble on bass and Jim Walker on drums, the line-up rounded out with Animal (aka Dave Maltby) on guitar and also occasionally augmented by Annie Whitehead on saxophone. This ‘rush release’ is one of two live recordings released on limited run cassettes that were issued back in the day and document their fine instrumental workouts. The packaging was stripped down and minimal on both, having the air of bootleg issues, perhaps, despite being official output. As far as I am aware they have never been re-issued in any form. One of the tracks on here would appear in studio form on 1983’s ‘Snakecharmer’ release by Wobble, Czukay and The Edge. I’ve selected my favourite track from the cassette to sample via a YouTube upload, ‘Neon’ – see what you reckon for yourself… if you like it, plenty more from the same account to check out.

The Human Condition - Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981 UK cassette front cover

^ The Human Condition – Live At The Collegiate Theatre 13 September 1981 UK cassette front cover

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