Archive for the ‘Obscurios’ Category

Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘The Peel Sessions 1977-1978’ 7″ coloured vinyl EP (Strange Fruit, 677002)

Friday, April 4th, 2014

An odd little curio, two tracks apiece from the bands first two Peel sessions jumbled up on this 7″ EP that sells itself on the packaging to the max, with a mish-mash of Banshees eras; early, pre-Polydor recordings with a Kaleidoscope/JuJu era? Siouxsie pic and typeface logo from the ‘Kiss In The Dreamhouse’ era – topped off with light blue marbled vinyl for the disc itself. Both sessions from which the tracks were culled had already been out before on 12″, cassette and CD some years earlier, with the plainer, more interchangeable, generic style sleeve designs and subsequently various outings for Banshees BBC material. A rougher and rawer Banshees sound before Steve Lillywhite’s production touch and ‘space’…

Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Peel Sessions 1977-78 7 inch EP front cover

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Peel Sessions 1977-78 7 inch EP front cover


Jimmy Pursey ‘Animals Have More Fun’ UK 7″ single (Epic, EPC A1336), 1981

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

This is a release I know next to nothing about and which ordinarily might never have been in my record collection, given that I was never very much into the more ramalama punky end of the spectrum, much preferring the artier end of the new wave. So a solo release from Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69, which I’d have tagged at the shoutier end of the street in my ignorance, was never likely to be leaping out of the record racks back in my youth. Yet, this release is something else altogether. When I first heard it, I’d never in a million years have thought it had that connection. What it does have is Peter Gabriel written all over it – for musically this seems very much a production of he and John Ellis, one time Vibrator and later Strangler, amongst other credits. Musically, this certainly has 80/82 Gabriel all over it. A low quality dub can be heard on youtube.

Jimmy Pursey 'Animals Have More Fun' UK 7" sleeve

^ Jimmy Pursey \’Animals Have More Fun\’ UK 7 inch sleeve


Drinking Electricity ‘Cruising Missiles’ UK 7″ single (Pop:Aural, POP 008, 1980)

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Smash Hits magazine has a lot to answer for, let me tell you. An ostensibly mass-market, teen-focussed glossy fortnightly publication, its modern day equivalent would barely be worth a glance, filled no doubt with focus-grouped fodder dreamt up in high-security labs to a weapons-grade mass appeal, if vapid in content. But in its prime, how much oddness did the magazine help to foist upon eager young ears? I can’t imagine the modern-day equivalent of something as obscure as a Drinking Electricity scoring such prime-time coverage. Perhaps the persuasive manner of Bob Last, for it is he of the Pop:Aural label (and earlier Fast Product pedigree) that was home to this post’s musical goodies, that levered the band such a space?

The article in question is reproduced below. As you might guess, it was enough to foster my curiosity and to urge my feet of a Saturday afternoon to yonder record shop to fetch ‘Cruising Missiles’. Not because I had heard it. Noooo… Simply because… well… it all looked and sounded so damn interesting. As it happened, I could only come across ‘Cruising Missiles’, ‘Shake Some Action’ would have to wait till another time

Drinking Electricity 'Cruising Missiles' pictures sleeve design - front

^ Drinking Electricity ‘Cruising Missiles’ pictures sleeve design – front


Jerry Harrison – ‘The Red and The Black’ UK LP (Sire Records, SRK 3631, 1981)

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

1981 was a busy year for Talking Heads solo projects, following the high-profile ‘Remain in Light’ successes. David Byrne managed to bring two separate projects (one with Brian Eno of course) to light, while The Tom Tom Club scored the quirkiest of the hits. Perhaps more in the shadows, certainly in terms of sales and profile, was Jerry Harrison, who by the year end had brought out his first solo album. ‘The Red and The Black’. But while it might not have been a hit, it certainly did point towards the sound that Talking Heads would adopt by 1983’s ‘Speaking In Tongues’.

Jerry Harrison 'The Red and The Black' front cover

^ Jerry Harrison ‘The Red and The Black’ front cover

Jerry Harrison 'The Red and The Black' back cover

^ Jerry Harrison ‘The Red and The Black’ back cover


Win: ‘Unamerican Broadcasting’ custom sleeve promo 12″ single (Swamplands, SWX 5, 1985)

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Sometime after Davey Henderson had ceased on his mission to lubricate your living room and the Fire Engines had stalled, he ponied up with new outfit, ‘Win’, which I rank in my top three Scandalously Neglected Acts Of The ’80s and who also hold the dubious accolade of being The Band I Spent The Most Money On A Single CD On for when I simply, positively, definitely, absolutely had to scratch that materialistic itch and possess the shiny, silvery disc of ‘Uh! Tears Baby’. If you are unfamiliar with Win (and it would not be difficult, regardless of their swagger, given the lack of commercial success they enjoyed despite the music machinery’s best efforts to Re-issue Till We Got The Message And Bought The Damn Thing with ‘You’ve Got The Power’), their confections of delicious, sugar-thrill, polished to perfection ramshackle pop, wrapped in the then relatively fresh packaging garb of ├╝ber-corporate irony, certainly appealed to yours truly, if not the greater populace. But before producer David Motion had brought the same gleaming machine-finish that he had squeezed and primped Strawberry Switchblade into for Win’s ‘Shampoo Tears’, ‘Super Popoid Groove’, et al, their first release was the rougher-cut ‘Unamerican Broadcasting’. And this short but sugary sweet post shines a light on the curious custom sleeve promo copy I came by back in the day in the second-hand bins and which, until this last weekend, I had never seen another copy of knocking around.

Win 'Unamerican Broadcasting' custom promo 12 inch single front sleeve design

^ Win \’Unamerican Broadcasting\’ custom promo 12 inch single front sleeve design