THE ALTERED IMAGES SINGLES (6)

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The oh dear moment and the realisation that the bubble was about to burst.

Altered Images had somehow pulled off the feat of maintaining a fair degree of street cred with the serious music critics while moving ever closer to being a pure pop band.  Things changed however, in May 1982 with the release of the sixth single and second album.

The patchy debut album had been given the benefit of the doubt thanks to the brilliance of its few high points but no such R-769793-1232058444.jpegslack was cut for Pinky Blue.  Eleven songs in all of which only the already released singles were up to the mark.

The album’s release was supported by the issuing of the title track as the band’s latest 45.  It did manage to spend six weeks in the charts but without really making an impact on the record buying public as it never got higher than #35. Once again, it was released in 7″ and 12″ editions:-

7″

mp3 : Altered Images – Pinky Blue
mp3 : Altered Images – Think That It Might (Dance Mix)

12″

mp3 : Altered Images – Pinky Blue (dance mix)
mp3 : Altered Images – Jump Jump / Think That It Might (Segued Dance Mix)

Not only was the quality of the A-side disappointing but the b-sides simply took tracks from the parent album and gave then the re-mix treatment…with the seven inch single featuring an instrumental version. It was, overall, a release with very little imagination applied and all-in-all a bitter disappointment.

The one small mercy is that the 12″ version of Pinky Blue comes in at less than five minutes and so the torture ends quickly enough.  Oh and I suppose a second small mercy is that the cover version of Song Song Blue (originally written and released by Neil Diamond) wasn’t issued in the UK as a 45….that was left to the poor people of Holland and Germany who received no comfort or joy from the b-side being See You Later, another sub-standard track from the LP.

Drastic action was needed if Altered Images were to maintain their place at the higher echelon of the pop hierarchy.

 

9 thoughts on “THE ALTERED IMAGES SINGLES (6)

  1. You’re right, of course. Much as I love Altered Images it is hard to find any redeeming features in this release. I agree that the songs aren’t that strong, but I also think that Rushent’s production is particularly woeful: it has dated terribly now, but even at the time I thought it sounded like he didn’t give a fuck about the songs he was producing.

  2. At the time Martin Rushent was thinking “how can I ditch my wife and get in that girl’s knickers!” At least according to an interview with the man himself [about a year before his death] where he expressed regret that he hadn’t. Let’s say it:

    Ewwwwwwwwww!

  3. I don’t ever find myself returning to this album. I gave the next one much more time than most they became lost for me after the debut album.

  4. Too much information postpunkmonk: gross! Perhaps his distraction led to him doing such a poor job?! I remember listening to ‘Song Sung Blue’ as a Peel session track and I thought it was funny but throwaway. It’s inclusion as a bona fide track on the album was a clue as to the overall quality for sure.

    I think I’ve only listened to the album twice in the last thirty years, to rip it to mp3, so I didn’t immediately remember ‘Think That It Might’. On listening to that again, I see what you mean about Clare’s vocals. Not quite up to the quality of the first two singles from the album, but not bad at all. Produced by Chapman, Visconti or even Severin it could have been majestic!

  5. I feel compelled to leave a post here and say how much I loved this album. I might ought to point out that I was 10 when it came out so I didn’t have any baggage or preconceptions (except having I Could Be Happy on 7″). But when I was 15 or 17 and I was listening to The Sugarcubes and all my friends were getting into Pixies I still kept on listening to Pinky Blue.

    I’ve always liked (still do) off-kilter, quirky, witty pop music by people with a sense of humour, their own style and some degree of self-awareness. and never liked people who take themselves too seriously with their private tortures and acoustic guitars and Big Issue seller faces. So… I love Funny Funny Me as much now as I did then with all its lovely fairground sounds and tumbling rhythms and jangly guitars layering up at the end. It’s absolutely one of my favourite songs. (Although I DO agree about Song Sung Blue – but I didn’t worry not liking it then, as now, because it was an OLD song so WHO CARES [as I would have said at the time].)

    My other favourite songs were Clare Grogan’s Reason Is The Slave (off a London records sampler from about 1987) and I Love The Way You Beg – the b-side of Love Bomb. “If you wanna get down… get down and beg!” (That’s EXACTLY the sort of lyric I’m talking about right there! Funny and witty.) I wrecked my copy playing that over and over and over while wearing out the carpet in my parents living room. So, if anyone has those… I’d LOVE to hear them again.

    Thanks for reading and thanks for posting!

  6. Aw… wow! BRILLIANT! Thanks, JC! You RULE! This is GREAT! It must be, like, over 20 years since I heard this! I am dancing round the office now. You know what I am also remembering… in the absence of any music-making technology in my childhood home, I tried to “sample” I Love The Way You Beg just by recording the first few bars onto a cassette… over and over again. Ha. Obviously it didn’t work very well at all. Anyway, THANKS AGAIN, for uploading these songs! *two goofy fumbs up* ACES!

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