THE ALTERED IMAGES SINGLES (9)

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The album Bite had been released in June 1983. While Don’t Talk To Me About Love and Bring Me Closer had signposed the direction that the band were taking I still recall the total shock that greeted the sleeve of the parent LP.  The pixie queen of indie pop music had an amazing new image, one that was clearly based on Audrey Hepburn a la Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  It was an astonishing transformation that was matched by the music on the new record.

There were just eight songs on the album, four of which came from the Mike Chapman sessions dating back to October/December 1982 and four from the work with Toni Visconti in March 1983.  The songs were richly arranged and produced packed with synth strings and backing vocals from top-quality session singers.  It was a tremendously mature piece of work that was as far removed from days of Dead Pop Stars and Insects as could be possibly imagined.   The only thing was, to my ears, that the one obvious single had already been lifted (and been huge smash) and none of the others were likely to have daytime radio DJs falling over themselves to play them.

Bite had gone Top 20 on its release but it hadn’t proved to have any sort of longevity and the sales were far less than the previous two albums.  The label decided to do the traditional thing and go with a third single and so it came to pass that Love To Stay was released in mid July 1983, again on 7″, and 12″ (but this time instead of a pic disc the label went with a poster inside the sleeve:-

7″

mp3 : Altered Images – Love To Stay
mp3 : Altered Images – Another Lost Look (recorded live)

It is one of the band’s finest bits of music and thus one of their best singles but it is so completely out of kilter with many of the other 45s.

The b-side is an alternative version of another of the tracks on Bite and offered a band production on one of the tracks from the Chapman sessions.  From memory, the extended version is just the version found on the album….but I can’t confirm as I can’t find the 12″ version just now.  It’s been filed away in the wrong place and I can’t be arsed looking for it..

mp3 : Altered Images – Love To Stay (extended)

The single spent three weeks in the charts but got no higher than #45 and so brought an end to the run of the Altered Images 45s hitting at least the Top 40.

At the time, I thought that would be the last single lifted from Bite – after all four of the eight tracks had now featured as either an A or B side in a relatively short space of time and the impact of the third single in terms of album sales was negligible.  But I was wrong…..

Tune in next week for the final part of this particular series.

 

3 thoughts on “THE ALTERED IMAGES SINGLES (9)

  1. Well I’m gutted to find out that some copies of this single came with a poster, which I don’t have!

    You’re right that the 12″ was the LP version – the back of the 12″ sleeve has a little asterix which states it is ‘taken from the album Bite’. Slightly off-topic I know but I can’t help having a whinge. Two of the reasons Bite Plus is so woeful is because a) they have put the 7″ version of Love To Stay in the album proper and at over two minutes shorter it just doesn’t flow right and b) they included this b-side version of Another Lost Look (recorded live) instead of the proper studio version. Again, this spoils the flow of the original album – which I regard as eight pop gems polished to perfection!

    Anyway, back to the single release. What can I say that I haven’t already said about late-era Altered Images? Clare sounds so breathy and seductive and the music is just beautiful. Not the kind of song that I could ever imagine being a chart hit, and not a natural single release, but it’s perfect pop none the less. Lovely!

  2. hi,Clare grogan has been my fantasy girlfriend for over 35 years,just listened to her on radio 4 on the rum squad.?,musically altered images are a much underrated band songs and music are always interesting and varied,just lived in the wrong time,for lasting success but the right time for me,thank you miss grogan and a much underrated band.

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