They were a band I knew nothing of until I came across this track on the C88 boxset:-

mp3 : The Desert Wolves – Love Scattered Lives

The accompanying booklet to the boxset advises that they were signed by local Manchester label Ugly Man and this was their 1997 debut, mixing up Bart Bacharach with the style of neighbours Morrissey and Marr. A four-track EP Speak to Me Rochelle was released the following year but that proved to the swansong.

Lover Scattered Lives is a genuinely excellent piece of music, remiscent in places of Lloyd Cole but there’s also a hint of the sound of Wild Swans/Care in the tune. It’s almost beyond belief to think that something as joyous and infectious as this sunk without trace, but I suppose it was one of those instances where the smallness of the record label meant the distribution of the 45 was limited.

I’ve gone digging and managed to unearth the two tracks which were on the 12″, which was in fact the only format it was commercially released on:-

mp3 : The Desert Wolves – Stopped In My Tracks
mp3 : The Desert Wolves – Desolation Sunday Morning

These too, are excellent tunes. The latter confirmed my inital views of Care/Wild Swans but with added poignant trumpet….and a hint of Edwyn-inspired vocal delivery. So much so, that I ended up doing extra digging and will bring you some more of this undeservedly short-lived group tomorrow.



  1. A compilation album was released some years ago by the German label Firestation, and very good it is too!

  2. Good stuff. Thanks for posting these.
    Could do without the first 20 seconds or so of Stopped in My Tracks, I don’t know how many times I could put up with that intro with repeated listens.

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