Y’all ready for this?

From the UK singles Top 10 of the last week of March 1993.

mp3: The Style Council – Speak Like A Child (#4)
mp3: Altered Images – Don’t Talk To Me About Love (#7)
mp3: Orange Juice – Rip It Up (#8)

Oh, and Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics was at #5, well on its way to what would be six weeks in the Top 10.

There were also some other great pop tunes at the higher end of the charts….not all of which will be to everyone’s taste, but can offer an illustration that we were truly enjoying a golden age of memorable 45s:-

mp3: Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know (#1)
mp3: David Bowie – Let’s Dance (#2)
mp3: Jo Boxers – Boxerbeat (#6)
mp3: Bananarama – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (#9)

The other two places in the Top 10 were taken up by Bonnie Tyler and Forrest (no, me neither!!!)

Do you fancy looking a bit further down the Top 40?

mp3: Big Country – Fields Of Fire (400 Miles) (#13)
mp3: New Order – Blue Monday (#17)
mp3: Blancmange – Waves (#25)
mp3: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – The Celtic Soul Brothers (#36)
mp3: Wah! – Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me) (#37)

Some facts and stats.

The debut single by The Style Council was the first of what would be four chart hits in 1983.

Altered Images and Orange Juice had both appeared on Top of The Pops the previous week on a show presented by John Peel and David ‘Kid’ Jensen, with both singles going up in the charts immediately after.

Is There Something I Should Know? was the first ever #1 for Duran Duran It had entered the charts at that position the previous week.

David Bowie would, the following week, supplant Duran Duran from the #1 spot, and Let’s Dance would spend three weeks at the top.

The debut single by Jo Boxers would eventually climb to #3.  It was the first of three chart singles for the group in 1983.  They never troubled the charts in any other year.

Bananarama‘s single would reach #5 the following week. The group would, all told, enjoy 25 hit singles in their career.

Fields of Fire had been at #31 when Big Country had appeared on the same TOTP show presented by Peel and Jensen.  A rise of 18 places in one week after appearing on the television was impressive.

Blue Monday was in the third week of what proved to be an incredible 38-week unbroken stay in the Top 100.  It initially peaked at #12 in mid-April and eventually fell to #82 in mid-July, at which point it was discovered for the first time by large numbers of holidaymakers descending on the clubs in sunnier climes.  By mid-October, it had climbed all the way back up to #9.

Blancmange were enjoying a second successive hit after Living On The Ceiling had gone top 10 in late 1982.  Waves would spend a couple of weeks in the Top 20, peaking at #19.

The success of The Celtic Soul Brothers was a cash-in from the record company.  It had touched the outer fringes of the charts in March 1982, but its follow-up, Come On Eileen, had captured the hearts of the UK record-buying public.  It was re-released in March 1983, going on to spend five weeks in the charts and reaching #20.

Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me) was the follow-up to Story Of The Blues.  It wasn’t anything like as successful and spent just one week inside the Top 40.




1992 had been very quiet in the world of the Pet Shop Boys.   1993 started very quietly.  It took until the month of June before they popped their heads up above the parapet again.  The wait was worth it.


1 June 1993.  The first new material since the release of the Discography collection back in November 1991.   It was the longest they had been out of the spotlight since West End Girls had propelled them to superstardom. 

Can You Forgive Her? proved to be a tremendous return to form.  There is absolutely no messing around with this one.  The first note is bombastic, and it never really relents.   It’s the sort of tune that lends itself to a full orchestra, but somehow Chris Lowe manages, thanks to his keyboard wizardry and arrangement skills, to do it all by himself.  At just short of the forty-second mark, Neil Tennant joins in as the narrator of what turns out to be a desperately sad tale.

A man can’t sleep because he’s angry/upset that his girlfriend/wife has made a fool of him in public.  His mind then turns to the other humiliations he’s experienced at her hands, including the taunts about his sexual inadequacy.  Finally, the reasons behind it all are revealed, in that the man is, and has been since his school days, gay but is unwilling to face up to the fact.  His wife/girlfriend clearly knows the truth and piles on the misery by saying she will cheat on him and his mind turns to revenge…..except that he’s clearly too weak/cowardly to actually do anything. 

It might be a really sad and tragic set of circumstances, but it’s set to an absolute barnstormer of a tune.  One that went to #7 in the charts.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Can You Forgive Her?
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Hey, Headmaster

It’s a hugely enjoyable b-side.  It’s another sad tale, but this time it has the sad sounding tune to match.  I’ve often wondered if it was a close cousin to the A-side in that the headmaster in question was repressing his sexuality in order to maintain his position.  But then again, it might well be the tale of someone who is just fed up with his lot and is past the stage of caring about the school and the pupils who attend it.  All in all, this really is one of those occasions when a listener shouldn’t try to read too much into a song and simply enjoy the music and vocal delivery for what they are.


The next single was released on 6 September 1993. 

It wasn’t until doing a bit of research for this single did I learn the full backstory.

As we’ve seen, 1992 was a quiet year for PSB. However, on 13 May, they had accepted the invitation from filmmaker Derek Jarman to participate in an AIDS charity event at The Haçienda nightclub in Manchester. The duo decided that Go West would be the song of choice.

Neil and Chris later went into the studio with the intention of recording it as a stand-alone single, but having listened to the results, the idea was put on the back-burner.  It was revisited during the sessions for the next album, where it was decided that what was really needed was an all-male Broadway choir to get the message of the song across more fully.

It was an audacious move.  One that rode a very fine line between producing something that was genius or ridiculous.  Me?  I’m very much of the view it was genius – a sentiment shared by many others as the single reached #2 in the charts


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Go West
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Shameless

This b-side is one of their very best.   An upbeat and very danceable number where the duo have their tongues very firmly in their cheeks:-

We’re shameless, we will do anything
to get our fifteen minutes of fame
We have no integrity, we’re ready to crawl
To obtain celebrity we’ll do anything at all

It really is hard to fathom why Shameless was thrown away as a b-side.  Not only would it have been a great track on any album, but there’s a real sense that it could have been lifted as a future single.

I bought Go West on the week of release.  Listening to it, and its b-side, and recalling the quality of both sides of the previous single, had me thinking that the upcoming new studio album, their fifth but first in three years, was going to be an absolute belter.

Very was released on 27 September 1993.  It did something no other PSB album had ever done in that it went to #1.  And the next part of this series will look at its later singles.

I’ll finish off today with a bit of footage that might bring back memories for some UK members of the TVV community and maybe put a smile on the faces of those who are seeing it for the first time.  It’s what I reckon is the definitive performance of Go West at the Brit Awards on 14 February 1994:-

Neil and Chris are in suspiciously clean overalls, while the backing vocals come courtesy of a Welsh male voice choir, all dressed as miners.  And given how many mining communities right across the UK had been decimated over the previous decade, it was a very poignant, powerful and moving sight. 





Here’s the basics.   For all the information you want, I can make no better suggestion than recommending Five Hungry Joes, a wonderfully curated and maintained fan website.

Trashcan Sinatras came together in 1986 in Irvine, a town on the Ayrshire coast, some 30 miles south-west of Glasgow.   Still very much on the go today, with four of its members, Frank Reader (vocals), John Douglas (guitar), Paul Livingston (guitar), and Stephen Douglas (drums) having been part of things from the beginning.

Signed to Go! Discs for whom three albums were recorded – Cake (1990), I’ve Seen Everything (1993) and A Happy Pocket (1996).  There’s since been three more albums – Weightlifting (2004), In The Music (2009) and Wild Pendulum (2016).

They have been consistently excellent their entire career.  I’ve long intended to come up with an ICA of my own as a companion piece to #24 in the series, which was pulled together by rhetor.

mp3: Trashcan Sinatras – Stainless Stephen

A b-side.  Some of their best songs only ever appeared as b-sides, and that was because they cared about what was added to the singles on the basis that many of their own favourite bands across the years had done similar.

Inspired by Stephen Milligan, a Tory MP who met, shall we say, rather an unfortunate end.  Click here for more.



aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser

#011 – Buzzcocks – ‚Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)’ (United Artists Records, ’78)


Hello friends,

congratulations, you have nearly made it all the way through with bands starting with a ‘B’ … unless there is a great combo whose first letters are ‘Bw…’, ‘Bx…’ or ‘Bz…’. Or unless I come to the conclusion that The Byrds are better than sliced bread …. you wait and see until the next episode comes in!

Strange though, but I find it rather hard to find something interesting to write about a band which is as well known as The Buzzcocks are. I mean, basically everything has already been said about them, hasn’t it? At least there isn’t pretty much that I could add, I found.

So let’s concentrate on the song, shall we? When googling around a bit, I learnt that Pete Shelley was bisexual, and he had written the tune in late 1977 about a guy called Francis, apparently someone he lived together with for 7 years.

Obviously, not being bisexual myself, I always had women from my past in mind when listening to the song. Quite a lot of them, in fact. When I was younger, you see, I used to fall in love rather easily, and consequently I was easily disappointed when things didn’t turn out the way I had imagined them to turn out. I won’t try to tell you that I always dreamt about marriage whilst having something that ended up in being just a one-night stand. Or a two night stand, if such a term exists. But either way, I usually had high hopes and wanted more. A relationship, to be precise. But there were women who – I think the correct collocation is – ‘just wanted my body’ apparently. Not that I ever had much of a body, mind you, which might or might not show you how desperate these girls might have been.

So back then I often listened to today’s tune and thought to myself, when being in despair again: ‘Oh, he’s sooooo right, our Pete, I should not have fallen in love with (insert typical German female forename here)”. But the funny thing is: today, after decades of distance, I would do it all again, I think: there are no real regrets by and large … perhaps it is just because back then the fun ruled out the sorrow and the feeling of being rather unrequited afterwards. Who knows …



mp3: Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

So, in conclusion: no, I’ve never fallen in love with someone I shouldn’t’ve … at least not yet!

But did you?

Take good care,


JC adds…….

I’ve written about this song on a number of occasions over the years.   I slotted it in at #23 in the 45 45s @ 45 rundown back in 2008, and wondered out loud if there really were 22 singles better than it. Its most recent appearance was in October 2020.  Here’s some of my thoughts from then as an addendum to Dirk’s musings.

“One of Pete Shelley’s greatest attributes as a songwriter was the ability to write about situations that could be taken by every listener as being completely applicable to their own lives. There can’t be any of us out there who could give the answer of ‘No’ to the question. It particularly appealed to my teenage sensations, when the girl(s) of my dreams were way out of my league, preferring the company of those a couple years older or those who weren’t total bookworms. It didn’t help that my tastes in music weren’t universal…..

But as the years have passed and relationships have come and gone, it’s very clear the song can apply at any time in your life and needn’t be about unrequited adolescent relationships that lead to severe bouts of self-pity. “

So, while Dirk might say No…..I have to say my answer is Yes.



The Snapdragons haven’t featured previously round these parts.  All I’ve got on the hard drive is a song included on the C88 box set issued a few years ago by Cherry Red Records.

Here’s the booklet:-

Singer/songwriter James Taylor fronted this Leeds band, assisted by John Sullivan on guitar, Spike Mullings on guitar and Pel Biccardi (later of Utah Saints) on drums.  Signing with Native, the band released two classy and thoughtful singles of pure pop – 1988’s ‘The Things You Want’ and 1989’s ‘Eternal In A Moment’, the title of the latter used for a 1990 retrospective compilation.  Their promising debut album, ‘Dawn Raids On Morality’, was produced by Pat Collier, but follow-up ‘Mass’ became mired in legal issues, leading to the demise of the band.  However, 12″ EP ‘Dole Boys On Futons’ is surely a contender for title of the decade.

There’s a wiki page which doesn’t add all that much to the above other than state there were a couple of Radio 1 sessions, including one for John Peel, and they toured the UK in support of The Darling Buds and Richard Hawley‘s debut band, Treebound Story.

Here’s the track included on C88:-

mp3 : The Snapdragons – The Things You Want

It’s a jaunty little number, and at under two-and-a-half minutes in length, can never be accused of overstaying its welcome.   It sounds similar to a lot of the indie music that was emerging around the same time, and while it maybe doesn’t have anything to make it particularly stand out in any way, it’s certainly not one to put in a drawer marked ‘best forgotten’.  A great deal many worse records delivered chart success to some of their contemporaries.

Here’s one of the other tracks referred to in the C88 booklet:-

mp3 : The Snapdragons – Dole Boys On Foutons

This one, I’m sorry to say, is very much indie by numbers.




The fact that I’ve had no laptop for more than a week is the reason it has taken so long to pull this review together….and it’s a nice postscript to the earlier posting on The Go-Betweens vinyl.

It was last October when Robert Forster announced he’d be playing a few gigs in the UK to support the release of a forthcoming EP.  The tour was opening in Strathaven, a village not too far from Glasgow, with all the arrangements coming under the auspices of Douglas Macintyre of Creeping Bent Records, as part of his regular FRETS concerts.

It seemed perfect….except it was going to take place on Saturday 11 March, which was a date I long had an evening commitment with Raith Rovers.  The next night, Robert was playing in Edinburgh, but there was the strong possibility that 12 March would be a date on which I had other plans.

Determined not to miss out, I sorted out tickets for the show at Hebden Bridge Trades Club for Wednesday 15 March, and at the same time sorted out a hotel and train tickets while persuading Rachel she would enjoy the show.  Hebden Bridge is about 220 miles south of Glasgow, located on the train line linking Manchester and Leeds.

As the date drew closer, it became clear that our travel plans would be affected by a combination of engineering works (going down) and industrial action (coming back up) meaning it would be more convenient to travel by bus, albeit the journey times would be considerably longer.  We still went ahead, but decided to add an extra overnight stay in Manchester on the Tuesday so that we could best enjoy the show.

There’s loads that could and should be written about the journeys and everything we packed into the busy days away, but this is already a bonus posting, so I best crack on.

The Trades Club is one of my favourite venues.  The town it sits in is not large, and yet it attracts ridiculously stacked line-ups for the simple reason that singers and bands love playing there.  There’s probably all sorts of reasons for this, including the fact that the town is home to all sorts of creative individuals whose love for the arts in all forms is very apparent. Such folk probably make up the majority of audiences at the venue, while the rest comprised folk who have made something of a major effort to be there.  It all adds up to the room being packed with equal amounts of respect and anticipation.

Robert’s new album is The Candle and The Flame.  It has turned out to be one of his best and most consistent. Many of its songs were written as love letters to his wife, Karin Baumler, whom he met back in 1990.  Karen has been a major part of most of his solo albums (this is his 8th), contributing across a range of instruments and on backing vocals.  She has also been a regular member of his touring band.

After the songs were written, but before they could be recorded, Karin was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.   She has made a recovery, one which has been slow and painful, and while she did contribute to the album, there was no way she could go out on tour.

Which is why it is Robert as a solo artist, with one backing musician – Louis Foster, his 24-year-old son who came to prominence as one-third of The Goon Sax, whose three albums of sparkling and magical indie-pop have been real highlights of recent years.

In some ways, it’s a strange show.   Robert, who is usually so eloquent and talkative when on stage, keeps the chat to a minimum.  Louis spends his time seated, switching between lead and bass guitar, but never contributing anything in the way of a backing vocal.  It’s almost as if the stories associated with the new songs are still too raw to talk about openly, and so instead there is a quiet and steely determination to let them speak for themselves.

There’s probably also the realisation that Robert’s fanbase tend to devour all that is written, either by himself (he is very active across all forms of social media), or the near-universal positive reviews that have accompanied the album’s release, and so there is no need to drive home any point.

I’ve used the word ‘strange’, to describe the show, but at the same time,  it never at any point dipped below ‘exceptional’.

Robert was in great form while Louis showed that he’s developed into a really exceptional musician no matter the type of guitar in his hands.  The pacing of the set was perfect, opening with four songs from the new album.    A small number of songs from the Go-Betweens days are dotted through the main set, which comes to an end after an hour or so, but with the promise from Robert that he’ll be back in a few minutes, after he’s had a drink of water and taken off his jumper.

He’s as good as his word, and he returns completely solo to play a couple of old Go-Betweens songs, only one of which is really well known.  Louis comes back on stage for the final three numbers, the last of which he encourages and receives some gentle but fun backing vocals from the audience.

And then it all comes to an end.  It’s been a joy from start to finish, with perhaps the one slight disappointment factor being Robert’s decision, in advance of the tour and which he communicated at the time through social media, to seek to minimise any health risks, and so would be breaking his habit of hanging around any venues after the shows to chat, pose for photos or sign albums/CDs/posters etc.  Disappointing, but understandable.

Set List

It’s Only Poison (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
Always (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
When I Was A Young Man (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
She’s A Fighter (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
One Bird In The Sky (from Inferno, 2019)
Spring Rain* (from Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express, 1986)
Learn To Burn (from Songs To Play, 2015)
Danger In The Past (from Danger In The Past, 1990)
Did She Overtake You? (from The Evangelist, 2008)
The Roads (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
Rock and Roll Friend* (b-side of Was There Anything I Could Do?, 1988)
Inferno (Brisbane In Summer) (from Inferno, 2019)
Tender Years (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
Here Comes A City* (from Oceans Apart, 2005)


Spirit* (from The Friends Of Rachel Worth, 2000)
Head Full Of Steam* (from Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express, 1986)
Boundary Rider* (from Oceans Apart, 2005)
There’s A Reason To Live (from The Candle and The Flame, 2023)
Surfing Magazines* (from The Friends Of Rachel Worth, 2000)

The second of the Go-Betweens numbers from the main set list was later re-recorded, in an organ-heavy style, by Robert for his solo album Warm Nights, in 1996, an album on which Edwyn Collins was the producer.

mp3: Robert Forster – Rock’N’Roll Friend

It’s really poignant these days, even though it is coming up to 17 years since Grant McLennan suddenly and unexpectedly passed away




The last, for now, of this mini-series as next week will see the unveiling of a new feature that is set to dominate these pages for a period of time.

October 2014.   All these arrived in one package.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark : Media and Sleeve graded as VG .  Cost – £2.00
Associates – Perhaps : Media Graded as VG, Sleeve Graded as VG+. Cost – £1.00
The Fall – Free Range (12) ; Media and Sleeve graded as VG+.  Cost – £3.00
The Go-Betweens – Spring Rain (12″); Media and Sleeve graded as VG+. Cost – £3.00
Everything But The Girl – Love Not Money; Media and sleeve graded VG+. Cost – £1.50
The Go-Betweens – Spring Hill Fair; Media and Sleeve graded as VG.  Cost – £10.00

It’s a purchase I remember well as I had gone into the seller’s Discogs site on the basis of Spring Hill Fair, an album I had long owned but was now virtually unplayable as a result of the scratches, skips and jumps.  I was a bit apprehensive about buying something graded only as VG as I had learned from bitter experience that what some sellers believed to be ‘VG’ turned out to be more akin to unlistenable as far as I was concerned.  But as the feedback from other purchasers was that this particular seller was very conservative with his gradings, I gave it a whirl.  And yes, I found the condition of the vinyl to be far better than described in the sales pitch.

As always, I couldn’t resist not browsing to see what else was on offer, and was really surprised at how low the prices were, which is why three more LPs and two 12″ singles were added.  The cost of vinyl added up to £20.50, on top of which I was charged £5.00 for P&P.

I’m sure the seller was, for whatever reason, just getting rid of his vinyl.  I recall, having been very satisfied with the condition of the records and the sleeve, going back a couple of months later to see if there was anything new listed only to find that the account had been closed.

It’s probably as good a bargain as I ever got on Discogs, and there’s no likelihood given the way that old vinyl is now traded, be it through that particular site, e-bay, second-hand shops or charity stores, I’ll ever get that lucky.

Here’s the going rate today, all based on UK sellers and the same condition.

OMD album : £4.50
Associates album :  £3.00
The Fall 12″ : £8.00
The Go-Betweens  12″ : £10.00
EBTG album :  £4.95
The Go-Betweens album :  £44.99

It all comes to the grand total of £75.44.   And there would need to be about £25 in P&P given there would be five different sellers.

Leaving aside the P&P, the rise in the cost of the vinyl is 342%.

mp3: Everything But The Girl – Ballad Of The Times





I was a relatively late comer to The Slow Readers Club  but within weeks of hearing their 3rd album ‘Build A Tower’ I had purchased the earlier ones, and they were the soundtrack to my washing up (the highest accolade) so much so that my wife commented on how long I was taking to wash up after tea and just checking that I hadn’t forgotten we had a dish-washing machine.

The Slow Readers Club come from Manchester (which is always a promising sign) and released their first album in 2011, and have released six to date with the most recent being at the end of last month,  which whilst slow by the standards of the 70’s and 80’s is positively prolific by today’s standards.

In preparing this ICA I have struggled to describe their music so started to scour the internet for help and found these two which do the job far better than I could ‘Dark Euphoric pop band’ and ‘Anthemic electro-rock’ – I don’t know if electro-rock is a genuine genre, but it does describe the sound perfectly.

Side 1

Lunatic: Build A Tower

The first song on an album has to be both a great song and a clear indicator of the overall tone and feel of an album and this track, the opener on their 3rd album Build A Tower does the job expertly.

You Opened Up My Heart: Build A Tower

I don’t think I could be described as romantic and tend to view love songs are ‘soppy’, but this struck a chord with me, although over 30 years ago these lines brought back the vivid memories of my wedding proposal: Now I’m down on bended knee, Now I’m waiting for the heart attack, In my mind I’m seventeen.

Cavalcade: Cavalcade

The title track from the band’s second album, I’m always slightly wary of albums which are named after an individual song as they often can indicate that the album only has one strong track and the rest is filler, however, on this occasion Cavalcade wasn’t released as a single and was tucked away as track 7. Having said that, the song is strong enough to be a single and the album lead track. (I think I’m going round in circles here)

Forever In Your Debt: Cavalcade

Another track from Cavalcade, starting with a plaintive vocal which gradually becomes more forceful as the music becomes more powerful, the two building together before slowing down to a gentle conclusion. As I have put together this ICA I have come to realize that ‘The Readers’ are exquisite in structuring their songs, almost always following an intro, verse, chorus, end which, whilst traditional, never becomes too familiar as the tunes are always distinct.

Like I Wanted To: 91 Days In Isolation

To end side 1 a song from 91 days in Isolation released in Sept 2020- roughly 6 months into the pandemic- I’m guessing the album title refers to this- I like structure in life and part of that structure is that the last track on each side should be a slower more pensive song.

Side 2

On The TV: Build A Tower

I have two daughters, one almost has similar taste to me and has been to see ‘The Readers’ with me a few times and one who is in her mid-twenties and is a typical radio one/MTV listener who can tell me who is number one in the charts (do they still exist?) and has no interest in her dad’s music or anything involving guitars. Anyway, it must have been a couple of months after the album was released and I would always be playing the CD in my car. I was giving her a lift to the railway station, we were chatting away and she started to sing along to the chorus, I joined in and then she stopped and a look of absolute horror appeared on her face as she realised she had been singing along to one of dad’s bands. If that doesn’t tell you just how catchy this track is, nothing will.

One More Minute: The Slow Readers Club

Taken from their debut album, already the band’s style is established, which I would describe as upbeat cheerful tuneful largely guitar led music with deeper more subdued lyrics on top. (I’m never going to make it as a music journalist with these descriptive skills am I?!!)

Fool For Your Philosophy: Cavalcade

Thumping drums drive this one forward, not sure what it is about- just a great song with an ending which always catches me by surprise, as I want and expect it to continue for at least a couple more minutes.

All I Hear: Joy Of the Return

Opens with a nagging guitar refrain and the title being repeated at the end of each line of the verse before the chorus begins, I might be reading too much into the lyrics, but it makes me think of a manager/record label constantly on at a band/musician to change style. ‘No you can’t resist the change, There’s a choice already made, Been trying to catch a wave for so long, And the money that you make, It is making you a slave ‘

Everything I Own: 91 Days In Isolation

And to finish off, a deeper, darker song which still maintains the bounce of the earlier tracks.

The Slow Readers Club released a new album on the 24th February, I learnt of this back in November and thought it would be good to complete this ICA ahead of this – no problem I thought only 5 albums and 53 songs.

By the beginning of February I’d whittled it down to 17 songs and was on track, and then I ground to a halt unable to drop the final 7. My pre-order of the new album arrived on the 24th, but I bravely made the decision not to listen to it until I completed the ICA- which I managed in 48 hours. I’m glad I did, as the new album is great and would have made the selection so much harder.




As you can see from the above picture, it’s nothing to do with R.E.M. and the opening track on New Adventures In Hi-Fi.

In November 2008, The Wedding Present released a mini-box set called How The West Was Won.  It came on the back of the album El Rey, on which the band had worked with Steve Albini for the first time in 15 years.  I had been a bit underwhelmed by the album, but this was more to do with my advance expectations being sky-high, not just from the fact Albini was involved, but also that Take Fountain, the previous ‘comeback’ album had been exceptional.

I wasn’t sure about shelling out for the box set. It contained 4 EPs, but very little in the way of new material. Three of the EPs were led-off by variations of what, admittedly, were the three best songs on El Rey, while the fourth was a Christmas-type release that had been given a digital release that I, and many fans, had already purchased.  There really wasn’t much value for money.

EP 1. The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend – four versions of one song, but all different from the album version.

EP 2. Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk   – three versions of one song (one of which was identical to the album version), plus a previously unreleased song.

EP 3. Santa Ana Winds  – a slightly edited version of the album tracks along alongside three previously unreleased songs.

EP 4. Holly Jolly Hollywood  – it had been billed as first ever Wedding Present Christmas EP and two versions of the title track along with two covers – one being the Bing Crosby classic White Christmas and the other being Back For Good.  Yup, the hit song by Take That.

But for some daft reason, I shelled out for it for the box set.  I can’t remember what I paid for, £15 or £20 comes to mind.  It’s not an extravagantly packaged box set, indeed it’s quite minimal with four discs inside a standard sized box with a small CD sized leaflet with details of all the credits.  I downloaded the tracks into the hard drive and put the EP on the shelf alongside the various other CDs by The Wedding Present.

Here’s a track from each of the EPs:-

mp3: The Wedding Present – The Best Thing I Like About Him Is His Girlfriend (Jet Age Remix)
mp3: The Wedding Present – Don’t Take Me Home Until I’m Drunk (Team Wah Wah Remix)
mp3: The Wedding Present – Santa Ana Winds (edit)
mp3: The Wedding Present – Holly Jolly Hollywood

The first remix is the work of Eric Tischler, a member of Jet Age, an American indie-rock band from Washington D.C.

The second is the work of Christopher McConville, one-time guitarist with TWP and who was the co-writer of the song – David Gedge is on record as saying Chris is one of the best musicians he’s worked with.

Santa Ana Winds actually opens EL Rey, and the version on the EP is approx. 40 seconds shorter, missing out, in the main, a morse-code type introduction. I’ve a feeling there’s a bit of regret it was never given a physical release as a single.

Finally, the Christmas song that opens EP4….tempting as it was to offer up one of the covers.  The female vocal is courtesy of Simone White, an American singer-songwriter much of whose solo material has been released through the London-based Honest Jon’s label, renowned for its extremely eclectic roster of artists and releases.




As mentioned last week, Pet Shop Boys spent much of the first half of 1991 on a world tour which saw shows in Japan, the USA, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland, the United Kingdom and Ireland.  

All the while, there continued to be chart hits, so you wouldn’t have blamed Neil and Chris for wanting to take a break, but instead they worked on some new material to be part of a ‘Greatest Hits’ release that was scheduled for release in the run-up to the festive period.


DJ Culture was released on 14 October 1991.  It was well publicised that it was going to feature on the upcoming ‘Best Of’ compilation, so perhaps this was a factor in the relatively poor sales of the single – it entered the charts at #13, but disappeared out of the Top 75 within two more weeks.

It also suffered from a lack of radio exposure, certainly in comparison to earlier PSB singles.  There’s no real ‘killer’ chorus, and the downbeat nature of the lyric was certainly never going to make it easy for radio DJs to work up any sort of on-air enthusiasm – much easier to whoop and holler when you’re pressing the play button on an ironic U2 cover or a tune that would fill a dance floor.

Me?  Well, I was one of those who didn’t buy it at the time.  I don’t recall even hearing it anywhere (although I surely must have), until I got my Xmas copy of Discography, the name applied to the new compilation.   I need to also confess that I didn’t fall for its charms – it just seemed a touch too morose – but it’s one I’ve grown to appreciate in later years.  Not sure, however, if I’d ever include it on any ICA (Volumes 1-3).


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – DJ Culture
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Music For Boys

It would be a very long time before I heard this instrumental b-side.  It’s very much a house number with a few influences to the fore – I always think of The KLF when the crowd noises are in effect – but at the same time it was sort of ahead of its time as there’s bits of it that seem very similar to what the Chemical Brothers would do a few years later. 

Discography was released on 4 November, three weeks after DJ Culture.  It contained 18 songs – as it said on the sleeve, it was the complete singles collection.   Surprisingly, it didn’t come in at #1, being kept off the top spot by a similar type of Greatest Hits package by Queen which had fallen to #2 to be replaced by Enya, whose new album Shepherd Moons went straight in at #1. I had no idea the Irish musician had been so successful back in the day – especially as this wasn’t the album which gave rise to the 1988 mega-hit single Orinoco Flow


The above is the sleeve for Was It Worth It?, the 18th and final track on Discography that was released as a single on 8 December.   It wouldn’t have been too much of a surprise to all concerned that its presence on Discography would affect sales, and it got no higher than #24, which made it the first PSB 45 not to crack the Top 20 since their commercial breakthrough.

Spoiler alert.  There would be another twenty-two singles released in the UK before there was a similar failure.  But that’s all for the future editions of this series.

Was It Worth It? gives more than a nod to the days when disco music ruled.  It is a HI-NRG tune which wears its heart on its sleeve, a paean to love that must be roared from the rooftops.  I’ve always found it to be a fun number, utterly joyous and camp, that is impossible not to try and dance to.  In some ways, it’s a waste that it was thrown away, more or less, as an extra track on Discography.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Was It Worth It?
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Miserablism

Miserablism will have its fans, but my own view is that it pales into insignificance when compared to some of the earlier b-sides. 

It’s probably worth recalling that December 1991 was a time when the Pet Shop Boys were in real danger of going out of fashion.  Guitar music was to the fore, while a number of critics weren’t slow to suggest that Neil Tennant’s best work in recent months had come courtesy of his involvement with Electronic alongside Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr.

As it turned out, the next twelve months (and slightly beyond) was a very fallow period for PSB.  There were no high-profile activities other than Neil’s contribution to Disappointed, a new single released by Electronic in June 1992, before a new long-play video, Performance, was released in September, capturing the highlights of the world tour that had taken place back in the first half of 1991.

But what would 1993 hold in store?





Track 21 on Disc 1 of the Big Gold Dreams box set.

‘Band with A Difference’ went the legend on the promotional keyrings put out by this Edinburgh four-piece, whose acronym stood for Thick Pink Ink.  TPI were originally fronted by a man known only as Curtis, who was resident DJ at Edinburgh New Town nightspot Tiffany’s which on Monday nights became the best gig venue in town.

Once Curtis left, guitarist Billy Barker stepped up to front this sixties-tinged first-person study in being romantically out of one’s depth, produced by original Bay City Rollers vocalist Nobby Clark.  The song’s prettified melodies and ringing guitars resembled the likes of The Flaming Groovies particular brand of power pop.

mp3: TPI – She’s Too Clever For Me

As far as I know, this was the only 45 ever released by TPI.  I’ve tried, without success, to track down You Rool Me, the other side of the Double AA single.




Kim Deal did a lot of great things with Pixies, not least her lead vocal and bass notes vocal on Gigantic.   But I still think this is her finest ever moment:-

mp3: The Breeders – Cannonball

Cannonball was released in early August 1993 just a few weeks ahead of the band’s second album, Last Splash.  It remains the only time any of their singles was a chart hit here in the UK, and even then, it barely made it.  One week at #40.

It’s one of those songs which tips its hat in the directions of indie and grunge, as evidenced by the fact that its Spike Jonze-directed promo was aired frequently back in the days of MTV2 and can still be seen nowadays when the rock-guitar obsessed channel Kerrang goes through a bout of nostalgia.

It’s one of those songs that has an unnerving ability to lodge itself into your brain.  Go on…..give it a listen right now, and I bet you find yourself singing or humming snatches of the tune later in the day as you go about your business.

I’d love to say I have this one on vinyl, but it’s very much the CD single, although it does offer up the same three additional tracks.

mp3: The Breeders – Cro-Aloha
mp3: The Breeders – Lord Of The Thighs
mp3: The Breeders – 900

Cro-Aloha features a similar sort of distorted vocal as can be found on Cannonball.  It’s only a shade over two-minutes in length, but it still pulls off the impressive feat of in places offering a reminder of Kim’s former band as well as being a head-banging classic for those whose tastes are along such lines.  A different and much more commercial recording of the song, entitled No Aloha, would be included on Last Splash.

The band’s bassist, Josephine Wiggs, takes the lead vocal on the other two tracks.

Lord of The Thighs is a cover of an Aerosmith song.  I love how Josephine’s seemingly disinterested delivery is at odds with the way the band are playing the tune.  I dare anyone involved in Dry Cleaning to say that this wasn’t an influence on how they wrote and recorded their excellent debut album.

900 is the most experimental of the four songs.  It’s a song written by Josephine, and given she was a trained cellist prior to becoming a rock musician, it’s no real surprise that there’s a place on it for that instrument as well as a violin.  It’s probably best to just say that it works well as a b-side, but there may well be some of you who really enjoy it.



aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser

#010 – Brigitte Bardot – ‚Harley Davidson’ (Disc’Az, ’67)


Hello friends,

yes, yes, yes, I know what you all think: “now that he has realized that only a handful of people care about his stupid 111 singles nonsense, he’s pulling the old ‘if-everything-else-fails-big-tits-will-do’ – stunt”. Oh, you couldn’t be more wrong, you disbelievers! Alright, I admit Brigitte Bardot probably never was an ugly duckling, but that’s not what counts here and now. This lady has a spectacular voice and this record proves it, fact!

I can’t tell you all too much about its background, apart from the fact that the song was composed by Serge Gainsbourg, the old ladykiller. Also I can’t really tell you why it is that I like it so much – perhaps it is because the French language has always remained a bit of a mystery to me. I never had big problems with learning English in school, but French was a complete disaster, as well in secondary school as in commercial college. To be honest, I probably never got much further than ‘les haricots verts’ and ‘le premier étage’. Now, I think we all agree that this is not enough to enable me a decent retirement at some sunny French coast, but still I am really proud that I managed to add this to my superb knowledge:

“Je n’ai besoin de personne en Harley Davidson, je n’reconnais plus personne en Harley Davidson“.

These obviously are the first two lines of the song, the only ones I can remember. So every time I hear the tune, I sing those two lines perfectly faultless at the top of my lungs. But when it comes to the next bit, the one with the starter, I fail hopelessly, each and every time. So I let Brigitte do the job, hum along with her here and there and dream of riding a cool motorcycle myself (I don’t even have a driving license for these, but no matter). Feel free to do the same:



mp3: Brigitte Bardot – Harley Davidson

You’ll be relieved to hear that this may probably be the oldest record in the series (not that the others are much more contemporary, mind you). Speaking of age, I should add that my copy is a re-release from 1980, and albeit it reads ‘1968’ on the back sleeve, the original was released in 1967. Either way, I think it’s a fantastic tune which definitely has stood the test of time.

Consequently: enjoy!




I’m returning to the eBay purchases today.

Those of you who have long followed the blog will be aware, as I’ve mentioned it a few times previously, that I stupidly lost almost all the 7″ singles that I owned back in 1986.  It involved a midnight flight out of a shared flat with whom there had been a lengthy dispute over the rent being charged and moving elsewhere to a new location, without leaving any indication of where that new location might be.  It was only when I unpacked my possessions in the new shared flat that I discovered I had left behind a number of boxes of 7″ singles (it was all done in a hurry, and drink had been taken!) and of course, the keys to the old place had been put through the letterbox.

All of which explains why, when I first started using eBay in 2006 to pick up second-hand vinyl, that one of the first purchases was a 7″ copy of Love Will Tear Us Apart to sit alongside the 12″ copy that had long been in the collection.

The price I paid was £3.39.  The vendor from back then still has an eBay presence as a long-time seller of vinyl, CDs and tapes.  In a perfect world, the same vendor would today have another copy of Love Will Tear Us Apart to offer for a direct comparison.  But, as we all know, it is a far from perfect world.

There are, as I type this, 29 results emerging for a search for  ‘Joy Division Love Will Tear Us Apart 7″ Vinyl FAC 23

The thing with eBay is that it encourages bids over a period of time, and one seller has it on offer at 99p with around three days to go.  Other sellers have a ‘Buy It Now’ option, with prices ranging from between £8 and £25.

Once you click on the actual product, you find that some of the lower prices are not offering the picture sleeve, or that the condition of the vinyl is not ideal, or that the single is a later pressing from 1983.

The closest match that I can find is from who appears to be from a private seller who is asking for £15.

Over at Discogs, there are something in the region of 60 copies for sale of the same 7″ as I have.  Most sellers are from the UK.  The asking prices range, in the main, from £8 to £30, which would seem to indicate that eBay sellers who aren’t connected to shops or stores are taking their cues from Discogs prices. There’s also similar caveats around picture sleeves, condition vinyl etc.

£15 appears to be the average price.

The rise since 2006 works out at 342%.   It’s not quite as staggering as that of the Go-Betweens album highlighted last month, but it’s still substantial.

mp3: Joy Division – These Days





The Replacements

They found it, whatever that miracle was, at least for a little while

In the 12 months from Jan 1, 1984 to Jan 1, 1985 (inclusive so I could get the Green on Red album in), the 15 unreasonably fun and variously life-changing records below were released and quickly ended up moving from my peach crates to the record player and back daily, weekly, monthly, depending on how busy I was. I spent the fall of ’84 living with my parents looking for full-time work – so there was a lot of time for music. Alphabetically:

  1. The Cramps: Bad Music for Bad People

  2. Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward

  3. The Dream Syndicate: The Medicine Show

  4. Echo & the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain

  5. The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of…

  6. Green on Red: Gas, Food, Lodging

  7. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade

  8. Jason & the Nashville Scorchers: Fervor (EP)

  9. Los Lobos: How Will the World Survive?

  10. The Lyres: On Fyre

  11. Meat Puppets: II

  12. The Minutemen: Double Nickels on a Dime

  13. REM: Reckoning

  14. The Red Hot Chili Peppers

  15. The Smiths: Hatful of Hollow

But the one that hit harder than any of these, harder than Purple Rain, or Stop Making Sense or Three of a Perfect Pair, was The Replacements’ masterpiece Let it Be. I don’t think the record ever made it back into the crate after I brought it home. For months, it had to be at the ready, leaning against the base of the console. You could bounce, you could sway, you could laugh, you could pray. Paul Westerberg. meant. every. single. word. he. sang/croaked/screamed/survived. And Bob Stinson’s guitar was, well, it was, you know, I mean, perfect. Drunk, but perfect. Out of tune, but perfect. Perfect, but beyond perfect. It was like Warren Zevon’s London werewolf, it could rip your heart out, Jim.

The best worst thing about the record was that the so-called hit, “I Will Dare” (not here) isn’t close to the best song on the disc. A sign of the absolute ridiculousness of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is they included “I Will Dare” among their top 500 most influential rock songs, as if “Androgynous,” (sadly, not here) “Unsatisfied,” (here) “Sixteen Blue” (here) and “Answering Machine” (brutal to leave out) weren’t orders of magnitude more transformative. And their version of the KISS song, “Black Diamond” (here)… let’s just say Paul Stanley should have handed over all royalties to Westerberg, Stinson, Tommy Stinson and Chris Mars. (Stinson’s guitar on “Black Diamond” is nothing short of transcendent.) A ton of trite shit has been said about the greatness of the record and none of it sells the record short, it just sucks that those writers flail about so badly in their efforts. “Adolescent angst,” “midwestern teen rage,” “as classic as a rock album can be,” “a time piece of post-industrial youth in the Reagan era”… ughhh. Here’s my flail – in the long decade where everything from X to Run D.M.C.; Laurie Anderson to The Waterboys; Romeo Void to Metallica; Public Enemy to Pylon; Uncle Tupelo to Negativland; and The Mekons to The Lime Spiders – and a ton of the bands I’ve already prepped ICA’s for – all peaked, this is my favorite.

At the time, surely too influenced by some reviewers, I took a few listens to Hootenanny (1983), and it didn’t grab me, and then their first, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981), which I plain old didn’t like (and still don’t.) I figured it took a little while for Westerberg and the band to find their feet and was really excited when Tim (1985) was released. It’s a really really solid “second record.” And it’s a miraculously good “second record” for a band just signed off an independent, Twin/Tone, to a major label, Sire. I think “Kiss Me on the Bus” (not included) is better than “I Will Dare.” “Swinging Party” (not included) is really good, “Bastards of Young” (had to be here) just short of great great and “Here Comes a Regular” (no choice, here) has left me devastated, periodically in tears, since its release… But Tim isn’t, couldn’t be, Let it Be. It took me a while to let it be just Tim.

I remember the hype for Pleased to Meet Me (1987), and my disappointment. They have a song titled, “Alex Chilton,” (not included) which is super cool, “The Ledge” (totally here) is really good and I’ve included “Skyway” here as the perfect song for the slot that emerged as I built the flow of the imagined LP. But losing Bob Stinson – and, don’t get me wrong, I really like Slim Dunlap (check out his solo records The Old New Me and Times Like This, they are a ton of fun) who replaced him – felt to me like it set the soul of the band awobble. Maybe it was the influence of Sire and it’s producers, maybe it was Westerberg trying to grow up, maybe it was that the band was exhausted, maybe it was that the record came out too soon but, whatever it was, I didn’t ever have the record as part of a meaningful rotation…. But it sold better than anything they’d put out before… as did Don’t Tell a Soul (1989) – from which “We’ll Inherit the Earth – Mix 1” proved the right song to get me from “Willpower” to “Black Diamond” and “Rock and Roll Ghost” wraps things up – and then All Shook Down (1990) sold even more. But for me, excitement-wise, they were largely done.

I’ve added a bonus cut/hidden track to the ICA – Hootenanny’s “Mr. Whirly.” I guess this makes it a CD ICA rather than an LP, but what are you gonna do? As All Shook Down came out, Nirvana’s Nevermind was exactly a year away. When I was putting this together, I went back to Hootenanny, and found it far better than I remembered, almost as good as Tim, in fact. I know Kurt Cobain was intensely cognizant of his influences but, while I am in no way anything like a completist when it comes to Nirvana, I can’t recall ever having run into a Nirvana cover of a Replacements song. It kinda weirds me out. A friend who Googles random things on the internet told me all he can find about Westerberg and Cobain is that, once, they silently rode an elevator together. Contingent rather than comprehensive research but possibly indicative of something. Nevertheless, give “Mr. Whirly” a shot, I’m pretty sure it’d fit just fine on any of the four long players Curt, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic released, and maybe should have been in the Unplugged set.

As always these are the most representative songs that fit/flow together best – in my estimation – rather than a greatest hits collection. A greatest hits/favorite songs collection would be quite different as implied in parenthetical comments above.

Side A

1. Willpower, Hootenanny (1983)

2. We’ll Inherit the Earth (Mix 1), Don’t Tell A Soul (1989)

3. Black Diamond, Let It Be (1984)

4. Bastards Of Young, Tim (1985)

5. The Ledge, Pleased To Meet Me (1987)

Side B

1. Sixteen Blue, Let It Be (1984)

2. Skyway, Pleased To Meet Me (1987)

3. Unsatisfied, Let It Be (1984)

4. Here Comes A Regular, Tim (1985)

5. Rock ‘N’ Roll Ghost, Don’t Tell a Soul (1989)

Hidden Track: Mr. Whirly, Hootenanny (1983)




The picture sleeve of a single released on Factory Records in 1984.  Here’s the a-side:-

mp3: Stockholm Monsters – All At Once

This is the first time the song has featured on TVV, but the b-side was actually part of ICA 151 back in January 2018. The ICA in question was a compilation of Factory Records bands not called Joy Division, New Order, Electronic or Happy Mondays.

Here’s a cut’n’paste from that ICA.

“Finishing this side off with the b-side to a single. Stockholm Monsters weren’t, it seems to me, taken that seriously by anyone outside of Factory – the fact they had a stupid name for a band didn’t help matters; still, it could be worse, they could have called themselves Crispy Ambulance.

mp3: Stockholm Monsters – National Pastime (FAC 107)

This was actually a late addition to the ICA…it’s a song I’ve known since its 1984 release as it was played a lot by one of my flatmates who declared it a bona fide classic.  He even managed to persuade the student union DJ to air it a few times on the ‘alternative disco’ Thursday nights.  I’ve never owned a copy of the single, and it is an expensive one on the second hand market, but a while back Swiss Adam featured it over in the Bagging Area and I nicked it from there when he wasn’t looking!  Feels right to let him say a few words…

Opening with clattering drums and a low slung bass, then a beautifully naive topline and a wonderful non-singer’s vocal. Produced by Peter Hook and lost by a record company who wouldn’t pay for pluggers and promotion because they believed the music would sell itself. If this was the only song they’d released, they’d still more than deserve a place in a version of mid-80s indie scene. A little slice of perfection.





And so we reach the 1990s.  Pet Shop Boys had, in just five years, become one of the UK’s most popular groups, notching up twelve Top 20 hits (including four #1s) and three albums that had all gone Top 3. 

This post covers the period September 1990 – October 1991 and will be one of the longest in this series.  There were four singles lifted from the album Behaviour, itself released in October 1990


So Hard was released on 24th September 1990.   It is about “two people living together; they are totally unfaithful to each other but they both pretend they are faithful and then catch each other out”, which seems akin to David Gedge territory.  Musically, it is very much of that late 80s/early 90s era – I certainly see it as a fairly close cousin to songs found on Technique, the 1989 masterpiece from New Order.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – So Hard
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – It Must Be Obvious

The b-side is a love song.  Less full on musically than most of the material from the 80s and tempo wise, more akin to what was going to unfold over the next decade and beyond.  It’s not too cruel to say that it found its place as a b-side as the tune doesn’t really go anywhere.

I don’t normally want to get into the whole remix thing with singles, but given that the KLF did some work on So Hard……….

mp3: Pet Shop Boys – So Hard (The KLF versus Pet Shop Boys)

There’s a real nod to It’s Grim Up North as well as the choral aspect to Left To My Own Devices in the opening section of the track.


Being Boring was released on 12th November 1990. 

The duo’s fourth album, Behaviour had hit the shops a month previously.  It had entered the charts at #2 in its first week, but unlike the previous three albums, it failed to sustain sales over any extended period.  One of the reasons for this were some negative reviews that focussed on the downbeat nature of many of the tunes and lyrics. 

This lack of sales extended to Being Boring which only reached #20, the first time since the re-release of Opportunities that a PSB single hadn’t gone Top 10.  The version released as a single was a couple of minutes shorter than the album version, but was still ignored by daytime radio.  Nor could anyone see the very stylish black & white promo video, which had been made by fashion photographer Bruce Weber, as it was subjected to a ban thanks to it containing some shots of full-frontal male nudity.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – We All Feel Better In The Dark

Does anyone else immediately think of Need You Tonight by INXS when hearing the opening notes of this b-side?   And then it sounds like an early Human League number…..before going all creepy and soundtrack like.   It’s one that Chris sings on and, as you’d expect, it’s more experimental and edgy than most other PSB songs.  

Being Boring, despite its poor sales, has become a real anthem over the years and is never far from the top of any lists when PSB fans mention their favourites. It also has tended to close the live shows over the years.

Fun fact.  I didn’t know this until doing a bit of research for this posting, but the music for Being Boring, along with a couple of other tunes, was written in Glasgow.  The duo had so enjoyed the city when they played there on tour in 1989 that they later decamped to a small studio in the west end of the city to come up with some new material.


The next single was released on 11th March 1991.

The plan was that How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously? would be the third single to be lifted from Behaviour.  It was going to be a very different mix from the album version. 

Whether it was the fact that Being Boring hadn’t done so well, or that the album had, by the beginning of February 1991, dropped out of the Top 75 after less than four months, but there was a change of mind.  The duo had recently recorded a HI-NRG, and very camp, cover of one of the biggest selling rock songs of the 80s for possible release later in the year, but this was brought forward to March 1991 with the decision that it be a double-A side with the remixed ‘Seriously’.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You)
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?

I still think this is one of the best jokes ever played on the music industry.  The title of the original PSB song on one side of vinyl while the other seems to poke a bit of fun at how serious U2, (and others like them) and their fans, were beginning to take themselves.  The deadpan delivery of the vocal on ‘Streets’ is such a contrast to the way Bono had thrown his everything into his performance of the song back in 1987 when The Joshua Tree had sold across the world in tens of millions.  And adding in the refrain of an easy-listening number from the 60s was just genius……

It was a timely reminder that music can and should often be about having fun.

The 12″ release had a new PSB composition included – I’m assuming it was meant to be the original b-side until the change of plan.

mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Bet She’s Not Your Girlfriend

Another New Order-esque tune, but with a frantic and all-knowing manic lyric from Neil, makes this one of my favourite PSB b-sides.    It wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the Electronic album which was just a few weeks away from being released…..


On 28th May 1991, the fourth and final single from Behaviour was released.  I’ve used the CD cover of Jealousy – the picture of Neil was used on the 7″, while the picture of Chris adorned the 12″ – with them coming together for the CD version.

This was the closing song on the album.  As was becoming the norm, it wasn’t a straight lift for the 45. The remix this time is about thirty seconds shorter but utilises a real orchestra at the end instead of relying on a sampler.


mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Jealousy
mp3: Pet Shop Boys – Losing My Mind

The b-side is the duo’s take on a song, written by Stephen Sondheim, for the 1971 musical Follies.   It wasn’t their first involvement with the song, as back in 1989 they had played on and produced a version that had taken Liza Minelli back into the charts since the 70s.  It’s still a staple of the PSB live shows.

I’ll finish things off with a little extra as a thanks for making it this far.

There was also a limited edition CD single issued in the UK. 


As well as the extended mix of Jealousy which had been released on the 12″ vinyl, there were two bonus tracks.  One was a new mix of So Hard, the first single to be lifted from Behaviour, while the other was an extended version and fresh mix of one of the best tracks on Behaviour and which must at some point have been under consideration as a single.

mp3: Pet Shop Boys – This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave (extended mix)

Pet Shop Boys spent the first half of 1991 on tour, It began in Japan on 11th March, and took in the USA, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Holland, the United Kingdom and ending in Ireland on 17th June.  

The year ended with the release of a Greatest Hits compilation, including two new songs, both released as singles.  That’s exactly where this series will be heading next week.





OK.  Not strictly a Scottish band.  But very much fronted by a singer from Scotland.

Here’s wiki.

The Tourists were a British rock and pop band. They achieved brief success in the late 1970s before the band split in 1980. Two of its members, singer Annie Lennox and guitarist Dave Stewart, went on to international success as Eurythmics.

Guitarists Peet Coombes and Dave Stewart were members of the folk rock band Longdancer which was on Elton John‘s Rocket Records label. They moved to London, where they met singer Annie Lennox, who had dropped out of a course at the Royal Academy of Music to pursue her ambitions in pop music.

Forming a band in 1976, the three of them initially called themselves The Catch. In 1977 the band released a single named “Borderline/Black Blood” on Logo Records.  It was released in the UK, The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, but was not a commercial success.

By 1976, they had recruited bass guitarist Eddie Chin and drummer Jim Toomey, and renamed themselves The Tourists. This saw the beginning of a productive period for the band and they released three albums: The Tourists (1979), Reality Effect (1979) and Luminous Basement (1980), as well as half a dozen singles, including “Blind Among the Flowers” (1979), “The Loneliest Man in the World” (1979), “Don’t Say I Told You So” (1980) and two hits, the Dusty Springfield cover “I Only Want to Be with You” (1979) and “So Good to Be Back Home Again” (1980), both of which reached the top 10 in the UK.

“I Only Want to Be with You” was also a top 10 hit in Australia and reached number 83 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Coombes was the band’s main songwriter, although later releases saw the first compositions by Lennox and Stewart.

In 1980, the band signed to RCA Records They toured extensively in the UK and abroad, including as support for Roxy Music on their 1979 Manifesto Tour. The group disbanded in late 1980.

Here’s one of the hit singles:-

mp3 : The Tourists – So Good To Be Back Home Again

I’ve been known to air this at the football when Raith Rovers haven’t played at Stark’s Park for a few weeks.





Hi Jim

There is one song I came back a few days ago that accompanied me during the last decades. Bruce Springsteen was the big thing in the late 70’s before he was called the future of R’n’R. In 1978, he was nothing more or less the one who told me about the life in NYC with the bright and dark side. He filled the gap between rock music and a storyteller in this era. Incident on 57th Street was nothing more or less than a genre picture of what could happen on a Saturday night with all the feelings of very young persons that fell in love.

I bought this record almost 50 years ago and the music/lyrics still grab me.I found the beauty of the lyrics when I had to translate them in my long ago school days.

Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm
And a beat-up old Buick but dressed just like dynamite
He tried sellin’ his heart to the hard girls over on easy Street
But they said, Johnny, it falls apart so easy
And you know hearts these days are cheap
And the pimps swung their axes and said, Johnny, you’re a cheater
And the pimps swung their axes and said, Johnny, you’re a liar
And from out of the shadows came a young girl’s voice
Said, Johnny, don’t cry
Puerto Rican Jane, oh, won’t you tell me, what’s your name?
I want to drive you down to the other side of town
Where paradise ain’t so crowded
And there’ll be action goin’ down on Shanty Lane tonight
All the golden-heeled fairies in a real bitch-fight
Pull thirty-eight’s and kiss their girls goodnight

Oh, goodnight, it’s alright, Jane
Now let them black boys in to light the soul flame
We may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

Well, like a cool Romeo he made his moves, oh, she looked so fine
Like a late Juliet, she knew she’d never be true but then, she really didn’t mind
Upstairs a band was playin’
And the singer was singin’ something about going home
She whispered, Spanish Johnny, you can leave me tonight
But just don’t leave me alone
And Johnny cried, Puerto Rican Jane
Word is down, the cops have found the vein
Oh, them barefoot boys left their homes for the woods
Them little barefoot street boys, they said their homes ain’t no good
They left the corners, threw away all of their switchblade knives
And kissed each other goodbye

Johnny was sittin’ on the fire escape, watchin’ the kids playin’ down the street
He called down, hey little heroes, summer’s long
But I guess it ain’t very sweet around here anymore
Janey sleeps in sheets damp with sweat
Johnny sits up alone and watches her dream on, dream on
And the sister prays for lost souls
Then breaks down in the chapel after everyone’s gone

Jane moves over to share her pillow
But opens her eyes to see Johnny up and putting his clothes on
She says, those romantic young boys (those romantic young boys)
All they ever want to do is fight
Those romantic young boys (those romantic young boys)
They’re callin’ through the window
Hey, Spanish Johnny, you want to make a little easy money tonight?

And Johnny whispered, goodnight, it’s all tight, Jane
I’ll meet you tomorrow night on lover’s lane
We may find it out on the street tonight, now, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe
Oh, goodnight, it’s alright, Jane
I’m gonna meet you tomorrow night on lover’s lane
Oh, we can find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

Ah, goodnight, it’s alright, Jane
I’ll meet you tomorrow night on lover’s lane
Oh, we may find it out on the street tonight, baby
Or we may have to walk until the daylight, maybe (goodnight it’s alright, Jane)

mp3: Bruce Springsteen – Incident on 57th Street



aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser

#009 – The Bodysnatchers – ‚Ruder Than You’ (Chrysalis Records, ’80)


Hello friends,

first of all I would like to thank you for all the comments on Blancmange and B-Movie in particular, but ultimately I am of course grateful for every comment that comes in – it shows me that this series isn’t completely useless. It’s interesting though, isn’t it, that especially the two last episodes have struck a chord with so many people. I mean, both featured rather ‘eupeptic’ music: which normally is nothing that the usual reader of this blog would fancy by and large.

But there you are, I’m happy of course. And if I were clever, I would not change this winning horse and continue in some similar reader-friendly vein. But no, today we are back with some Ska again. Or some Rocksteady, to be precise. ‘Oh no, not again!’, I hear you cry, but for those of you who never read the first post: the singles come in alphabetical order, there is no clever segue in one form or another. So I am contractually obliged to follow with this line, I’m afraid:

The Bodysnatchers often get a bit neglected when it comes to the ‘big’ names within 2 Tone. Everyone knows The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat and Madness. But who could name one of the four tunes The Bodysnatchers did back then? Not many of you, I’m sure. And this is a mistake, believe me!

The combo did indeed consist of seven girls, as the below sleeve (of my German pressing) suggests. Alas, they weren’t septuplets, as on the sleeve, now, that would have been awesome!!

The story, well, goes as it so often goes: Fruit seller Nicky Summers saw The Specials and was so hooked that she recruited a civil servant, a fashion designer, a lifeguard, a secretary, a freelance illustrator and a schoolgirl. Together they formed a band, the fact that some of them could barely play their instruments and others couldn’t play them at all didn’t hinder them in learning to play as they went along

Rhoda Dakar Vocals

Nicky Summers Bass

Stella Barker Rhythm Guitar

Sarah-Jane Owen Lead Guitar

Pennie Leyton Keyboards

Jane Summers * Drums

Miranda Joyce Saxophone

* later replaced by Judy Parsons

The Bodysnatchers got their first gigs in 1979 and started with covering some old Rocksteady tunes, ‘007’, ‘Monkey Spanner’ and ‘Let’s Do Rock Steady’, the Dandy Livingstone number. The latter then became the A-Side of their first single, issued on the Two-Tone Label in the following year. The B-Side though was an original Bodysnatchers-composition, and as brilliant the A-Side is, I always preferred the B-Side:



mp3 : The Bodysnatchers – Ruder Than You

They had a second single in 1980, ‘Easy Life’ (a tune of theirs) with ‘Too Experienced’ (a Winston Francis cover) on the flipside. And that, much to my dismay, was the end: an album never saw the light of day, although I’m sure it would have been a massive corker. The Bodysnatchers disbanded in October of 1980, but their career in music was not over: Rhoda and Nicky had intended to work together after the split but the idea came to nothing while four other band members found some success in the form of The Belle Stars: Stella, Miranda, Sarah-Jane and Judy. Quite often they used old Bodysnatchers-numbers in their repertoire, so did Rhoda a bit later in her collaboration with Jerry Dammers under the Special AKA – moniker together with the original Specials’ leftovers.

You see, every day is a school day, as they say. Then again I don’t care if you learned something today or not. For me, the only thing that counts is if you have enjoyed the song.

And by God, I do hope you did!!

Take care,