As mentioned previously on the blog back in December 2013, (to great indifference!!), Care was primarily a coming together of Ian Broudie and Paul Simpson, forming in early 1983.
The former is best known as the man behind The Lightning Seeds, but he’s been part of the music scene in his native Liverpool since the late 70s, initially as part of the new wave band Big In Japan (who also featured Holly Johnson who found fame with Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Bill Drummond, likewise with The KLF). The latter had come to some minor prominence as the vocalist with The Wild Swans, two of whose other members – Jeremy Kelly and Ged Quinn – would go onto enjoy fleeting chart fame with The Lotus Eaters.
I remember hearing My Boyish Days, the debut single by Care one evening on either the David Jensen or Janice Long show on Radio 1 and being knocked out by what was then a pretty unusual and distinctive mix of acoustic guitars and synthesisers. I tracked the record down the following day.
It was on a major label – Arista Records. The production team was Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley who at the time were probably the biggest name producers in the UK. But despite considerable airplay in the evenings, it didn’t make the then crucial A-list at Radio 1 and the single faded into obscurity.
The b-sides productions were accredited to Kingbird, one of the names that Broudie used. He took responsibility for the follow-up single, Flaming Sword, and it sneaked into the Top 50.
Single number three, Whatever Possessed You?, was another Kingbird effort, and despite at least one TV promo slot on the Oxford Road Show (I know this as I still have the clip on VHS tape), it didn’t come close to the charts, suffering from a severe lack of airplay.
Care then broke up in the summer of 1984 without bothering to release their debut album, the songs of which, along with the singles, some b-sides and demo tracks, eventually saw the light of day in 1997 as a CD entitled Diamonds & Emeralds. The band were referred to as Care featuring Ian Brodie.
The cash-in was of course completely cynical as it came hot on the heels of The Lightning Seeds biggest success with the football anthem Three Lions that was adopted by the supporters of England during their hosting of Euro 96. But if even a small handful of those who were new to Broudie’s talents were drawn to the CD by association, they would hopefully have found much to enjoy.
I’ve long had copies of the first two singles on 12″ vinyl – I was sure I bought the third at the time of its release but its long been missing from the shelves. Ever since starting this blog way back in the midst of time, Whatever Possessed You has been one of those pieces of vinyl that I’ve long coveted. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t ever track down a good copy on sale for a reasonable price, and I’ve watched in horror over the years as the price of any newly offered items have been increasingly beyond what I thought it was worth.
The final straw came at the end of 2020 when I lost out at the last minute on eBay to someone who came in with about 10 seconds to spare. I was determined not to miss out again….so when I saw one on Discogs in January 2021, I decided the price was irrelevant. It’s the most I’ve ever paid for any second-hand item in the collection(overtaking something on Postcard Records from about ten years ago), and given that prices are just getting really silly for anything that’s remotely rare, I don’t think I’ll ever go that high again.
But…..and this is the main thing…..it has made me very very happy.
And to celebrate, here’s the tracks from all three 12″ singles, freshly ripped as I’m typing these words, and made available at the 320 kpbs for the best possible listen after you download.
mp3: Care – My Boyish Days
mp3: Care – An Evening In The Ray
mp3: Care – Sad Day For England
mp3: Care – Flaming Sword
mp3: Care – Misericorde
mp3: Care – On The White Cloud
mp3: Care – Whatever Possessed You?
mp3: Care – Besides (One)
mp3: Care – Besides (Two)
mp3: Care – Besides (Three)
mp3: Care – Besides (Four)
Three of my favourite singles of all time, backed with eight fabulous pieces of music, most of them instrumentals, on the b-sides.
PS – Ian Broudie, in the guise of The Lightning Seeds, would later release his own version of Flaming Sword, as a b-side to the Sense single, in 1992