Today I’m featuring a single that I picked up a few years ago in a charity shop for the princely sum of 25p.

mp3 : Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls – Dream Sequence I
mp3 : Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls – Dream Sequence II

Pauline Murray was one of the first girls to come out of the punk movement. She was just 18 years of age when she came to prominence as lead singer with Penetration, whose debut single from November 1977 is a true landmark effort:-

mp3 : Penetration – Don’t Dictate

Sorry, I couldn’t resist including that – a rare example of a single from punk era that has just not lost any of its appeal the best part of 40 years on.

Penetration split up in 1980 after just two albums and five singles. Pauline was just 22 years of age at the time, and her next project was with the aforementioned The Invisible Girls who were in fact the backing band for the Salford poet John Cooper Clarke. The new combo released a self-titled album in 1980, a piece of work that was critically acclaimed but didn’t sell all that well.

It was a record that came out on Illusive Records which was a subsidiary of RSO Records which, if memory was the biggest label in the world at the end of the 70s as it was home to The Bee Gees as well as being the label for the soundtrack to Grease.

But it would have been perfectly at home, and indeed a better fit, if it had been on Factory Records as it  had production from Martin Hannett (who also played on the record) and a sleeve by Peter Saville, both of whom of course are central characters in the rise and fall of the best label to ever come out of Manchester. Oh and the drummer was John Maher of Buzzcocks….

I was delighted to grab a copy of the single as I used to have a copy of the subsequent self-titled Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls debut album but as I’ve not seen it in the cupboard for years so I can only assume that I loaned it to someone and forgot to ask for it back. What I do remember is that it was a record slightly ahead of its time, relying on the then largely unfamiliar sound of synthesisers with Pauline’s vocals often being well back in the mix as if they were an instrument. It really is one of the great lost albums of the era (literally in my case…..).

I do see that last year the album was re-released with a bonus disc of Peel Sessions, remixes and live versions.  I might well go and track it down….or I might go to the online second-hand market for a copy of the vinyl.  Either way, it’s on a list of things to do.