Pete Wylie didn’t do things by half. The three occasions that he managed to enter the higher echelons of the UK pop charts left us with magical and timeless bits of music.
I did consider having a go at pulling together an imaginary compilation album featuring his best moments but in all honesty while I have some albums and this fairly comprehensive compilation CD that brings together most of his best recordings I didn’t think my words could do him justice. My cop-out is therefore just to dig deep into the cupboard and pull out the three hit singles in 12″ form as well as a double-pack of 7″ pieces of plastic from his last Top 20 effort:-
1982 : The Story Of The Blues
This climbed all the way to #3 in the charts and is probably the best known of the hits. To my young(ish) ears it sounded like no other record that had ever been released at that point in history. To my old(er) ears it still sounds like no other record that has ever been released in history. Oh and the b-side on the 12″ is a new version of an earlier and much-loved flop single.
mp3 : Wah! – The Story of The Blues (Parts I and II)
mp3 : Wah! – 7 Minutes Live(ish)
1983 : Come Back
Pete was infamous for being a bit of a gobshite who loved to spout opinions about everyone and everything, and an unwillingness to play by the record industry rules and regulations. Nevertheless, he was regarded as such a talent that WEA, the biggest label in the world at the time, signed him up after The Story of The Blues. He delivered an album that horrified them and they refused to release it and in doing so nullified the recording contract.
In due course the album was partially re-recorded and eventually released on Beggars Banquet as A Word To The Wise Guy. There was a Top 20 hit single from it, released in a number of formats including this 12″ version:-
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Come Back (The Story Of The Reds)/The Devil In Miss Jones (combined and extended)
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – Come Back! (The Return of the Randy Scouse Git)
mp3 : The Mighty Wah! – From Disco Dicko to A Kid in Care
This was an almighty two fingers gesture to WEA. It was the big sound they had demanded of the album but only provided after Wylie had gone to pastures new…and in the b-side version the lyrics were altered to enable a sideways swipe at WEA singers and bands who were enjoying regular chart success…
1986 : Sinful!
Almost thirty years on and this still sounds amazing when it blasts out of the radio. It reached #13 but was worthy at least of Top 3 to match his biggest ever hit. The 12″ Tribal Mix goes on for more than eight minutes and while it does occasionally betray its age thanks to the rather dated production techniques and tricks of the day, it is still hugely enjoyable and a fine commentary on the social injustices imposed on society by the Tories and Republicans in the first half of the ‘greed is good’ decade.
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sinful! (Tribal Mix)
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sinful!
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – I Want The Moon, Mother
This was another single released in a multitude of formats and quite recently I had the good fortune to get my hands on the 2 x 7″ release of the single and here’s the two tracks that weren’t otherwise on the 12″ ( a word of warning…..they’re really only for completists):-
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – Sophie’s Sinful! (for Maurice or Isabelle)
mp3 : Pete Wylie & The Oedipus Wrecks – The Joy Of Being Booed