domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2016

Mood Six

Neo-psychedelic combo Mood Six was formed in London's West End in 1982; emerging from the remnants of mod revival groups like The Merton Parkas and The VIP's, their original lineup included Phil Ward, Tony Conway, Andy Godfrey, Guy Morley, Paul Shurey, and Simon Smith. Debuting with a pair of tracks on the "A Splash of Colour" compilation, the group immediately launched itself to the forefront of the short-lived British psychedelia revival; signing to EMI, Mood Six issued their first offical single, "Hanging Around," but were dismissed from the label when the follow-up, "She's Too Far (Out)," proved a commercial disappointment. In 1985, Mood Six resurfaced on the Psycho label with the LP 'The Difference Is...', jumping to Cherry Red to issue 'A Matter Of!' a year later. After a long period of seeming inactivity the band returned in 1993, releasing 'And This Is It' on their own Lost Recording Company label. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 24 de septiembre de 2016

The Freshies

The seeds of this UK pop group were sown in 1971 when Chris Sievey and his brother hitched a lift to London and staged a sit-in at The Beatles’ Apple Records headquarters -eventually going on to record a session. Subsequently Sievey recorded numerous demos which were sent to record companies, resulting in an avalanche of rejection slips he later published as a small book. Another book was dedicated to Virgin Records rejections alone. His own label Razz was formed in 1974, releasing a variety of singles, videos and over 60 cassettes. In the meantime, Sievey attempted to form his own band under the title The Freshies. Among a stream of musicians who collaborated were Martin Jackson (later Magazine and Swing Out Sister) and Billy Duffy (later The Cult). The most consistent line-up, however, was Barry Spencer (guitar), Rick Sarko (bass, ex-Ed Banger And The Nosebleeds) and Mike Doherty (drums, ex-Smirks), the line-up operating between 1980 and 1982. After several small pressings on Razz, Sievey finally hit the charts with ‘I’m In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk’, when it was re-released by MCA in 1981. Two other curious but enduring singles were also released on the major, the ambiguous anti-war ode ‘Wrap Up The Rockets’, and the paean to record collecting, ‘I Can’t Get (Boing Boing) Bouncing Babies By The Teardrop Explodes’. However, after a solitary single on Stiff Records the band split. Sievey, ever the optimist, went on to a similarly bizarre solo career alongside appearances as his alter ego Frank Sidebottom. Incredibly, for a band with literally hundreds of songs behind them, the Freshies never released an official album. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2016

Dolly Mixture

This pop threesome of Debsey Wykes (vocals, bass), Hester Smith (drums), and Rachel Bor (guitar) formed a sharp contrast against the ruling post-punk and angst building up in London around 1979 with bands like Gang of Four being heralded in the popular press as the big things. 

Originally, Dolly Mixture was a joke, put together by three friends pretending they were in a band together. In February 1978, they were offered a show and decided they had better begin learning to play instruments. Their love of glam, '60s pop melody and The Undertones combined for a breed of infectious pop, self-proclaimed as post-punk, that would go on to influence the entire genre of indie pop. A&R executives at Chrysalis picked up the hype around the band and quickly attempted to turn them into a "girl group" with a cover of Betty Everett's song "Baby, It's You." The track failed and the group began to record with Paul Weller's new label Respond. The resulting single, "Been Teen," was produced by Captain Sensible and Paul Gray of The Damned. The second single, "Everything and More" caught the band at their best -breezy yet sassy and smart. 

Off this momentum, the band played shows across England, recorded several sessions with John Peel, and appeared on Top of the Pops as backup to Captain Sensible on the songs "Happy Talk," "Wot!," and "Glad It's All Over." This exposure was viewed with mixed emotions by the band, who were suddenly recognized more for their backing musicianship than for their own work. 

In 1983, they released the "Remember This" single on their own label, Dead Good Dollys Platters, which had an strange B-side with fragmented voices, Wykes on piano and Bor on strings, a combo that threw off their more traditional pop-loving audience. This sound would continue on the 1984 'The Fireside' EP on Cordelia. 

Their full-length album was a collection of demos -both originals and covers- and was released on Dead Good Dollys Platters in 1984, shortly before the band broke up. The double LP was packaged in The Beatles' "White Album" sleeve and was autographed and numbered. Significant tracks include Mott the Hoople's "Foxy Foxy" and The Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale," as well as originals such as "Dead Rainbow," which was a tribute to glam rock singer Gary Glitter

After Dolly Mixture, Wykes and Smith formed Coming Up Roses, a pop-dance group that existed until November of 1986. Smith then retired from music and Wykes began Birdie with collaborator Paul Kelly of Saint Etienne. Bor played with the band Fruit Machine until 1999. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2016


One of the legendary 4AD label's earliest and most under-recognized acts, Colourbox were among the first artists outside of the realm of hip-hop to rely heavily on sampling techniques; ultimately, their arty blue-eyed soul -a fusion of far-ranging influences spanning from classic R&B to dub to industrial- reached its commercial and creative apotheosis through their work on M/A/R/R/S' seminal "Pump Up the Volume" project, a reflection of the group's longstanding interest in the burgeoning underground dance music scene of the 1980s. 

Colourbox were primarily the work of London-based brothers Martyn and Steven Young, who recruited vocalist Debbion Currie to sing on their 1982 4AD debut, "Breakdown." Curry was replaced by Lorita Grahame in time for the trio's 1983 re-recording of the same track, this time produced by Mick Glossop. Colourbox's self-titled debut EP -a collection of dub and scratching experiments heralding their first plunge into sampling technology, edited down from three hours of studio sessions- appeared later that same year, with the single "Say You" following in 1984. After another 12", "Punch," the group issued 1985's "The Moon Is Blue," a teaser for its upcoming full-length LP, also a self-titled affair; "Baby I Love You So" and "The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme" both appeared the following year. 

In 1987, at the behest of 4AD chief Ivo Watts-Russell, the Young brothers teamed with labelmates A.R. Kane as M/A/R/R/S to record a single fusing the rhythms and beats from classic soul recordings with state of the art electronics and production. Complete with scratches by champion mixer Chris "C.J." Mackintosh and London DJ Dave Dorrell, "Pump Up the Volume" -a breakthrough effort heralding sampling's gradual absorption from hip-hop into dance music and ultimately the pop mainstream- soon topped the British charts, the first 4AD release to accomplish that feat. Plans for a follow-up never materialized, however; stranger still, despite M/A/R/R/S' success, both the Youngs and Colourbox seemed to vanish, with no future recordings forthcoming. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC]

martes, 20 de septiembre de 2016

Biting Tongues

This Manchester, England-based unit was formed by Graham Massey and Howard Walmsley in 1980, ostensibly to provide soundtracks for the latter’s live film screenings. With Massey on guitar and Walmsley on saxophone, they added local writer Ken Hollings as vocalist, Colin Seddon on bass and Eddie Sherwood on drums. Fusing jazz, punk and dance music influences, Biting Tongues went on to release four albums over the 80s, the last of which saw them move to influential Manchester independent Factory Records. By this time Hollings and Sherwood had both departed, the latter going on to join Simply Red. Their replacements were Basil Clarke (vocals) and Phil Kirby (drums). The Factory album, accompanied by singles ‘Trouble Hand’ and ‘Compressor’, acted as a soundtrack to another Walmsley film (in addition, there was a full-scale video album in 1988, "Wall Of Surf"). However, as the 80s progressed, Clarke and Kirby drifted off into the ranks of the increasingly successful Yargo, leaving the band’s founding duo to return to work on video/soundtracks. A fifth album was aborted when their fifth record company, Cut Deep, collapsed. A final single, ‘Love Out’, was issued, after which Massey moved on to 808 State, while Walmsley returned to full-time film and video pursuits, among his other engagements, constructing visuals for his old partner’s new group. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC