martes, 28 de febrero de 2017

Positive Noise

Positive Noise were a new wave and synthpop band from Scotland who had a number of indie hits in the 1980s. They released three albums and several singles and were together for over five years. The band was formed in 1979 by Ross Middleton (vocals), his brothers Graham Middleton (keyboards, vocals) and Fraser Middleton (bass guitar, vocals), Russell Blackstock (guitar, vocals), and Les Gaff (drums). Their first released material was two tracks ("Refugees" and "The Long March") on the Statik label compilation EP "Second City Statik" in 1980, and they followed this with two singles on Statik in 1981, both of which were top-ten hits on the UK Independent Chart. Début album 'Heart of Darkness' was released in May 1981, after which Ross left to form the short-lived Leisure Process, with Blackstock taking over on lead vocals. 'Heart of Darkness' peaked at number four on the independent chart, and the band's second album, 'Change of Heart' (1982), also charted, reaching number 21. They released a third and final album, 'Distant Fires', in 1985, now with John Telford on drums and John Coletta on guitar, but their earlier success was not repeated and they split up shortly afterwards. Ross Middleton had earlier worked as a music journalist, writing for Sounds under the pen name Maxwell Park. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

lunes, 27 de febrero de 2017

Soft Cell

Art students Marc Almond and Dave Ball formed Soft Cell, a synth pop duo famed for its uniquely sleazy electronic sound, in Leeds, England in 1980. Originally, vocalist Almond and synth player Ball teamed to compose music for theatrical productions, and as Soft Cell, their live performances continued to draw heavily on the pair's background in drama and the visual arts. A self-financed EP titled 'Mutant Moments' brought the duo to the attention of Some Bizzare label head Stevo, who enlisted Daniel Miller to produce their underground hit single 'Memorabilia' the following year. 

It was the next Soft Cell effort, 1981's "Tainted Love," that brought the duo to international prominence; written by The Four Preps' Ed Cobb and already a cult favorite thanks to Gloria Jones' soulful reading, the song was reinvented as a hypnotic electronic dirge and became the year's best-selling British single, as well as a major hit abroad. The group's debut LP, 'Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret', was also enormously successful, and was followed by the 1982 remix collection 'Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing'. 

While 1983's 'The Art of Falling Apart' proved as popular as its predecessors, the LP's title broadly hinted at the internal problems plaguing the duo; prior to the release of 1984's 'This Last Night in Sodom', Soft Cell had already broken up. Almond immediately formed the electro-soul unit Marc & the Mambas; another group, Marc Almond & the Willing Sinners, followed before the singer finally embarked on a solo career in the late '80s that continued well into the 21st century. Ball worked with Psychic TV, Jack the Tab, and other groups before forming the electronic outfit The Grid in the '90s and Nitewreckage in 2011. Soft Cell briefly reunited in 2001. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

domingo, 26 de febrero de 2017

True Confessions

Femme rock band became quite popular on Toronto's Queen Street circuit. Features future Jane Siberry/Drastic Measures bassist Bryant Didier and former Diodes drummer John Hamilton

They released a single on Bomb Records in 1979, and after several line-up changes they managed a self-titled album which was produced by Greg Warren (Twitch). The LP will be re-issued on CD by Bullseye Records in 2007. [SOURCE: CANOE.COM

sábado, 25 de febrero de 2017

Butthole Surfers

Arguably the most infamously named band in the annals of popular music -for years, radio found their moniker unspeakable, and the press deemed it unprintable- Butthole Surfers long reigned among the most twisted and depraved acts ever to bubble up from the American underground. Masters of calculated outrage, the group fused the sicko antics of shock rock with a distinct and chaotic mishmash of avant-garde, hardcore, and Texas psychedelia; sleazy, confrontational, and spiteful, songs like "The Revenge of Anus Presley," "Bar-B-Q Pope," and "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey Oswald's Grave" seemed destined to guarantee the Butthole Surfers little more than a lifetime of cultdom. Yet, by the mid-'90s, they were left-field Top 40 hitmakers, success perhaps their ultimate subversion of mainstream ideals. 

The seeds of their formation dated back to 1977, when future frontman Gibby Haynes, the son of the Dallas-based children's TV host known as "Mr. Peppermint," met guitarist Paul Leary while attending college in San Antonio. Four years later, Haynes -then completing his graduate work in accounting- and Leary formed The Ashtray Baby Heads, later dubbed Nine Foot Worm Makes Home Food; they became Butthole Surfers only after a radio announcer mistakenly took the title of an early song to be the group's name. In 1981, they signed to Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra's label Alternative Tentacles, and two years later issued their hallucinatory eponymous debut, also issued on colored vinyl under the name 'Brown Reason to Live'. 

After a number of bassists and drummers, the Butthole Surfers' lineup fell into place in 1983 with the addition of drummers King Coffey (formerly of the Hugh Beaumont Experience) and Theresa Nervosa; at the same time, their bizarre live gigs -a traveling freak show combining nude dancers, film clips of sex-change operations, and Haynes' pyromaniacal behavior- began to win a devout cult following, and in 1984 they issued the concert set 'Live PCPPEP'. A move to the Chicago-based indie Touch & Go precipitated a turn toward even greater thematic offensiveness, as evidenced by tracks like "Concubine" and "Lady Sniff" from 1985's 'Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac'. 

After the EP 'Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis', the Butthole Surfers resurfaced in 1986 with 'Rembrandt Pussyhorse', a twisted trip into neo-psychedelia featuring a brutal deconstruction of The Guess Who's "American Woman," as well as new bassist Jeff "Tooter" Pinkus. The introduction of Haynes' "Gibbytronix" vocal effects unit increased the level of dementia for 1987's 'Locust Abortion Technician', an extremist fusion of punk, metal, art rock, and worldbeat rhythms. Following 1988's faux-Zeppelin rant 'Hairway to Steven', the group issued 'Double Live', a mock bootleg released through their own Latino Bugger Veil imprint; after a pair of EPs, 1989's 'Widowermaker!' and 1990's 'The Hurdy Gurdy Man', they remained uncharacteristically silent until 1991's uneven 'Pioughd', recorded for the Rough Trade label. 

For many observers, the biggest shock in a career built on outrageous behavior arrived in 1992, when the Butthole Surfers signed with major label Capitol, which promptly reissued 'Pioughd' following the demise of Rough Trade. After entering the studio with producer and former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, they emerged in 1993 with the LP 'Independent Worm Saloon'; the first single and video, "Who Was in My Room Last Night?," both garnered a surprising amount of airplay, much to the chagrin of the many media outlets which begrudgingly referred to the group as "BH Surfers." Following a series of side projects -most notoriously Haynes' group P, which also featured movie star Johnny Depp- the band (now a trio consisting of Haynes, Leary, and Coffey) returned in 1996 with 'Electriclarryland', scoring a major chart hit with the trip-hop-flavored "Pepper." In 1998, they recorded a follow-up, 'After the Astronaut', but disputes between the Butthole Surfers and Capitol prevented the album from being released, though advance copies were sent to reviewers. Three years later, Butthole Surfers emerged with their first for Hollywood/Surfdog Records, 'Weird Revolution', which recycled some of the songs from 'After the Astronaut', but in new recordings. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

viernes, 24 de febrero de 2017


Known to the world as the new wave one-hit wonder M, Robin Scott scored one of the first commercially successful electro-pop/dance singles with 1979's international number one smash "Pop Muzik." Scott attended Croydon Art College in the late '60s, where his classmates included Malcolm McLaren, and began performing topical folk songs in area clubs. This led to the release of an early LP, 1969's "Woman from the Green Grass", on Head Records. The label quickly went bankrupt, however, and Scott worked on a variety of musical projects during the early '70s, hoping to break through. He eventually became manager and producer for the pub rock band Roogalator and produced their "Cincinnati Fatback," one of the first singles released by the pioneering U.K. indie Stiff Records. Scott's label, Do-It, also released the first Adam & the Ants LP, "Dirk Wears White Sox". Scott moved to Paris in 1978, where he produced the punk rock band The Slits, and a previously recorded single was issued under the name Comic Romance

Around the same time, Scott christened himself M and recorded the single "Moderne Man," which flopped. However, his next release, "Pop Muzik," was an instant classic; it featured support from Roogalator bassist Julian Scott (Robin's brother), keyboardist Wally Badarou, programmer John Lewis, and vocalist Brigit Novik (Scott's wife). Demand for an LP was met by 'New York-London-Paris-Munich', which added woodwind player Gary Barnacle and drummer Phil Gould to M's backing band. The follow-ups to "Pop Muzik," "Moonlight and Muzak" and "That's the Way the Money Goes," were minor hits in the U.K., although Scott had seen the last of his singles chart successes in the U.S. 'The Official Secrets Act' (1980) was less successful commercially, a trend continued on 1982's 'Famous Last Words' (which Scott's U.K. label MCA refused to release). In the meantime, Scott worked with Yellow Magic Orchestra keyboardist and budding solo artist Ryuichi Sakamoto. Scott later dabbled in African music collaborations, especially Kenyan music, but most of the material languished in the vaults as Scott faded from sight as a solo artist. Assorted reissues, as well as remix projects, followed through the 2000s and 2010s. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC