Monday, June 27, 2005

The Photos

PhotosWorcestershire, England's Photos formed when singer Wendy Wu joined band members of the great lost punk band Satan's Rats. They released one self-titled album (Epic, 1980) and were immediately compared to Blondie, a comparison that didn't sit well with the band. They released several singles in the U.K. including "I'm So Attractive" which was added to the U.S. album release. "I'm So Attractive" was also not included on the CD that was finally released in 1999 along with 8 additional tracks from the never before released EP known as the "Blackmail Tapes". A second album called "Crystal Tips and Mighty Mice" was recorded but never released.

Photos were:
Wendy Wu - Vocals
Steve Eagles -Guitar, Vocals
Dave Sparrow - Bass, Vocals
Olly Harrison - Drums, Percussion

Go to the download page to get Photos - "I'm So Attractive"

63 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the US mix of the song, which is much better than the original UK single mix. If only they'd released this version, they'd probably have had a hit!

Steve Eagles now plays guitar for Ted Milton/BLURT.
He was also in another band with a female singer, John Peel faves BANG BANG MACHINE.

Btw "Crystal Tips..." is a great record, produced by Tony Visconti - let the petition for it's release start here!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Jamie Summers said...

bang bang machine were indeed amazing, but as far as i know they only actually released 2 songs (?). don't suppose you know of anything else?

4:53 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

Wow - what a great song!

I'll be adding this one to regular rotation at 80s Airwaves. I wish there was a way I could just subscribe to your blog so that the files were automatically emailed or torrented to me - maybe like a Podcast?

Anyway - thanks!!

-pjc

http://www.80sAirwaves.com

5:29 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Thanks for the positive comments. I've actually thought about doing a podcast but barely have the time to keep up with the blog.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's some BANG BANG MACHINE records listed here:

http://eil.com/shop/ExtSearch.asp?DiscArtist=Bang-Bang-Machine

"Geek Love" - a John Peel Festive 50 No. 1, is the only one I'm familiar with. Didn't they have a Goth/Psych thing going on?
Whatever, Steve Eagles is a great guitarist.

Wendy Wu also released 2 fantastic singles (and a 3rd not so fantastic) just after The Photos, a version of the Yardbirds' "For Your Love" and another one called "Run Jilly Run".

4:24 PM  
Anonymous mick mercer said...

BBM have a couple of albums and various singles which can be picked up cheaply on ebay all the time. I have a copy of the second album and it definitely deserves a release, just as the recent CD release deserves to be improved by including original material or made into a double with all the extra singles tracks.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got a tape made off the radio of the Photo's live at Aston University, it was from the Mike Read Show, Radio 1, probably late 1980 or early 1981. I guess a couple of the songs they played were to be included on Crystal Tips and Mighty Mice. My wife heard the tape and was impressed.

I'll see if I can burn it to CD and remove some hiss. I'd definetly be up for swapping it for a copy of Crystal Tips...

tim_starns@hotmail.com

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Olly Harrison is a now a film director

http://www.animateonline.org/films/loveisall/

MH

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to get Crystal Tips too !

MH

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Leigh Smith said...

BANG BANG MACHINE released 4 EPs, 2 albums and approx 4 singles. Any BBM fans get in touch with me. Love to see them reform or re-release their many great songs. GEEK LOVE is my favourite song of all time. BANG BANG MACHINE were ahead of their time and very underated.I used to produce a BBM fanzine called BANGMAN.
eyestudioz@hotmail.com

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 90% sure that my vinyl copy of The Photos album came with a free record of the so-called Blackmail Tapes, in which case it's not strictly true to say that they were "never before released" until the CD.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Blackmail Tapes were not released in the US.
The album came out there with a different tracklisting and mix plus the better mix/version of "I'm So Attractive".

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Steve Eagles an art teacher in his spare time?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Steve is a guitar tutor.
(Mick Mercer)
I interviewed him for an issue of the online pdf mag I do each month:
http://www.mickmercer.com/themick.html

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Worcester lad said...

How can I get the ******* Photo's cd??? I tried everywhere... Anyone got a copy for sale... even a burn copy?

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Id love to find the CD or even a copy of the Cassette I used to listen to death to back in 80/81 era.
Just seeing a list of the songs brought me back to some of the best times of my life.
If you see it for sale or rereleased please email me at racerxlr8@sbcglobal.net
thanks a ton for your site and getting me so amped. Another rare tape I owned back then was an Aussie band called Angel or Dark Angel. I know they got sued and had to change the name slightly.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Around 1980 when in college I'd listen to the The Photos all the time, virtually every song on the album was great. Luckily I still have it on vinyl

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just bought the photos vinyl in a charity shop for £2,my greatest find.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Matmum said...

I tried to get to the download of "I'm so attractive" but it is no longer current. Any ideas where I can get it now?
Thanks

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Photo's were fantastic. Great live and the album is still one of all time favourites.

I have never heard the alternative version of Attractive so would be really interested if anyone's got a copy. Post here

Just heard four or five tracks of Crystal Tips. Crap quality but so, so obviously The Photos. Get it re-released!!!!!

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THIS ENGLISH BAND IS FOR ME THE BEST NEW WAVE SOUND IN 1980, WENDY WU IS A QUEEN, AND THE GUITARS ARE PERFECT, MY FAVOURITE NEW WAVE ALBUM WITH GIRL IN VOCALS. THIS SONGS ARE PERFECT FOR PUNK NEW WAVE SOUNDTRACKS, STYLE TIMES SQUARE. I WANT A TRIBUTE FOR THIS GREAT GROUP, THE BANDS? THE DONNAS, KILLER BARBIES, HORRORPOPS, LIZ PHAIR, NINA HAGEN, WENDY JAMES, JUNIPER MOON, ROMEOS, A.S. DRAGON, SUPERBUS, ETC. THIS LP IS THE SONUDTRACK OF MY LIFE.
OLD FRIEND

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Quags said...

I was an avid Photos fan early 80s. Followed them from London Marquee + other venues to Birmingham (don't remembeer precisely where). Just resurrected my Vinyl (incl. Blackmail tapes). What a memory rush!

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark Dorsett (markdorsett@btinternet.com) said...

I was lucky enough as an 18 year old to follow them around on tour (March 1980 ish) and got to know them well. They were great guys.

I also meet them in London when working on Crystal Tips and I do have a demo cassette of it somehwere.

I bought the cd a few years back off Amazon.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I still have the original vinyl with the blackmail tapes bonus album, it is a great album, now i just need to find the cd so i can play it in the car. They were great, wendy also released a doomed solo single in the late 80's the title of which escapes me.why has the mp3 vanished?

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Download album from http://powerpoplovers.blogspot.com/2006/07/photos-blackmail-tapes-self-titled-b.html

M

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.checheche.com/orphans/16char.html

Charlotte by the Photos !

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LP inc. Blackmail Tapes is currently doanloadable from Napster!

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cherry Red have finally secured permission to licence the debut album, including the Blackmail Tapes, plus various singles and b-sides. Hopefully we can look at the unreleased album in the future if this goes well.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now confirmed for an October release. Original album, plus Blackmail tapes, plus both sides of the debut single, and 'Je t'aime'. Liner notes done in co-operation with Steve Eagles.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Confirmed. LP now available from Cherry Red website.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the tour they did in the UK with The Shapes (another great lost band of ther New Wave era) Two of the best bands ever in one night at the Marquee....

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any one has any Live shows of The Photos i would love to get hold of them through a trade.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know of a site where you can download Crystal Tips and Mighty Mice?

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Ian (iancwalker@aol.com) said...

I have a couple of live recordings by the Photos if anyone wants to fix up a trade:

The Photos Live 1980 - very good quality live recording 1. The Final Scene 2. And Now You tell Me That We're Through 3. Luke 4. Let's Pack Our Bags 5. My Life Story 6. Thinking Of His Girlfriend 7. Barbarellas 8. For Beauty's Sake 9. Do You Have Fun? 10. I'm So attractive 11. Life In A day 12. Evelyne

The Photos - Live recording from tape of the Radio show Rock Goes To College 1. The Final Scene 2. And Now You Tell Me That We're Through 3. Look At The Band 4. Maxine 5. I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself 6. Je t'aime 7. Shy 8. Thinking Of His Girlfriend 9. Barbarellas

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there. I have the original Crystal Tips and Mighty Mice Promo LP in unplayed condition here in my hands. If someone wants it on CD in super quality, please contact me via mail: zigger@web.de

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Brooksider said...

My (now) wife, then girlfriend, worked with Wendy Wu's mum at Worcester Health Authority in the early 80's. I still treasure my signed Wendy Wu photo!

11:37 AM  
Anonymous kjleisure@hotmail.com said...

I heard "I'm so attractive" when it was first released - I had a gorgeous 15 year old girlfriend, and the lyrics of the song were exactly what she used to say about herself. I found the single in an Indie record shop, when I played it for the g/friend, she dumped me, but the band helped me get over her. I saw The Photos live several times, I have a scrapbook somewhere (?). Remember travelling over to Middleton in Manchester for one concert, took hours to find the place, rushed in just as Wendy was stood in the corridor waiting to take the stage. Wow ! She smiled.
Just to confirm, The Blackmail Tapes L.P. came free with the initial pressings of The Photos album. Just been recording the album to my computer and found this site while looking for the album artwork.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have an album by the europeans? the bristol band? ive been trying to get hold of it for 20 years!
joey deacon

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an album!!My mate brought it because he liked the cover then played it non stop at one of those house parties before long we all had a copy!!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Iain said...

I interviewed them in Good earth studios Soho in 80/81 & heard a few bits of Crystal Tipps...sounded good.
Got a few of my 45's signed & took a few photos of The Photos for our fanzine. Jagoda...if you read this...get in touch eh?

Iain C

8:19 PM  
Blogger Iain said...

Oh...I nearly forgot...saw them live at Leicester Uni...i think 9 below zero & John Otway were the other acts that night...but it's all a bit of a blur...it was the 80's for crying out loud! I'm a grandfather now!!! LOL

Iain

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

I've just got the first two Wendy Wu singles and I noyice that on the 'b' side of For your love there is a song called Charlotte. The credits are to the members of the photos. Would this song have been on their unreleased 2nd lp?

Paul

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE PHOTOS Crystal Tips And Mighty Mice (2008 issue UK 18-track digitally remastered CD album - Produced by the legendary Tony Visconti, The Photo's 2nd album was originally shelved before release by CBS in the early 80s; the original 11-track album now comes expanded with 7 Bonus Recordings including a clutch of single tracks that have never before appeared on CD, as well as two unheard cuts; complete with a picture booklet containing new sleevenotes written in collaboration with guitarist Steve Eagles, accompanying interviews with other members of the band, photos & memorabilia)
Release date: Monday 21 July 2008

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

This is great news. I had an e-mail from cherry red yesterday and ordered it straight away. I now have everything by the photos / Wendy Wu except for her last single which I can't find anywhere.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

I've received the new cd today from cherry red. Really good. Such a shame they split because of the record companies stupidity.

6:11 AM  
Blogger BILKOBAXTER said...

I have a 2 song performance in video of THE PHOTOS on VHS which I can transfer to DVD. Am looking ofr their performance on "Rock goes to college" on VHS/DVD to buy or trade.
TONY.GRACELAND@TALK21.COM

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Hannu30 said...

Anyone know where to download The Photos "Crystal tips and mighty mice"? THANX!!!!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Stuart said...

Saw them in Derby (Ajanta Club) around 80, great gig!

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad still has the photos lp, we're listening to it now. Special editon also, with the blackmail tapes included. Ha!
The Photos are awesome.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous BA said...

Saw 'em in Eve's, Cheltenham around late 1980, new single of Crystal Tips played, Jules Holland was support!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both debut album and mice available on cd at amazon :@)

2:56 PM  
Anonymous ian lincolnshire said...

hello- i must have seen them 50 times at there heyday - i ran a music store and i rememeber the album getting weighted because cbs gave cameras away as gifts to entice false logging of sales?
wonderful band - did i see u2 as support to them one night at the marquree- that memory is faded and im looking on u2 sites for that info - saw u2 50 times too in small clubs - happy times

4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes me too - U2 supported the Photo's at the Marquee, I think it was around Oct - Dec 1980. I was there and it was a brilliant night. Cannot believe there is so little web space dedicated to the band.

2:30 AM  
Blogger jan said...

Remember seeing the photos in Exit, the Dutch (Rotterdam) place to be in those days. Got *&%$%^$% drunk, going to the night club (Heavy) later, meeting the photos again including a very drunk Wendy. Had a nice chat with her with some very worrying photos members in my neck. Shouldn't have worried, was not in any state to do anything, including Wendy.
Just playing the record again, great, where are those days?

12:30 PM  
Blogger jan said...

Remember seeing the photos in Exit, the Dutch (Rotterdam) place to be in those days. Got *&%$%^$% drunk, going to the night club (Heavy) later, meeting the photos again including a very drunk Wendy. Had a nice chat with her with some very worrying photos members in my neck. Shouldn't have worried, was not in any state to do anything, including Wendy.
Just playing the record again, great, where are those days?

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Big Punk Pete. said...

I saw the Photos supporting John Cooper Clark at some freshers gig I crashed in London, Autumn 1979. Also crashed the after party too. Stuff happened there that I shall never forget, but I daresay Wendy has by now. Shame. Great Band. Followed them around for a while, and still have the album release with "Blackmail Tapes" attached. Nice to see their stuff still available on Amazon, etc. Could do with a revival. For me, the standout was "Now you tell me that we're through". Also, Barbarella's, because I was a regular at the club too. Great Days.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Roddy said...

I saw The Photos at the Marquee November 79. The club was sold out and I thought they were amazing and would eventually become big in North America. A few nights later i saw another band at the Marquee called The Pretenders and thought they were OK. When i returned to Canada i was so surprised that i would never hear from them again. I did manage to buy their first album (The Photos + The Blackmail tapes) and still listen to it to this day..... Too Bad

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the Photos" will live again in Fresno, California...at least on vinyl...i stumbled onto a demonstration double album that had a printed warning on it that read "PROPERTY OF CBS,DEMONSTRATION ONLY NOT FOR SALE"...it is a 2-album set,limited edition featuring a free full album of "THE BLACKMAIL TAPES"..MINT CONDITION!!!! great music!!! takes me back to my college years...what could have been....

RETRO IN FRESNO

2:52 AM  
Anonymous Matty said...

I have a tape of a show they did at The Venue in London in 1981. I was there right at the front. Capital Radio 95.8FM recorded it then broadcast a few weeks later. I taped it off the radio. It has a lot of good stuff which appeared on Crystal Tips. I wish Capital would publish that recording. It was a superb show.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Folks, I was a huge fan of this band in the eighties, bought everything from 'So Attractive' to 'We'll Win' (and Wendy's stuff) managed to catch them live 3 times
would love to get a copy of any of the live tapes mentioned here on CDR
or a copy of the Rock Goes to College video, can anyone help? possibly buy or trade? thanks mike@prestigecarservicing.com

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Lou said...

Does anybody have transcriptions of the lyrics for the original album? I've only got an old tattered vinyl copy, and I'm not sure if there was ever a lyric insert or not. I've never been 100% certain of what Wendy was singing on these records. Same goes for I'm So Attractive and the smattering of b-sides... If anybody knows the lyrics it would be great to know them! The Photos were a brilliant band, and deserved far greater success. Alas, what could have been...

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love copies of them two recordings havent got any live recordings of the photos great band

6:32 PM  
Blogger Mark Orr said...

I saw the photos several times and they were fantastic live. I wasn't so impressed with Wendy as a solo artist.

I like their version of the Beatles Just 17 on the bonus album.

This discussion has brought back lovely memories

7:50 PM  

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