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"

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Freshies

freshiesWhile dropping of a batch of his Manchester, England band The Freshies records at the local Virgin record store, a cashier at the counter caught the eye of Chris Sievey and a hit was born. But there's a lot more to the band than their 1980 hit "I'm In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk". Leader Sievey was known for devising ingenious ways to promote his band including scamming Stiff Records into listening to the band by stealing the labels letterhead and sending out a mysterious press release, to putting code to a video game in the grooves of the b-side to a single. Sievey devised the Freshies number one fan Frank Sidebottom who was nothing more than Sievey wearing wearing a big paper maché head. The Freshies' released no albums but many singles and E.P.s between 1978 and 1982 and worked with Billy Duffy (The Cult), Martin Jackson (Magazine), Lisa Stansfield and legendary producer Martin Hannet (Joy Division). Eventually Sidebottom became more popular than the band and Sievey continued to release records and appear on television as his alter ego after the band called it quits.

The Freshies were:

Chris Sievey (guitar, vocals) aka Frank Sidebottom
Barry Spencer (guitar, vocals)
Rick Sarko (bass, vocals)
Mike Doherty (drums)

A compilation CD The Very Very Best of the Freshies was released in 1996

Go to the download page to get The Freshies - "I'm In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Check-out Desk" mp3 here

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Suburbs

suburbsMinneapolis, Minnesota's The Suburbs formed in the fall of 1977. Their sound combined guitar, keyboard and brass with a funky, dancable beat and humorous lyrics. After releasing several singles, EPs and LPs on Minneapolis' legendary indie Twin/Tone Records, they became one of the first bands from the Minneapolis scene to get signed to a major by landing on PolyGram in 1983. Instead PolyGram landed on them. Label problems and changes left them homeless until A&M picked them up and a final self-titled LP was released in 1986. The band dissolved the following year.

In 2002 Guitarist/Vocalist Beej Chaney purchased the rights and reissued the Suburbs' first three albums on CD . The band celebrated by getting together for a few reunion shows in Minneapolis. The next year a greatest hits CD was released and once again they got together for a couple of shows.

Keyboard/Vocalist Chan Poling is now composing and writing songs for Film, TV and Theatre. He released a solo album in 2002.

In 2003 Beej Chaney released a solo album under his given name Blaine John Chaney on his own Beejtar label that reissued the first three Suburbs albums.

The Suburbs were:
Chan Poling - Keyboards, Vocals.
Beej Chaney - Guitar (Beetar), Vocals.
Hugo Klaers - Drums
Bruce C. Allen - Guitar, Vocals
Michael Halliday - Bass

You can hear song clips and see video clips at the Suburbs Twin/Tone Site and find more on the Suburbs here.

Since most of the Suburbs music is available on CD, this week's post is the 12" dance version of "Love Is The Law" that was never commercially released. You can download it here.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


snipsFrom a great lost band of the 70's called Sharks came a great lost artist of the 80's called Snips, a.k.a. Steve Parsons. In 1978 he released an album called Video King (Jet). In 1980 Snips reunited with former Sharks legendary guitarist Chris Spedding and Be Bop Deluxe leader extraordinaire Bill Nelson to record the album La Rocca (EMI 1981). Spedding produced the album but the single "Nine O'Clock" was produced by Ultravox's Midge Ure. In 1994 The Sharks reunited to record the album Like A Black Van Parked On A Dark Curve (Angel Air)

Go to the download page to get Snips - "Nine O'Clock"