Isolation Ward is a classic exemple how the new wave bands were formed in early 80s. Their story is simple and so obvious : a group of close friends which were attending the same school shared the similar music interests, bought the same records, spent their time in the same local clubs so, at one point they decided to make a step forward and create some music of their own. The place of this action was Brussels, the exact date : September 1980, the personel were : Stephane Willocq (guitar), Jean-Pierre Everaerts (bass), Thierry Heynderickx (keyboards) , Etienne Vernaeve (drums). Soon, they were joined by Nathalie Bourlard (vocals), her friend Anna Kinna "Nanou" (backing vocals, mellodica) and Eric Van Houte (guitar) who also managed to obtain an offer to record three band's songs for local radio station FM Bruxel. The recordings were made in the Sega Studio on August 13th' 1981, titled : "Dangerous", "Trackers of the Night" and "High & Low". These songs have got some airplay success which prompted FX Bruxel to organize for them several live gigs. And in a week off the last of these concerts a split occured among band's musicians - the four core members decided to say farewell to singer Nathalie and newcomer guitarist Eric who would like to be more pop and funk, on the contrary to rest of the band who wanted to play a darker kind of post-punk, like their idols Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, The Cure. With Nanou promoted now to a lead singer's role they worked hard on their repertoire and wrote a dozen new songs in a relatively short time. Looking for a record deal the band was noticed by Michel Duval and Annik Honore from notable indie label Les Disques du Crepuscule and soon it was offered to release a single, as well to play some live gigs. So, in March 1982 they went to LBO Studio and with Gilles Martin and Peter Principle of Tuxedomoon as engineer and producer they recorded several songs which were released on a single in April 1982 named "Lamina Christus" on A-side and "Babes and Sucklings (A Lullaby)" on B-side (Crepuscule Section Francais, RAD 008). "Lamina Christus" was frequently played in Belgic and French radio stations and achieved some success, enough that Martin Hannett (from Factory Records) or Will Seargent (of Echo and The Bunnymen) were eager to produce the band's first full-length album. It went nowhere beacause band's members postponed the release of that album and focused on their solo recordings which were gradually released on cassettes by their own label Presence. Meanwhile, in May 1982 Nanou left the band to form with Jerry WX an electronic duo Chemical Hours. She was replaced by another female vocalist Sylvie Honnay who performed on several band's live concerts and recorded with them two songs for the second single, released in April 1983, titled "Absent Hearts" on A-side and "A Request" on B-side (Les Disques du Crepuscule, TWI 135). But the band went into year 1983 without Sylvie, limited to the four faounding members with Thierry as a lead singer. They were extensively touring, playing as a support for such giants like Siouxsie and the Banshees or The Birthday Party and it seemed that their future is bright. But the smell of success didn't last long. In summer of 1983 the band was joined by Jerry WX and turned its sound into more electronic climates, but the change of musical direction didn't work out and the band announced its end lately that year. Post mortem to Isolation Ward's history were two cassettess, released in 1984 by the band's own label Presence, titled "Point de Depart" (Presence, Pre 011) and "Point Final" (Presence, Pre 013) which comprised almost all their recordings. So, it was almost the last act, almost because in 2009 an indie record label LTM Recordings released a compilation album titled "Point Final" (LTM, LTMCD 2545) with 17 songs recorded throughout their activity. More info about Isolation Ward is on facebook band's profile : https://www.facebook.com/isolward/
poniedziałek, 17 kwietnia 2017
wtorek, 29 marca 2016
Remember classic hits from the 80s like "Forever Young", "Sounds Like A Melody" or "Big In Japan" which have brought the mere synthpop sounds into another musical dimension, giving them a brand new look, so fresh and sparkling with multitude of innovative tones. All these songs are from the debut album by a German trio Alphaville which at this time consisted of Marian Gold (vocals), Bernhard Lloyd (keyboards) and Frank Mertens (keyboards). Unexpectedly, just after the album was released Frank Mertens (real name Frank Sorgratz) left the band, and the main reason for his decision was that he wasn't able to deal with a huge popularity and success that came on Alphaville in 1984. But fortunately he had to complete his contract signed with the record company WEA Musik GmbH so he composed several new songs which were released on his solo singles in the next few years. I used the word "fortunately" deliberately because among these songs the one, titled "Hold Me", is a true musical gem. He recorded it with his girlfiend Martina Richter (vocals) and Felix Lille (keyboards, guitars) and released it under the moniker Lonely Boys in vinyl on two formats : as 7inch single (WEA 248 810-7, with b-side track "Lonely Boy") as well as 12inch maxi ( the extended version ), It;s a shame but this record never was successful.
sobota, 19 września 2015
Sometimes record companies could incline artists who have contract with them to make silly or even ridiculous moves to achieve commercial success. The fine example for this theory could be a case of one English new wave band which released its only record under three different names. The story has begun when a working in London Canadian Michelle McAdorey answered the ad of a guitarist Ian Morse looking for a vocalist to form a proper band. After a few rehearsals the duo recorded a demo tape which was well received by music agents and allow them to get live gigs in some prestigious clubs in London like The Venue or The Marquee under the provisional name Cold Fish. Soon the band has grown to a quartet with two new musicians : Tom Sewell (bass) and Peter Howard (drums) and what was more important, it has secured the recording deal with major label CBS Records. Midge Ure (Ultravox fame) was chosen by that label to produce the first band's single, at least the track designed for its A-side. That single titled "Love Me Today" (CBS - A 2779) was released by the band first in UK in early 1982 under the name Cold Fish but it passed almost unmarked and failed to enter the hit charts. Poor results of this release caused that CBS dropped the band and restrained its support for them. But the band still had been trying to find some success with their only song outside UK and they managed to release "Love Me Today" in two formats as 7inch and 12 inch in Canada under the name Corect Spelling and in Europe under the name SUSHI. Unfortunately, changes of name didn't bring any evident profits for the band and due to lack of them they broke up. Sadly, because I think that "Love Me Today" had got a really big hit potential.
niedziela, 13 września 2015
Yesterday, while I was going home I listened on my car radio the song by Leo Sayer "Thunder In My Heart". At first moment this song seemed to be very familiar to me but I needed about a minute to recognize who performs it. It won't be a big slip if I say that I didn't listened to this song more than thirty five years. I'm not a great fan of music created by such artists like Leo Sayer but accidentely I encountered on him when I bought a compilation vinyl album titled "Heart Of Glass and Other Hits" (Pronit - SX 1841, Tonpress - SX 1841) released in Poland around a year 1979. The reason I have bought this record was its setlist comprising mainly tracks of new wave and rock stars like Blondie, Rory Gallagher, Ten Years After, UFO or Jethro Tull but the addition to them were songs by pop or disco artists : Nick Gilder, Frankie Miller, The Babys and Leo Sayer. Thereby I played this album as a whole on my gramophone so many times I also became fond of Leo Sayer's hit "Thunder In My Heart" compiled on B-side of that record. By the way, it peaked at number 22 on the UK Singles Chart and number 38 on US Billboard Hot 100.
wtorek, 8 września 2015
Dan Hicks Thomas Dolby
A sophisticated jazzy theme with haunting dark lyrics. This is an appropriate description for the song "I Scare Myself" by Dan Hicks, an American singer/songwriter active on jazz-folk-blues-country music scene since the early 1960's. He wrote this song at the beginning of his career while residing in San Francisco area. It was released on his first album "Original Recordings" (Epic - BN 26464) from 1969 but it passed almost unmarked. Almost, because Tommy LiPuma, the producer of the next Dan's studio album, have found this song so commercially atractive that he convinced Dan to re-record it once more and release it on that album titled "Striking It Rich !" (Blue Thumb Records - BTS 36) in spring of 1972. Generally, this time the song's got wide radio airplay, becoming soon one of the most popular Hicks's tracks on his numerous gigs which followed the release of that album. Throughout next fourty years several artists covered "I Scare Myself" with various results. The most successful version of the song was recorded by Thomas Dolby in 1984 and released on his third studio album "The Flat Earth" (Parlophone Odeon - PCS 2400341) and futhermore as a single in 7inch and 12inch formats (Parlophone - R 6067). It's so different than Hicks' original albeit equally magical. Dolby changed entirely song's instrumentation, partially its rhythms and gave it new more jazzy outlook, very polished yet a little moody and dramatic sometime. That was a minor hit in UK and continental Europe peaking at Number 46 on the UK Singles Chart.
niedziela, 6 września 2015
Another lost band from the past. The short-lived Belgian project The Rezistance, active in years 1982 - 1983 is a classic representative of the new wave scene in the period of its heyday. All the records released by them is a single "Dance On"/Get Off" (Maquis Records - MR 001) and 12inch mini album "The Art Of Love" (Parsley - PP 029) with tracklist : A side - "Heavenly", "Whatcha Gonna Be?"; B side - "Fear", "Ground Zero", "Dance On". The band's line-up : Bob Geenens (vocals, keyboards), Phillippe Vanderdonckt (bass), Ronald Vanhuffel (drums), Jackie Hebbrecht (guitar), Eric D'Hoe (keyboards). It's a pity that catchy tunes from these records didn't achieved any bigger success, especially "Heavenly".
sobota, 5 września 2015
This track is taken from a film directed by Serbian Darko Bajic titled "Black Bomber". The film plot is about an independent radio host Crni (Dragan Bjelogrlic) and the rock singer Luna (Anica Dobra) who are fighting the authorities ruling town in non-democratic way. They both are cruising their pick-up truck with built-on studio broadcasting their own radio program.