Thursday, May 17, 2018

Black - Paradise (A&M)

Considering this is meant to be a song all about paradise, Mr Colin Vearncombe doesn't sound to be having a very good time at all. Mostly he "woah oh woah oh's" in a rather unenthusiastic manner to a not terribly jolly "beat" that's very similar to "Wonderful Life" and "Sweetest Smile". Perhaps he was suffering from a nasty bout of bellyache when he recorded it. Or perhaps he's just a bit of a sad soul... (Sue Dando, Smash Hits, December 30, 1987)

As with all of Black's slower songs, the percussion track immediately grabs your attention. As long as he steers clear of James Hamilton disco territory, he can't really fail. (Lawrence Donegan, Record Mirror, January 9, 1988)

Great Lines: 'Life should never feel small', sings Colin. And he is correct.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Faith Brothers - A Stranger On Home Ground (Siren)

Another contestant on 'Great White Hope' and a fine example to all the others. Sure, they have their Sixties and early Costello influences but, despite a dreadful production [by Paul Hardiman], they've still managed to inject enough fire to kick it firmly into the Eighties. It should cause a modest ripple in the charts - and deservedly so. (Mike Gardner, Record Mirror, June 22, 1985)

Bucks Fizz - You And Your Heart So Blue (RCA)

I must say I always detested Bucks Fizz. Those medallion men! And those girls! Yucksville. Their records have always exemplified the worst traits of British pop kitsche. This is no exception. Now, it seems, they can't stand each others' guts either. What colour law suit do you want! (Max Bell, No 1, June 22, 1985)

Bucks Fizz have again proved that fact is always better than fiction, having read The Sun last week. Could the Dallas scriptwriters have made up a better tale of sex and high flying wheeling and dealing? Could The Godfather makers have made up a gorier tale of alleged 'family' treachery,and squalid break ups? This release is a spirited version of the sort of thing Smokie used to knock out in their sleep. It's not a patch on the B-side - "Now Those Days Are Gone" - a quality song and more than a little apt to boot. (Mike Gardner, Record Mirror, June 22, 1985)

Men At Work - Everything I Need (Epic)

I'm not proud. I like "Down Under" if only because it opened the door for a lot more interesting Aussie bands in Britain and America. Men At Work have changed since then and acquired a touch of the Dire Straits. The humour is gone. This is where Men At Work get their UB40s. (Mike Gardner, Record Mirror, June 22, 1985)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Chris Rea - I Can Hear Your Heart Beat (Magnet)

He's tried to have a hit more times than I've had hot dinners. This all rather sounds like Dire Straits meeting Bob Seger. A fairly traditional rock song, but poor old Rea can't quite Pull it off. (Robin Smith, Record Mirror, June 18, 1983)

Suze De Marchi - Young Hearts (EMI)

A pretty face and an average-sounding single are in evidence. The looks belong to 21-year-old platinum blonde Suze, who hails from deepest Western Australia. The song on the other hand, hasn't got as much going for it, as it sounds alarmingly like a Pat Benatar or Laura Brannigan, for that matter, cast off. Thankfully, it's all over before you know it. (Anna Martin, No 1, May 14, 1986)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Pepsi And Shirlie - Goodbye Stranger (Polydor)

Far be it from me to grudge Thingmy And Wotsit their moment in the sun after so many years thankless labouring as Wham! stage props but this bright, brassy and breathless piece of frantic froth is not what you would call a "good" record. It will however - cruel but true - be played to death by Radio One because (a) they're girls and (b) they're the next best thing to Wham! for the moment (this does sound rather like them). (Ian Cranna, Smash Hits, May 6, 1987)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Dream Academy - Life In A Northern Town (Blanco Y Negro)

Supposing it did exist, a dream academy would be a place to learn all there is to know about dreams. But there isn't one. Is there? Maybe the two boys and one girl in The Dream Academy know something, as the reason why this record is so damned good eludes me like a dream. It could be the haunting, almost-choral arrangement of this atmospheric song, or perhaps the lyrical content which triggers off a barrage of romantic images. Whatever makes it such a dream of a single, more please. (Adrian Tierney-Jones, No 1, March 9, 1985)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy - She Makes Me Quiver (10 Records)

There's probably some perverse logic behind having such an unwieldy name, but if I were Stephen I'd drop the Tin Tin bit, pronto. That aside, the quest for the hit solo single by the Duran that got away continues. I'm not sure if this is the one though. It's got the right ingredients, but it doesn't make the impression it should. Could have something to do with all those rhyming lyrics. Narcotic/ neurotic/gothic/exotic . . . it all gets a bit wearing after a while. (Karen Swayne, No 1, September 22, 1984)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Lucy Show - Undone (A&M)

Guitars nip and chatter while a singer with the sleepy drawl of a British Jack Nicholson gets all sardonic about hanging out on the corner with his stinky friends. Not much of a song tune-wise, but the sound is dashingly gloomy. You can dance to it, you can call it "art" if you so wish - either way it's shimmeringly cool. Single Of The Fortnight. (Tom Hibbert, Smash Hits, November 6, 1985)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Chant Of Barry Flynn - The Smile And The Kiss (Ensign)

This originally came out under the name of Bonk. I mean, BONK!!! And if you don't know what that means, I'm certainly not going to tell you. It flopped, so Bonk, who is actually Barry Flynn, decided to give it another go under his real but equally uncharismatic moniker. It's still pretty unexciting. (Sunie, No 1, April 21, 1984)

Almost a hit last year and deservedly re-released. Bas has dropped the awful Bonk moniker which must have affected his chances before. A rousing sixties soul stomp chorus and not too much else, but a hit. (Andy Strickland, Record Mirror, April 28, 1984)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Freur - Matters Of The Heart (CBS)

If your name looks like a worm and is pronounced like the sound of someone being a little unwell ("freur"), you should have no chance, but this is a suede-skinned, juicy peach of a record. A blissfully romantic song, graced by an arresting vocal and an arrangement that hugs like loving arms at a windy bus-stop. The best electro-ballad since "Vienna". (Mark Steels, Smash Hits, June 9, 1983)

Those silly sods from Splottland are back. once more the sub-Sylvian drone erodes my little brain cells. (Robin Smith, Record Mirror, June 18, 1983)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bruce Willis - Under The Boardwalk (Motown)

Bruce Willis, oh yes, I loved "Respect Yourself", I'm a big fan! This is a really nice treatment, although as a singer I've already found a couple of things that grind, but it's still a lovely, sweaty, vocal sound. The B-side's an instrumental of "Respect Yourself", I'd be interested in that alright! I could see myself buying this, and I'd put it on in the evening and drink wine. I love the real strings, and it's surprisingly good for an actor. (Johnny Logan, No 1, May 30, 1987)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hot House - The Way We Walk (RCA)

Lacking in subject matter, my son. Not enough information about the position of the upper body on this one. Still, walking is an instinctive thing, except for Derrick. Nice to hear a prominent Joanna having its ivories tinkled. Good brassy bits. They'll dig it in clubland. (Gilbert*, No 1, August 15, 1987)

Trivia: Hot House featured Heather Small, who would later go on to achieve great success with M People and as a solo singer.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Scott Walker - Track Three (Virgin)

A lot of people have been waiting for this record. Scott Walker – one-time half of the legendary Walker Brothers – hasn't released a record for six years, but interest in him as a cult figure, musical maverick and all-round enigma has never died. As a fan myself, I found 'Track Three' disappointing. It's a capable modern pop song, and the old Walker voice is as wonderful as ever. But there are dozens of songs in his back-catalogue that knock spots off this one. And dozens of new pop records that do that particular job a lot better. The B-side, "Blanket Roll Blues", is a better indication of his real nature – dark and honestly strange. (Maureen Rice, No 1, March 3, 1984)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hurrah - How Many Rivers? (Kitchenware)

You might well remember seeing a video of Hurrah on the sadly defunct Tube. it consisted of them frantically strumming their mean guitars while attempting to walk in straight lines between pillars (ie not very successfully). This lot obviously have a lot of talent but this single certainly doesn't show it. Sorry! (Anita Strymowicz, No 1, August 8, 1987)

D: They've certainly changed a lot since I saw them supporting Aztec Camera. This is certainly a lot more American.
S: Yawn! I wonted it to end after about 30 seconds 'cause I knew it wasn't going to do anything surprising. It was so predictable.
Dom: I liked it. At least it's got a chorus that will stick in my mind.
M: I'd like to see them do it live, 'cause I bet they can't. (The Chesterfields, Record Mirror, August 1, 1987)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Big Country - East Of Eden (Mercury)

The guitars take something of a back seat here, as Stuart Adamson delivers a tuneful and competent vocal. Trouble is, Big Country are at a bit of a loss when they're not going hell for leather and bouncing around on one foot. Maybe the odd piano on your gentler moments might add something, boys. (Andy Strickland, Record Mirror, September 22, 1984)

The production on this record is truly awful. The instruments blur into one muddy, thrashing mass, completely submerging any hapless tune which might be struggling to escape. (It sounds the same on the radio, so I know it's not my stylus.) The B-side, a brutally massacred version of Roxy Music's wonderful "Prairie Rose", is even worse. Yuk! (Vici MacDonald, Smash Hits, September 27, 1984)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Blue Zoo - Loved One's An Angel (Magnet)

Regent's Park and Whipsnade could do better. A feeble joke that. Almost as feeble as this record. Only Magnet Records' seeming ability to gain an above-average amount of air-play prevents me from totally writing it off. (Fred Dellar, Smash Hits, February 3, 1983)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Suze De Marchi - Big Wednesday (EMI)

This girl's got a voice, and she's sickeningly beautiful too. Her debut single a while back was a good 'un, but didn't catch on. Perhaps this one will. Suze is Australian and her song hops along like a bunch of roos in the bush. It's a happy, summer sound written by Suze and Simon Climie - and he was co-writer of the George and Aretha monster smash - nice one possums! (Debbi Voller, No 1, July 25, 1987)

Adam And The Ants - Goody Two Shoes (CBS)

Mr Ant goes rockabilly, suggests we wear a little make-up, exhorts us not to smoke and drink, namechecks soul maestro Al Green for some reason, and - frankly - bores the highwayman's breeches off me. Dull. (Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, May 13, 1982)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Bonk! - I'm Not Unusual (Ensign)

You know what time of year it is when the Singles Page starts filling up with David Bowie impersonators called Bonk: wingeing about how their girlfriends think they're a bit kooky but that's really because they don't understand them. His real name's probably Lance or Norman or something. [Actually, it's Barry] (Ian Birch, Smash Hits, January 6, 1983)

The Blow Monkeys - Atomic Lullaby (RCA)

More than obvious schmaltzy chords of the effort from the promising Blow Monkeys. Let's leave boring MOR to Spandau, eh lads? The obligatory sax wails on like Spiney with bad guts. Originality quota 2/10. (Andy Strickland, Record Mirror, September 22, 1984)

Friends have been raving about this band to me, and with good reason. The Blow Monkeys (don't be put off by the name) have come up with the week's best, and most unusual single. Opening with moody sax, "Atomic Lullaby" builds to a final crescendo with a style all of its own. The subdued but distinctive vocal fits somewhere between Lloyd Cole and Morrissey. The singer is called Dr Robert and he has a sinister charm that is hard to ignore. Try to hear it. (Karen Swayne, No 1, September 22, 1984)

XTC - No Thugs In Our House (Virgin)

In which two parents try to convince a young constable that their son is not a nasty, vicious hooligan. A little heavy for my tastes, and it does go on a bit. Winner of the Silly Packaging of the Week Award, though, for a sleeve which converts into a toy theatre! How will they try and sell them to us next? I shudder to think. (Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, May 13, 1982)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Japan - Cantonese Boy (Virgin)

A good song, but the fourth track off Tin Drum to become a single, and this can't really be counted as much more than a stop-gap measure until the boys in rouge re-unite and pen something new. The B-side includes the humdrum instrumental entitled "The Experience of Swimming". (Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, May 13, 1982)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

New Order - Temptation (Factory)

I can spot a New Order single a mile off. Just keep an eye out for an expensive-looking sleeve that doesn't say New Order anywhere on it and you're halfway there. (We were thinking of doing a New Order poster magazine at one time - it was going to be baked inside a cake and only available to residents of The Channel Islands, but it never came together . . .) Anyway, this is a change for the better; animated, perky even. Spring would seem to be in the Mancunian air because this is that rarest of items, a New Orders love song, featuring the lines 'up, down, turn around, please don't let me hit the ground' and other phrases which could be said to express happiness. With my own ears I heard it. (David Hepworth, Smash Hits, May 27, 1982)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Siouxsie And The Banshees - Fireworks (Polydor)

Starts with an orchestra tuning up and ends with the sound of some fairly expensive rockets going off. In between you get the usual swirling Siouxsie sound, long on repetition but short on tune, eminently suitable for haunting houses etc. Probably recorded in a bell tower. Quite likeable really. (David Hepworth, Smash Hits, May 27, 1982)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Virginia Astley - Love's A Lonely Place To Be (Why Fi)

A sad tale of love grown old with a watercolour vocal from Miss Astley and a pretty arrangement of classical tinge. One for Mary Hopkin lovers. (Mark Cooper, Record Mirror, January 22, 1983)

A Ravishing Beauty indulges in more than a modicum of the pretty-pretties. But tinkling bells and a twinkling belle do not a substantial pop record make! (Fred Dellar, Smash Hits, February 3, 1983)

Toyah - Brave New World (Safari)

What can I say? She seems such a nice girl when she's on the box or talking in these pages. You can't help but admire her energy and utter professionalism. But as soon as she sings I get this awful feeling that she's somehow, er, exaggerating. All her songs have to be about some grand matter and sung with talent competition gusto. Knock 'em in the aisles, sock 'em in the back row of the balcony, grab 'em and shake 'em. My first instinct is to duck. That said, this is relatively restrained and should get on fewer nerves than the likes of "It's A Mystery". (David Hepworth, Smash Hits, May 27, 1982)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Echo And The Bunnymen - The Back Of Love (Korova)

There was a time when the suggestion that The Bunnymen might actually have a hit would have been greeted with snorts of derision. Nowadays I'm not so sure. Mac sounds like he's fed up of loitering in the backwaters of hipness and brings forth an impassioned vocal that complements the urgent guitars and thundering drums of his colleagues. Cutting loose and cutting deep as well. (David Hepworth, Smash Hits, May 27, 1982)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

UB40 - Love Is All Is All Right (DEP International)

Another neatly-wrapped parcel of political wisdom, delivered with the usual adenoidal preachiness, this makes its way at snail's pace towards the obligatory timid dub section. Why anyone should buy this rather than a Bob Marley, Burning Spear or Aswad record is entirely beyond me and you can write all the angry letters you like, I still won't understand. (David Hepworth, Smash Hits, May 27, 1982)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Classix Nouveaux - Because You're Young (Liberty)

Bryan Ferry has a lot to answer for. If it hadn't been for early Roxy Music then half the young singers in the country wouldn't feel free to deliver songs from behind clenched teeth. Sal is much smitten with this technique; his Adam's Apple travels up and down like a lift operator but the mouth is never actually open. Consequently he can render a fairly healthy song like this one annoyingly affected. (David Hepworth, Smash Hits, May 27, 1982)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner (A&M)

Hmm, not sure if it's a good idea to promote an artist by putting out acapella songs about cafes on 112th Street and Broadway in Britain just yet. If you like Vega, and I do in measured doses, then you'll be able to pretend to enjoy this without dying of terminal embarrassment but otherwise it defines twee in naked single format. While we're on the subject of new folk, and we're not, Jennifer Warnes' version of Leonard Cohen's 'First We Take Manhattan' (reviewed last week) is tremendous, as Mike Gatting would say. By comparison this is like doing the quick crossword in the Evening Standard. Not very stimulating. (Max Bell, No 1, July 18, 1987)

T: I can't believe she's released this, I mean it's such an odd choice.
A: Yeah, I agree, I like Suzanne Vega but this one doesn't do her a lot of favours.
J: What is she playing at? Halfway through I thought nothing was going to happen - and I was right!
(All About Eve, Record Mirror, July 18, 1987)

Culture Club - White Boy (Virgin)

The kind of image-heavy build-up that Boy George and Culture Club have had, lead me to expect just another all-trousers-and-no-action combo (well, all dresses actually, given George's taste in clothes). I'm surprised, therefore to find this an enjoyable helping of well-produced white soul even though it can't keep it up past the halfway mark on the 12". A question is prompted however: how much white funk would sell without all the make-up, gold suits etc? (Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, May 13, 1982)

Note: Dave Rimmer would continue to delve into the themes of the sound and style of "new romantic" pop in his books Like Punk Never Happened and The Look.

 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nick Kamen - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever (WEA)

I don't know about you, but I always preferred the bloke in the bath in those Levi's ads. Much less obvious than Mr Kamen - but then the charts are full of 'obvious' acts at the moment and Nick fits into this as perfectly as those dinky little boxer shorts of his. Making use of Spandau Ballet's one sax solo, it's soft disco that reminds you of a million other tacky dance greats. Pre-packaged for party time! As stylish as the man who's singing it. And take that as you will. (Eleanor Levy, Record Mirror, February 21, 1987)

I hated his last one but I heard it so often it sort of grew on me. Here he's covered a classic song (originally done by legendary Motown soul act The Four Tops) and killed it. His voice is really dodgy. I don't think models should try and be singers. Let's face it, he's made it just 'cos he's got a pretty face. My dad's mate is a really brilliant singer and he's been trying for years to get a record contract and he can't get one. I think it's unfair. But the charts are all about novelty really ain't they? I mean, I think it's out of order that records by the EastEnders lot get to Number One. Mind you I can't talk! The Grange Hill records I sang on were bloody awful. I don't know how they got into the charts either. Makes you wonder dunnit? (Lee MacDonald, No 1, February 21, 1987)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Pete Wylie - If I Love You (Siren)

Pete Wylie can be a contrary son of a gun on occasions: "If I Love You" isn't one of them. After the poor showing of "Diamond Girl" he returns to the more straightforward melodic pitch of "Sinful" with a considered semi ballad that starts off sounding like Freddie Mercury and then gravitates more towards a modern street wise Bob Dylan. Wylie's problem, if that's the way you look at it, is that he isn't firmly established enough in the public ear and eye to guarantee success with his slightly maverick songs. (Max Bell, No 1, July 18, 1987)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Blow Monkeys - The Man From Russia (RCA)

Most Intriguing Title Of The Fortnight, made even more curious by the fact that it's impossible to work out what the song's about. Dreamy vocals, real 'live' drums and a brass section add up to an optimistic sound. I can imagine this being covered by Shirley Bassey or Liza Minnelli. (Linda Duff, Smash Hits, July 5, 1984)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Echo And The Bunnymen - The Cutter (Korova)

Dark vocals, dramatic chords and the kind of "Eastern" riff that sent Blancmange scurrying off to Egypt to film a video make this an intriguing but inscrutable single. "Spare us the cutter," implores the chorus. Certainly boys, but, er, what is it? (Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, January 20, 1983)

Everything But The Girl - Mine (Blanco Y Negro)

The subtle use of percussion and smoky tones of Tracey Thorn's voice turn this into another late-night affair. A haunting tale of a girl left holding the baby, this, like all their records, turns me all moody. (Linda Duff, Smash Hits, July 5, 1984)

It's brilliant, isn't it? I like all this jazz based stuff that's happening now because its good for people to get into that level of musicianship and also make it commercial at the same time. It's getting away from quick, cheap and nasty. It's a great song and she's got a really good voice and phrases the words really well. This is one of the best singles I've heard for a long time and it should be a big hit if they've finished their exams and want to do a bit of promotion. Single Of The Week. (Andy Taylor [Duran Duran], Record Mirror, July 14, 1984)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Killing Joke - A New Day (EG)

If it actually had a start, a middle, and an end, we might have played it right through. The rhythm track's good, I like all the tom toms and stuff, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere. They'll probably beat us up now but I did like a couple of their records. We've got a roadie who's mad about Killing Joke but he won't go to any of their gigs because you get spat on. (Andy Taylor [Duran Duran], Record Mirror, July 14, 1984)

A very dated guitar riff announces the fact that we're not to expect anything new from Killing Joke in this latest release. They're apparently attempting to sound threatening and raw, but the band have always been a little guilty of being pantomime punks, and this just reinforces that pastiche. Killing Joke are about ten years too late, and the only people they threaten are the record company. (Muriel Gray, Smash Hits, July 19, 1984)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Boy George - Keep Me In Mind (Virgin)

He may be Nick Kamen's badge salesman, but he's also Boy George, my granny's favourite popstar (yes, and your budgie Joey's favourite too, gran), erm, sorry. She'll love it when she hears it. 'That trippy flute will make it a big hit all over the continent' she'll be telling me soon. And I'd have to agree. It's The Boy back to his best that wasn't "Everything I Own" nor "Ferry Aid"! Keep Boy George in mind? For as long as we can remember Marilyn (Monroe) to be sure. (Frank Gillespie, No 1, June 6, 1987)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

King - Soul On My Boots (CBS)

This is really nice, the bass player's good. It could be a hit and they've got quite a good image. The old long hair's coming back, like mine, and it's important to have a good image without being too fabricated. The only thing is, they shouldn't wear Doctor Martens. I've never had a pair of them. (Andy Taylor [Duran Duran], Record Mirror, July 14, 1984)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Kajagoogoo - The Lion's Mouth (EMI)

Well well well, what do we have here? It's my old mates the "Chappypoopoos". I suppose I could slag it off 'cause they gave me the boot or, on the other hand, I could be really nice just in case they review my next single. However, I've decided to be purely and simply honest: I bumped into Nick [Beggs] at the record company offices just before Xmas and he played it to me then. I left the building humming the chorus and generally reminiscing. Good luck, guys. Single Of The Fortnight. (Limahl, Smash Hits, February 16, 1984)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Men Without Hats - Living In China (Statik)

Set the synthesiser controls for the heart of the sun, as Ivan and his band embark on a headlong dash through the perils of living in China. Too frantic to dance to and too frenetic to pick out a melody, "Living In China" is a track off their debut album Rhythm Of Youth which was recorded at least two years ago. Unfortunately it shows. (Frank Hopkinson, No 1, February 4, 1984)

According to their press handout this incredibly silly Canadian group featured Margaret Trudeau on their last single and the defecting Chinese tennis star Hu Na on this one. I reckon they could hire Jesus Christ, Lassie and the Dagenham Girl Pipers and still not get a hit. (Max Bell, No 1, June 18, 1983)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Debbie Harry - Rush Rush (Chrysalis)

Oh Debbie, oh Debbie, oh Debbie! What happened to those wonderful days when you were such a worldwide star and you had the world (including me) at your fingertips? The rawness that gave Debbie Harry her incredible appeal has been chucked out of the window for some electronic gimmickry. I prefer the old days. (Limahl, Smash Hits, February 16, 1984)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Psychedelic Furs - Angels Don't Cry (CBS)

A steady diet of filterless cigarettes is probably the cause of Richard Butler's gravel-pit groans, here interspersed with the sax lines that were so successful on "Heaven". Nowhere near as vibrant as "Pretty In Pink" this is strictly for US audiences crying out for a pit of pretension in rock instead of the home-grown capsleeves, denims and cowboy boots. (Frank Gillespie, No 1, January 17, 1987)

A fairly pensive ditty from the band now elevated to a much deserved level of stardom, courtesy of "Pretty In Pink". Difficult to elaborate really. Not one of the Furs' finest moments, and Richard Butler still sounds like his throat is locked in combat with a spoonful of gravel. Oh for another "Love My Way". (Lesley O'Toole, Record Mirror, January 10, 1987)

The Toy Dolls - She Goes To Finos (Volume)

More Geordie jokiness from the intensely irritating Toy Dolls whose heavyhanded sense of humour and cod punk doesn't extend far beyond wearing out the welcome of banal rifling and silly voices. Anyone who likes this must have had their pilot light blown out at a very early age. (Max Bell, No 1, March 30, 1985)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Whitney Houston - Someone For Me (Arista)

Ms Houston's paper credentials are strong. Daughter of Cissy, cousin to Dionne Warwick, songs provided by Kashif, Jermaine Jackson, Narada Michael Walden, blah blah blah .. . Houston's big voice threatens to set Freddie Washington's semi-ballad alight and justify the brou-ha, but Jermaine's anonymous backing sends the listener into deep slumber. Don't give up your modelling engagements yet, Whitney, honey. (Max Bell, No 1, March 30, 1985)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Rockwell - He's A Cobra (Motown)

Rockwell has the sort of moustache Prince would die for. But "He's A Cobra" is the sort of song Prince wouldn't even give to Chick Huntsberry. Once upon a time someone was watching Rockwell. Now he's the victim of a snake-like charmer who's after his girl. Sad old world, ain't it? (Adrian Tierney-Jones, No 1, March 9, 1985)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

King - Taste Of Your Tears (CBS)

The first three times I heard this piece of jangly '60s "la la la" wimpery, I had to check the sleeve to remind myself who the group was - it's that unmemorable. I think it's meant to be the song people wave their fraying "Paul King's a really hunky geezer" scarves around to at concerts, but quite frankly it would be more at home backing a jolly cornflake commercial. And yet this is the same group who were responsible for the magnificent "Love And Pride"! It's all very rum. (Vici MacDonald, Smash Hits, October 9, 1985)

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Nightingales - What A Carry On (Vindaloo)

Robert Lloyd and his merry men return to brighten the day, with their own quirky pop music. Pete and Andy's guitars criss-cross and crunch through an EP which emphasises the Nightingales' claim to the 'quiet men of indie music' crown. While others shout and stamp their leather feet, the Nightingales continue to make excellently eccentric music. Rob Lloyd's lyrics are there to be marvelled at as well. Carry on indeed. (Andy Strickland, Record Mirror, October 12, 1985)

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