Saturday, 22 April 2017
Two minutes of hate 30 years ago today from the Jesus And Mary Chain in Smash Hits, April 22, 1987 issue.
Not only do they hate everything and everyone but they're also, as William says, "such lazy bastards". And who are we to disagree? I mean, it only took them about 18 years to release their recent 'Damage & Joy' album.
Anyhow, if you want to read all of the interview; just click right on the image and on the + to enlarge for your reading comfort.
Document source & ©Brian TV
Thursday, 13 April 2017
Cutting from the NME (circa 1985, I reckon) featuring Edwyn Collins in the 'Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer' section. Edwyn gives us the lowdown on his favourite sounds, drink, books, etc. as well as other things that he dislikes.
Otherwise, in the Hot Tips bit Edwyn mentions then fairly unknown bands, Pride of the Cross and Sonic Youth. Pride of the Cross only lasted the length of one single release before a couple of the members split to join The Pogues. Wonder what happened to Sonic Youth?
Document source: GC's Punk & New Wave
Wednesday, 12 April 2017
When the late, great, American journalist Hunter S Thompson wrote: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.” It fast became an overused sentence to describe the music industry because its sentiments in brevity (exactly 140 characters, coincidently) describe pretty succinctly what the music biz represents for many indignant musicians around the globe, current and past. It’s almost become a bit of a clichéd phrase, but it’s also important to note - and let’s chime with one of the points made in Michael Hann’s departing piece as Guardian music editor; yes, musicians don’t make fortunes from their endeavours - but neither do producers of feature length music documentaries. Malcolm Ross of Josef K, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera: “It’s art, not commerce. We always wanted to be independent.”
Punk changed all that. No longer enthralled to the major corporations, Independent labels were sprouting up all over Scotland and then The White Riot Tour arrived May 7th, 1977: “It was a real year zero moment.” Davy Henderson, singer, arch agitator with Fire Engines, muses in Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk & Infiltrating the Mainstream. The feature length documentary that finally sees a public broadcast on BBC2 Scotland come Saturday night almost 40 years to the day when The Clash, The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Slits and The Subway Sect crammed into Edinburgh’s Playhouse.
Directed by Grant McPhee, Big Gold Dream centres on Edinburgh’s greatest record label of all time, Fast Product: A precursor to Manchester’s Factory, a curious influence and competitor to Alan Horne’s Postcard across in Glasgow, Fast Product’s short life time spanned two glorious years as it released records by some of the period’s most enduring groups.
Almost 40 years since its inception, founders Bob Last and Hilary Morrison’s label Fast paved the way for “indie” music, as we know it now. Such was the popularity of Fast they were knocking back tapes from the Cramps and Joy Division (the latter appearing on one of the Earcom compilations, Morrison rightfully uncomfortable with Curtis’ band name of choice). It brought us The Mekons, Gang of Four, The Scars and The Human League. For too long Fast has lived in the shadow of the rather flamboyant, west-coast timbres of Orange Juice and Postcard Records – Daly, Kirk, McClymont, Collins, and the hermetic Horne et al – still an absolute obsession of mine. Big Gold Dream corrects this and in doing so puts to bed the 2008 documentary Caledonia Dreamin’ which sadly ended up as a promotional film for Scottish Independence.
Albeit parallels in spirit and philosophies what Big Gold Dream documents is the antitheses of Postcard and Fast. Innes Reekie rightly points out that The Glasgow School were listening to the Byrds, The Velvet Underground et al. The Edinburgh cognoscenti: Television and Pere Ubu.
It was the Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch single that really started it all for Fast Product. Hillary Morrsion, co-founder of Fast bought the 7” for her then boyfriend Bob Last, who were both at the time working on tour with The Rezillos. The aspiring impresario, Last, immediately acquired a £400 bank loan, whilst drawing on “Mao’s military strategy” to push his vision forward and as the Australian narrator on Big Gold Dream describes - Robert Forster, singer with The Go-Betweens and Postcard alumni: Fast Product was born.
What Big Gold Dream achieves with its national broadcast is finally what Fast Product, Morrison and Last deserve: mainstream recognition. Consolidating on the relative success of Fast – Last finally gets the hits he’s been craving with The Human League - managing them, signing them to Virgin - Dare selling 9m records in the process and Don’t You Want Me topping the charts on Christmas day, 1981. Orange Juice hadn’t even released their debut album yet.
Big Gold Dream, Saturday 15th April, 9pm on BBC2 Scotland.
Watch the trailer here.
Many thanks to Erik Sandberg @Kiltr for giving me permission to publish his article here at SoYS.
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Poster ad for Orange Juice's 1983 'Rip It Up single. Probably the groups' best known track from OJ's second album of the same name. One of their few discs that made it into the top ten; climbing all the way to the number 8 spot in the UK singles chart. It would also be the band's last real success before they split in 1985.
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Ad from 1982 announcing the "long awaited debut album" from Orange Juice. Features lists of the band members' favourite tracks by other artists at that moment as well as the upcoming tour dates. China Crisis and Dislocation Dance supporting the band on said tour.
Ad also features a couple of quotes(?):
"As it is, Collins is too knowing, too smug and cynical, to be the pop face that his songwriting talents warrant."
"Owange Juicepies expect their debut albumypoos to be taken seriously. Just fancy that!"
I suspect that these are some sort of Postcard marketing ploy pisstake though.
Source & ©Mike Dixon
Sunday, 15 January 2017
Well, it seems like I didn't keep my promise to post some more here during the past few weeks -as before I've been too busy on other projects to keep this blog up to date as I should have. Sorry, but I just don't have enough free time.
Anyhow, today we have yet another great document from the excellent Smash Hits archive of the one and only Brian McCloskey and features a review of the Jesus and Mary Chain playing live in London in 1987. Some fine pics of the band -Jim in his mandatory leather breeks- as they get down on their knees and give the patrons their money's worth instead of "standing around and looking sulky" as they did in previous shows.
From Smash Hits, January 14, 1987.
Source & ©Brian McCloskey
Review : William Shaw
Photos : Andy Catlin
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Anyhow, today we have a great pic of those once-handsome lads, The Associates, on the cover of Smash Hits way back in 1982. Of all the Scottish bands of that era, Associates were undoubtedly my favourite band. A band which released some true marvels* and faded much too fast. All of it ending in the tragic death of the late and much lamented Billy McKenzie.
Here the lads appear to be on a photo shoot -modelling for Kays catalogue. Billy in beret and one of those horrendous roll neck sweaters and Alan in a trenchcoat (?) of a truly eyewatering colour. Well, the mauve matches his lipstick sort of.
Not sure where I sourced this so I can't credit it.
* The Associates albums; The Affectionate Punch, Sulk, and Fourth Drawer Down were reissued as two-CD deluxe editions, earlier this year.
All three include 28 page booklets featuring in-depth liner notes, unpublished photographs, original promotional material and unseen memorabilia from The Associates’ archive. Sulk is also available on vinyl.
Saturday, 24 September 2016
Haven't been doing much on this blog recently due to other committments and general lack of free time. I'll try to remediate this over the next couple of weeks or so but can't promise anything.
Anyhow, today we have a clipping from some music mag of yesteryear featuring the one and only Edwyn Collins (of Orange Juice).
Here Edwyn gives us the lowdown on some personal facts and his choices in recent books, films, records etc.
Lets us know that he "belongs to the classic school of non-singers like Dylan and Lou Reed" and other vital information like, ahem, what time he goes to bed.
Document courtesy of & ©Rob Waters.
*Rob has kindly informed me that the 'Personal File' is from an issue of Smash Hits circa '82-'83
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Some more fabulous documents from Rob Waters' Postcard Records archives. This time we have an ad and a review for their 'L.O.V.E... love / Intuition Told Me' their major label debut single on Polydor/Postcard. Rob reckons this is from an October 1981 issue of Record Mirror but I have a feeling that it might well be from a copy of the NME from the same period.
Fab uncredited shot of the lads optimistically pointing towards the number one spot in the hit parade.
Original documents courtesy of & ©Rob Waters
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Today we have a couple of promo pics of Paul Haig while he was briefly signed to Circa Records where he released 3 singles and the album, 'Chain' in 1989 - 1990. Album recorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh and which features Alan Rankine of The Associates on guitar, keyboards and as producer. The disc also includes a track entitled 'Chained' written by the other half of The Associates, the late, great Billy McKenzie.
Circa, or Circa Records, was a subsidiary label of Virgin between 1986 and 1999.
Documents courtesy of Coventry City & Scotpop fan heaven & the sea.
Images ©heaven & the sea
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
"Postcard in fact is totally finished" confirms Alan Horne in this Face article from 1981. Here we get the story of Orange Juice's signing and deal with Polydor, as opposed to a deal with Rough Trade, as well as how they retain "as much control over what we do with them as we did with Alan."
Plus news on arrival of Malcolm Ross (formerly of Josef K) to the band, his disagreements with Paul Haig and the huge sum of £1500 being spent on keyboards by Orange Juice for him.
Document from The Face (November, 1981). Courtesy of & ©Rob Waters
Sunday, 7 August 2016
Josef K's 'Only Fun in Town,' "let down by scrappy arrangements and wilfully obscure lyrics" gets panned once more in Smash Hits.
From Smash Hits, August 6th, 1981
Document courtesy of & ©Brian McCloskey
Saturday, 6 August 2016
"Segment by segment..." *Groan*
An interesting snippet on Orange Juice from 1981 by way of Rob Waters' Twitter timeline. Timeline full of wonderful documents -press clippings- from the golden era of The Sound of Young Scotland. This one features Edwyn reminiscing on his schoolboy days; the addition to the band of Malcolm Ross (formerly of Josef K); how the band are "very popular in Leeds" and the release of their single 'Warm Light' (sic).
It's also briefly mentioned at the end of the article that Stephen Daly and James Kirk have left the band since the interview took place.
Document from Jackie magazine (1981) courtesy of & ©Rob Waters
Saturday, 9 July 2016
Associates : Smash Hits, July 9th, 1981
Another Associates gem from Smash Hits courtesy of the one and only Brian McCloskey. This time from Brian's goldmine archive journalist Mark Milligan gives us the rundown on what the band was up to 35 years ago to this day. Their latest recording; a cover version of Simon Dupree's Kites, under the moniker of 39 Lyon Street -named after Rankine & Mackenzie's former address in Dundee in 1976- and how Christine Beveridge happens to be on vocals on it is the main lead. Also in this story we get to find out about all of what the boys were planning for future release including Kitchen Person and White Car in Germany.
Document courtesy of & ©BrianTV
Thursday, 7 July 2016
Well, I've been a bit busy lately at work and on other projects but I've finally gotten round to do a wee post here at SoYS. I have a whole host of other pics and artefacts to post -many provided by that treasure chest of all things from Scotland's post-punk era, Scottish Post-Punk. First of all though we a flyer and an excellent pic for and from an Orange Juice concert at Plato's, Liverpool way back in August 1981.
Very nice indeed. Edwyn looks as if he's really enjoying himself. His fringe too!
More posts up soon.
Documents courtesy of EricsToEvol
Photograph : ©Denise Hodgkinson
Saturday, 28 May 2016
Davy Henderson, following the dissolution of Fire Engines in 1981, formed the short-lived Heartbeat with Hillary Morrison -the band's only release being a track on an NME compilation cassette*- before setting up Win with with an ex-Fire Engine Russell Burn (Drums/Keyboards), Ian Stoddart (Bass), Emmanuel "Mani" Shoniwa (Guitar/Bass), Simon Smeeton (Guitar/Bass) and Willie Perry (Keyboards) in 1983. Much more pop-orientated than Fire Engines the band should been massive but despite commercial success in Scotland, Edinburgh's finest super popoid post-punkers never made the big time further afield.
Quite incredible when you think of and listen to they amazing records they released. Tracks like "Super Popoid Groove" -a song that would make anything by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of Tears For Fears pale into insignificance- "Un-American Broadcasting" -with it's wee Kraftwerk-like "Numbers" bit in the mix, as well as "You've Got The Power" (featured in a McEwans lager advert in the mid-80s), and the fab "Shampoo Tears". The band really were the proverbial dog's bollocks popwise.
After half-a-dozen or so singles and two albums the band disbanded in 1989.
Henderson went on to form The Nectarine N°9 and later, The Sexual Objects.
Photo: The 12-inch "Un-American Broadcasting" with it's Starspangled Banner sticker cover art - Swamplands (SWX 5), 1985
* The track is 'Spook Sex' (produced by Bob Last). It's featured on the NME Racket Packet tape (NME 006)
Sunday, 15 May 2016
The inside the of JAMC 'Fuck' sleeve features 'The John Lennon Lost Tapes' and includes a nice, family album snapshot of John, Cynthia, and baby Julian.
Next up should have been a wee post on the Associates 'Sulk' album but I haven't got round to it yet. It's been a busy week workwise. *sigh*
Anyhow, the other day while raking through my vinyl I came across this Jesus and Mary Chain 'Fuck' bootleg that I've had for years. I recall posting a photo at Flickr -which I recently updated with the one included here. The disc was released on the shady, Italian, El Topo label. Label based apparently in Milan if you go by the address on the back of the sleeve. Half the tracks are from a show at Birmingham NEC; from the mid 80s, I imagine, but am not sure. The other half are from early John Peel Sessions by the band in 1984 & 1985. The vinyl is the sort of marbled purple colour you would get if you overdose on Vimto and Greggs' sausage rolls then throw up. The sound quality, to say the least, is appalling.
In fact, the only thing remotely interesting about this disc is the sleeve. The front cover features a photo of the band; lounging on some beach in Portugal apparently -or so I've been informed. Jim and William, wearing their mandatory leather breeks, in the forefront and Douglas Hart and Bobbie Gillespie a few feet behind them. William and Douglas strumming their guitars while Jim and Bobbie look as if they've just been forced to drink a pint of vinegar. Each.
What's most interesting about the sleeve though is that it's made from a recycled "The Lost Lennon Tapes" cover. Sleeve that's been turned inside out to print the JAMC one on the other side! Looking inside the cover will give you more pleasure than listening to this absolutely dreadful recording.
Apparently, 'Fuck' has also been released as "The Genius of The Jesus And Mary Chain" (sic) on the same label with the same catalogue number. Probably with the same sleeve as well.
Strictly for die-hard fans only.
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Also, the artwork was completely different from the original (See previous post). This time the cover features portraits by Alan MacDonald of Rankine (front) and McKenzie (back) shot and lit up by some porn-district red light effect -supposedly to give them some sort of seedy appearance, I imagine. The portraits take up 2/3rds of the cover on each side. The band name and album title appearing on the large black horizontal band that covers the top tier of the side with Rankine. Flipside this black band is placed vertically to the right of McKenzie; the album title remains horizontal, stopping short of the singer's face. Boths pics are rather fetching; McKenzie with a sullen, bored-to-tears look whereas Rankine has what appears to be the onset of a wry smile.
The back sleeve is also upside down. Both sides might have been intended as the front cover though I've really no idea if this was indeed the case. Besides this, the album cover has no track listing; this is printed on the inner sleeve along with the production, sleeve design, and photography credits. For the anecdote; the insert lists the tracks in the correct order but on the wrong sides.
Original recording, Morgan Studios, London 1980.
Re-recording and Remixing: Basing Street & Odyssey Studios, London 1982
Remixed and Produced by Associates / Mark Arthurworrey
Sleeve is credited to Billy McKenzie, Alan MacDonald and Baillie Walsh.
Fiction Records FIXD5
Fiction Records 2383 585
A third version: a mix of the original and the remix version, with about half the tracks from the original album and the rest from the remix one, was also released in 1983.
Reissued as a mid-price album with the same cover as the remix version but with tracks listed on the back sleeve. Once again the tracks are in the correct order but on the wrong sides.
Fiction SPELP 33
Remixed versions of "A Matter of Gender" and "A" were also released as singles in 1982.
Friday, 6 May 2016
When I first read/heard about The Associates it was a review their debut single in the NME; a cover of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging"; released June 1979, just a few weeks after Bowie's version hit the UK Top 10 in April of the same year.
This cover version of a track from Bowie's 'Lodger' -third album in what's become known as the 'Berlin Trilogy'- was indeed intriguing. I never got to find a copy of this single, unfortunately, but I picked up an import copy of their debut album, 'The Affectionate Punch' (Fiction Records, 1980) as soon as it became available. My copy has "Special Price Limited Edition £2•99" embossed in gold on the front cover as well as an (horrendous) importation directe Fnac sticker; which I've never dared peel off for fear of ruining the sleeve.
For the anecdote I didn't pay £2•99 for it but almost the double at 55 french francs -more or less £5•50 at that time (August, 1980). I immediately liked the album and from then on I bought everything I could find by the band up until Alan Rankine left The Associates in 1982. Personally, I consider the 'Sulk' album as the highpoint of their career albumwise but they released some really fabulous singles. Singles which, for some unknown reason, I could never find in the 7-inch format but only in the 12-inch ones! My all time favourite Associates track being the hauntingly beautiful, 'White Car in Germany'. A single graced by it's superb Antoine Giacomani cover photograph of the lads immersed in a blue pool. Photograph from the same photo shoot as the cover of the 1981 Situation Two singles collection, 'Fourth Drawer Down.'
The band had formed in 1976. At first, Billy McKenzie and Alan Rankine had called themselves The Ascorbic Ones. Name was later changed to Mental Torture before finally becoming The Associates in 1979. From then on, for the next three years or so, The Associates were among my favourite bands. In my mind, those years were undoubetdly the band's best as well as being the period when they released their finest recordings.
After the departure of Rankine my interest in them began to wane though I did pick up a few of their later releases. MacKenzie continued to work under the name for several years before eventually going "solo" in the early 90s.
From what I've read or heard of it, Rankine leaving the band prior to the Sulk tour proved to be disastrous for the band's career. Apparently, at the time, the band was being courted by Seymour Stein of Sire Records -which could have really helped them make some impact in the USA- but with Rankine leaving and Mackenzie's unwillingness to tour, Stein lost interest in them.
The Associates joined the ranks of those great bands that never quite made it. Nor did the band make any records as good as the ones recorded between 1979 & 1982. I have to admit though that I am rather fond of later releases such as 'Waiting For The Love Boat' and their cover of Blondie's 'Heart of Glass'
Music journalist, critic, and author, Simon Reynolds, in his book 'Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984,' called The Associates the "great should-have-beens of British pop." Contenders but never quite champions.
In 1993, Rankine and McKenzie began working on new material together but this never came to anything and they split for good. Sadly to say, we'll never get to hear McKenzie's distinctive high tenor voice again as a few years later, suffering from clinical depression, he committed suicide in 1997 at the desperately young age of 39.
Rankine meanwhile established himself as a producer, working with artists such as Paul Haig, Cocteau Twins, and The Pale Fountains. Also continuing his career in music with Les Disques du Crépuscule -releasing four albums and five singles on the Belgian label. He later worked as a lecturer in music at Stow College in Glasgow and with Belle and Sebastian on their 1996 debut album, Tigermilk. Rankine also appears in 'Big Gold Dream (The Sound Of Young Scotland 1977 – 1985)' documentary by cinematographer and director Grant Mcphee which was released last year.
The Associates albums; The Affectionate Punch, Sulk, and Fourth Drawer Down are to be reissued as two-CD deluxe editions, on May 20th.
All three include 28 page booklets featuring in-depth liner notes, unpublished photographs, original promotional material and unseen memorabilia from The Associates’ archive.
Sulk is also available on vinyl.
Also available a new double-disc anthology: ‘The Very Best of the Associates’ which includes their biggest hits “Party Fears Two” and "Club Country" as well as 3 previously unreleased tracks.
All available from any good record store or from the usual suspects online.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
"It takes the juice of four musicians to put the sparkle in the refreshing pop tango of Orange Juice. Adrian Thrills unpeels the skin to discover ten segments of success. Pop-pix by Kevin Cummins."
New Musical Express 23rd April 1983
Document via & courtesy of aly
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
The Yummy Fur
3-track fold-out sleeve
Plastic Cowboy / Flapy Clown Disco / Chinese Bookie
Guided Missile (1996)
Artwork :John McKeown
Materials - Pritt Stick, the photocopier at Lost in Music *
"If anyone is gonna lick Steve Lamarq's arse...
They should lick Steve Steve Lamarq's arse like me! " **
What is wrong with vulgar PLASTIC COWBOY melody? asks the above before old Wyndham Lewis arrives dressed as a girl and (mouth covered) selling left-wing fascist pamphlets at the FLAPY CLOWN DISCO
"I say it's hip to be alive" claimed Bowie (circa '75) and so does the CHINESE BOOKIE Featuring Tony B and the Pogroms on backing vocals and heroin. ***
*Artwork information courtesy of Brian Beadie
** Engraved in the run out grooves sides A&B
*** Text as printed on the record label
Saturday, 2 April 2016
Some more from Brian McCloskey's excellent Smash Hits archives series that he faithfully posts every fortnight at Like Punk Never Happened.
This time we have Red Starr's review from April '81 of Postcard Records' lastest releases: Orange Juice's 'Poor Old Soul' featuring Edwyn's "distinctive quavery vocals" and Aztec Camera's "amazingly mature debut," 'Just Like Gold.'
Includes a nice pic of the Aztec boys by Paul Slattery.
From Smash Hits, April 2nd, 1981
Document courtesy of a ©BrianTV
Sunday, 27 March 2016
3-track, fold-out sleeve
Policeman / 70's / Car Crash
Guided Missile (1997)
Artwork : Mark Gibbons (The Yummy Fur)
"You Indie-Kids Are Fucking Monkeys"
Back with a wee change from the usual Postcard Records-Orange Juice-Josef K etc.stuff that I've been posting recently. More from that front up soon as I've been accumulating various documents and photos from my usual sources but just haven't had any time to concentrate on doing anything with them.
Anyhow, The Yummy Fur were an indie-rock band from Glasgow, formed in 1992, who had a few years of fame (infamy?) with various line-ups up until they finally split in 1999. Leader, John McKeown went on to form the 1990s.
The band released two albums, one 10" EP and several singles -including the one featured here.
Described on some occasions as Scotland's answer to The Fall, Bogshed or a psychedelic Half-Man Half Biscuit; The Yummy Fur never quite made the big time but were fun while they lasted. More soon.
Policeman review from NME 29th March 1997:
The Yummy Fur are ace, partly because they release new records for different labels every other week, each featuring the latest phase in their ongoing quest to become the psychedelic Half Man Half Biscuit. 'Policeman' posits a valid dilemma for today's counter-culturally aware youth: when junkies are forced by their marginalisation from scoiety to steal video recorders and televisions which serve to educate and enlighten the good people, where do one's sympathies lie? Is the man in blue really always the enemy? Never fear, Da Fur decide: "Oh policeman, I'd love to spend an evening/Snorting cocaine off the stomach of your girlfriend".
Policeman review from Melody Maker 5th April 1997:
Have The Yummy Fur discovered dope? This is very laid-back for them, almost "lazy-beat" - the Bogshed door has finally been closed. "Policeman" is another brilliantly funny product of warped madman/genius John McKeown's fucked-up brain and it's as charmingly erratic as he is.
P.S. The band's name was taken from the comic book Yummy Fur by Chester Brown.
Friday, 19 February 2016
Review of The Fire Engines' "Lubricate Your Living Room" on Pop:Aural, by Red Starr (aka Ian Cranna, possibly) just back from a trip behind the Iron Curtain where "a fine, friendly people suffer from Boney M mania and Abba ailments."
Not so in the UK, where such afflictions were not altogether unheard of, but fortunately could be cured by music by the likes of these Edinburgh lads.
Not only an album "executed with refreshing vigour and a distinct lack of posing" but also one "well worth the £2.49" the punters would be paying for this priceless gem of a disc.
From Smash Hits, 19th of February, 1981
Document courtesy of & ©Brian McCloskey
Monday, 15 February 2016
6-page spread on all things SoYS in Record Collector issue N°449
Allan Glen tells the story of Scotland's post punk scene. From Postcard Records' Orange Juice and Josef K to The Jesus And Mary Chain via Fast Product, Skids, The Revillos-Rezillos, Simple Minds.
Not one to miss!
Document courtesy of