Side 1, Track 14:
Total Run Time: 59:00
The The: This Is The Day: 4 Minutes 57 Seconds: 1983
The Album from which this track was taken, ‘Soul Mining’, caused quite a stir round our way when it was first released, and rightly so. I had a cassette of it and wore it out, but never replaced it, so I shall be on the lookout for a decent vinyl copy now. If you do happen to watch the videos that accompany this post, I urge you to seek out the video for this one (14th in the video playlist), it is one of the worst promotional music videos ever made.
And so ends Side 1 of this virtual mix tape. Onwards to side 2!
1. Echo & The Bunnymen – The Cutter
I used to have a bit of a downer on Echo and the Bunnymen (for those that don’t know, Echo was the drum machine), mostly due to a feud they had with The Teardrop Explodes, although I only ever read The Teardrops side of the story, well, the Julian Cope side of the story actually. I’d always liked this track, and ‘The Killing Moon’, but never explored their catalogue much further until a few years ago. I missed out. I should have not been such a bloody fool and let the music do the talking.
2. The Psychedelic Firs – Sister Europe
My first introduction to the Psychedelic furs was with the release of ‘Forever Now’ back in 1982, which caused quite the stir amongst the circles I used to be a part of. I went backwards through ‘Talk Talk Talk’ and the eponymous debut album. There are a number of tracks that I could have chosen from these three albums, which is the best of their output in my opinion though I stopped listening to anything new by them in about 1987, such as ‘Dumb Waiters’, ‘Into You Like A Train’, ‘Pretty in Pink’ of course and almost anything from their debut. I decided not to choose anything from ‘Forever Now’, but instead plumped for ‘Sister Europe’ from ‘Talk Talk Talk’, then I changed my mind to ‘Imitation of Christ’ and then back to ‘’Sister Europe’!
3. Julian Cope – The Greatness & Perfection
Taken from what is probably my favourite Cope album, ‘World Shut Your Mouth’, which doesn’t contain the song of the same name. This was the first release by Cope after the break up of The Teardrop Explodes and it could easily have been a Teardrops song.
4. XTC – Senses Working Overtime
Back in the days when I used to buy 7″ vinyl, I had this, along with a couple of their other singles. I also had the album ‘English Settlement’, which I think was a double. I’ve never been a massive XTC fan as I found that I couldn’t get along with a lot of their tracks, but when they were on it, they were really on it and this was a great single.
5. Squeeze – Up The Junction
I would think that ‘Cool for Cats’ is probably their best known song from this era but I just think the writing is better on ‘Up The Junction’ and really very British, which I like. I think I may have had ‘Cool for Cats’ on 7″ vinyl at one point. Looking at their back catalogue now, perhaps they should have been much bigger than they were as the writing is just brilliant at times.
6. UB40 – Food For Thought
I was pondering where to go next with song choice and decided to go somewhere that would, perhaps, be unexpected. I like early UB40, from back when they had something to say, before they became a covers band. I’ve said here before that ‘Signing Off’ is a really good album, certainly their best in my opinion, so this is off that. Now what next?
7. Talk Talk – Life’s What You Make It
Having given a great deal of thought to what to choose next I gave up and chose this, because I like it, and although I never had the 7″ I do have a vinyl copy of the album, ‘The Colour of Spring’. Oddly enough I think I just thought of the next track, well that’s a surprise.
8. The Waterboys – A Girl Called Johnny
I had the first and third Waterboys when they were released, I don’t recall why I never bought the second, and this track was probably my favourite of what I’ve heard (it’s on the first album). ‘Whole of the Moon’ is the bigger hit and better known but I really like the lyrics in this one. A girl called Johnny/ Who changed her name when she/ Discovered her choice was/ To change or to be changed/ I remember a girl called Johnny/ Black as hell, white as a ghost/ “Don’t talk about life and death”/ She said, “I’ve had enough of both”
9. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Lost Weekend
‘Lost Weekend’ from the album ‘Easy Pieces’ is probably my favourite track of theirs. As a single it only reached 17 in the UK charts, I thought it deserved better. I discovered today that I had two copies of the album and might give one away free soon. Might as well really. ‘Perfect Skin’ is a good track too but I really like the lyrics of ‘Lost Weekend’, I was a king bee with a head full of attitude/ An ashtray heart on my sleeve, wounded knees/ And my one love song was a tattoo upon my palm/You wrote upon me when you took my hand.
and, of course: It took a lost weekend in a hotel in Amsterdam/ And double pneumonia in a single room/ And the sickest joke was the price of the medicine/ Are you laughing at me now?
10. New Order – Temptation
I never had the original release of this track, but did have it on the double vinyl best of, ‘Substance’, although it was a re-recording specifically for that release. As it was originally released in 1982 there was still a sense of Joy Division about the music, as they transitioned into their New Order guise. The accompanying video seems to have been made quite a while after 1982, or at least it appears that way from the quality of it.
11. Kraftwerk – Das Model
I recently bought a used vinyl copy of The Man-Machine but never owned this single at the time. As I understand it the track started off as a B-Side, having originally been recorded in 1978, and was re-released as an A-Side in 1981, against the bands wishes. It was number 1 in the UK and I remember it well, it was so different to everything else that was around at the time.
12. Japan – Ghosts
I had a copy of tin Drum, which this single was taken from, back when it was released, and I still have a copy now although I think I originally had a cassette rather than vinyl. Japan were not everybody’s thing, but ‘Tin Drum’ was a very good album and quite different to much of the ‘New Wave’ music that was a round at the time. For me it is the sparseness of this track that sets it apart and it’s total unsuitability as a single release, which still managed a No.5 placing in the UK charts. It isn’t the cheeriest song but it does have a haunting beauty.
Just when I think I’m winning/ When I’ve broken every door/ The ghosts of my life blow wilder than before/ Just when I thought I could not be stopped/ When my chance came to be king/ The ghosts of my life blew wilder than the wind
14: The Associates – Waiting For The Love Boat
I never really took much notice of The Associates back in the early 80’s, having only really listened to ‘Party Fears Two’, but have listened retrospectively and I really should have paid a bit more notice. I do remember thinking at the time that it was all a little odd and not my thing but singer Billy Mackenzie did have a fabulous voice. Sadly, he committed suicide in 1997 at age 39, shortly after the death of his mother. He had been suffering from clinical depression. I chose this track because I like it, which is a damn fine reason.