“One more from that lost and forgotten alt-reality wherein the 1980s were everything they should have been and a record like the Undertones‘ Love Parade hit the toppermost of the poppermost – melodic, soulful, full of light, and so damned popular we all got sick of it. But it wasn’t so we didn’t, so thank all gods for that. And man, that Feargal Sharkey could sing.” (Philip Random)
The Au Pairs didn’t stick around for long, and they never exactly cracked the charts, but they definitely had something for their time. And a darned interesting time it was, the early 1980s, when white punks and other related fringe dwellers were discovering funk and politics in more or less equal measure, messing around with them, not being remotely pure, and the culture was all the better for it.
“Strong sense of groove and melody, lots of cool, modern dub tricks – The Strange Parcels seemed to have it all when I first heard them back in 1991 care of On-U Sound‘s Pay It All Back Vol.3 (which remains one of the great compilation albums of any era, as do pretty much all the others in the series). But then, that was about it. An album would eventually show up a few years later, but I was onto other things by then, as was the world, I guess. But I did keep going back to Pay It All Back Vol.3 in general, To Be Free in particular, key ingredient in many a mixtape, dragged to many a house party, bonfire, mountaintop. Soundtrack for this slow apocalypse, still ongoing.” (Philip Random)
The Solid Time of Change is our overlong yet incomplete history of the so-called Prog Rock era – 661 selections from 1965 through 1979 with which we hope to do justice to a strange and ambitious time indeed, musically speaking.
Part Thirty-Nine of the journey went as follows:
Focus – Hocus Pocus
PFM – Dove … Quando [part 1]
PFM – Dove Quando [part 2]
Nektar – the dream nebula
Nektar – it’s all in the mind
Jethro Tull – My God
Jethro Tull – slipstream
Jethro Tull – Wind Up
Camel – Nimrodel
Renaissance – ashes are burning
David Bowie – life on Mars
Klaus Schulze – floating
Fresh episodes air pretty much every Saturday night, starting 11 pm (Pacific time) c/o CiTR.FM.101.9, with streaming and download options available within twenty-four hours via our Facebook page.
“Second of two in a row from London Calling, the greatest rock and roll album ever (arguably). Released at the very end of the 1970s, that at least makes it the first indispensably great rock and roll album of the 1980s, maybe the last. Commercial radio, of course, only played two tracks but all four sides were nigh on brilliant – the power and rage of full-on punk tempered only enough to allow everything else to burst on through. With The Card Cheat, that meant widescreen rock all brassed up and gunning for the promised land, which is again miles beyond anything Bruce Springsteen could have hoped for at the time, who I’m only mentioning here because his 1980 double album The River had no problem getting played all over the radio. And it was at least two sides too long.” (Philip Random)
Side One Track One of the first (and only really) Sex Pistols album is a solid and enduring f*** you to everyone that’s ever taken a cheap holiday in some broken down so-called Third World locale. Because it was true in 1977, it’s even more true now – the world ain’t equal, your luxurious fun and good times inevitably involves some other guy’s blood, sweat, pain, misery. But don’t let that worry you. Just stick to the big hotels and always drink bottled water, and if you see a new Belsen in the distance, look the other way.
If you were a little kid in the 1960s and early 1970s, your life was full of this kind of stuff. Various pop orchestras taking on the hits of the day, delivering mostly average versions. But every now and then, someone got it just right, like Roland Shaw, whose take on the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service theme is punchier, more revved up, better than the original in pretty much every way. The perfect soundtrack for bombing around on your banana bike, rooting out all the evil geniuses who were plotting world destruction from their suburban lairs two blocks over.