The Vapors – Waiting For The Weekend: The United Artist & Liberty Recordings review

14 07 2021

The Vapors are releasing a 76 track deluxe 4CD clamshell box set containing the band’s first two studio albums New Clear Days and Magnets along with B-sides & single versions. The set also includes two discs of previously unreleased demos, rough mixes, alternative and live versions, including the band’s performance at The Rainbow, supporting The Jam on their Setting Sons tour in December 1979.

The material has been mastered from the original master tapes retrieved from the EMI Archives, and still sounds crisp and powerful.

The first disc contains The Vapors debut album New Clear Days from 1980. Containing the band’s signature track Turning Japanese, the album is much more than the massive hit single. Cold War captures perfectly the post-punk influenced new wave sound of 1979 / 1980.

My favourite track on the album is the nuclear paranoia riddled Bunkers.

“I went down the road to see the end of the movie
‘Cause I really like the part where the heroine dies
She takes away so many million secrets
But she tells just a few before she closes her eyes”

The agitated bass-line and wonderful drums and percussion backbeat drives this frenetic album highlight. Waiting For The Weekend and the album closer Letter From Hiro also serve as powerful statements.

The remainder of disc one collects the remaining tracks released during this period, including the single Prisoners, b-side Here Comes The Judge (Live), a single edit of News At Ten, a shortened edit of Turning Japanese and the first of three previously unreleased tracks, Move (Demo), which has a guitar sound reminiscent of the style of John McGeoch, who was a member of Magazine around this time.

The expanded version of second album Magnets from 1981 opens with single Jimmie Jones, followed by the Bowie influenced, more experimental sound of Spiders, which showed that the band’s musical vocabulary was expanding. Spiders should have been a hit single, it was made for the airwaves of 1980.

Isolated Case is a Banshee’s influenced, post-punk slice of pop, and has aged well. Live At The Marquee has an interesting, intelligent arrangement and a killer, speed infused 60s pop chorus.

“But we’re alive at the marquee”

Its a real shame that the lack of record company promotion harmed the prospects of Magnets, as it has a much more varied sound than the debut, and deserved to be heard by more people. Maybe that time is now?

I have a lot of love for Daylight Titans, with it’s Banshees meets The Comsat Angels flavour.

“But what hurts me is I never get the time
To say or do even half of what I’m feeling”

Can’t Talk Anymore adds some Dave Edmunds / Nick Lowe pop sensibility to a dark lyric. The haunting title track Magnets closes the original album running order, with a slow-burning arrangement and a powerful mantra to close the song.

The motorcade is never-ending…”

B-side Galleries For Guns and the single / remixes, plus an archive interview with Dave Fenton, complete disc two.

Disc Three is New Clear Days (Alternative Versions). Containing demos, alternative versions and rough mixes of the songs from the album. One of the highlights is Turning Japanese (Alternative Version), which has added synths and percussion and sounds like it could be from slightly later than 1980. Its interesting to hear, but the original is still the best! Another highlight is the spirited Letter From Hiro (Rough Mix).

Just as interesting is the final disc, which comprises Magnets (Alternative Versions) & Live At The Rainbow 03/12/1979.

This disc contains two previously unreleased songs. A studio cut of Secret Noise, which probably would have been more suited to the debut album, and a live version of Caroline recorded at The Rainbow in 1979. The Rainbow show highlights the band before they were successful. Its strange hearing a live performance of Turning Japanese with no roar during the iconic intro.

The Vapors – Waiting For The Weekend: The United Artist & Liberty Recordings is a great way to collect the recordings from the first incarnation of the band, and its also a good opportunity for a timely reappraisal of the band’s second album, Magnets.

The Vapors reformed in 2016 and in 2020 released their excellent third album studio album Together, that included a career highlight in Girl from the Factory. So hopefully lots more to come from this great band.

Buy The Vapors – Waiting For The Weekend: The United Artist & Liberty Recordings 4 CD Boxset

Disc One: New Clear Days (Expanded Version)

Spring Collection
Turning Japanese
Cold War
America
Trains
Bunkers
News At Ten
Somehow
Sixty Second Interval
Waiting For The Weekend
Letter From Hiro

Bonus Tracks

Prisoners
Sunstroke
Here Comes The Judge (Live)
News At Ten (Single Version)
Wasted
Talk Talk
Waiting For The Weekend (Single Version)
Billy
Turning Japanese (Edit)
Move (Demo)

Disc Two: Magnets (Expanded Version)

Jimmie Jones
Spiders
Isolated Case
Civic Hall
Live At The Marquee
Daylight Titans
Johnny’s In Love (Again)
Can’t Talk Anymore
Lenina
Silver Machines
Magnets

Bonus Tracks

Galleries For Guns
Jimmie Jones (Single Version)
Daylight Titans (Single Version)
Spiders (Single Version)
Interview With Dave Fenton

Disc Three: New Clear Days (Alternative Versions)

Spring Collection (Demo)
Turning Japanese (Alternative Version)
Cold War (Rough Mix)
America (Demo)
Trains (Rough Mix)
Bunkers (Demo)
News At Ten (Alternative Version)
Somehow (Instrumental)
Sixty Second Interval (Demo)
Waiting For The Weekend (Demo)
Letter From Hiro (Rough Mix)
Turning Japanese (Edit) (Demo)
Prisoners (Demo)
Wasted (Rough Mix)
Spring Collection (Rough Mix)
Turning Japanese (Alternative Extended Mix)
Cold War (Rough Mix Edit)
America (Instrumental)
Waiting For The Weekend (Rough Mix)
Cold War (Alternative Rough Mix)
Turning Japanese (Instrumental)

Disc Four: Magnets Alternative Versions & Live At The Rainbow 03/12/1979

Jimmie Jones (Rough Mix)
Civic Hall (Rough Mix)
Live At The Marquee (Rough Mix)
Johnny’s In Love (Again) (Rough Mix)
Galleries For Guns (Rough Mix)
Secret Noise
Galleries For Guns (Alternative Rough Mix)

Live At The Rainbow 03/12/1979

Caroline
Somehow
Bunkers
Sunstroke
Cold War
Waiting For The Weekend
Sixty Second Interval
Spring Collection
Turning Japanese
America
Prisoners

Buy The Vapors – Waiting For The Weekend: The United Artist & Liberty Recordings 4 CD Boxset





News: Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council

10 09 2020

UMC / Polydor have released a new Style Council collection: Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council.

The collection is available on CD and vinyl, and contains key single and album tracks from the band formed by Paul Weller & Mick Talbot after The Jam split.

This impressive collection features many of the great singles / EP and album tracks such as My Ever-Changing Moods, The Paris Match, Speak Like a Child, Have You Ever Had It Blue as well as less celebrated songs such as the stark Ghosts Of Dachau and the breezy How She Threw It All Away.

The collection includes tracks featuring drummer Steve White and vocalist Dee C. Lee, and was endorsed and co-compiled by Paul Weller.

Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council contains two previously unreleased recordings – a demo of the top 5 single My Ever Changing Moods (with strings), and an extended version of Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse (the original version featured on the band’s first album, Café Bleu).

The release ties in with a Sky Arts documentary about the band, featuring interviews with all key members, fans and collaborators.

Buy the double CD from Amazon

Buy the triple Vinyl from Amazon

CD tracklisting:

Disc One

Headstart for Happiness
Long Hot Summer
My Ever-Changing Moods
Walls Come Tumbling Down!
Party Chambers
Wanted (or Waiter, There’s…)
Shout to the Top!
It Just Came to Pieces in My Hands
Come to Milton Keynes
Why I Went Missing
Waiting
Ghosts Of Dachau
Down in the Seine
The Paris Match
Boy Who Cried Wolf
Life at a Top People’s Health Farm
Homebreakers
Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse (Extended version)

Disc two

Speak Like a Child
The Lodgers (Or She Was Only…)
Money Go Round
You’re the Best Thing
How She Threw It All Away
A Man of Great Promise
The Piccadilly Trail
A Solid Bond in Your Heart
All Gone Away
Sweet Loving Ways
Promised Land
Have You Ever Had It Blue
It Didn’t Matter
Spin’ Drifting
Here’s One That Got Away
A Woman’s Song
Changing of the Guard
My Ever-Changing Moods (Demo)
Shout To The Top (Instrumental)

Vinyl Tracklisting:

Side A
Headstart for Happiness
Long Hot Summer
My Ever-Changing Moods
Walls Come Tumbling Down!
Party Chambers

Side B
Wanted (or Waiter, There’s…)
Shout to the Top!
It Just Came to Pieces in My Hands
Come to Milton Keynes
Why I Went Missing
Waiting

Side C
Ghosts Of Dachau
Down in the Seine
The Paris Match
Life at a Top People’s Health Farm
Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse (Extended version)

Side D
Speak Like a Child
The Lodgers (Or She Was Only…)
Money Go Round
You’re the Best Thing
How She Threw It All Away

Side E
A Man of Great Promise
The Piccadilly Trail
A Solid Bond in Your Heart
Sweet Loving Ways
Promised Land
It Didn’t Matter

Side F
Have You Ever Had It Blue
Spin’ Drifting
Here’s One That Got Away
Changing of the Guard
My Ever-Changing Moods (Demo)





1978 – The Year The UK Turned Day-Glo compilation review

24 08 2020

1978 – The Year The UK Turned Day-Glo is a new 3 CD set from Cherry Red, released on 28 August 2020.

The 79 tracks (from a marketing view-point, maybe there should have been 78 tracks!) cover the well-known punk and new wave hits from the year, along with lesser-known regional acts from Manchester, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The collection also includes an entertaining 48-page booklet that includes details on every track included in the compilation.

The first CD features some of the era’s big-hitters. Opening with Sham 69’s Borstal Breakout from January 1978, followed by one of the hardest-hitting singles by The Stranglers, 5 Minutes. The percussive Emergency by 999 is another highlight, as is the early Gary Numan release – Oh! Didn’t I Say by Tubeway Army.

Automatic Lover by The Vibrators fits in with the short-lived power pop movement of bands such as Tonight (Drummer Man) from the Spring of 1978. She’s So Modern by The Boomtown Rats reminds you what a powerful force the band were from 1978 to around 1981, with an amazing run of pop / new wave hit singles.

A pre-fame Japan offer Don’t Rain On My Parade and are a world away from the sound they settled on from Quiet Life in late 1979, that showcased their move from new wave guitars to something more sophisticated on the cusp of the 80s synth-pop explosion.

Concrete Jungle by The Coventry Automatics is an early track from the band that would soon become The Specials, with their mix of new wave and ska already starting to develop into the style they would use so successfully from 1979 onwards. The Only Ones Another Girl, Another Planet was unbelievably never a hit but is a classic single from this year, and sits well in this collection.

Magazine contribute the early single Touch And Go. Irish band Pretty Boy Floyd And The Gems Spread The Word Around is a song I missed at the time, but is worthy of inclusion here. The Steve Lillywhite produced When The Tanks Roll Over Poland Again by The Automatics has a great guitar sound and Jilted John’s only hit single (produced by Martin Hannett!) is one of the biggest selling tracks on this album.

The second CD opens with the track that gave the compilation it’s name, X-Ray Spex with The Day The World Turned Day-Glo, a song that has aged well. What a guitar sound! Up Against The Wall by the Tom Robinson Band is driven by a powerful guitar riff from the late, great Danny Kustow.

Tyne and Wear band The Carpettes (who I saw at least once in my local venue, Woolwich Tramshed) supply 2ne1, whilst the Midge Ure fronted Rich Kids offer the title track from their only studio album, Ghosts Of Princes In Towers, an album I still love.

Another couple of favourites sit on CD 2 – the John Foxx fronted Ultravox with Slow Motion and the Status Quo pastiche / Mike Oldfield mentioning Heads Down No Nonsense Mindless Boogie by Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias. I’ve still got a double 7″ vinyl of this single somewhere. I must dig it out.

The third and final disc opens with my favourite Public Image Ltd song, their debut single Public Image. Stiff Little Fingers 2nd single Alternative Ulster and Life’s A Gamble by Penetration are also highlights. Penetration’s Pauline Murray releases a new solo album in the Autumn.

Johnny Thunders full-length album version of You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory is included here, although I prefer the short, stripped back Pete Wylie (Wah!) version, as part of the Hope (I Wish You’d Believe Me) single in 1983. The Saints Are Coming by the Skids features some of Stuart Adamson’s earliest incendiary guitar lines. Again, the compilers choose a deeper cut from one of the era’s biggest bands with In The Crowd from The Jam’s All Mod Cons album.

The punk-pop of Destination Venus by The Rezillos is a forgotten tune from this era. Flashing In The Subway by pub-rockers Tyla Gang comes from the more blues / Dr Feelgood side of new wave rock. RIP Sean Tyla. 10:15 Saturday Night by The Cure is a less obvious choice for this compilation, and so stands out amongst some of the more standard new wave blueprint tracks.

If you are a fan of punk and new wave and want to delve deeper than the hit singles, this Cherry Red compilation offers good value for money and is an entertaining collection from a vintage year for music.

Buy 1978 – The Year The UK Turned Day-Glo on Amazon

Disc One

Borstal Breakout – Sham 69
5 Minutes – The Stranglers
Emergency – 999
Don’t Tango On My Heart – The Doll
Oh! Didn’t I Say – Tubeway Army
Automatic Lover – The Vibrators
I’m A Boy – Cyanide
Bad In Bed – The Electric Chairs
Lost Lenore – Attrix
Stuck With You – Zones
Party Clothes – Subs
You’re A Disease – The Outcasts
She’s So Modern – The Boomtown Rats
I’m Civilised – Menace
Moonmidsummer – The Freshies
The Kids Are Alright – The Pleasers
Don’t Rain On My Parade – Japan
Concrete Jungle – The Coventry Automatics
Another Girl, Another Planet – The Only Ones
Touch And Go – Magazine
Spread The Word Around – Pretty Boy Floyd And The Gems
When The Tanks Roll Over Poland Again – The Automatics
Stella’s Got A Fella – Social Security
Chloroform – The Bleach Boys
Jilted John – Jilted John
Rat Up A Drainpipe – The Members
Glandular Angela – The Exits
Why Don’t You Do Me Right? – Alternative Tv

Disc Two

The Day The World Turned Day-Glo – X-Ray Spex
Up Against The Wall – Tom Robinson Band
Central Detention Centre – Gyro
Ain’t Got A Clue – The Lurkers
The Backstreet Boys – Patrik Fitzgerald
Nobody Loves You When You’re Old And Gay – Dead Fingers Talk
I Can’t Resist – The Reaction
I Can’t Wait – The Jolt
Kinnel Tommy – Ed Banger
Loving A Killer – The Stoat
A.C.A.B. – The Rowdies
Start All Over Again – No Sweat
I Believe – The V.I.P.S
2ne1 – The Carpettes
Ghosts Of Princes In Towers – Rich Kids
Kung Fu International – John Cooper Clarke
Ringing In The Streets – The Ripchords
Slow Motion – Ultravox
Love Is Blind – Nightshift
Rock’n’roll Ain’t Dead – The Questions
Cortina Cowboys – Blue Steam
Birmingham Reggie – The Others
Live In A Car – UK Subs
It’s Alright – The Turn
Teenage Vice – The Teardrops
Heads Down No Nonsense Mindless Boogie – Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias

Disc Three

Public Image – Public Image Ltd
Alternative Ulster – Stiff Little Fingers
Light At Your Window – The Detonators
Fibre – Spizzoil
Life’s A Gamble – Penetration
28/8/78 – Scritti Politti
Europeans – Europeans
Take The Cash (K.A.S.H.) – Wreckless Eric
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory – Johnny Thunders
The Saints Are Coming – Skids
It’s The New Thing – The Fall
Alphaville – The Monochrome Set
In The Crowd – The Jam
Starry Eyes – The Records
Weekend Girl – The Bozos
Destination Venus – The Rezillos
Flashing In The Subway – Tyla Gang
10:15 Saturday Night – The Cure
Larger Than Life – The Parrots
Wrong Street – Nicky & The Dots
New Town – The Vitamins
Love Song – Passage
What She Wants, She Needs – Eater
Never Met Suzi – Time Machine
White Christmas – Slush





News: The Jam – Snap! 2019 heavyweight vinyl reissue

1 08 2019

The Jam are re-issuing their long out-of-print vinyl compilation Snap! in October, for the first time on heavyweight vinyl.

Snap! is my favourite compilation from The Jam, and is made up of a mix of singles, b sides and album tracks. Released by UMC / Polydor on 25 October 2019, the double vinyl also includes a 7″ single containing live tracks.

The 2019 re-issue of Snap! is housed in a gatefold sleeve, with original artwork, printed inner sleeves and the original ‘free’ live 7” EP.

This 2019 version has been remastered at Abbey Road, and for the first time is available on heavyweight vinyl, with a download card (well-done record label – this always helps sway me towards a vinyl release).

Buy the vinyl album on Amazon

7″ – Side A
Move On Up (Live)
Get Yourself Together (Live)

7″ – Side B
The Great Depression (Live)
But I’m Different Now (Live)

LP1 – Side A
In The City
Away From The Numbers
All Around The World
The Modern World
News Of The World
Billy Hunt
English Rose
Mr. Clean

LP1 – Side B
David Watts
A’ Bomb In Wardour St
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
Strange Town
The Butterfly Collector
When You’re Young
Smithers-Jones
Thick As Thieves

LP2 – Side A
The Eton Rifles
Going Underground
Dreams Of Children
That’s Entertainment
Start!
Man In The Corner Shop
Funeral Pyre

LP2 – Side B
Absolute Beginners
Tales From The Riverbank
Town Called Malice
Precious
The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
Beat Surrender

Buy the vinyl album on Amazon








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