Alternative TV - Welcome to the End of Fun EP (1985)

I should have posted this prior to the Sex/Love EP since it was released some months before. Actually it was the first thing released under the ATV name since the (not quite successfull either in commercial or musical terms) Strange Kicks experience 4 years earlier. Nothing here in common either with the punk, the exprimental or the pop versions of Alternative TV. We are in the eighties and there is a New Wave perfume in it, but not the synthetic new wave, we're more in the Wire, PIL & Killing Joke universe. In fact, it's only Mark Perry following his own path throughout the fashions, only adapting the current sound trend to his idiosyncrasy. And it's, once again, great. Particularly the 2 non-titles songs. "Anti" has this same power of evocation than in the punk days, and "Death Time" is in line with the reggaeing songs that were so cathartic in the first ATV days. Except Mark Perry, the personal of this Alternative TV is entirely new, and will feature on the Sex/Love EP and on the excellent Peep Show LP released 1 year and a half later. Yes, when talking about ATV, it must be remembered that there was more than the 77-78 punk era, and this is one more example you can find here.



Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Delilah 7" (1975)

Here's a rather problematic single for any Alex fan. Actually, covering "Delilah" was more a joke than anything else for Alex and the band, but the live success of this version led Moutain to release it on a single, and it was an unexpected hit (n°7 in UK, the highest position of any single in SAHB's career). Honestly, the joke dimension of the song is what is left now when hearing it and it has not the deepest meaning Alex was able to raise from any song he covered. Posting this single is primary motivated by the B-side, a live version of "Soul in Chains", not a great song actually, featuring in Tomorrow Belongs To Me and whose live playing is scandalously interrupted after 4 min. Since I never found it on any SAHB compilation or on any blog, I think it is my duty to rip it from my own single and to provide it here. I did my best to improve the sound quality and it's rather good. Published in July 1975, a Live album was released, as it could be guessed, only 2 months later. The cover above is the (ugly) UK real one (but they were ugly all over the world), and below I imagined an alternative one with a picture of Alex when singing "Delilah" with the nice company of women bare bottom.

Below is "Soul in Chains" in streaming with the lyrics transcripted.

Soul in Chains. Did you read my letter published yesterday Looking for a brand new piece of meat to pass the time away So if you've got the money I certainly got the time Just bring your baby with you and I promise you I'll bring mine You freed my body but you left my soul in chains You freed my body but you left my soul in chains You say you love me but you don't even know my name. You used to call me sweetheart and paid my rent You blew me kisses when you shared my tent I used to buy you tickets for the biggest gas in town And tasted your tomato everytime you brought it 'round. You freed my body but you left my soul in chains You freed my body but you left my soul in chains You say you love me but you don't even know my name. I called you baby I mixed your stew I used to seal my lips and tie my hands for you Up until the last time I sat you on my knee You drove my brains into the wall, you tortured me



Runhild Gammelsæter - Amplicon (2008)

This is my favorite LP of 2008. And not only because Runhild Gammelsæter has a PhD in Biology as I have, and is (was?) on topics not far from mine. And not only because she is one of the more charismatic and impressive female doomster, a sort of viking woman that came from her cold land (she's from Norway) to become the leading voice of Thorr's Hammer with Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley 13 years ago. No, but because her first (and last since there has been none since this one) solo album is one of the most powerful, strange, complex, biological and visceral musical piece never released in musical history. Honestly, this is not an LP to be listened to anytime anyplace, but this is an aural experience that will deeply move you if you are ready for extreme sensation and open to any unknown exploration of the dark nucleus of our most private fears. Yes, this is the album that seems to follow "Gog & Magog" from Peter Hammill's In Camera in 1974. Nothing here of the sometimes ridiculous doom folklore that I indulge to find interesting even if I am aware that it's quite naive and rudimentary. Runhild introduces us in the mud of the life cycle as painted it one century ago Gustave Moreau. Impossible to describe this music (especially when you're not a fluent English writer like me). All I can say is that I promise that you will find in this album things you are not used to find elsewhere. "Do you believe me?" would say Alex Harvey. Try it here.

Here's below a picture on stage I found on the net but I don't know if it was for a solo or a Khlyst concert, the group she forms with James Plotkin and Tim Wyskida.



Alternative TV - Apollo (1999)

Not only a bunch of forgotten songs, but a whole album of them. Released under the name of Alternative TV, it is much more a Mark Perry solo one although he was helped by talented friends. Released today on a decent label (I mean decently distributed) it would have surely a greater impact it had 10 years ago. Times have changed and this lofi room-made music is of greater relevance it was at the time. It must be said that this is a very different sound than the punk-noise ATV we use to know. A strange melting pot of styles with a variety I was surprised to find. But this is still Mark Perry, and at his best. The music falls between the Fall (!) and TV Personalities, with something experimental, but a pop flavour, palatable experimentation in other words. And finally 16 songs that together create a damned good album, absurdly underrated and overlooked. Contrary to what was previously the habit with ATV, all the experiments succeed in creating something pleasant to ear. This is not a mandatory condition for me, but actually it can be a quality and it is here. If someone wants to know why I think Mark Perry is one of our greatest songwriters for the last 30 years, this is an album to listen to. Among the gems, there are "Apollo" (featuring Roddy Flame from Aztec Camera), a kind of pop standard that failed to find its way through the charts, "Communication Failure", the riff of "Another Coke" allowing Mark Perry to make a sad "constat" about punk (probably one of the best lyrics on the movement ever written), but also the incredible fakely naive and provocative "A Love Song", and "The Green Hair", with its Floydian climax. But several others are really a great listening experience such as the moving "I Looked At Your Face" or the strange "Propaganda" with its Specials atmosphere. All in all, this album must be listened to as a whole and I never separate songs from each others when putting it on my record player. Don't hesitate to throw an ear to it and to enjoy here. Unfortunately, there won't be any other album from Mark Perry recorded with this freedom, and the only further one (Revolution) will be more opportunism (Mark P. told me that personally) than a authenticity. Overground records was a fine shelter for Mark Perry during these years. Steve Albini was involved in this label and had edited the excellent Live 1978 LP (see Live at Southend elsewhere on this blog). The 12 page booklet with pseudo SciFi drawings is reproduced in the .rar file.

Below, you can listen to first "A Love Song" and under "Communication Failure"



Grey - Sisters of the Wyrd (2008)

Doom by women. There's more and more doomsteuses (as we'd say in France) in the world, I think in particular of Dark Castle, Murkrat and of course of the great Runhild Gammersaelter (either in solo of in bands), and Grey has released last year a very fine old school doom record. It's like it was 1990 again. Most of the time, I'm quite allergic to this passeist approach of doom but here I find the taste OK for me. I prefer to inform those not familiar with doom that although it's a woman who sings, the voice is not feminine and respects the roaring codes of doom. I've understood that this blog is not visited by doom fans (just a look to the dl stats is clear on that), but I'll keep posting doom album between my old and weird rarities because this is the music I listen to most of the time and this style is unfortunately confined in a sub-category, and I regret it. Please have an ear to these ladies of the dark spirits floating in the dead of the night, here.



Bastards - Frank/Loser 7" (1988)

This is the last of our Bastards forgotten songs lost on splits or in singles. This single was the second one from the band, just between "Who Care/Shit for Brains" and "Scenes at latest battle..." that you can find elsewhere on this blog. This is the weakest of the 3 for me since the 2 songs are confined in a rather academic punk style and this is not for that I think they were a better band than most. Actually I don't possess the vinyl of this single but got the songs on the CD version of Monticello and on an EP compiling the 3 official singles of the Bastards and called "You Didn' Give A Damn About The Exploding Man Because You Killed Him" (there's surely a story behind this title but I don't know which one). If Joachim Breuer reads this blog, I want him to know that he's been one of the greatest guitarist songwriter of the decade. Enjoy this last deliverance here. Later, other noise bands from this exceptional era on this blog. Below, a collection of pictures taken by Antoine d'Agata (the photograph I used a picture for the Groundhogs single), summarizing quite well the atmophere of the Bastards songs (for me).



Alain Z Kan - Inédits & Versions Alternatives (1979-86)

This fake LP compiles 6 tracks consisting of pre-official versions of songs later released in Whatever Happened To... ("Clichés") or Parfums de Nuit ("BB For Brigitte" and "the absolutely mad and gigantic "Schwartz Market"), an alternate version of "City Palace" (a single released in 1974 but here in a version that surely was recorded after 1979) and 2 songs that were never released (to my knowledge) and that I don't ever know the name, but i called the first "Allons Enfants" and the second one "Je t'attendrai". If I ignore the name of these songs, it's because these unreleased tracks were given to me on a CD-R by pdumber, a friend (and a Alain Kan's fan) that had ripped all his vinyls on CD. That was before the release of a 3 CD box (by Dreyfus Eds) that gathered the 3 first Alain Kan's LPs (and omitted Parfums de Nuit that you can find here but the number of dl shows me that many of you have found the way of this LP). On the CD-R containing these bonus tracks (and there are extraordinary live songs that I'll post later on a fake Live EP), there was no title so I have to imagine ones from the lyrics. I ignore when these songs were recorded but I think they were in different periods. "Allons Enfants", that could have been a massive scandalous single (and maybe a Hit that would have changed the face of French music as had done Serge Gainsbourg 10 years before) because of its crude and explicit lyrics mixing politics and sex, sureley dates from the 1978-1980 period, with a punk smell in its arrangements. "Je t'attendrai" (unfortunately a rather weak and too long song), is maybe an attempt of Alain Kan to release what we would call in France "une chanson de variété punk". It seems that nobody felt it would work. "BB For Brigitte"is played and sang in a much lighter south american vein than on the LP and does not succeed, Alain Kan being right in reworking it profoundy, the Parfums de Nuit version veing much more satisfying. It is not possible to give an appreciation on "Schwartz Market" since this piece of madness takes you by the bollocks (or the ovaries) and doesn't let you any critical sense to develop. This is unbelievable. Honestly, real borderline approach of music is here, not in the experimental world in which cognitive processes and conceptual shit command. "Clichés" is a reggaeing version and although interesting has not the strongness of the LP version. You can listen to these rare recordings here. More to come.

Here's below a stage picture of Alain Kan. There's not a lot taken in this period to post unfortunately.



This Weary Hour - No Hand To Confort You EP (2009)

It's never too soon to go back to doom. And this fits my evening mood (doom reversed). One more discovery for me this Irish band from Cork. This is doom with a sludge perfume but the drumming and the general instrumentation are not quite the usual sludge glass of mud. There is something old school and gothic in it, that reminds me of the old Paradise Lost or Anathema (before these bands completely lost my interest, or is it the reverse?). Actually, there is not much need to write a text about a new doom band when the reader can listen to their myspace here and dl their EP here. But don't forget to support these bands (it's a political act in the best sense of the term). And the sound is much better than in the MP3 format. I feel (when looking at the dl statistics) that the doom posts are not those that the visitors of this blog are the most interesting in (is it english?) but try again, maybe you'll finally find the same vibration I found in this style 20 years ago and never ceased to find. I chose to post the last song of the EP, not on the myspace and with a splendid final. Listen to this guitar, it's 1st class. PS. The complete cover painting is in the rar file.



Bastards - Scenes at the Latest Battle in the City Market Area 7" (1989)

One more 7" Bastards and we will be soon arrived to the end of the journey (a singles ticket). This featured a Monticello song on A-side (the fantastic "Neighbor") and an "unavailable anywhere else" song on B-side (the good but not exceptional "Motor City Kid", which had been added in the CD version as bonus track). The sleeve and the title referred to a battle that apparently occured between the police and civils on a market but I don't know the details of this event (if you do, tell me in the comments). On the back side of the sleeve, one could see the genitals of the transexual of the Monticello cover but the quality of the sleeve was awful (a basic photocopy) and I only reproduced it here for historical reasons. This would be the 3rd and the last of the official Bastards singles before Joachim Breuer formed Janitor Joe (and not Genital Joe). The 1st one was "Who Care/ Shit for Brains" that you can find here, the 2nd one was "Loser/Frank" that I'll post later on. Many would find all the songs of Joachim Breuer either in the Bastards or in Janitor Joe to be quite similar and that his approach of rock lacked diversity. But this is one thing I like in this guy, the way he explored the same vein until the blood pours out in our ears. This is probably this cerebral characteristic that made him follow a scientific pathway afterwards and be a PhD. Enjoy it here.



Morrissey - I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris 7" (2009)

When the time will come to vote for the best songs of the year, I hope nobody will forget this one by Morrissey, one of the most wonderfull he wrote since the Smiths disbanded. The metaphor is gorgeous and inspired. Similar to the old Smiths period, this is moving without being "niais" (sorry I did not find an English term for this word). I've not followed with much curiosity the career of Morrissey after Johnny Marr and him separated their ways, because it was hard to listen to his new material after such an achievement, but I was wrong and he composed some great tunes with superb lyrics even after. Only the stylish options often bothered me. But with Years of Refusal this year, something made it again for me. And the B-sides album Swords issued this month confirms that I'm still higly receptive to the songs and the voice of this man. This single, released at the beginning of the year, did not find the way to the top of the charts I thought it will find. It does not matter but it shows how the public taste got some dysgueusia these days. I must admit that the present 7" does not exist actually since it is the 2 CD version that contained both B-side tracks I post here, the single having a live version of the great Smiths "Death of the Disco Dancer". The lyrics of the B-side songs were found on the excellent passionsjustlikemine site here. The 3-song single is here.

I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris. In the absence of your love And in the absence of human touch I have decided I’m throwing my arms around Around Paris because only stone and steel accept my love In the absence of your smiling face I traveled all over the place and I have decided I’m throwing my arms around Around Paris because only stone and steel accept my love I’m throwing my arms around Around Paris because only stone and steel accept my love I’m throwing my arms around Paris because Nobody wants my love Nobody wants my love Nobody needs my love Nobody wants my love Yes you made yourself plain Yes you made yourself very plain

Because Of My Poor Education. Because of my poor education I don't expect your invitation A ship lost inches away from the bay Because of my poor education I can't endure my situation This here is my bed and I must lie Because of this strange indentation I live my life without affection Kind-hearted, view me and say "Thank God that's not me" Once I was sure I had found my hero And I allowed myself to think so Reality is not real to me

Shame Is The Name. Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Hey boy - are you happy to be A dim-ass teen on the spree? You get drunk all day And you're sick all night Is this the sum of your life? What's your name, what's your name? What's your dreams, your goals Your ambitions and aims? He laughed and said Shame is the name He said Shame is the name Shame is the name He said Shame is the name Politician - can you listen To yourself for just once in your life? Because there's something you said To mean soldiers are dead Because the money you save Seniors are in their grave Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame makes the world go around Shame makes the world go around Shame makes the world go around Shame makes the world go around



Alternative TV - Sex Love EP (1986)

One more Mark Perry offer for your collection. This is the second EP from the 4th incarnation of Alternative TV (the 1st one with Alex Fergusson, the 2nd without him, the 3rd with him again and this one after a 2 years gap during which Mark Perry went back to the normal life, doing modest jobs and facing the sarcasms of his ex-punk mates and of the press). This incarnation produced a rather different music than the ATV we all cherish, the 1st and 2nd ones. Actually, with this EP and the previous one (Welcome To The End Of Fun, that i'll post here too) are more in a Felt, Wire, Cure style, I'm talking about what these bands recorded during the eighties of course. This was a fine return although not so essential than before. This EP contained 3 songs. "Victory" was quite maintream indie rock but with Mark Perry on vocals, mainstream is not the right word. The musical arrangements are much more sophisticated they were with the previous ATV releases. My favorite track is "Repulsion", the one I put in streaming and where I find what I like so much in Marl Perry, an intensity, a presence, a proximity I hardly find in most others. Last was the long and unusual "You Never Know", based on a Shocking Blue riff (a kind of ATV plays "Venus") and on which Alison Phillips (a female drummer) showed her skill and inventivity. Although there was a sleeve with this EP, it was actually so poor (unfortunately it has been the case with Mark Perry except during the punk area) that I propose mine. I know it may be not everybody's taste, but it's my own way of seeing things. These songs have been captured on CD for the edition of Peep Show, and, strangely, mixed with other songs of the LP, a bad idea I think, since the rest of the LP is not quite in the same mood. So, here are they in their original context. One more contribution to make Mark Perry heritage lives. Enjoy here.

Here under, the original sleeve of the EP. I can't scan mine cos' EPs are too large for my scan but it's just for information. And under the cover, you can listen to "Repulsion" in looking at the woman vomiting on a target drawn on the floor (don't try this at home... or try it, it's not really dangerous after all).



Lal Waterson - At First She Starts / Flight of the Pelican Fake 7"(1996)

Some female voices seem to talk to deep and untouched parts of our soul. These voices are not the sames for each of us. For me, only Billie Holiday, Melanie Safka and Mandy Morton have such a voice. But now, there is Lal Waterson. I wonder how I can have ignored her so long. It is true than when the 2 albums she released in the nineties were issued, I was not very curious of what happened in the folk area but I would have been touched by her grace even there. Then she died. Very soon after the second one. In 1998. God, what a waste. Thanks to the Unthanks for their cover of "At First She Starts" on their last LP (here). This made me listen to the original one, and my heart broke. Lal Waterson had a voice that shared some common points with the Melanie's one. But there is more despair and bitterness in it. Yes, she could be considered on a mid-point between Melanie and Billie Holiday. This fake single is only to provide an opportunity for the visitor of this blog to taste this voice and knows if his or her soul is touched as is mine. And you know I like to create virtual sleeves for fake records. So it allows me to satisfy my vice. But if you love it, you can find the album on several blogs such as the excellent "misha4music" here. And afterwards, do as I did: buy the album, I'm sure the money will be important for those who try to make her music lives since she died. One more thing. Lal Waterson composed her songs and here it must be said that she is a really great composer, with the same way to treat a melody than Robert Wyatt or Paddy McAlloon to my ears. Last, as Melanie, the wonderfully delicate guitar work behind her is from her own son, Oliver Knight. The mother & son love can provide really gorgeous records. (such was Crazy Love in 2002 for Melanie). The 2 songs I extracted from the LP to create this single are simply marvellous. I can't say there have been many as these in the past. Enjoy your soul here.

At First She Starts. First she starts and then she's startled.I see that light in her eyes. Didn't you realise you were a bird,At dawn when you woke with air in your throat. So far doe-ray-me. Sing to me loudly,Serenade me, Mess with the melody. Light and shade. All my eyes can see. Oh but you are the phrase at the end of the bar, a long and high refrain. Hanging around for the choir to strike sound, So's you can holler your joy and your pain

Flight Of The Pelican. We who dreamed young and were silent this autumn.In the last throws of an upstart old crow. Saw the flight of the pelican. Speak to me words don't give no fancy meanings, I never knew, I never knew, I never knew I was needing
We who dreamed young and were silent this autumn. I need the love peace brings. I need to feel easy in my need. I need to feel naturally greedy. I need the space for my feet. I need to feel safe while I sleep. I need the love peace brings and then I've no need. We who dreamed young and were silent this autumn. Your children's children's rights have gone.



Bastards - Groovy Space Man Pills 7" (1991)

Another rare one for your complete Joachim Breuer song compilation (left on the picture above). This is from the Endangered Species 6 x 7" box released by Glitterhouse Records, a German label that "used to take care of the SubPop Ger and Amphetamine Reptile" as they said. You can find the whole box to dl here. There are many interesting things on it, such as the fantastic cover of Led Zeppelin's "4 Stinks" by Unsane. But my idea is only to add another one Bastard gem (cause it is one) and so I post the song they provided for this compilation, "Groovy Space Man Pills", which is a thrilling good one. The other 7" side was occupied by the Cows, not a band I truly digged, but no band in these noise scene was bad to my ears. More to come from the Bastards in the next days. En attendant, enjoy this one here.



Neanderthal - Fighting Music EP (1990)

Let's dig deeper and deeper in the mud that was the craddle of sludge. With Asbestodeath (here) and Fu Manchu (there), Neanderthal was the 3rd band that introduced me to this style in 1989-90. Then I would discover the great EyeHateGod and UpsideDownCross but it's another story I'll tell you one day if this blog still operates. Neanderthal was a 2-man band actually, consisting of Eric Wood and Matt Domino. The first will form Man Is The Bastard. Neanderthal only released this 7" EP to my knowledge. This is really ugly and dirty, sick and nauseous as sludge was in its baby's years. And among the 3 cited bands, this was the less influenced by riffs and rock. In an interview you can find on the blog Burning down the dreams forever, Eric Wood stated that "In Neanderthal’s case [...], we were about humans desecrating their very Garden of Eden through psychological torture of themselves". Nice way to describe what we can hear on this 5 "songs" 7" EP. The political content is quite unusual in sludge. Another difference with orthodox sludge, is the fact that all is not slow and muddy, most "songs" have a rather speed thrashy and even grinding pace. A something of Napalm Death can be found in Neanderthal. The opening track, "Crawl", is the only real sludge song of the whole. Consider this as a contribution to the untold story of sludge. Enjoy it here.

I've scanned the central pictures of the vinyl. Don't open it when children around. They could try this at home.



Crawl Back In - Hang All Hope From The Nearest Tree EP (2009)

A doom band as I like them. Not stuck in formulas, not kitch and mimicking used musical codes but creating their own universe, and one that I find perfect for my own way to feel life these days. There are sometimes thrash traces in their music, something also coming from old school doom (Entombed but also the forgotten and excellent Cerebral Fix). Some may have some difficulties with the voice, much more sludge and thrash than doom, but I don't. This fits superbly with the backing sonic assault. The intensity is impressive (listen to the end of "A Heart The Size of a Family Tomb"). This EP can be downloaded freely on their myspace here or on their site. I hope they will soon find a label to release their records on solid support since the cover is really fantastic. The last (and longest) song ("Amid Laughter Let Us Perish") is more Pelican-like (let's say Ocean-like) but once again, they achieve a great piece of music in avoiding any mediocre riff or thema as too often doom bands indulge themselves. The calm and long part has an interior tension that sustain the attention and it's a "tour de force" I'd say. Try it now here.



Jim Carroll - People Who Died 7" (1980)

Now an hommage to a man who sang "People Who Died" and who died last september. I wanted to make something here the day after he died, but many blogs did it so I found it unnecessary. But since I imagined that he would become the Steve Harley of the eighties when this single appeared, it seems to me not possible to omit this single after the Singles As & Bs from Steve Harley I posted 2 days ago. Jim Carroll was a poet. I can't judge if I like or not his poetry since poetry is not easy to appreciate in an other language than our native one. At least I know his lyrics talked to me more, much more than a whole Springsteen lyric book. And this song was a revelation for me. I hoped the album would be a gem but it was only a good one, not exceptional. No more to add. Jim Carroll had physically changed a lot in the last decade. Over was the time he was an adonis, a young and attractive rocker and charismatic writer. He looked more like a human spectre. Each of us must face physical entropy and to deal with it. We can try to attenuate some marks but some don't care and live what they have to live, whatever the consequences on their image. And then death comes. For each of us. Now Jim could enter in his song and become one of this doomed destiny he sang about. So long. Cry it here

People who died.
Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old. Fell from the roof on East Two-nine. Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug. On 26 reds and a bottle of wine. Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old. He looked like 65 when he died. He was a friend of mine. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
G-berg and Georgie let their gimmicks go rotten. So they died of hepatitis in upper Manhattan. Sly in Vietnam took a bullet in the head. Bobby OD'd on Drano on the night that he was wed. They were two more friends of mine. Two more friends that died. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room. Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs. Judy jumped in front of a subway train. Eddie got slit in the jugular vein. And Eddie, I miss you more than all the others. And I salute you brother. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Herbie pushed Tony from the Boys' Club roof. Tony thought that his rage was just some goof. But Herbie sure gave Tony some bitchen proof. "Hey," Herbie said, "Tony, can you fly?". But Tony couldn't fly, Tony died. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Brian got busted on a narco rap. He beat the rap by rattin' on some bikers. He said, "Hey, I know it's dangerous, but it sure beats Riker's". But the next day he got offed by the very same bikers. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died

This is a strange picture of Jim carroll I found on the blog of an American journalist (and a Jim Carroll fan) I forgot the link to. It has a ghost quality that perfectly fits the funeral atmosphere of this post.


Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Singles As & Bs (1975-76)

After disbanding the first version of Cockney Rebel (actually it is said that it is the rest of the band that decided to quit but I wonder why they would have fired their singer and main composer), Steve Harley kept the name of the band but added his name on the frontside, maybe in case he would have to pursue on his own (that will be the case). Looking back, it was not fair to keep the name since the new formation had not the glam charisma of the previous one to say the least, but were competent and sometimes brilliant players. The main change was in the Steve Harley's singwriting, much more Dylan-influenced and much less Bowie-influenced than before. The chance was that the first single the band released was an international hit, covered by many and many, from Suzi Quatro to the Wedding Present, of course you know I talk about "Make Me Smile". When it was issued, it was for me a severe deception, too mainstream, not decadent and precious enough for me. I thought it was an accident but it would be the new Harley's style for the next 2 years. However, the band released good albums and if none would reach the altitudes of Psychomodo, the Love's A Prima Donna one is a kind of masterpiece, an essential LP to get and listen to. Here, I gathered the 7 singles that this formation released during his lifetime, i.e., 14 songs and among them some never released on any CD support. Some of these rarities are excellent (such as "Throw Your Soul Down There" or "Lay me Down") and it is a shame EMI never felt the interest to release a complete Steve Harley single As & Bs compilation (from this and previous formation) that would be a hell of album. Instead, you got the eternal uneven compilations of songs that are supposed to give an insight of the band. I conceived the sleeve from the Love's A Prima Donna back sleeve, a very strange picture that represents quite well the lyrical world of Steve Harley in these years. He then will turn in a still much more mainstream musical field and this man is one of my great deception from the seventies (Alex Harvey is dead and Peter Hammill still going on). Enjoy this compilation here. Sorry but the sound level is different between songs since some are ripped from my vinyls, other from my CDs, and other from various blog sources. I am not competent enough to match the sound level but one time I'll be, I'm sure.

Below I chose (with difficulty) 2 songs for streaming: "Black or White" a commercial miss that should have been a hit to my ears although the grandiloquence of the orchestration may not be everybody's taste, and the "Love's a Prima Donna" eponymous song that is as catchy than it was at the time.
Black or White. Behind the wall the ears of love are listening. Behind the door they kneel. Behind the boy from whom we steal. Behind the dark, deserted halls of memory. Inside the sound oy oy, we have just landed for employ. We need your hands to carry us to our joy. To black or white. And step on it. Black or white. Between the shadow and uncertain colour. Between the word and sign. Between the man and all his time. Between the sidewalk and the moving stairway. Between the yay and nay ! There falls the thruth we aim to slay. There falls the thruth we do so righteous flay. Come black or white. And step on it. Black or white. Until we gather life and all our dreams. Until we cool the heat. Until we share our cup of meat. Until the trail of waste is put to stud. Until we drift away. Towards the picture in the frame. Our celebratian comes a game to play. Just black or white. And step on it. Black or white

Love’s A Prima Donna. I should say by the way that you're acting today. i can tell by the sigh in your eye, i can sure understand by the palm of your hand, that you know i'm so hot i could fry, because i've chased you, embraced you 'n' turned round 'n' faced you, crowned you the truth of my youth, but you give me the line in the words of our time, it's like living a stew that's what most lovers do, it's like escaping the sun, there's nowwhere you can run. I believe, i believe love's a lover's honour. I believe, i believe love's a prima donna too. I shoulda guessed by the rest of the men that you've blessed, i was only an eye for an eye, but you wanted a part of my innocent heart, i was only your ship in the night, i shoulda knew, shoulda knew i was out just for you, i believe in the power of the night, but like a fool i was had, now it's driving me mad, i was only a prize in your libertine eyes, i had it coming to me i was too late to see. I believe, i believe love's a lover's honour. I believe, i believe love's a prima donna too. I could fight with the might of a thief in the night, i could kick, i could tear at your hair, i could break you in two like a man ought to do, but the woman i see has a right to be free, and the woman i need is a mischievous breed, don't wanna live in a stew that's what most lovers do, it's like escaping the sun, there's nowhere you can run