The Monochrome Set - He's Frank / Alphaville (1979)

Another re-up of the first Monochrome Set early singles as required by a visitor. Of course these songs are available on The Independant Singles compilations, but in their original wrapping and issue, it's better. Catch their first one here. Below the previous texts of the initial posts.

Following a visitor's comment, I reup the 3 Monochrome Set first singles. A nice way to give this great stuff an ear. I'm getting back more and more often in the music of this period these days. It's true it was the music of my youth. The only movement in which I really was involved in.

It was a real pleasure to see the reformed (at least 3 members) Monochrome Set recently (with JFG and his Regulars as support band). Some say Bid now looks a little bit like me (we must have the same age) and it could be worse as comparison. Between 1978-1980, this band was not in my faves (I was rather in ATV, Vic Godard, Buzzcocks, Wire, Only Ones or Soft Boys) but listening back to these tunes on stage, I remembered I found them quite sapid and they supported the test of time quite well. Not sure to post all their singles but here's the first, with 2 A-sides actually since "Alphaville" (anyone who names a song from a Jean-Luc Godard film got my respect) is a true gem. Strangely I find the present voice of Bid more appropriate to the melody than it was. But I'm surely getting old.

(Alphaville) She slits her senseless skin (Alphaville) In time to Fred Astaire (Alphaville) I know you’re always there (Don’t look now) She’s so debonair, she’s a manic depressive (Don’t look now)She’s a millionaire, and her bills are excessive (Alphaville) She feels her senses wane (Alphaville) In pleasant melody (Alphaville) I’ll take you now with me (Don’t look now) She’s a movie star, she’s a split personality (Don’t look now)She’s got oom-pah-pah, and Papa says it’s insanity Don’t look now, your mind’s deteriorating Don’t look now, and if it’s irritating I’ll know how to set it right again Don’t look now, your world’s collapsing, dear Don’t look now, and if it’s taxing, dear I’ll know how to put it back again (Alphaville) She sleeps in useless flesh (Alphaville) The rancid, blood-soaked breast (Alphaville) In sunlight and slow death (Don’t look now) She’s a movie star, she’s a little bit touched (Don’t look now) She’s so wünderbar, all gears and no clutch


ranxerox said...

mon, set what a band!!!!!

roberto said...

one of my fave from the end of the 70's,see them live two times in italy,each time a great gig...

Unknown said...

One of my all time fav. bands through the 80's. First heard them in 1980 and immediately fell in love with Bid's hypnotic crooning. As Pre-Smiths-post-punk-brit-poppers, they were truly trail blazers. After some VERY taxing final in college I would always put on TMS and Bid's voice was like a soothing tonic for the mind.

Went to London in '91 (first time), and before, on a whim, called Cherry Records. They gave me another number, and was given another number, and upon calling that number BID ANSWERED THE PHONE. 'Told him I was a big fan and wanted to meet him, if possible. He said to come by his shop on Kensington HS at so and so time. I did, and I REALLY, REALLY hate to say this but I was a tiny bit let down. His "shop" was a stall at a kind of indoor/outdoor market where each stall is separated by a curtain and wares laid out on blankets. Surely a strange boutique, but not exactly what I had in mind. Bid was shorter than I imagined (though I am 6'3"), and seemed a bit "disheveled" (perhaps tired). He was not terribly talkative and I sort of had to keep the conversation afloat. Though he wanted to know about Seattle (my hometown). He became very exited however when talking about TMS' future plans, records, tours, etc. He clearly loved his band.

Anyway, I love their music and think they are among the many great forgotten bands.


Anonymous said...

The link is dead. Re-up please. Thank you.

Lorenzo said...

Fell in love with both these songs from the moment I heard them on NZ student radio (I think). Post-punk is still my fave music - maybe it's coz I heard it at such a formative age (16 or 17). Dunno!

'Alphaville' sounded like it was beamed in from another planet. I saw the French film namesake, but couldn't figure out how it related to it. Any clues, anyone???

Anyway, a year before it was compiled on 'Volume, Contrast, Brilliance', I found & taped it from a friend's Frankly fabulous record collection, which blissed me out for MONTHS, as the radio-taped cassette had become a tad chewed (mind u, the wonkiness only added to the ambience, but..!).