Tuesday, April 03, 2012
A 12" STOLEN FROM ME OR MISLAID YEARS AGO
Back in 1982, I fell for the charms of Modern English.
By this time they were on 4AD Records having got there via a series of critically acclaimed material released on their own Limp Label between 1979 and 1981. After The Snow was the name of the 1982 LP. It was one that divided the critics who thought it far too derivative of the keyboard-pop that was just beginning to dominate the UK charts. Personally, I thought there were more than a few hints of Magazine and early Simple Minds (and dare I whisper it Joy Division) about some of the material albeit the vocals of Robbie Grey were about as far removed from Howard Devoto as you can imagine.
I owned a 12" single whose b-side divided the flatmates of the day. It lasted more than 11 minutes which was just too much for the fans of the jingly-jangly three-minute pop song. Others felt it was just too contrived. Me and one other flatmate loved it and on the few occasions it happened just to be the two of us in the house, we'd shove it on and play loud. The other thing I loved doing was playing it through headphones...there were loads of little jolts and jumps in the last few minutes that charged my brain.
The 12" single was lost many years ago. It might even have been knowingly destroyed by flatmates. But until a couple of years that b-side and the remixed version of the album track hadn't been heard in decades. But thanks to a re-released CD copy of After The Snow which contained the singles from that era and their b-sides, I got a chance to hear them afresh:-
mp3 : Modern English - Life In The Gladhouse (12" club mix)
mp3 : Modern English - The Choicest View
OK. Nearly 30 years I discover they're not as great as I remembered from my youth. The single in particular is sooooooooooo 80s.
But few things left alone for that length of time prove to be everything you thought they were. Nevertheless, i hope you've enjoyed a wee spin down this particular memory lane.