This is where we’ve been heading. For one last time let’s step into the wonderful and frightening world of the eighties. I was at university seeing bands like The Sisters of Mercy (no change there from the previous few years) and the excellent Prefab Sprout on the Steve McQueen tour. It was well and truly the year the charity single became a thing – as well as Live Aid (the end of 1984), USA for Africa, there were records in aid of the Bradford Football Fire and and against apartheid with ‘Sun City’.
And some headlines from the NME:
Spandau Ballet have issued a writ against Chrysalis Records, alleging negligence on the part of the label. The group have also stated their desire to be released from their current contract, which has a year to run.
Spandau’s lawyer claims ‘ The recent writ served against Chrysalis is a direct result of the group’s dissatisfaction over their company’s failure to honour its contract to support and promote the group as agreed. Overall, they feel they have not enjoyed the support to which a band of their proven stature nd success is entitled’
He added pointedly: ‘They are estimated to be currently responsible for 25 % of Chrysalis’ sales alone. They recently broke all box-office records prior to Christmas by selling out six successive Wemble dates and UK tour.’
Jesus & Mary Banned
Jesus and Mary Chain’s new single ‘You Trip Me Up’ has been held up because WEA’s pressing plant staff refuse to handle it, apparently offended by the B-side title ‘Jesus Suck’.
Other pressing plants turned it down unanimously, claiming it to be ‘obscene’ ‘blasphemous’ or ‘too controversial’. The group have been forced to record a new track and the single’s release has been delayed.
The band stated: ‘This is completely typical of the state of the stale-minded music business. Jesus & Mary Chain continually try to break the music business stereotype, but this time the cliche has affected even us’.
NMA – No Merit Artistically?
New Model Army appear to be the first victims of a tough new policy inaugurated by the American Immigration Department. With a major US tour already lined up, the British band have been refused work permits on the grounds that their work is of ‘no artistic merit’.
The decision – believed to have been made in the climate of the current pressure being applied to the US government by the censorship lobby – has left the band’s label EMI somewhat perplexed and stressing the strong moral tone the band’s lyrics often take.
Nigel Morton, NMA’s manager, siad ‘If its all down to the bands politics, it’s a bit strange because Billy Bragg and Poison Girls, whose politics are exactly the same as New Model Army’s, have all been allowed entry into the States recently. We’ve already appealed against the decision.
In New York’s, the band’s attorned Sandra Lavish claimed that she was ‘pretty certain’ that the US Immigration Autorities would change their minds.
Lastly it was the year of Live Aid – what’s left to say? Perhaps simply to reflect on a line-up that found time for Howard Jones in the UK. The USA line up looks a bit bonkers still – Billy Ocean into Black Sabbath into Run DMC is a segue to be relished.
Status Quo, The Style Council, The Boomtown Rats, Adam Ant, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Elvis Costello, Nik Kershaw, Sade, Sting & Phil Collins, Howard Jones, Bryan Ferry, Paul Young, U2, Dire Straits, Queen, David Bowie, The Who, Elton John, Freddie Mercury & Bryan May, Paul McCartney, Band Aid.
Bernard Watson, Joan Baez, The Hooters, Four Tops, Billy Ocean,Black Sabbath, Run DMC, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, Crosby Stills and Nash, Judas Priest, Bryan Adam, The Beach Boys, George Thorogood (with Bo Diddley and Albert Collins), Simple Minds, Pretenders, Santana, Ashford and Simpson, Madonna, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Kenny Loggins, The Cars, Neil Young, The Power Station, Thompson Twins, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Duran Duran, Patti La Belle, Hall and Oates, Mick Jagger and Friends, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, USA for Africa.
We’re at another natural break point I feel, as bubbling away in Detroit is that thing called House that’s going to change a lot. A week’s break while we search for some new dilithium crystals, then onto another ear. Usual rules, anything and everything from 1985.