We’re back baby. Back back back. Leaving Elvis in the army we journey across space and time and open the doors of the Aftertardis to find ourselves in….1982. The last splutterings of post-punk and disco are petering out, and the charts are firmly in the grip of the ‘Second British Invasion’ – the Spandaus, Durans, Culture Clubs, Human League, ABC etc. Metal, indie, Sunny Ade, reggae, britfunk and lots more to get stuck into. Usual Almanac rules – anything released in the year. I was 17 and so would have been seeing bands – from memory I would have seen possibly the Jam at Stafford Bingley Hall and New Order at Hanley Victoria Hall amongst others. I was also a card-carrying Hacienda member and spent some great nights with 50 other lost souls on ‘club nights’ dancing to Simple Minds and Bauhaus. They played cartoons on giant screens and for a time there was a cafe where you could get chips and beans. Ah the legend. As ever we kick off with some choice stories from NME’s The Rock and Roll Years.
Buy No More Records?
Renting records could be the thing of the future if a new Japanese scheme catches on. In Tokyo, the owner of a major chain of record stores has already changed his retail outlets into musical lending libraries. And in New Yor,, there was a near riot when one record store decided to hire out its stock. The scheme works in a similar way to video hire, but whereas the retailer would make more money by renting than selling albums, the manufacturer only makes money on the first sale.
With blank cassette sales increasing yearly, it is easy to see how wide a method could tie in which home taping. And with record prices oint through the roof, its possible that such a scheme could shake the record industry to its foundations. Whether the industry is ready for that remains to be seen.
Silence Is Golden. The One-Side Single
The latest music biz gimmick is the one-sided single- first of which is Bow Wow Wow’s I Want Candy. The intention is to cut the price fo a single, but the purchase price is in fact, rather more than 50% of the two-sided version. The sleeve simply boasts the message ‘Special Edition – Special Price’ and there is, no information as to how many buyers have returned the single in disgust at the tactic. Surprisingly enough, the idea originated from the RCA’s marketing department and not Bow Wow Wow manager Malcolm Mclaren, who’s insisted its repressed with a proper B-side. Meanwhile the single has sold 50,000 in the week prior to release in advance orders.
Joe Don’t Go
Punk survivors the Clash were forced to postpone a month of dates in their ‘Know Your Rights’ tour when lead vocalist Joe Strummer disappeared. Manager Bernard Rhodes said: ‘I feel he’s probably gone away for a serious re-think’…
Journalist Steve Taylor claimed he had shared a compartment with Strummer on a train from London to Paris – and sure enough it was in Paris that the singer was located at the end of the month. Ironically, after they had fulfilled their headline sport at Holland’s Lochem Festival, the band was further rocked when drummer Topper Headon announced that he was leaving…for good.
Strummer’ explanation for his own behaviour: ‘Its very much like being a robot, being in a group…rather than go barmy…its better to do what I did…I just go up and went to Paris.
Zappa – USA is Best
With a hit single recorded with daughter Moon ‘Valley Girl’ – and a top 50 album ‘Ship Arriving To Save A Drowning Witch’ FRank Zappa is having his most successful year for some time.
Now he states that he intends to stay in the US for the foreseeable future: ‘Europe’s too expensive to play, too expensive to travel around and with the anti-American sentiment around, it is hard to go onstage and do what you do.
I think three people got killed during our last show in Palermo, Italy. For some unknown reason the cops started firing teargas….some of the kids started shooting back.’
Seventies glam rockers Slade are facing trouble with their new album ‘Til Deaf Us Do Part’ with dealers refusing to stock it because of an ‘offensive’ picture of a nail piercing an ear drum.
When is a new single not a new single? When its The Beatles “Movie Medley’, excerpts from seven of their film songs on one 45rpm single.