Soft Cell


Soft Cell

Are they still together? I doubt it.

Did you ever see them play live? No.

Anything you want / need by them? Maybe some 7” UK singles?

You really should own / hear:

  1. Non Stop Erotic Cabaret (1981)
  2. “Singles Collection” (Best Of)

I really had no patience for Soft Cell at the time.  It was super popular and, frankly, they seemed like someone else’s problem.  My favorite 45 in 2011 is “Bedsitter”, the 12” version.  Yep, I am missing some 12” singles.

The video for “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret” is available on DVD in this country, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t hunt down a copy and see what the fuss was / is all about.

LP                ART OF FALLING APART, THE               SIRE US                       23769.1

1983 10 TRKS LP + 12″, promo

12″               BEDSITTER                                                SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 612

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               DOWN IN THE SUBWAY (REMIX)          SOME BIZARRE UK   BZSR 2212

1983 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, remix

12″               MEMORABILIA                                            SOME BIZARRE UK   HARD 12

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP                NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET              SIRE US                       SRK 3647

1981 10 TRKS

CD                NON-STOP ESTATIC DANCING             MERCURY DE            558265.2

1982 12 TRKS (6 x bonus tracks) (’98 issue)

12″               NUMBERS                                                  SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 1712

1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               SAY HELLO WAVE GOODBYE                SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 712

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               SOUL INSIDE                                             VERTIGO DE               814249.1

1983 4 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               TAINTED LOVE                                          SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 212

1981 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP                THIS LAST NIGHT IN SODOM                 SOME BIZARRE UK   SOD 1

1984 10 TRKS

12″               TORCH                                                        SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 912

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               WHAT!                                                          SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 1112

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               WHERE THE HEART IS                           SOME BIZARRE UK   BZS 1612

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

Perhaps I’ll eventually warm to their 2nd and 3rd albums.  For the most part, their debut is enough.




Are they still together? I don’t think so. (Or are they?)

Did you ever see them play live? No.

Anything you want / need by them? Maybe some 7” UK singles?

  1. Happy Families (1982) I have only orig CD issue of this title
  2. Mange Tout (1984) I have only orig CD issue of this title
  3. Believe You Me (1985) I do not own this title on CD…yet!

As close as I ever got to seeing them play live was on MTV – and I’m still looking for my beta videocassette of that show!

Definitely one of the earlier of the “sampler” bands.  And they were certainly making music videos 100% contemporary with the advent of MTV, not that I ever saw much of them on there, beyond that aforementioned live show.  “Lose Your Love” was a really amusing music video, with them spilling all that paint!

LP                BELIEVE YOU ME                                                                                 LONDON UK        LONLP 10

1985 11 TRKS 3rd

12″               BLIND VISION                                                                                       LONDON UK        BLANX 5

1983 3 TRKS with pic sleeve


1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               DAY BEFORE YOU CAME, THE                                                         LONDON UK        BLANX 8

1984 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               DON’T TELL ME                                                                                    LONDON UK        BLAPX 7

1984 2 TRKS with large pic labels

7″                 DON’T TELL ME / GET OUT OF THAT (PS)                                     LONDON UK        BLANC 7

1984 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               FEEL ME                                                                                                LONDON UK        BLANX 2

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               GOD’S KITCHEN                                                                                  LONDON UK        BLANX 1

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP                HAPPY FAMILIES                                                                                  ISLAND US           90053.1

1982 10 TRKS 1st

12″               I CAN SEE IT                                                                                         LONDON UK        BLANX 11

1986 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               LIVING ON THE CEILING                                                                   LONDON UK        BLANX 3

1982 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                 LIVING ON THE CEILING / RUNNING THIN (PS)                          LONDON UK        BLANC 3

1982 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               LOSE YOUR LOVE                                                                               LONDON UK        BLANX 10

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP                MANGE TOUT                                                                                       LONDON UK        SH 8554

1984 10 TRKS 2nd (810235.1)

12″               THAT’S LOVE, THAT IT IS                                                                   SIRE US                20282-0

1983 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                 THAT’S LOVE, THAT IT IS / VISHNU (PS)                                        LONDON UK        BLANC 6

1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               WAVES                                                                                                   LONDON UK        BLANX 4

1983 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                 WAVES / GAME ABOVE MY HEAD, THE (PS)                                  LONDON UK        BLANC 4

1983 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12″               WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?                                                               LONDON UK        BLANX 9

1985 3 TRKS with pic sleeve

Time Machine 1971


Time Machine

Phonolog Reports – New Releases

Week of August 30, 1971

Caught my eye:

MORT GARSON – Music For Sensuous Lovers by “Z” (Sensuous 5800) (LP)

O.S.T. – Shaft (Isaac Hayes) (Enterprise 5002) (double LP) (LP)

JOHN SEBASTIAN – Four Of Us (Reprise 2041)

STEPPENWOLF – For Ladies Only (Dunhill DSX-50110)

Mort Garson must’ve had a busy agent in 1971!  Mega Isaac Hayes O.S.T.!  Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian carries on.  I remember the dirty picture on the inside of the Steppenwolf album, but I do not remember ever hearing the music.

Also of interest:

BLUES PROJECT – Lazarus (Capitol ST-782)

Like, no Al Kooper, so I didn’t listen or care.

Notable singles:

THE CARPENTERS – Superstar b/w Bless The Beasts & Children (A&M 1289)

DADDY COOL – Eagle Rock b/w Bom Bom (Reprise 1038)

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER – Stone Of Years b/w A Time & A Place (Cotillion 44131)

FAMILY – In My Own Time (U.A. 50832)

JANIS JOPLIN – Get It While You Can (Columbia 4-45433)

OSMONDS – Yo-Yo b/w Keep On My Side (MGM K 14295)

PROCOL HARUM – Simple Sister b/w Song For A Dreamer (A&M 1287)

YES – Your Move (Atlantic 2819) edited version of A-side

Some good singles this week – AM pop with The Osmonds and The Carpenters; Australia’s Daddy Cool get their US debut; Another posthumous Janis Joplin single; decent prog rock from Yes (though it is edited amusingly), Family, EL&P and Procol Harum (from their superlative “Broken Barricades” album).

Record Collector Cheapness


Record Collector Cheapness

Los Angeles residents will have no trouble recognizing the posted photo today – it’s a Zody’s price tag!  And, yes, it came off of a phonograph record!  Zody’s was like a discount store (a la Gemco, Treasury, Cal Store, White Front etc) – and they all seemed to have a record department.  They might not’ve had as much stuff as, say, Wallach’s – but at least what they did have was cheap.

One of the ways that I really got going with record collecting when I was a youngster was to buy inexpensive records – the tag pictured will doubtlessly send shivers up some spines.  How many $1.57 records did you buy?  I bought lots – and I recently found this magnificent specimen on the shrinkwrap of a mono copy of the debut album by The Lovin’ Spoonful (“Do You Believe In Magic?”).

Ah, evidence of record collector cheapness!




Are they still together? I don’t know.

Did you ever see them play live?  No.

Anything you want / need by them?  I don’t think so.

You really should own / hear:

  1. Missing Chairs (1978)
  2. 154 (1979)
  3. “Singles Collection” (Best Of)

Really, for me, this band was always about their singles.  “A Question Of Degree” or “Our Swimmer” are two of my favorite 45’s ever to come out of England!  I’m lucky enough to have found all of their EMI UK 7” singles.

I am not terribly interested in the post-1980 Wire.  I’ve owned a few of their latter day records (as well as some Colin Newman solo albums) and – not my cup of tea.  I have kept some Gilbert / Lewis titles, however.

But if you weren’t up to speed with your Wire fandom in 1978/9, you were really left out in the cold.  If you hadn’t heard “154” – I remember hearing one guy really disrespect someone else over this.  There was definitely some snobbishness associated with Wire.  Too cool for the room.  But “Outdoor Miner” is such a good 45!  Why aren’t any of their albums as good as “A Question Of Degree”?

Many, many moons later, I came back to the Wire camp.  I got an LP of “PF456Redux”, and it seemed like they picked right up where “Document and Eyewitness” had left them – in 1980!  My mental notes told me to try any other newer stuff I could find – “Read and Burn 01” was what I found.  Wow, there are Wire videos?  I never knew…

So, they weren’t as important to me as, say, Magazine or XTC.  I really do like “A Question Of Degree” a lot.  Have you heard that one?  You really should hear it.  They were definitely capable of making ‘pop music’.




Are they still together? Possibly a version of this band still exists – but I only like ‘em w/ John Foxx

Did you ever see them play live? Oh, yes – numerous times.  Both with and without Foxx!

Anything you want / need by them?  Perhaps audiophile editions of the first 3 albums?

You really should own / hear:

  1. Ultravox (1977)
  2. Ha! Ha! Ha! (1977)
  3. Systems Of Romance (1978)

A tremendously charismatic band on stage, circa ’78.  “Touch & Go” was a highlight – finally committed to vinyl after John Foxx left the band (on “Metamatic”).  Always just the right amount of “abrasive” – with the ‘scraping’ violin…

Definitely a band that straddled the line between progressive rock and punk rock.  “Ha! Ha! Ha!” is definitely the central work in their canon.  It works both ways!

“Systems Of Romance” has the polish that “Ha! Ha! Ha!” is missing.  It’s a very easy record to hear!  Not many rough edges.

I was always majorly turned off of this band because of their debut album being produced by Brian Eno, which such flouncing and fanfare.  I came back to the debut once “Ha! Ha! Ha!” made such an impression on me.  By the time I got to see them play live, they were already on their way out of the pool hall.  To be honest, I was surprised that they decided to continue without John Foxx.

When the CD’s got re-mastered, most of the non-LP singles got added to the CD’s; a very good thing!  The original 45’s are really quite good, for the most part.  I have Jim Donato to thank for helping me (nearly) complete my collection, by providing the one UK Island 45 I could never find: “Quirks” b/w “Modern Love”.

I remember well when the colored vinyl 12” singles came into the distributor – people clamored for them, without having any idea what the music was like – they made clear and white vinyl records, m-a-a-a-n!  “Hey, give me one or two of those!”, I remember one vinyl whore barking at me.  “You aren’t going to like the music”, I thought.  Oh, wait – he wasn’t going to listen to it.  Nice.  Age 20, in the music business.  Yikes!

I’ve had people be surprised that I like Ultravox, over the years.  I always have to clarify my fandom by saying “Only with John Foxx”.  “Ha! Ha! Ha!” still kicks my butt.  Stop reading this hippie dribble and go and find an LP or CD of it.

Simple Minds


Simple Minds

Are they still together? I think so.

Did you ever see them play live?  Yes, once.  Whisky A-go-go, long ago.

Anything you want / need by them? Doubt it – maybe some 7” UK singles?

You really should own / hear:

1.  Reel To Reel Cacaphony (1979)

2.  Empires and Dance (1980)

3.  Sons and Fascination / Sister Feelings Call (1981)

I had the good fortune to get onto this particular bandwagon at the time of their 2nd album, “Real To Reel Cacaphony”.  Finally got to see them play live at the time of “Sons and Fascination”.  Impressive.

I lucked out and found the first dozen or so albums as re-mastered European paper sleeve CD’s.  No go on the bonus tracks, so I have continued to collect their 7” and 12” singles.  More recently, I’ve searched for their SA-CD titles – and only found “Once Upon A Time” thus far.

I got their DVD box in NTSC from England – nice live show, some very nice clips – but not quite everything, one suspects.  I didn’t really go for them after their first live album.  I actually stopped before “Once Upon A Time”.  They were really super popular for a while there; their songs were getting used in movies etc.

But their first five albums still have a pretty good sound in 2011.  Some of the material almost sounds like Jim Kerr is trying to be obscure or un-understandable.  No worries.

I was sorry to hear that their long-time bass player was no longer with them.  But, honestly, I haven’t even tried to listen to anything by them without their original bass player.

I really never thought they would get as popular as they got.  Certainly their immense popularity influenced how I think / thought about them.  Popular or not, the 3 albums listed above are well worth your time and effort to hear.