Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Associates - Smash Hits 1982

Well, it's been a long time since I posted anything here. Been too busy what with work, other projects and also the fact that I'm tending to get a bit tired of blogging. I've been concentrating a lot more on my photography in my free time, as well as some graphic design stuff, so this leaves little or no time at all for the blog. Anyhow, over the Xmas break I'll try to remediate and put up a couple more posts.

Anyhow, today we have a great pic of those once-handsome lads, The Associates, on the cover of Smash Hits way back in 1982. Of all the Scottish bands of that era, Associates were undoubtedly my favourite band. A band which released some true marvels* and faded much too fast. All of it ending in the tragic death of the late and much lamented Billy McKenzie.

Here the lads appear to be on a photo shoot -modelling for Kays catalogue. Billy in beret and one of those horrendous roll neck sweaters and Alan in a trenchcoat (?) of a truly eyewatering colour. Well, the mauve matches his lipstick sort of.

Not sure where I sourced this so I can't credit it.


* The Associates albums; The Affectionate Punch, Sulk, and Fourth Drawer Down were reissued as two-CD deluxe editions, earlier this year.
All three include 28 page booklets featuring in-depth liner notes, unpublished photographs, original promotional material and unseen memorabilia from The Associates’ archive. Sulk is also available on vinyl.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

"The Best of the Faces"

Haven't been doing much on this blog recently due to other committments and general lack of free time. I'll try to remediate this over the next couple of weeks or so but can't promise anything.

Anyhow, today we have a clipping from some music mag of yesteryear featuring the one and only Edwyn Collins (of Orange Juice). If anyone knows the origin of this article, date etc. please let me know. *
Here Edwyn gives us the lowdown on some personal facts and his choices in recent books, films, records etc.
Lets us know that he "belongs to the classic school of non-singers like Dylan and Lou Reed" and other vital information like, ahem, what time he goes to bed.

Document courtesy of & ©Rob Waters.

*Rob has kindly informed me that the 'Personal File' is from an issue of Smash Hits circa '82-'83

Sunday, 21 August 2016

L.O.V.E... it's a hit!

Some more fabulous documents from Rob Waters' Postcard Records archives. This time we have an ad and a review for their 'L.O.V.E... love / Intuition Told Me' their major label debut single on Polydor/Postcard. Rob reckons this is from an October 1981 issue of Record Mirror but I have a feeling that it might well be from a copy of the NME from the same period.

Fab uncredited shot of the lads optimistically pointing towards the number one spot in the hit parade.

Original documents courtesy of & ©Rob Waters

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Paul Haig : Circa 1989-1990

Today we have a couple of promo pics of Paul Haig while he was briefly signed to Circa Records where he released 3 singles and the  album, 'Chain' in 1989 - 1990. Album recorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh and which features Alan Rankine of The Associates on guitar, keyboards and as producer. The disc also includes a track entitled 'Chained' written by the other half of The Associates, the late, great Billy McKenzie.
Circa, or Circa Records, was a subsidiary label of Virgin between 1986 and 1999.

Documents courtesy of Coventry City & Scotpop fan heaven & the sea.

Images ©heaven & the sea

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

"Postcard in fact is totally finished..."

"Postcard in fact is totally finished" confirms Alan Horne in this Face article from 1981. Here we get the story of Orange Juice's signing and deal with Polydor, as opposed to a deal with Rough Trade, as well as how they retain "as much control over what we do with them as we did with Alan."
Plus news on arrival of Malcolm Ross (formerly of Josef K) to the band, his disagreements with Paul Haig and the huge sum of £1500 being spent on keyboards by Orange Juice for him.

Document from The Face (November, 1981). Courtesy of & ©Rob Waters

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Josef K : " Their own worst enemies "

Josef K's 'Only Fun in Town,' "let down by scrappy arrangements and wilfully obscure lyrics" gets panned once more in Smash Hits.

From Smash Hits, August 6th, 1981

Document courtesy of & ©Brian McCloskey

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Just Pure Orange Juice

"Segment by segment..."  *Groan*

An interesting snippet on Orange Juice from 1981 by way of Rob Waters' Twitter timeline. Timeline full of wonderful documents -press clippings- from the golden era of The Sound of Young Scotland. This one features Edwyn reminiscing on his schoolboy days; the addition to the band of Malcolm Ross (formerly of Josef K); how the band are "very popular in Leeds" and the release of their single 'Warm Light' (sic).
It's also briefly mentioned at the end of the article that Stephen Daly and James Kirk have left the band since the interview took place.

Document from Jackie magazine (1981) courtesy of & ©Rob Waters

Rob provided me with date this was published on but couldn't tell from which publication he got it. Apparently he's working on it. If anyone has any idea, details, please let me know.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Musical Version of Buster Keaton Meets Gloria Swanson

 Associates :  Smash Hits, July 9th, 1981

Another Associates gem from Smash Hits courtesy of the one and only Brian McCloskey. This time from Brian's goldmine archive journalist Mark Milligan gives us the rundown on what the band was up to 35 years ago to this day. Their latest recording; a cover version of Simon Dupree's Kites, under the moniker of 39 Lyon Street -named after Rankine & Mackenzie's former address in Dundee in 1976- and how Christine Beveridge happens to be on vocals on it is the main lead. Also in this story we get to find out about all of what the boys were planning for future release including Kitchen Person and White Car in Germany.

Document courtesy of & ©BrianTV

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Liverpool versus Glasgow : Orange Juice @ Plato's Liverpool, '81

Well, I've been a bit busy lately at work and on other projects but I've finally gotten round to do a wee post here at SoYS. I have a whole host of other pics and artefacts to post -many provided by that treasure chest of all things from Scotland's post-punk era, Scottish Post-Punk. First of all though we a flyer and an excellent pic for and from an Orange Juice concert at Plato's, Liverpool way back in August 1981.
Very nice indeed. Edwyn looks as if he's really enjoying himself. His fringe too!

More posts up soon.

Documents courtesy of EricsToEvol

Photograph : ©Denise Hodgkinson

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Win : Super Popoid Post Punkers

Davy Henderson, following the dissolution of Fire Engines in 1981, formed the short-lived Heartbeat with Hillary Morrison -the band's only release being a track on an NME compilation cassette*- before setting up Win with with an ex-Fire Engine Russell Burn (Drums/Keyboards), Ian Stoddart (Bass), Emmanuel "Mani" Shoniwa (Guitar/Bass), Simon Smeeton (Guitar/Bass) and Willie Perry (Keyboards) in 1983. Much more pop-orientated than Fire Engines the band should been massive but despite commercial success in Scotland, Edinburgh's finest super popoid post-punkers never made the big time further afield.

Quite incredible when you think of and listen to they amazing records they released. Tracks like "Super Popoid Groove" -a song that would make anything by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of Tears For Fears pale into insignificance- "Un-American Broadcasting" -with it's wee Kraftwerk-like "Numbers" bit in the mix, as well as "You've Got The Power" (featured in a McEwans lager advert in the mid-80s), and the fab "Shampoo Tears". The band really were the proverbial dog's bollocks popwise.

After half-a-dozen or so singles and two albums the band disbanded in 1989.
Henderson went on to form The Nectarine N°9 and later, The Sexual Objects.

Photo: The 12-inch "Un-American Broadcasting" with it's Starspangled Banner sticker cover art - Swamplands (SWX 5), 1985

* The track is 'Spook Sex' (produced by Bob Last). It's featured on the NME Racket Packet tape (NME 006)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Fuck

The inside the of JAMC 'Fuck' sleeve features 'The John Lennon Lost Tapes' and includes a nice, family album snapshot of John, Cynthia, and baby Julian.

Next up should have been a wee post on the Associates 'Sulk' album but I haven't got round to it yet. It's been a busy week workwise. *sigh*
Anyhow, the other day while raking through my vinyl I came across this Jesus and Mary Chain 'Fuck' bootleg that I've had for years. I recall posting a photo at Flickr -which I recently updated with the one included here. The disc was released on the shady, Italian, El Topo label. Label based apparently in Milan if you go by the address on the back of the sleeve. Half the tracks are from a show at Birmingham NEC; from the mid 80s, I imagine, but am not sure. The other half are from early John Peel Sessions by the band in 1984 & 1985. The vinyl is the sort of marbled purple colour you would get if you overdose on Vimto and Greggs' sausage rolls then throw up. The sound quality, to say the least, is appalling.

In fact, the only thing remotely interesting about this disc is the sleeve. The front cover features a photo of the band; lounging on some beach in Portugal apparently -or so I've been informed. Jim and William, wearing their mandatory leather breeks, in the forefront and Douglas Hart and Bobbie Gillespie a few feet behind them. William and Douglas strumming their guitars while Jim and Bobbie look as if they've just been forced to drink a pint of vinegar. Each.

What's most interesting about the sleeve though is that it's made from a recycled "The Lost Lennon Tapes" cover. Sleeve that's been turned inside out to print the JAMC one on the other side! Looking inside the cover will give you more pleasure than listening to this absolutely dreadful recording.

 Apparently, 'Fuck' has also been released as "The Genius of The Jesus And Mary Chain" (sic) on the same label with the same catalogue number. Probably with the same sleeve as well.

Strictly for die-hard fans only.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Associates - The Affectionate Punch Remix Album

A couple of years after the initial release of the Associates 'The Affectionate Punch' album, a new "remixed" version album arrived in the shops. Apparently the band's new record company, Warner Bros., was dissatisfied with the original mix and wanted it beefed up a bit for re-release. All of the tracks were kept but more of an 80s production model was demanded by WB. New sythesizers and re-recorded vocals by Billy McKenzie were thrown in to boost the original recording. Some record company executive probably thought this was necessary but McKenzie and Rankine's viewpoint somewhat differed. Both are said to have been unhappy and more than annoyed with the result. Frankly, I don't see the point in re-recording this album at all. The original album is fine.

Also, the artwork was completely different from the original (See previous post). This time the cover features portraits by Alan MacDonald of Rankine (front) and McKenzie (back) shot and lit up by some porn-district red light effect -supposedly to give them some sort of seedy appearance, I imagine. The portraits take up 2/3rds of the cover on each side. The band name and album title appearing on the large black horizontal band that covers the top tier of the side with Rankine. Flipside this black band is placed vertically to the right of McKenzie; the album title remains horizontal, stopping short of the singer's face. Boths pics are rather fetching; McKenzie with a sullen, bored-to-tears look whereas Rankine has what appears to be the onset of a wry smile.
The back sleeve is also upside down. Both sides might have been intended as the front cover though I've really no idea if this was indeed the case. Besides this, the album cover has no track listing; this is printed on the inner sleeve along with the production, sleeve design, and photography credits. For the anecdote; the insert lists the tracks in the correct order but on the wrong sides.

Original recording, Morgan Studios, London 1980.
Re-recording and Remixing: Basing Street & Odyssey Studios, London 1982
Remixed and Produced by Associates / Mark Arthurworrey
Sleeve is credited to Billy McKenzie, Alan MacDonald and Baillie Walsh.

Fiction Records FIXD5
Fiction Records 2383 585

A third version: a mix of the original and the remix version, with about half the tracks from the original album and the rest from the remix one, was also released in 1983.
Reissued as a mid-price album with the same cover as the remix version but with tracks listed on the back sleeve. Once again the tracks are in the correct order but on the wrong sides.

Fiction SPELP 33

Remixed versions of "A Matter of Gender" and "A" were also released as singles in 1982.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Boys Keep Swinging - The Associates (Reissues)

When I first read/heard about The Associates it was a review their debut single in the NME; a cover of David Bowie's "Boys Keep Swinging"; released June 1979, just a few weeks after Bowie's version hit the UK Top 10 in April of the same year.
This cover version of a track from Bowie's 'Lodger' -third album in what's become known as the 'Berlin Trilogy'- was indeed intriguing. I never got to find a copy of this single, unfortunately, but I picked up an import copy of their debut album, 'The Affectionate Punch' (Fiction Records, 1980) as soon as it became available. My copy has "Special Price Limited Edition £2•99" embossed in gold on the front cover as well as an (horrendous) importation directe Fnac sticker; which I've never dared peel off for fear of ruining the sleeve.

For the anecdote I didn't pay £2•99 for it but almost the double at 55 french francs -more or less £5•50 at that time (August, 1980). I immediately liked the album and from then on I bought everything I could find by the band up until Alan Rankine left The Associates in 1982. Personally, I consider the 'Sulk' album as the highpoint of their career albumwise but they released some really fabulous singles. Singles which, for some unknown reason, I could never find in the 7-inch format but only in the 12-inch ones! My all time favourite Associates track being the hauntingly beautiful, 'White Car in Germany'. A single graced by it's superb Antoine Giacomani cover photograph of the lads immersed in a blue pool. Photograph from the same photo shoot as the cover of the 1981 Situation Two singles collection, 'Fourth Drawer Down.'

The band had formed in 1976. At first, Billy McKenzie and Alan Rankine had called themselves The Ascorbic Ones. Name was later changed to Mental Torture before finally becoming The Associates in 1979. From then on, for the next three years or so, The Associates were among my favourite bands. In my mind, those years were undoubetdly the band's best as well as being the period when they released their finest recordings.

After the departure of Rankine my interest in them began to wane though I did pick up a few of their later releases. MacKenzie continued to work under the name for several years before eventually going "solo" in the early 90s.

From what I've read or heard of it, Rankine leaving the band prior to the Sulk tour proved to be disastrous for the band's career. Apparently, at the time, the band was being courted by Seymour Stein of Sire Records -which could have really helped them make some impact in the USA- but with Rankine leaving and Mackenzie's unwillingness to tour, Stein lost interest in them.
The Associates joined the ranks of those great bands that never quite made it. Nor did the band make any records as good as the ones recorded between 1979 & 1982. I have to admit though that I am rather fond of later releases such as 'Waiting For The Love Boat' and their cover of Blondie's 'Heart of Glass'
Music journalist, critic, and author, Simon Reynolds, in his book 'Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984,' called The Associates the "great should-have-beens of British pop." Contenders but never quite champions.

In 1993, Rankine and McKenzie began working on new material together but this never came to anything and they split for good. Sadly to say, we'll never get to hear McKenzie's distinctive high tenor voice again as a few years later, suffering from clinical depression, he committed suicide in 1997 at the desperately young age of 39.
Rankine meanwhile established himself as a producer, working with artists such as Paul Haig, Cocteau Twins, and The Pale Fountains. Also continuing his career in music with Les Disques du Crépuscule -releasing four albums and five singles on the Belgian label. He later worked as a lecturer in music at Stow College in Glasgow and with Belle and Sebastian on their 1996 debut album, Tigermilk. Rankine also appears in 'Big Gold Dream (The Sound Of Young Scotland 1977 – 1985)' documentary by cinematographer and director Grant Mcphee which was released last year.

The Associates albums; The Affectionate Punch, Sulk, and Fourth Drawer Down are to be reissued as two-CD deluxe editions, on May 20th.
All three include 28 page booklets featuring in-depth liner notes, unpublished photographs, original promotional material and unseen memorabilia from The Associates’ archive.

Sulk is also available on vinyl.

Also available a new double-disc anthology: ‘The Very Best of the Associates’ which includes their biggest hits “Party Fears Two” and "Club Country" as well as 3 previously unreleased tracks.

All available from any good record store or from the usual suspects online.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

The Pipsqueaks Rip It Up !

Thirty-three years ago today Orange Juice on the cover and featured in a two-page spread by Adrian Thrills in New Musical Express. Here's the cover with a lovely Kevin Cummins pic of Zeke & Edwyn.

"It takes the juice of four musicians to put the sparkle in the refreshing pop tango of Orange Juice. Adrian Thrills unpeels the skin to discover ten segments of success. Pop-pix by Kevin Cummins." 

New Musical Express 23rd April 1983

Document via & courtesy of aly

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Yummy Fur : Plastic Cowboy

The Yummy Fur

3-track fold-out sleeve

Plastic Cowboy / Flapy Clown Disco / Chinese Bookie

Guided Missile (1996)


Artwork :John McKeown
Materials - Pritt Stick, the photocopier at Lost in Music *


"If anyone is gonna lick Steve Lamarq's arse...
They should lick Steve Steve Lamarq's arse like me! "

What is wrong with vulgar PLASTIC COWBOY melody? asks the above before old Wyndham Lewis arrives dressed as a girl and (mouth covered) selling left-wing fascist pamphlets at the FLAPY CLOWN DISCO
"I say it's hip to be alive" claimed Bowie (circa '75) and so does the CHINESE BOOKIE Featuring Tony B and the Pogroms on backing vocals and heroin. ***


*Artwork information courtesy of Brian Beadie

** Engraved in the run out grooves sides A&B

*** Text as printed on the record label

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Two Postcards From Glasgow

Some more from Brian McCloskey's excellent Smash Hits archives series that he faithfully posts every fortnight at Like Punk Never Happened.
This time we have Red Starr's review from April '81 of Postcard Records' lastest releases: Orange Juice's 'Poor Old Soul' featuring Edwyn's "distinctive quavery vocals" and Aztec Camera's "amazingly mature debut," 'Just Like Gold.'
Includes a nice pic of the Aztec boys by Paul Slattery.

From Smash Hits, April 2nd, 1981
Document courtesy of a ©BrianTV

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Yummy Fur - Policeman

The Yummy Fur

3-track, fold-out sleeve

Policeman / 70's / Car Crash

Guided Missile (1997)


Artwork : Mark Gibbons (The Yummy Fur)

"You Indie-Kids Are Fucking Monkeys"

Back with a wee change from the usual Postcard Records-Orange Juice-Josef K etc.stuff that I've been posting recently. More from that front up soon as I've been accumulating various documents and photos from my usual sources but just haven't had any time to concentrate on doing anything with them.

Anyhow, The Yummy Fur were an indie-rock band from Glasgow, formed in 1992, who had a few years of fame (infamy?) with various line-ups up until they finally split in 1999. Leader, John McKeown went on to form the 1990s.
The band released two albums, one 10" EP and several singles -including the one featured here.

Described on some occasions as Scotland's answer to The Fall, Bogshed or a psychedelic Half-Man Half Biscuit; The Yummy Fur never quite made the big time but were fun while they lasted. More soon.

Policeman review from NME 29th March 1997:
The Yummy Fur are ace, partly because they release new records for different labels every other week, each featuring the latest phase in their ongoing quest to become the psychedelic Half Man Half Biscuit. 'Policeman' posits a valid dilemma for today's counter-culturally aware youth: when junkies are forced by their marginalisation from scoiety to steal video recorders and televisions which serve to educate and enlighten the good people, where do one's sympathies lie? Is the man in blue really always the enemy? Never fear, Da Fur decide: "Oh policeman, I'd love to spend an evening/Snorting cocaine off the stomach of your girlfriend".

Policeman review from Melody Maker 5th April 1997:
Have The Yummy Fur discovered dope? This is very laid-back for them, almost "lazy-beat" - the Bogshed door has finally been closed. "Policeman" is another brilliantly funny product of warped madman/genius John McKeown's fucked-up brain and it's as charmingly erratic as he is.

 P.S. The band's name was taken from the comic book Yummy Fur by Chester Brown.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Greetings Comrades!

Greetings Comrades!

Review of The Fire Engines' "Lubricate Your Living Room" on Pop:Aural, by Red Starr (aka Ian Cranna, possibly) just back from a trip behind the Iron Curtain where "a fine, friendly people suffer from Boney M mania and Abba ailments."

Not so in the UK, where such afflictions were not altogether unheard of, but fortunately could be cured by music by the likes of these Edinburgh lads.

Not only an album "executed with refreshing vigour and a distinct lack of posing" but also one "well worth the £2.49" the punters would be paying for this priceless gem of a disc.

From Smash Hits, 19th of February, 1981

Document courtesy of & ©Brian McCloskey

Monday, 15 February 2016

Kilty Pleasures : Scottish Post-Punk

Kilty Pleasures

Scottish Post-Punk
6-page spread on all things SoYS in Record Collector issue N°449

(January 2016).

Allan Glen tells the story of Scotland's post punk scene. From Postcard Records' Orange Juice and Josef K to The Jesus And Mary Chain via Fast Product, Skids, The Revillos-Rezillos, Simple Minds.

Not one to miss!

Document courtesy of
Scottish Post-Punk

Friday, 12 February 2016

People these days just aren't smiling as much as they should be.

Another gem from Andy at Birmingham_81's treasure trove of artifacts and photographs.

This time we have a poster for an Orange Juice concert at Scamps nightclub, Oxford in May 1981. Andy and a friend also interviewed the band the same evening.

Also, Orange Juice played another show at Scamps in March, '82. Lucky devils they were those Oxford lads and lassies.

Imagine paying £1.75 today. To see any band!

Image courtesy of & ©Andy@Birmingham_81

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Orange Juice : Simply Thrilled Honey promo & press sheet

Some more rather interesting artifacts from Postcard Records that turned up recently on eBay. This time we have a promo copy Orange Juice's 'Simply Thrilled Honey' (Postcard 80/6) and a press release sheet (see below) that went with it.
I can't imagine that there are many of these about so it's easy to imagine that it's a pretty rare item. Not sure how much it went for (I never look at eBay myself); I'm sure that Scottish Post-Punk informed me but I've forgotten exactly how much £££ were paid for them. Bought by some Greek collector/dealer apparently.

Documents courtesy of Scottish Post-Punk

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Orange Juice : Birmingham, 1982

Some exciting photographs of early Orange Juice courtesy of Andy at Birmingham_81. Here we have three pics of the band on stage at the Imperial Cinema, Birmingham, 19th Feb. 1982, and a wee peek at Edwyn and Dave backstage. This would be shortly before the release of the You Can't Hide Your Love Forever album which was released the following month in march '82. Edwyn sporting a snazzy cravat and his usual top class quiff whereas Malcolm looks like he's off to a wedding.

Photographs courtesy of & ©Andy@Birmingham_81

Monday, 1 February 2016

Josef K : It’s Kinda Funny, a vinyl-only collection

Les Disques du Crépuscule presents It’s Kinda Funny, a vinyl-only collection of classic singles by iconic Scottish post-punk guitar group Josef K issued between 1979 and 1982.

As well as the three legendary 45s on Postcard Records (Radio Drill Time, It’s Kinda Funny and Chance Meeting), the album also includes both Crépuscule singles (Sorry For Laughing, Missionary) as well as the original Absolute version of Chance Meeting from 1979. B-side tracks are also included, plus a digital download coupon.

Cover art by Jean-Francois Octave. Outer sleeve printed on matt reverse board. Inner bag features liner notes and archive images by Simon Clegg.

"Josef K were The Sound of Young Scotland, together with Orange Juice, whose guitars were also radiant and brittle, whose rhythms were also scrubbed and blunt, whose vocals were also proud and serious, but who sounded like another group entirely." (Paul Morley)

"Josef K was about the heroic Outsider suavely surfing across the fraught surface of their albino funk fracas. Haig sounds high on anxiety, finding an odd, giddy euphoria in doubt." (Simon Reynolds)

Vinyl LP + download coupon 
Cat No: TWI 022  (13 tracks)
Released: 6 May 2016

LP tracklist:

Side 1:
1. Romance
2. Radio Trill Time
3. It’s Kinda Funny
4. Sorry For Laughing
5. Chance Meeting
6. The Missionary

Side 2:
1. Heaven Sent
2. Revelation
3. Crazy to Exist
4. The Angle
5. Pictures (of Cindy)
6. Final Request
7. Chance Meeting (Absolute version)

Friday, 8 January 2016

Exciting Records From Trendy Places

A wee round up on the exciting releases coming out of Scotland on this day (8th of January) in 1981. A short tour of the burgeoning Scottish music scene with the one and only release by the Australian band, The Go-Betweens on Glasgow's Postcard Records, via Greenock and the Cuban Heels to Edinburgh with the wonderous 'Get Up And Use Me' by Fire Engines and the latest single from Another Pretty Face on the Chicken Jazz label.

Source: Smash Hits, Jan. 8th 1981

Courtesy of & ©Brian McCloskey