Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random Access

I’ll quickly round up my accompanying pieces for an article I wrote in John Cooper’s Scream City no. 4 (now sold out, I believe). I had intended to write these while the zine was still on sale. What on earth made me think I could increase my miserably poor blogging rate over the summer? Oh well; another lesson learned.

In case you’ve only just joined us, the article was about sampler albums of the post-punk era, and I still need to blog about Stevo’s Some Bizzare Album, and Cherry Red’s iconic Pillows and Prayers.

First up, Some Bizzare [sic]. Whatever you might say about Stevo’s business practices (and some people have been less than complimentary), he could certainly spot talent, and this album features early tracks by Blancmange, B-Movie and Depeche Mode, who all decamped for other labels, as well as acts that Stevo managed to retain such as Soft Cell and The The*.

While Jell didn’t go on to fame and/or fortune, they were one of the more interesting acts on the compilation. Though “they” is perhaps not the correct word here, Jell being another nom-de-synth of Eric Random (né Eric Ramsden), a bit player in some of the more interesting music that came out of the early 80s, including sides by Cabaret Voltaire, Durutti Column, The Tiller Boys and his own band, the Bedlamites. Their (his) contribution to the Some Bizzare Album, entitled I Dare Say It Will Hurt A Little, is available below for your downloading pleasure.

Like On-U Sound’s Pay It All Back Vol. 1, the album used to go for silly money, but no more. It has recently been re-released with the original 12 tracks being supplemented by bonus material from The Residents, The Normal and Fad Gadget. So buy it and keep those pesky ISPs off my back.

Download I Dare Say It Will Hurt A Little by Jell (mp3) (deleted Aug 2009)

Buy Eric Random's CD

Buy Some Bizzare Album

* mea culpa, I said in the Scream City article that The The had also left. Not true; they stayed loyal to Some Bizzare until the mid-90s. I think I was remembering that my copies of Infected, Mind Bomb etc. all sported the Epic logo. Stevo, as was his wont, tended to licence Some Bizzare’s recordings to majors, The The to CBS/Epic, Soft Cell to Phonogram, Cabaret Voltaire to Virgin, etc. Incidentally, I’ll always have a soft spot for The The’s fellow Epic recording artists Wham! because they said in 1986 that Infected was their favourite album of that year. George Michael also used to say that his and Andrew’s favourite LP of all time was Closer by Joy Division. I wonder if that’s still the case?

BTW, did I ever tell you story of my friend Audra and her encounter with Matt Johnson? No? Another time, perhaps…


Digital Plamf said...

I remember reading in Melody Maker once that Stevo, on doing a deal with a major label for one of his bands, said they could only sign whatever band it was if Stevo got a year's supply of sweets and a Bubble Car.

What a fool. A year's supply of Carlsberg Special Brew and a Rover SD1 would have been a better deal.

Irk The Purists said...

Ha! Though having seen Stevo's size, and done a back-of-an-envelope calculation of how many sweets he could get through in a year, he may indeed be a cannier businessman than we suspected..

How are you, Mr DP?

Digital Plamf said...

Aye, not too bad. Saw the Stewart Lee show at The Stand this week - a must-see in my umble hopinion guvnah.

Best stand-up I've seen since Robert Newman's 'Apocalypso Now'.