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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 180 - The Soft Boys

Underwater Moonlight - The Soft Boys
Produced by Pat Collier and Spaceward
Released 28th June 1980

A1     I Wanna Destroy You    
A2     Kingdom Of Love    
A3     Positive Vibrations    
A4     I Got The Hots    
A5     Insanely Jealous    
B1     Tonight    
B2     You'll Have To Go Sideways    
B3     Old Pervert    
B4     Queen Of Eyes    
B5     Underwater Moonlight

The Soft Boys
    Robyn Hitchcock – guitar, vocals, rhythm bass (A5)
    Kimberley Rew – guitar, vocals, bass (B2), synthesiser (B2)
    Matthew Seligman – bass
    Morris Windsor – drums, vocals

Additional personnel
    Gerry Hale – violin (A5, B5)
    Andy King – sitar (A3)


Underwater Moonlight was the second album from The Soft Boys. It was not a huge seller, didn't make the charts and a large portion of sales were copies that were exported to other lands. But, like some albums that gain a status they never had when first released Underwater Moonlight is now highly regarded as an album that was born out of time. The world was not quite ready for an album that drew heavily upon breathtaking harmonies of The Byrds, 60's Garage Rock and the majestic surrealism of Syd Barrett. Many bands like R.E.M., The Replacements, The Pixies and even The Stone Roses clearly must have been listening to this particular album as it's influence is all over their early singles and albums.

They had formed in 1976 and for some odd reason I had assumed there were more albums than the two studio ones from 1979 and 1980 (but there has been a number of compilations) and one more album Nextdoorland which came out in 2002 after they reunited in 2001, sadly they broke up again in 2003. The first album was A Can of Bees in 1979. The band split in 1980 and three years later in following the break up Invisible Hits appeared that contained some lost songs and demos from sessions for the first two albums. There was also a number of singles and EP's released between 1977-2002.

Kimberly Rew went on to form Katrina and the Waves, he had actually been part of The Waves prior to joining The Soft Boys (this was something I actually was unaware of). 

Robyn Hitchcock went on to have a fruitful solo career (more than 20 albums) and also was part of a project called Venus 3 with Peter Buck of R.E.M., Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh Fellows and Bill Rieflin of Ministry and at the time also drummer for R.E.M.

Hitchcock's latest album, released in 2014, The Man Upstairs is a wee gem of an album, five original songs and five cover versions all done as only Hitchcock could do them.

I Wanna Destroy You was released as a single and it is also a song that has been covered by a number of bands down through the years: Sham 69, Uncle TupeloThe Circle Jerks, Sharon Van Etten, Pascal Briggs, to name just a few.

It's actually really good hearing this album again, it must be easily twenty years since I last heard it!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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