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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 350 - The Records


Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses - The Records
Virgin Records
Released 1988




The Records were:
The Original Line-Up
John Wicks - Vocals, Guitar
Huw Gower - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Will Birch - Drums
Phil Brown - Bass, Vocals

This line-up played on the debut album Shades In Bed.

Various additions were made over time with the departure of Huw Gower (who relocated to New York and would eventually team up with NY Dolls frontman David Johansen), a 19 year old Jude Cole was recruited to play Guitar with the band for the second album Crashes. He would eventually become a Producer working with the likes of Kiefer Sutherland, Lifehouse, and Beth Orton to name but a few.

More changes were made for the next album, Music On Both Sides, as the band expanded to five. Cole had stayed in the US and so Dave Whelan was brought in on guitar and Chris Gent as vocalist (a decision that Birch feels now was quite unwise to do).

You can read Will Birch's side of the story HERE on The Records Website.

Notes on Singles
(UK 7" Picture Sleeve)

No Bad
November 1978


(US 7" Picture Sleeve)

Starry Eyes / Paint Her Face
Virgin Records
August 1979
US Chart #56

(UK 7" Picture Sleeve)
 
Rock and Roll Love Letter / Wives And Mothers of Tomorrow
Virgin
March 1979


(UK 12" Picture Sleeve)
 
Rock and Roll Love Letter / Wives And Mothers of Tomorrow / Starry Eyes (Live)
Virgin

 (UK 7" Picture Sleeve)

Virgin
May 1979 (UK)
November 1979 (US)

(US 7" Picture Sleeve)

Virgin
May 1980 (UK)
March 1980 (US)

(Dutch 7" Picture Sleeve)

Canadian Release had Injury Time as the B-Side.

(UK 7" Picture Sleeve)

Imitation Jewellery / Your Own Soundtrack
Virgin
August 1981


***************

The Records were born out of the ashes of another great band The Kurssal Flyers. Will Birch and John Wicks were both members as the band fell apart late 1977. Birch and Wicks continued writing with each other in the hope of putting a new band together and after recruiting Phil Brown and Huw Gower they were set to unleash the sound of The Records upon the watching world.

They fall into a category called Power Pop for those wondering how you classify the band. Their influences were clearly worn on their sleeves and came through in their own music - The Beatles, The Byrds, The Kinks etc.

Their first big break came via Stiff Records who hired them as the backing band for Rachel Sweet on the Be Stiff Tour '78 and they did so on the basis that they could have a slot of their own. They even contributed the song Pin A Medal On Mary to Sweet's Debut Album Fool Around. They also penned Hearts In Her Eyes for The Searchers in 1979 who were making a comeback (and they would go on to release the song themselves a year later.

The band seemed to have had more success chartwise in the States than here in the UK. Their Debut Album (Shades In Bed) made it to #41. I can't seem to find any notes regarding UK Chart positions.

I saw them a few times in concert at The Marquee and thought they were quite a polished outfit. I think though that their biggest problem was that they were quite a bit older than some of the other Power Pop/New Wave bands that were doing the rounds and they maybe didn't get the love that they deserved because they clearly had the songs! They had supported The Jam in the UK when Rock and Roll Love Letter came out as a single, and I think that didn't go too well for them (the association of that song with the Bay City Rollers wouldn't have gone unnoticed to some! I must admit that I had not even heard of the original version by Tim Moore). 

With a few albums and a handful of singles under their belts the band eventually broke up and in 1988 when the Smashes, Crashes and Near Misses compilation was released it was a reminder that not all great music is necessarily successful.

Hearing it again today made me go and dig out the Debut Album again and give it a blast.


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


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