Saturday, February 23, 2013

Countdown #49 - roses + kicks

Broadcast February-16-2013 - podcast available here.  All comments are from Philip Random's notes (with some editorial diligence).  Links are not necessarily to the exact same recordings we played on-air (but we tried).  Nor is every record represented here.  To hear them all, you've got to actually listen to the podcast.

Edwin Starr - funky music sho nuff turns me on
What a voice!  What a song!  I'm pretty sure  I first heard this way back in the day, when it was new and so was I -- one of many cool and exuberant rave-ups you could actually hear on commercial radio stations back in the early 70s, mixed up with rock and roll, pop, la-la-la love songs, anything and everything.  But the real discovery came twenty odd years later, mid-90s, a flea market find, and proof in advertising all the way.  The funk is evident from the first nasty squall of guitar, like a thermonuclear device getting turned on.

Black Sabbath - supernaut
The memory is of lying in bed, thirteen years old, unable to sleep for reasons of existential magnitude, so I've got the radio on to keep me company, tuned to FM, of course, because I'm at least that cool.  Anyway, this song comes on, heavy and wild, the singer howling about how he wants to reach out and touch the sky.  But I didn't catch who it was.  Next day at school, I I'm quizzing everybody, but nobody knows what I'm talking about, and anyway, they're mostly into Elton John.  Long story short.  It would be fifteen years before I had my answer, care of a marijuana dealer I knew at the time who played bass in various hard rock outfits, knew his heavy history.  I mentioned the "I want to reach out" part and he instantly said, "Black Sabbath Supernaut."  He dug out Volume IV, put it on, and my life suddenly felt a tiny bit more meaningful, complete.  But then he got paranoid, peered out a slit in the curtains, told me I had to leave through the back door.  "Now."

Pogues -  dirty old town

A song about London, I've been told, and it tells no lies.  A dump of a town, carrying grime that's centuries old.   I remember a jetlag morning, first light and I cannot sleep so I'm wandering Camden Lock and shocked by all the filth floating in the still water.  At some point, I realize there's a dead swan in the middle of one particularly disgusting looking clump.  Later, I'm back at my friend's flat having breakfast and I mention what I saw.  He shrugs, pulls out  the Pogues Rum Sodomy + the Lash and slaps it on.  

The Band - the  night they drove old Dixie down (live)
Joan Baez had a big AM radio hit with this back in around 1972.  Meanwhile, the cool FM stations were playing the Band's version, which I never really got.  A little too raw and gritty for my unformed teenybop ears.  But jump ahead a few years to The Last Waltz (the movie of the Band's big deal farewell concert) and holy shit did I get it.  The tragedy of the American South, what it is to lose a war and thus your culture, see it all burned before your eyes by the forces of Northern Aggression.  Yeah, they owned slaves or certainly fought for interests who did, but … I can't think of a but for this.  Slavery's about as fucked as humanity gets.  But there you go – where there's humanity, there's also soul, and thus complexity.

Holger Czukay - Persian Love

I first heard Persian Love via Peter Gabriel's Womad compilation album Music + Rhythm.  Exotic, sweetly melodic, trippy -- it instantly hooked me, and thus I had to know more.  Turns out Holger Czukay started in an obscure German band called Can … and so on.  One of those journeys that starts small, but damned if didn't lead me to a vast mansion of musical (and thus human) possibility:  doors within doors within doors, and they all kept inviting me deeper, higher.  Until eventually, I got the story on Persian Love itself – how Mr. Czukay constructed it around a snatch of song he'd recorded from shortwave radio.  And that's it you still hear on the record – snatches of the actual shortwave recording, like a ghost … out of Persia.

Buffalo Springfield - broken arrow
Wherein Neil Young hears the Beatles Sergeant Pepper's and responds in kind with an epic piece of something or other.  It starts with a live snatch of one of the other songs on the album, slips sideways into various surreal meditations on this-that-other things, finishes up with some honky-tonk piano that just sort of fades away into a heartbeat.  It's all definitely about something, which in 1967 was all you really needed. 

Lou Reed - kicks
Amphetamine kicks all night long, and then the next day too, and then maybe another night and day, and at least one more night.  Speed doesn't kill, or so I've been told, it just drives you crazy and then somebody kills you for being such a crazy asshole.  Either way, I've been happy to mostly keep my distance from it over the years.  But some of the postcards are interesting, particularly when it's a young Bob Dylan or a 70s glam Lou Reed doing the sending.  

Keith Leblanc - major malfunction
January 28, 1986.  Space Shuttle Challenger explodes across the consciousness of pretty much all the world, America in particular.  In the aftermath, Ronald Reagan would get a lot of coverage for quoting a poem about man daring to touch the face of the God, which would prompt my good friend Simon Lamb to say, "Maybe that's the problem right there.  Maybe God doesn't like having his face touched."  Before the year was out, Keith Leblanc (drummer, mad scientist, co-inventor of the various grooves that pretty much set hip hop free, and a white man at that), would put out an album called Major Malfunction, the title of track of which would feature a few lines from Mr. Reagan's poem and various samples from the moment of the major malfunction itself.  My point here being, that beyond the obvious shock of the moment, my main feeling about the Challenger fuckup was akin to relief – to finally see any mud in the eye of the Ronald Reagan's America and all the smug ugliness it was imposing on the world.  Because, like they said at the time, that guy was made of Teflon.  Nothing stuck to him but maybe this would.  Can't say I'm proud of it now, politicizing the deaths of those involved. But it was a stark moment of realization.  I really had strayed far from the norm.   

Love - alone again or + between Clark + Hillsdale
Speaking of buried treasures, I don't believe I heard  Forever Changes until at least the 90s.  But I guess I must've heard something about it, because I did pick up the album.  And album is the word, a collection of songs that don't so much slay you on their own as altogether, a consistency of warm and slightly hazy (don't dare call it smoggy) LA summer-of-love heartbreak and beauty and colours forever changing and whatever else it is that Arthur Lee's singing about.  Clearly, he's singing about everything.  But love most of all.

Fleetwood Mac - oh well
Wherein Peter Green, main man for the early 1960s Fleetwood Mac, lays down the blueprint for a blues rock that's going to move so far beyond the bounds of either blues or rock that a new name will be required – something that somehow contains the grit of the Mississippi Delta circa 1930, waters rising, levees about to overflow, and also the majestic sweep of a Ennio Morricone Spaghetti western soundtrack – that scene where the cold eyed killer looks into the mirror and sees something monstrous looking back.  Which sadly, is what happened to Peter Green, sort of.  He got swallowed by the monster – the Green Manalishi he called it.  Some say it was just money, filthy lucre.  Others that it was the devil himself.  Either way, Mr. Green disappeared down his own nasty psychedelic wormhole, went mad for a while, got lost.  But not Fleetwood Mac.  They played on.

The Who - drowned / I've had enough / Doctor Jimmy
Quadrophenia is one of the very first things I heard when I finally got a proper stereo FM radio in my room – a Christmas present when I was fourteen.  CKLG-FM played it in its entirety.  I put the headphones on and had my young mind blown by this tale of … well, I guess I had no idea what it was about, except the ocean was involved, and motor scooters, and toward the end, some fairly shocking rape and pillage.  That would be the infamous Doctor Jimmy + Mr. Jim -- young man getting swallowed by his dark side.  Drowned on the other hand is a little more about confusion -- young man desperate for meaning.  As for the rest of the albums four sides, well there's a pile more rage, mixed up with confusion, all working with the gatefold cover and accompanying booklet to tell the rich if somewhat muddled tale.  Meanwhile the music is epic, as grand as the Who would ever get, which seemed to be the thing in 1973 and 74.  Epics everywhere and few even close to Quadrophenia.

Poco - Rose of Cimarron
Poco were one of those bands I used to hear a lot on the radio – middle of the road, soft rock, so inoffensive they became the opposite.  Except for Rose of Cimarron, which rose above the regular soft, sticky muck and set the god damned sky on fire.  By which I mean, BIG like a great western sunset, with a wind starting to blow, throwing up dust at least as old as time, catching the rays of that setting sun and reminding me of why I'm glad I'm alive.  Because every now some otherwise non-essential soft rock band operating out of LA touches the eternal and creates something so beautiful even the hills get to weeping.

Eagles - journey of the sorcerer
Wherein the Eagles ditch the regular LA cocaine bullshit for a while, drop a few peyote buttons and travel long and far to the nether regions of the great American desert, or perhaps some alternate universe.  Here they encounter Don Juan who is in fact full of shit, but The Eagles don’t care, they've got a magic banjo with them that somehow conjures great sweeps of orchestration down from the heavens and all is right, all is good.  Eventually, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy will cop it for its theme song.  Even better.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Countdown #48 - never enough

Broadcast February-9-2013 - podcast available here.  All comments are from Philip Random's notes (with some editorial diligence).  Links are not necessarily to the exact same recordings we played on-air (but we tried).  Nor is every record represented here.  To hear them all, you've got to actually listen to the podcast.

King Crimson - elephant talk
It's 1981 and Robert Fripp has decided to reboot King Crimson after five plus years' hiatus.  The new album's called Discipline and it's pretty clear by about fifteen seconds into the opening track Elephant Talk that it's all for good – tight as the album title suggests, but also dangerous and beautiful in a primal, wild animal sort of way.  And then there's new guy Adrian Belew's vocals.  He's not rapping exactly, not singing either.  Just putting it all out – arguments, agreements, babble, banter, brouhaha, ballyhoo, chatter, chit-chat, diatribe, doubletalk … and so on.  Which is exactly what the world sounded like in those days.  Still does.  

Wall of Voodoo - back in flesh
Wall of Voodoo were one of the first uniquely 1980s bands I ever threw in with – tight, a little nasty, full of film noir shadows and surprises, even some humour.  And they could deliver live.  Which is what happened in Luv Affair, early 1982, one of the great shows of that or any year.  They started with a monster cover of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.  Somewhere toward the end of their set, it all peaked with Back In Flesh, a song about what happens when your alarm clock gets smashed and your salary gets cut and the corporation's boiling over and … I've been listening to this over twenty years now and I still have no idea what it's about.

Donovan - Barabajagal (love is hot)
The 60s are on the wane but the sunshine superman is still more hippie than not (making Barabajagal a not particularly great album).  But what a hot title track! Love is hot, truth is molten – indeed.  Donovan puts down the patchouli for a while, plugs in with the Jeff Beck Group and pretty much invents the sort of hard hippie rocker that T-Rex would ride to POP-ascendency a couple of years later.  But I still have no idea who or what a Barabajagal is.   

Nick Cave - all tomorrow's parties
Where the fuck is all the Nick Cave on this list?  This from my neighbour, Motron.  The easy answer is, whatever Nick Cave and/or Birthday Party vinyl I had disappeared in the great robbery of '88.  The more difficult answer has to do with certain issues I had with the guy for a while, extolling the virtues of cooler than death junkiedom, or so it seemed.  But I was wrong on that.  A man's music is often as not the best thing we'll ever get from him, and thus should never be shrugged off or denied.  So yeah, here's to Mr. Cave, bad seed all the way.  I was wrong.  And holy shit, your take on the Velvet Underground's All Tomorrow's Parties still causes small earthquakes.   

Joy Division - she's lost control
Like so much stuff from the late 70s, early 80s (particularly if it had any edge), I was a slow in getting to Joy Division.  But I had heard of them before the big deal suicide – I just hadn't heard them.  And meanwhile, I was dealing with my own big deal suicide, ex-friend James.  So I was clear on one thing:  suicide wasn't cool, wasn't romantic, wasn't meaningful, wasn't anything but a dire, miserable fact.  In James's case, the fact was a cement pillar, underside of a bridge, impacted with his grandfather's car at over 80 miles per hour.  But we knew it was suicide because he left a note.  I'm pretty sure James had heard Joy Division, and equally sure he didn't like them.  Too one note, he'd have said, too dire and bleak.  He favoured more colourful, hopeful and progressive stuff.  Fat lot of good it did him.

Billy Cobham - stratus
I first heard the big groove from Stratus via the main sample from Massive Attack's 1991 single Safe From Harm.  But the 1972 original track takes things in a whole other direction, and blisteringly so.  The rocking guitar comes care of a guy named Tommy Bolin who was supposed to be the saviour of the instrument in the early-mid-70s, but instead he hooked up with Deep Purple and OD'ed on heroin, died.  As for Mr. Cobham, well as a friend once put it, if he was a good enough drummer for Miles Davis, he was good enough for all humanity.

T-Rex - cosmic dancer
Unlike many T-Rex songs, Cosmic Dancer seems to actually be about something, which is that certain something we've all been doing since the moment we exited the womb, certainly since we were twelve.  Not just breathing, crying, shitting, eating … but dancing, and cosmically so.  Noted as yet another T-Rex gem that I'm guilty of not hearing until at least the mid-80s, but therein lies the real magic of their sound, I think, particularly the golden stuff from 1971-73.  It's the definition of timeless.  

Talking Heads - don't worry about the government
It continues to amaze me that this was 1977, the year punk truly broke, tore the firmament asunder, tossed multi-dimensional hand grenades up and down the corridors of power and complacency.  And Talking Heads were very much part of it.  Except Don't Worry About the Government is such a nice little song about clouds and pine trees and peaches and civil servants and friends, and loved ones.  Nothing to worry about at all.

UB40 - Madame Medusa
This is UB40 before they lightened up, tightened up and went all annoyingly pop on us.  This is UB40 when they were still serious contenders, exploring all those dub nether-regions of the late 70s, early 80s, not afraid of what lurked in the shadows, dark and delicious.  In the case of Madame Medusa, that meant twelve odd minutes of serious hard grooving (and Maggie Thatcher dissing) that would continue to rock dance floors well into the 90s – at least it did whenever I had a say.  

Minutemen - price of paradise
Being a necessary missive from D. Boon, a young man of that so-called lucky generation of young Americans who didn't have to fight in Vietnam, but had older brothers who did, and so saw close at hand the damage done.  But then a pointless tour van accident can get you any time, as it did D. Boon in December 1985, somewhere in the great American desert.  Rest in peace, man.  We miss you still.

Clash - bankrobber + dub
I first discovered Bankrobber via Black Market Clash, a compilation of various singles, b-sides, non-album cuts that "the only band that mattered" released in around 1980, proving one more time that no other outfit in the world was more prolific, relevant, GOOD.  Consider the evidence.  In just two years, 1979 and 1980, the Clash release London Calling (a two record set), Sandinista (a three record set) and Black Market Clash which, as subsequent CD reissues would prove, was itself just a tip of the iceberg in terms of unreleased stuff.  And it was often as not brilliant as Bankrobber aptly proves.  Hell, I know one guy who was actually seriously considering going into a life of crime based on its simple logic.  Steal money from bankers, don't hurt anybody.  But then he sobered up.   

Shriekback - my spine is the bassline
I remember getting into a massive argument with a fellow DJ at the end of 1983 who insisted that Shriekback's Care was the album of the year.  It wasn't then, still isn't now.  Which doesn't mean Care isn't a damned fine album, underrated, overlooked, and heavy with all manner of dark and compelling moods and grooves, and poetry even, because it's true, sometimes the spine really is a bassline.   

Bob Dylan - Senor (tales of Yankee power)
It's 1978 and I like to think of this as Mr. Dylan's last great pre-Christian moment, though it's entirely arguable he's already opened the good book.  Either way, he seems to be at a crossroads in the middle of some wasteland.  Off in the distance, there's smoke rising from distant shattered settlements, but is it the Lincoln County road or Armageddon?  And seriously, what's the difference anyway?  

Jimi Hendrix - like a rolling stone
The full album didn't actually come out until 1986 but this is 1967 all the way, even if I was only seven at the time, and about four thousand miles away – I heard it anyway.  Jimi Hendrix hits the stage at the Monterrey Pop Festival and makes the kind of noise that all mankind hears, because it cracks the speed of light, slips outside of time, acid soaked and superlative – a performance that includes a loose, yet powerful wander through Bob Dylan's still very fresh masterpiece, Like A Rolling Stone.  Mr. Hendrix drops a verse or two, mumbles a few dada throwaways but he owns it anyway, always and forever.  A few songs later, he'd be setting his guitar on fire.  But that's another story.

Echo + the Bunnymen - do it clean [live]
Wherein the Bunnypeople make it clear that live on stage in 1983, they really had no peer, except for maybe those Christers from Dublin.  But Echo were far cooler than U2 – all the angles and edge of Joy Division, but psychedelicized somewhat, not so much hopeful as surfing the powerful surges of despair that were all the rage at the time, letting it take them places where gravity held no sway.  Which in the case of Do It Clean meant yeah, why not throw in some Beatles, some James Brown, some Nat King Cole and Boney Maroni!  Because once a certain velocity is achieved, there are no borders anymore, no barricades, no dividing lines of any kind – it's all just one song.   

Cure - never enough [extended]
This extended guitar rock 12-inch single version of Never Enough is notable for A. how bloody hard it was for me to find, B. the degree to which its kick ass sonics pretty much defined the SOUND of 90s pop-rock (yes, lovers of U2's Achtung Baby which came out a good year later – I'm talking to you).  And it’s a dynamite evidence that nobody could match Robert Smith when it came to obsessive, lyrical pop genius.  

Electric Light Orchestra - one summer dream
ELO were an early fave of mine – big melodies, bigger production, like the Beatles by way of 1930s Hollywood musicals … except unlike most of those musicals, everything was always in colour in ELO-Land.  Of course, over the years, a lot of this pomp and electricity started to feel a little silly, especially through the darker parts of the 80s, Cold War getting utterly frigid, minutes to midnight on the Doomsday Clock, not much room anymore for cheap fantasy.  But then a funny thing started happening in the early 90s, right around the time that Bill Clinton took the Whitehouse and grunge got taken way too seriously.  ELO were fun again, cool even.  Who cared if they were silly?  And a song like One Summer Dream from 1975's Face The Music – well that was never silly anyway.  Just beautiful, melancholy, rich as a summer afternoon with great birds floating on by.  You're sixteen years old and this is going to last forever.  


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Countdown #47 - sidewalking

Broadcast January-19-2013 - podcast available here.  All comments are from Philip Random's notes (with some editorial diligence).  Links are not necessarily to the exact same recordings we played on-air (but we tried).  Nor is every record represented here.  To hear them all, you've got to actually listen to the podcast.

Brian Eno + David Byrne - America is waiting
The gods must have had me in mind with this album.  Tribal beats, all manner of weird noises, disembodied voices, and in America Is Waiting, the voices are calling down the venal soullessness of Ronald Reagan's America perfectly.  It went well with all the powerful LSD that was bubbling around at the time.  But that wore off eventually, of course.  My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts didn't.  Others may have used samples before its release, merged noise and rhythm and all manner of exotic tangents and textures.  But once Misters Eno and Byrne had done their bit, this kind of stuff was emphatically here to stay, part of the firmament.

Roxy Music - remake-remodel
The first song from the first Roxy Music Album makes it abundantly clear.  This is not a band concerned with the past.  This is not a rock + roll soaked in blues and authenticity.  This is dissonance, angularity and cool high fashion, which no doubt must have felt like a hostile alien invasion if you were a certain kind of hippie in 1972.  Hell, I didn't even hear Remake/Remodel until at least 1979 and I just assumed it was some up and coming New Wave outfit, except they were more interesting than most.  And I suspect the same would be true today.  Still more about what's to come than what has been.   

The Normal - warm leatherette
The Normal must have released more music than just Warm Leatherette and its b-side, but I've never heard any of it.  Which makes them pretty much the perfect bit player in the ongoing pop Apocalypse.  One hundred percent on the money and way ahead of their time with a catchy bit of machine driven coolness about the car crash set, sado-masochism, other hip transgressions.   

The Jesus + Mary Chain - sidewalking
The Jesus + Mary Chain's were never going to top their first album Psycho Candy, certainly not in terms of zeitgeist grinding superlative noise.  And yet they stuck around for a good while, always good for some dark, menacing pop thrills, like Sidewalking, a single from 1988.  Which is the same year Public Enemy unleashed Bring The Noise on us.  So make no mistake about it.  The late 80s were that kind of time.  The good guys weren't wearing white, they didn't smile much and they had no qualms about disturbing the peace.

The The - giant
I'm scared of God and I'm scared of hell, and I'm caving in upon myself.  We've all been there if we're worth our blood, if we've taken chances, pushed envelopes, stayed awake way too long, fallen in love and got torn apart for our troubles.  It's true.  The young man (or woman) who is not confused is not on the path.  The The's Giant seems to be about all of this, and yeah, it's as big as its name.

Cramps - surfin' dead
Wherein I apologize profusely for not including any other Cramps on this list.  I guess, for me, they were a live thing first and foremost, an ongoing mayhem of deep swamp blues and whatever atrocities Lux Interior felt compelled to commit on any given night.  And so I never got around to owning any of their albums.  In fact, I only have Surfin Dead because it shows up on the soundtrack for Return of the Living Dead.  But damn if it doesn't sound solid, fun, worthy.  So yeah, this whole list is rendered suspect, incomplete, a charade.  I recommend you compile your own.  

Swans - new mind
New Mind is the lead track from the Swans 1987 album Children of God, and thus the first real evidence that they weren't just heavier than God and/or Lucifer as their earlier, resolutely dirgy stuff had proven, but probably better too – musically speaking.  Because holy shit, what a soul smasher!  What a sledgehammer!  What a piledriver!  What an amazing band!  As for New Mind, I'm not sure I want to know what it's about, except to say that it feels like the work of some angry god on a rampage, or maybe one of those Japanese movie monsters that tears an entire city to pieces due to some unexplained grievance.  Or maybe it's just the sex in our souls damning us to hell, which doesn't seem fair.  

Swans - love will tear us apart
Just to make sure that we were clear on the point that 1988 was indeed the bleak peak of the Winter of Hate, the Swans gave us two versions of Love Will Tear Us Apart, both actually quite nice, fragile even.  Jarboe's version gets the nod here, because she's just got the nicer voice.  And you really do need a little nice when you're dealing with the most suicidally depressing love song ever.  As a friend pointed out long ago, note the certainty of it.  Not love MIGHT tear us apart.  It WILL.  And it did.  But that's another story. 

Bob Dylan - it's all over now, Baby Blue
Technically, I shouldn't be including this song as I'm pretty sure it precedes the Like A Rolling Stone snare shot
that gave impetus for the Apocalypse we're not just observing here, but continuing to participate in.  But such is the nature of such ruptures in the space-time continuum, there's always an implosion-like suck that pulls key details of the recent past forward, mixes them up with the various smithereens floating around.  Thus, we have yonder orphan with his gun crying like a fire in the sun.  It makes perfect sense if you've got the right kind of eyes, and ears.

Queen - tenement funster + flick of the wrist + lily of the valley
They all flow nicely together, but take a look at the lyrics and there seems to be three distinctly different things going on here.  Tenement Funster's a raw piece of kitchen sink glam.  Flick of the Wrist is a bitchy bit of spite (with operatic moments and not just a little malevolence).  And Lily of the Valley's a lovely bit of epic love.  Thus we are reminded one more time of how Queen always had more ideas and angles going than any nine other bands, and the chops to do everything full justice.  When this stuff landed in the various teenage rec-rooms of suburbia circa 1974/75, let's just say a great hunger was sated – one we weren't even fully aware we had.  Something to do with passion and fun, and raunch that was always under control.

David Bowie - five years
At first I wasn't even going to include any Ziggy Stardust on this list.  It just seemed inconceivable that there was anybody who hadn't already heard it all.  But then, just last month Five Years pops up on an old mix tape and young Tracy (who isn't even that young) says, is this John Lennon?  Five Years being the 1972 song that accurately predicted the end of the world in 1977.  Which I realize is a confusing FACT to lay down, particularly to those born since 1977.  Just trust me, it's true.  This is not the same world as before.  Something very weird happened in 1977 and we've all been spinning in weird gravity ever since.

Melanie - Mr. Tambourine Man
I guess Melanie was always suspect, a little too emotive, maudlin, skin deep – even for the 60s.  But man, if she didn't find something in Dylan's Tambourine Man that nobody else has.  Particularly the part about dancing beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free - Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands - With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves.  Yeah, it's chewing a bit of scenery, but it's also freedom itself, captured in sorrow, as in a snapshot, at sunset somewhere, a great storm passing safely in the far distance … for now. 

Talk Talk - the rainbow Eden + desire
It's Spring, 1989, the year I ended up in London somehow.  Actually, it's a long story that makes perfect sense if you know all the details, experienced as drama, later realized to be a sort of absurdist romantic comedy.  Which is only connected to Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden, because I bought the cassette while I was in London, very low on cash, a lovely day when I had nothing to do but hang around and wonder what the hell I was doing there in that dirty old town.  Anyway, I was wandering through the big HMV and there it was, remaindered.  Dead cheap.  So what the hell, I bought it.  What I knew of Talk Talk was that they were a better than average synth-pop outfit.  What I wasn't expecting was the deep and moody and ultimately gobsmackingly epic first side – three titles (The Rainbow, Eden + Desire) but all one song to my ears.  Exactly what I needed to get my thinking straight and buy the first ticket out of town.  Needless to say, I picked up the vinyl as soon as I returned to the Terminal City.