Morphing Into A Music Blog (4)
My fav blog of the moment lets me know that November 6th was the day in history that the Pale Fountains released 'Thank You' way back in '82. Despite sounding like a premature Dream Academy, I like it but it wasn't the choon that was going to catapult them into the upper reaches of the charts.
Nope, it was their '84/85 single, 'Jean's Not Happening', which was the one that got away but which should have seen them sharing a Top of the Pops dressing room with Black Lace.
You can sort of understand why 'Thank You' didn't get beyond number 48 in the charts in '82; it was a difficult year for any band to break out. There was just too much good stuff out there. And, of course, with such an embarassment of riches clogging up both Smash Hits and the Radio 1 playlist, some gems were sure to get lost in the rush as a consequence.
But late '84/early '85? Good left-field pop music had done a Captain Oates, and we were left with The Smiths and Prefab Sprout fighting a rear guard action whilst the Three Producers of the Musical Apocalypse - Stock, Aitken and Waterman - were fast approaching on the chart horizon. The Pale Fountains could have and should have pulled their weight at that point. Maybe their was a quota on mouthy scousers at that point in the charts?
Strange how bands - no matter how good they are - only have a small window of opportunity to break out, and if it doesn't happen during that timeframe? Forget about it. Wait twenty years for you to be rediscovered - and. more importantly, be reassessed - by some bloke in a secondhand record shop in Portland (OR), and if you're lucky he'll add your MySpace page to his blogroll alongside The Sound, The Comsat Angels and The Faith Brothers.
If - and it's a BIG IF - the gods are really smiling down on you, an indie record label in Japan will re-release your first two albums as a double-cd (to be bought by said blogger in Portland, and his internet mate in Cirencester, who will then proceed to upload your tunes to Pirate Bay) and the CD will get a mild thumbs up of 3.5 stars in Q Magazine, with Of Montreal and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips later namechecking you in interviews on MTV's Subterranean and New York Noise.
Apologies, I'm deviating from the prepared script. What's the point of havering on about a song unless you can chuck it out for 'sampling purposes'?
There's a canny website out there waiting to be discovered by Chuck from Portland, that has info and a half about the Pale Fountains and Michael Head's current band, Shack.