[5] The Jam, ‘Town Called Malice’

Please feel free to write your own piece, tackling the following issues:

– Yes, ANOTHER Jam single, but I promise it’s the last one
– Doesn’t particularly hint at the Style Council
– Did Ocean Colour Scene ruin Weller or was it the other way around?
– It’s like Motown on amphetamines
– I had to buy it secretly because my mum disapproved
– ‘The Bitterest Pill’ IS possibly better
– She bounced a bit, but soon asked to be rescued from the playpen
– (Not my mum)
– Actually, Jesus, what a record
– Still to come: Charlene, Fat Larry’s Band, Toto Coelo and the Kids from Fame.

[17] Japan, ‘Ghosts’

At the time, I thought this went to Number One. To be honest, until I started taking a keen interest in the chart during the summer of ‘82,I thought everything that appeared on Top Of The Pops was a No.1 single. Happy, uncomplicated days, before my first Guinness Book of British Hit Singles destroyed these reveries. I felt crushed for Sylvian and the lads, and their No.5 hit.

They were probably ecstatic, or as ecstatic as a bunch of in-fighting, studiedly glacial, new romantic poseurs were ever going to get. Maybe they flared a nostril.

‘Ghosts’ is thuddingly pretentious, a glorious mood piece of mannered vocals and blandly eerie effects. It’s certainly no better than ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ and ‘Mirror Man’, but it thinks it is, and that’s half the battle. Like The Jam, Japan were gone by the end of the year, with a frontman indulging his whimsies. He plods along still, still able to bore you to death at a hundred paces, but at least he does it without Ocean Colour Scene.

I bloody loved Japan, really. Junior tried to look enthused herself, dancing with unsuitable vigour to the first few bars of tuneless electronic dabbling. After a couple of minutes she was thinking of forming the Style Council.

[7] Young Disciples, ‘Apparently Nothin”

Young Disciples

More real-time Junior reviews, live and direct, as they happen. The Young Disciples apparently inspire nothing less than throwing oneself back in the inflatable and kicking the legs over the side. She’s now sitting up again, yelping, trying to attract attention and find Carleen Anderson.

Released by the Talkin’ Loud label, I suppose this is meant to be an acid jazz record. I don’t think it’s sculpted beard-stroking enough to really fit in – more a razor-sharp funk tune than a Galliano ‘jam’ (man). And, more to the point, it hasn’t dated.

Can’t remember the full story, but I know the band fell out before building on the first album’s success. Maybe it was just Carleen’s pursuit of solo glory. She, of course, was struck down by the Weller Curse. A decent, soulful debut, then an Ocean Colour Scene-assisted second LP. Oops.

[All my vinyl rips seem to have corrupted; Top 11 mp3s to follow… later]