Saturday, 15 February 2014

Altared States

A pair of pieces of piffle for you today, from 1983 and producer Mike Hurst – former member of hit groups The Springfields and  producer for Cat Stevens, P P Arnold, Showaddywaddy, Lena Zavaroni and countless others. I picked these up for 50p each in a charity shop just before Christmas – and I reckon I was robbed.

I shudder to think how this crap came together. Almost a decade before Michael Cretu would unleash his multi-platinum Enigma project on the pop music world, some other bright spark had the idea of adding drum beats to church music, only with disastrous results. The consequence of this unholy melee was two A-sides from the Altar Boys (who, on the first release at least sound to me like a lone vocalist plumbing the depths of a multi-track hell) – the almost passable Be-Bop-A-Lula and the diabolically awful You Really Got Me. For some peculiar reason the previous owner has scrawled the words 'good disco' on the label of the latter: there was clearly something wrong with him. Be-Bop-A-Lula begins with a line stolen from God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen: I assume that means that it was issued not long before Christmas.

The odd thing is that I was working as the singles buyer for HMV in Gloucester when these were released, and it was me that dealt with the rep - the lovely Maggie from IDS (Independent Distribution Services) - who would have been promoting them, yet I have no memory of them at all.

There aren’t many clues as to who – outside of Hurst that is - is involved in this rubbish. The B-sides of both singles are standard, uninspired pub-rock (Isn’t It About Time, written by Marshall, and See Me Now, written by Steve Price respectively); the only good thing to say about any of this is that in the same year the engineer of these abortions - Stewart Eales - also worked on the utterly brilliant I’m a Teapot by the Geisha Girls, one of my all-time favourite 45s.

Any further info gratefully received.


1 comment:

  1. Some records are so bad they're good. Country music, for example, has lyrics that are quite simply preposterous, and yet can be somehow moving, or highly amusing. This though, is just plain awful. I've never in my life come across such an atrocious selection of music. Looking forward to the next instalment.


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