In April 2020, adult pop heroes The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco made an unexpected return with their video single ‘Dream Pharma’. It had been almost eighteen months since the world heard from them, and the band themselves weren’t entirely sure they were going to make new music, but here they were.
In terms of pop, 1982 was a strong year: Madness took a further step towards songwriting sophistication with their album ‘The Rise & Fall’, Prince made a huge breakthrough with his ‘1999’ double platter of much filthiness and Phil Collins showed us that the previous year’s ‘Face Value’ wasn’t just a one-off solo success when his “tricky second album” spawned a #1 hit single and a few of his best solo tunes.
From an historical perspective, Judie Tzuke’s ‘Road Noise: The Official Bootleg’ is an interesting proposition. At the time of its original release in 1982, the double live album format had been dominated by rock bands – it was rare that a contemporary pop artist or singer songwriter would bother with such a release. Also, its extended format had almost become yesterdays news. In a musical landscape populated by synth pop bands and the birth of the New Romantics, the 7” single had once again become king, much as it had been in the early to mid sixties. The decision for Tzuke to release a double platter of live material in the Autumn of ’82 certainly went against the grain.
Back in May 2017, Real Gone launched “The Great 70s Project”, a ten week exploration of a classic decade’s worth of music. By side-stepping a couple of the obvious hits and digging deeper into back-catalogue albums, we were able to present a very broad look at the albums of the era and it became one of the site’s most popular features.
A long time in the planning, we’re pleased to present The Great 80s Project, a similar exploration of the decade that brought us a multitude of synth-pop, shiny tunes, bright colours, Live Aid and a handful of stadium giants.
To a legion of power pop fans, Shoes are legendary. To a lot of other people – and especially those in the UK – they remain a largely unknown entity. While some fans will claim that 1977’s ‘Black Vinyl Shoes’ is the Shoes masterpiece, it merely shows a band on the rise. It’s a record with some good songs, a lot of enthusiasm and a certain amount of DIY charm – and it’s likely that DIY “cool factor” that makes it so highly prized by those vocal champions. In terms of consistency, it’s somewhat hit and miss. If you’re looking to discover a band at their peak, look no further than the three Shoes albums recorded for Elektra Records between 1979 and 1982.
This 4CD compilation presents each of those albums in full, alongside a massive vault of bonus tracks – fifty four in all – making ‘Elektrafied’ the ultimate Shoes package for the uninitiated.