The Radio Stars
Listen/Download – Radio Stars – Dirty Pictures
I hope the end of the week finds you all well.
The tune I bring you today is something a little later on the schedule that we’re used to here, but there is a tie in for you psyche-a-mo-delic types, so hold steady.
Earlier this year I bought a nice stack of groovy records from my man Mr Luther, including some psyche, some soul, and as you’ll see/hear today, some proto-punky, post-glammy, power pop (enough hyphens for you???).
As seen here previously, I’m a big fan of the UK 70s label Chiswick Records, which, along with the Stiff imprint, released a grip of very interesting stuff, which thanks to the vibe they were cultivating and the various and sundry stylistic intersections of the time produced some very interesting sounds.
One of these sounds was that produced by the group the Radio Stars.
Formed out of the ashes of a number of bands, but most prominently featuring Andy Ellison, former lead singer of John’s Children (see, I told you…) the Radio Stars kind of floated in the same stream as bands like the Raspberries and any number of the flashier, more Anglo-sounding pop bands of the day, in that they were steeped in an early 70s brand of metallic pop (thus, the glam) but mixed in a substantial bit of forward thinking energy, thus the punk/power pop.
It’s telling that one of the other members of the band, bassist Martin Gordon (who wrote today’s selection) had done time in Sparks, bringing with him some of the campy, avant-pop gloss of that band.
The tune I bring you today is 1977s ‘Dirty Pictures’, which taken down a glam notch might pass for an early Cars song.
Featuring some razor sharp guitars and Ellison’s flash vocal delivering the suggestive lyrics, predates the Vapors similarly themed ‘Turning Japanese’ by a few years.
The songs actually met with a little bit of success in the UK, and recorded three albums between 1977 and 1982.
The Radio Stars reformed and were performing concerts in the UK as recently as this year.
I hope you dig the sound, and I’ll be back on Monday.