Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Adverts, Crossing The Read Sea With The Adverts, 1978

The Adverts were an English punk rock band who formed in 1976 and broke up in 1979. They are mainly remembered for their singles “One Chord Wonders” and “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”. “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” reached the UK top 20 in August 1977.

This was  The Adverts' 1978 d├ębut album, which featured the UK hit single “No Time To Be 21” which made number 38 in the hit parade in February 1978. It was recorded at Abbey Road and produced by John Leckie. Their first gig was to support Generation X, on January 15, 1977 at The Roxy in London; their last was at Slough College on October 27, 1979. When the Adverts finally split up, T.V. Smith continued with Tim Cross forming as TV Smith's Explorers, then Cheap, and finally through the 1990s to date performing as a solo artist.

Despite having released some more well-regarded singles, the Adverts were not able to maintain the momentum and their career stalled after the release of their second album. The band members at the time were also threatened with lawsuits by former members Rod Latter and Howard Pickup, who objected to the band continuing to use the Adverts name without them. They split up shortly after the accidental death by electrocution of their manager, Michael Dempsey. Their last gig was at Slough College on 27 October 1979. After the band split up, T.V. Smith continued with Tim Cross as T.V. Smith's Explorers, then Cheap, and finally from the 1990s to date performing as a solo artist.

The Adverts’ guitarist Howard Pickup (Howard Boak, Born 1951) died in 1997 of a brain tumor.

 In regards to their legacy, critic and author Dave Thompson argues that "nobody would make music like the Adverts and nobody ever has. In terms of lyric, delivery, commitment and courage, they were, and they remain, the finest British group of the late 1970s". This one illustrates the historical transition between punk and post punk in my opinion.


  1. One Chord Wonders
  2. Bored Teenagers
  3. New Church
  4. On The Roof
  5. New Boys
  6. Bombsite Boy
  7. No Time To Be 21
  8. Safety In Numbers
  9. Drowning Men
  10. On Wheels
  11. Great British Mistake

Monday, July 30, 2012

Robert Fripp, God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners, 1980

This is an electronic/ambient production by English guitarist, composer and record producer, Robert Fripp. Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique often associated with the banjo. His compositions often feature unusual time signatures, which have been influenced by classical and folk traditions. His innovations have included Frippertronics, following collaboration with  Brian Eno.

In the same way that Fripp's 1979 Exposure LP relates explicitly to his work with Peter Gabriel (on his 2nd eponymous, vastly underrated, solo album) & Daryll Hall, so God Save The Queen / Under Heavy Manners engages with his subsequent, heady period of career defining experimentation with Bowie (Heroes / Scary Monsters & Super Creeps) & Talking Heads (Fear Of Music).

Released by EG in 1980, God Save The Queen is, as it's complete title implies, an album of 2 distinct halves. Instrumental throughout, excepting David Byrne's pseudonymous cameo (as Absalm El Habib) on "Under Heavy Manners", side 1 solely employs the Frippertonics process as it's template, adapting it somewhat on side 2 for what Fripp craftily labelled "discotronics", i.e. posthumously combining his treated guitar loops with a studio-based rhythm section. The bedrock material for the entire album was recorded live in concert in 1979, with Buster Jones & Paul Duskin (bass & drums respectively) adding their contributions later. Though he'd already established The League Of Gentlemen as a touring unit by this point, Fripp clearly intended the LP to be recognised as a solo project &, not wanting to suggest a thematic connection with Eno's collateral ambient work, the album's original title, Music For Sports, was amended at the last minute.

Rather alarmingly for an artist of Fripp's stature, God Save The Queen / Under Heavy Manners has never been reissued (on CD or otherwise) so you'll need to scour eBay for an original copy.
A lovely album you will enjoy.

Robert Fripp - (1980) God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners

Studio Album, released in 1980.

Track Listings

"God Save the Queen":
1. Red Two Scorer (6:54)
2. God Save The Queen (9:50)
3. 1983 (13:20)

"Under Heavy Manners":
4. Under Heavy Manners (5:14)
5. The Zero Of The Signifed (12:38)