Monday, November 12, 2007

State of the nation/shame of the nation.



A truly memorable New Order UK 12" from 1986 (FAC 153) and also the title for one of two extremely famous (at least to me and 2 other friends) mix tapes compiled by fellow URY DJs Stephen Humphries and Simon Aldous. Over the years we've fallen out of touch as much my fault as anybody's. Perhaps they'll run across this paean and drop a line. Stephen and Simon in some ways were chalk and cheese: Hawkwind, Marillion, and other Prog rock excesses versus sleek synth keyboards and glimmering indecipherable lyrics from Elizabeth Fraser circa Victorialand. Amazingly within weeks of each other, they both sent me a compilation of material from the year I had spent at York August 1985-August 1986 plus a few, new choice tidbits. These objects are two of my most cherished relics from that glorious year. I should mention my fellow MA student Simon Loseby who introduced me to both John Peel's radio show and The Redskin's cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 Tons." In March 1986 I worked "security" on campus in Alcuin up Siward's Howe and across the bridge from URY on what was the final tour for the Redskins.

What's interesting about these tapes beyond the number of tracks that they have in common is how well they express each compiler's personality. For example Simon's was choc full o' tidbits like the acoustic version of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Some Candy Talking" from the double gatefold double 7" ep (1 7'electric and 1 7 "acoustic) #2 on Melody Maker's singles of the year.

2x7" NEG 19F
Some Candy Talking
Cut Dead (Acoustic)
Psychocandy (Acoustic)
You Trip Me Up (Acoustic)
Some Candy Talking (Acoustic)

I always regretted not taking time off from my MA thesis, The Parlance of Peteloo: Verbal and Visual Iconography of the Manchester Massacre, in July 1986 to hike into York and Red Rhino on Goodramgate to pick this up. But then I was a good little worker bee. Kinda like the time I decided against traveling from Stanford to Rough Trade in SF to pick up Negativland's U2 on vinyl only to have the infamous court decision come down the next day. Poof gone. Of course I have all these tracks now, with or without The Edge's money as collateral, just not on the original vinyl.

Stephen's tape whose name named this blog entry from September 11, 1986 15 years before another day that shall live in infamy, or does 9/11/86 mean November 9th? I can never remember whether the British favour the Europeans or US with regards to month day year traditions. Oh well, I'm going with September 11th since it's such a better story, but in my heart of hearts I know it was really November as the tape arrived through the post like some kind of early Christmas present full of pop delites such as 2 by the Icicle Works, New Model Army's classic Anti-American Rant "51st State," seemingly even more relevant today than it was 21 years ago, and Julian Cope's brilliant "WORLD SHUT YOUR MOUTH" UK #19 single. For those of you unfamiliar with the Icicle Works, they had one great US chart success with a song originally titled "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)" but recast as "Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)" for more pedestrian US audiences.

Untitled Playlist by Simon Jem [Ed. note. (8/21/09) As you will see from the comments below, it has come to my attention that this track has wrongly been attributed to one Mr. Aldous when in fact it was programmed by one Jem Stone and passed from him to Simon to me. Mr. Stone has continued on in his broadcast media career and currently works for the BBC's website/new media team. A belated thanks for a great mix tape. Ta!]

Side A
Big Audio Dynamite-C'mon Every Beatbox
The Smiths-Ask
The Woodentops-Everday Living
The Mighty Lemon Drops-Other Side of You
Weather Prophets-Almost prayed
Goodbye Mr.Mackenzie-The Rattler
The Bodines-Heard It All
The Primitives-Really Stupid
Marc Almond-Ruby Red
The Soup Dragons-Hang Ten
Billy Bragg-Greetings to the New Brunette
Ted Hawkins-I Got What I Wanted
View From A Hill-No Conversation
14 Iced Bears-Inside
Primal Scream-It Happens

Side B
Housemartins-Think For A Minute (new version)
Yeah Jazz-This IS Not Love
1000 Violins-Like 1000 Violins
Cocteau Twins-Love's Easy tears
Shop Assistants-I don't wanna be friends with U
The The-Infected 12"
Soup Dragons-Whole Wide World
Jesus and Mary Chain-Some Candy Talking (acoustic)
Everything But The Girl-Come On Home
Hüsker Dü-Sorry Somehow
The Mission-Garden of Delight
Terry & Gerry-Last Bullet in the Gun
James-Really Hard

State of The Nation 9/11/86 Playlist by Stephen

Side A
The Icicle Works-Understanding Jane
The Soup Dragons-Hang Ten
The Smiths-Ask
The Blow Monkeys-Don't Be Scared of Me
B.A.D.-C'mon Every Beatbox
New Model Army-51st State
Elvis Costello-I Want You
Julian Cope-World, Shut Your Mouth
Bob Geldof-This is the World Calling
Billy Bragg-Greetings to the New Brunette
The Bible-Graceland
The Housemartins-Who Needs the Limelight (b-side instrumental)

Side B
New Order-Bizarre Love Triangle
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark-Stay
The Starnglers-Always The Sun
The Big Dish-Big New Beginning
Swing Out Sister-Breakout
The The-Infected
The Woodentops-(Love Affair with) Everyday Livin'
The Icicle Works-Who do you want for your love?
The Housemartins-Think for a Minute
The Smiths-Golden Lights
Billy Bragg-The Home Front
Spandau-Through the Barricades

Speaking of media moguls, I wonder what the following ex-URYers tapes for 1985-19866 would have looked like?
Rollo (Armstrong)
Jeremy Ball
Clare "MacAmleth" Kellet
Jo-Anne Nadler
Stephen Palmer
Tom Stevenson
Jem Stone

Oh and Tom you still owe me over the Housemartins at #1 (November 1986) on the Beeb, even if it WASN'T still there as the Christmas single! And yes now you probably agree you should have charted that first Go! Discs single, "Flag Day," even if it WAS just a show of regional affiliation for the "fourth best band in Hull." Take Jesus — Take Marx — Take Hope!

Next up 2 days celebrating KZSU and a decade in the Bay Area, starting with another tape compiled by others: Ben Detenber and Steve Vernon, hosts/producers of KZSU's Wednesday Night Live. The Second Anniversary Special features classic Mem Aud basement performances by X-TAL, Barbara Manning, Tragic Mulatto, The Chuck Prophet Band, Primus, and Psychefunkapus to name but a few!


John said...

Interesting that it's mostly Brit, and then . . . Husker Du!

G. E. Light said...

3 things. Ted Hawkins is from Biloxi, MS, but he was really re-discovered by Andy Kershaw, so 2 "US" artists. Peel played the hell out of the singles from CAG and FYW and they charted mainstream on BBC 1. Also I suspectIi influenced URY, being a big HD proponent myself, having Peel on my side didn't hurt either I must add! Probably Simo chose it as a nod to my own tastes, not that he didn't like that record.

Jem said...

The tape in the first picture looks like its in fact one of mine. blimey.

Jem said...

Well thats a bit wierd. I must have done the tape for Simon who then sent it on to you ?. Anyway its nothing to do with him (although presumably our tastes must have overlapped) Its er, my writing!

14 iced bears were on there btw because i was brought up in Brighton and heard that single for the first time at end of 1986 when i went home from York for Christmas. Do hope you are well after all this time!

bulb said...

I always thought 14 Iced Bears should have ben bigger but then I thought the same thing about The Close Lobsters. Am indeed well if a bit stouter than I need be. Have moved on from Northern California to Mississippi. Are you based in London or at a regional Beeb? As a kind of belated repayment for the "not-Simon" tape, here's a little something I wrote earlier this week directly linked into my time at URY and in York generally: