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  • SPOONS – NOVA HEART (1982) Jul 2, 2020

    SPOONS – NOVA HEART (1982)

    “Toronto's Ready Records, run by Andy Crosby and Angus McKay, ruled Eastern Canada in the early eighties by investing in a number of popular indie acts including The Santers Band, Blue Peter, The Extras, Colin Linden, and Stevie Blimpkie,” wrote Keith Sharp in his book ‘Music Express: The Rise, Fall & Resurrection of Canada's Music Magazine’.

    “But their biggest discovery was THE SPOONS.”

    Created in 1979 in Burlington, Ontario, by manager Peter Abrahams, original members Gord Deppe (vocals/guitars) and Sandy Horne (bass) were soon joined by drummer Derrick Ross and fifteen-year-old keyboardist Rob Preuss.

    Riding the tide of the new Romantic Movement, which was headed by the likes of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, The Spoons launched with Stick Finger Neighbourhood in 1981, with Hamilton's Daniel Lanois producing.
    They then released Arias and Symphonies the following year, charting with the singles "Nova Heart" and "Smiling in Winter."

    This success earned them tour dates with The Police and Culture Club. Although The Spoons failed to make any waves in the States, they did come to the attention of Chic-member and producer Nile Rodgers, who agreed to produce their 1983 album, Talkback, which featured a more sophisticated sound as reflected in the album's two hits "Romantic Traffic" and "Tell No Lies."

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    Thank you to everyone who has joined DECADE. As many of you know the page is just me, Paul. I write and research the articles, and edit the videos, often reinventing them entirely.

    It now takes almost an entire day of work to put together content for the page. If you could see fit to make a small donation then I would be eternally grateful.

    Thank you and best wishes, Paul

    PAYPAL: https://www.paypal.me/decade7787

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  • D.O.A. Jul 2, 2020

    D.O.A. – WORLD WAR THREE (1980)

    Vancouver's D.O.A. were – and still are – an exciting, politically minded outfit who, like Dead Kennedys had a remit to open the public’s eyes to what was being done to their lives.

    Coming together in ‘78, they went on to deliver a set of hardcore classics like 'The Prisoner', 'Slumlord', and 'F***** Up Ronnie', all incendiary militant invectives set to Dave Gregg's gritty guitar licks and the rasp of Joey 'S hithead' Keithley.

    Intelligent satirists and not above tongue-in-cheek humour, their brilliant 'War On 45' was a spoof on 'Stars On 45' featuring heavyweights from the annals of protest as various as Edwin Starr's 'War' and Ranking Trevor's 'War In The East'.

    The next stage was to work in the here and now, taking current socio-political concerns and generating an anthem to the cause. On the eve of a huge shutdown in the state of British Columbia, they seized the moment and recorded and released 'General Strike'. This was "crisis music for crisis times".

    "We'd like to initiate a whole cultural exchange," said Dave Gregg in 1984.

    "We're trying to develop a sense of community in the music scene which is sadly lacking in rock. When I was growing up, I though there was a big happy family that I'd be able to join when I was a musician, and there was no such thing.

    "Maybe we'd even bring journalists as part of the tour and we could create our own newspaper on the road. You see, we cast ourselves in the role of modern day mega-decibel minstrels."

    Above all, D.O.A. were passionate about protest... "What we're confronted with," said Joey, "is a brick wall. Some people might think the best way to pull it down is dynamite, we think the best way for us is going out and talking to people, being minstrels."

    The video here is WORLD WAR THREE taken from the band's mighty POSITIVELY DOA EP, featuring the fiery line-up of Joey S hithead on guitar and vocals, Dave Gregg on guitar, Randy Rampage on bass, and Chuck Biscuits on drums. Sadly, we lost Randy in August 2018.

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    Thank you to everyone who has joined DECADE. As many of you know the page is just me, Paul. I write and research the articles, and edit the videos, often reinventing them entirely.

    It now takes almost an entire day of work to put together content for the page. If you could see fit to make a small donation then I would be eternally grateful.

    Thank you and best wishes, Paul

    PAYPAL: https://www.paypal.me/decade7787

    JUSTGIVING: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/decade77page

    Read More

  • MAGAZINE - SHOT BY BOTH SIDES Jul 2, 2020

    MAGAZINE - SHOT BY BOTH SIDES

    On this date in 1979, MAGAZINE performed SHOT BY BOTH SIDES on the Belgian TV show ‘Follies’, (July 2nd, 1979).

    In early 1977, in an unexpected move, the erstwhile leader of punk pioneers Buzzcocks left the band, citing his dislike of "movements".

    "I wasn't sure whether I liked punk rock anymore" said Howard Devoto.

    "I didn't like the aggro. It was like everybody was doing it… It turned me off. I think it frightened me to a degree."

    Devoto returned to his abandoned college art course, but continued to co-manage Buzzcocks, as well as writing with Pete Shelley. One day Shelley came up with a spiralling riff that Devoto immediately demanded he be taught.

    "I'll give it to you" said Shelley, with no immediate plans for the song. This would be the first song Devoto would attempt with the new band he began to put together after finishing his college course. It would be called 'Shot By Both Sides', Magazine’s first and perhaps best-known single.

    The Magazine sound thrived on the implicit tension between the keyboardist Dave Formula, who wanted to do take after take, and guitarist, the late great John McGeoch's punkier one-take approach.

    "There was this sparring between them about who was the musical star" recalled Devoto.

    "And if McGeoch didn't get his way, boy could he throw a sulk!"

    Devoto, the benign dictator, used these tensions to his own ends. If the riff of 'Shot By Both Sides' didn't already sound like an elastic band at breaking point, Devoto upped the ante by shifting McGeoch's extraordinary, shredded guitar solo up a key.

    "McGeoch's sound was that of curbed anger" said bassist Barry Adamson, "like sticking a compass in someone's ear. Slowly."

    The lyrics matched the music's adventurousness every step. 'Shot By Both Sides' showed a man refusing to take sides, or to run with the crowd, ending up "on the outside of everything".

    In an age of sharply-drawn battle lines – East versus West, Thatcherite Conservatism vs Bennite Leftism – this was an unusual position.

    "You try to detach yourself from your own feelings and maybe other people's" said Devoto.

    "Detachment was a very important word for me. A psychological state I got into in my late teens as a result of reading about Zen Buddhism. My attempts to be a man of the people were fairly few and far between. I had a real thing about being detached... not a hundred miles away from 'aloof' – I suppose."

    The video here is a rare clip from the Belgian TV show ‘Follies’, a live appearance from Magazine performing a fiery SHOT BY BOTH SIDES in February 1979.

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