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  • 10,000 MANIACS – LIKE THE WEATHER Aug 5, 2020

    10,000 MANIACS – LIKE THE WEATHER
    (August 1988)

    By 1988, high profile tours with bands like R.E.M. and a cover of 'Peace Train' by Cat Stevens, the band’s first notable American hit, were gradually introducing people to the 10,000 Maniacs's brand of collegiate folk rock, taking their second major-label album IN MY TRIBE into the Billboard Top 200. Twenty years later, Rolling Stone ranked the album number sixty-five on their list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s.

    Singer and song-writer with 10,000 Maniacs for over a decade, Natalie Merchant’s music cast an eye over small town life, of sawdust-strew landscapes that saw the rumbling of trains and the comfort of passing strangers.

    These were plain-spoken tunes wholly grounded in rustic Americana, delivered in Merchant's distinctive contralto voice with its big whimsy, and a rattling backbeat to produce a speedy contrast. As Natalie intoned wistfully, the group charged ahead, giving the listener an appealing sense of giddiness.

    10,000 Maniac's first major-label album The Wishing Chair, released on Elektra Records in 1985, recycled three songs from 1983's Secrets of the I Ching EP and added new compositions that addressed topics ranging from factory life ('Maddox Table'), North American Indian history ('Among the Americans') to childhood ('Can't Ignore the Train', 'Back o' the Moon'), all set to bright melodies and compelling arrangements.

    A second major-label album arrived in July 1987, their first to achieve large-scale success and one that found “Merchant and band growing increasingly militant as they turn to face the outside world,” wrote Mark Cooper for Q magazine in 1988.

    “While Merchant insists she is too unsure of her own opinions to lecture anybody, she manages to sound both compassionate and impatient of the world's follies in a collection of lyrics that touch on the plight of the illiterate ('Cherry Tree'), the homeless ('City Of Angels') and the abused ('What's The Matter Here?').”

    “If the first LP turned away from the wicked present to the brittle past, In My Tribe confronts modern violence head on. Like her boyfriend Michael Stipe's R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs appropriate all kinds of '60s influences for their own ends. Merchant's long, parted hair and flowing dresses, both tossed around onstage with an ancient abandon, suggest a belated flower child recalling some of the better moments of her parents' era while the band tempers her wishful thinking with the taut conciseness of those early new wave influences. Call her a hippy and she'll probably clip your ear.”

    The video here is the band performing LIKE THE WEATHER, the second single from IN MY TRIBE (‘The White Room’ 1988).

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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 genuinely very grateful.

    Thank you and best wishes, Paul

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  • KATE BUSH – UNDER THE IVY Aug 5, 2020

    KATE BUSH – UNDER THE IVY

    On this date in 1985, KATE BUSH released her first single from the ‘Hounds of Love’, RUNNING UP THAT HILL / UNDER THE IVY, (August 5th, 1985).

    Even to this day, you’ll hear artists admit they'd like to be Kate Bush. What they mean is they'd like the freedom to do their own thing in their own time, evolve as they dream, while easily shifting enough units to negate any pressure to conform to vogue.

    It was 1985's Hounds Of Love, which placed her in this enviable parallel universe.

    “A risky and ravenous blend of ultra-pop and abstract reverie, it was acclaimed in left-field quarters and was a commercial dambuster,” wrote Uncut magazine.

    RUNNING UP THAT HILL was intricately constructed, its unorthodox rhythms and motifs supported a vocal passion play of stunningly mature nuance.

    On the B-side was UNDER THE IVY, a song that Kate performed on The Tube in 1986.

    It was a live performance of the song, with Kate singing and playing the grand piano at Abbey Road Studios in London.

    “I needed a track to put on the B-Side of the single Running Up That Hill so I wrote this song really quickly,” explained Kate. “ As it was just a simple piano/vocal, it was easy to record.”

    “I performed a version of the song that was filmed at Abbey Rd Studios for a TV show which was popular at the time, called The Tube. It was hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates. I find Paula’s introduction to the song very touching.”

    “It was filmed in Studio One at Abbey Rd. An enormous room used for recording large orchestras, choirs, film scores, etc. It has a vertiginously high ceiling and sometimes when I was working in Studio Two, a technician, who was a good friend, would take me up above the ceiling of Studio One."

    "We had to climb through a hatch onto the catwalk where we would then crawl across and watch the orchestras working away, completely unaware of the couple of devils hovering in the clouds, way above their heads! I used to love doing this - the acoustics were heavenly at that scary height. We used to toy with the idea of bungee jumping from the hatch.”

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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 genuinely very grateful.

    Thank you and best wishes, Paul

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

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  • THE POGUES - I'M A MAN YOU DON'T MEET EVERY DAY and SALLY MACLENNANE Aug 5, 2020

    THE POGUES - I'M A MAN YOU DON'T MEET EVERY DAY and SALLY MACLENNANE

    On this date in 1985, THE POGUES released their second studio album, RUM, SODOMY & THE LASH, (August 5th, 1985).

    Between 84's debut 45, Dark Streets Of London and the third LP in 1988, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, Shane MacGowan established himself as a songsmith with few contemporary equals. From the dark heart of 'The Old Main Drag' and the striking beauty of 'A Pair Of Brown Eyes' to the poisoned romance of 'The Broad Majestic Shannon' and 'Fairytale Of New York'.

    "You want to know my songwriting secret?" cackled MacGowan.

    "Well, all right, you sit there with a bottle of something and several packets of cigarettes and maybe the odd vitamin pill and you f around on your guitar until the whole thing comes to you. That's the f secret. Kissssh."

    Rum, Sodomy & The Lash gave voice to the immigrants that rubbed shoulders with drinkers, swindlers and lowlives in the bustling heart of London, evoking a homeland left behind; songs brimming with legend and drink-dappled memories. Dark pleasures trailing influences like Tom Waits, Lou Reed and Ronnie Drew.

    The video here is I'M A MAN YOU DON'T MEET EVERY DAY, the Cait O'Riordan sung trad Irish/Scottish music hall song from ‘Rum Sodomy & the Lash’, featured in the 1994 Channel 4 film of the same title, directed by Angela Pope and written by the prolific writer Ronan Bennett.

    This footage follows a performance of the song by Cait for RTÉ Radio 1.

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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 genuinely very grateful.

    Thank you and best wishes, Paul

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

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

    Read More

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