Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Shuttered Room Service

We're gonna shoot for three straight leading into the weekend here, with three wildly different anniversary celebrations.

Let's kick the trifecta off with this 38th birthday set, featuring one of the great undersung 1980s ensembles just as they were exploding upon an unsuspecting, velour-clad populace.

Another '80s band that is thought of in the wider, less engaged world as a one-hit wonder, but whose first four records are totally flawless gems, worthy of any LPs ever tracked by anyone and certainly head and shoulders above their MTV'd contemporaries.

Something like a cross between Pink Floyd and Cheap Trick, they managed to forge a kind of poppy art-rock sound, led by the somewhat mysterious, paranoiac presence of their singer, possessed as he was and is with a singular, identifiable-by-one-syllable voice and a highly existential lyrical bent.

Their secret weapon was always their guitar player, whose super-melodic efforts put their tunes in a unique sonic groove, somewhere between Roger McGuinn's chime in The Byrds and the delay experiments of U2's The Edge.

One of the greatest and most tuneful postpunk groups, no one sounds like The Fixx even 40 years after they first hit. And even cooler, they still tour and play after four decades. Well, they did before society got locked down for COVID, anyway.

So what have we here, then? There's a CD of their King Biscuit Flower Hour performance two weeks after this one that's long out-of-print, but this is the pre-broadcast vinyl of their BBC Rock Hour taped in Boston at the legendary Paradise.

The Fixx
Paradise Theater
Boston, Massachusetts USA

01 BBC intro: Sylvie Simmons
02 Liner
03 Cameras In Paris
04 One Thing Leads to Another
05 Kingdom Christsake
06 advertisements
07 Stand or Fall
08 Going Overboard
09 I Found You
10 advertisements
11 Reach the Beach
12 The Fool
13 Some People
14 advertisements
15 Lost Planes
16 Red Skies
17 Sinking Island
18 BBC outro: Sylvie Simmons

Total time: 59:20

Cy Curnin - vocals
Rupert Greenall - keyboards
Jamie West-Oram - guitar
Adam Woods - drums & percussion
Alfie Agius - bass

declicked preFM vinyl from the BBC Rock Hour, show #351
first broadcast the week of December 19, 1982

This one was declicked somewhere along the lineage, and has been rendered free of obtrusive surface noise for your auditory pleasure.

I shall return in 24 with another goodie, but don't miss out on The Fixx... even if you aren't broken, they're still pretty necessary.--J.