“Hello daily life, I don’t wanna fight today, I surrender, I’ll put my toys away… “
Like many of you, I was heavily influenced by music in my youth. I was fortunate to have a great friend like Brian to expose me to new bands and sounds. I was/ AM a major fan of The Smiths, The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, Dead Can Dance, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Simple Minds, XTC, Bauhaus, The Police, David Bowie, Cocteau Twins, Depeche Mode and dozens of others.
One of the bands that sticks out is The Comsat Angels. I get the feeling that this band has a small cult following but feel they deserve a much larger audience. Let me drop a little WIKI on you about one of my favorite bands of all time. The Comsat Angels were a post-punk band from Sheffield and Doncaster, England, active from 1978 to 1995.
Their music has been described as “abstract pop songs with spare instrumentation, many of which were bleak and filled with some form of heartache.” They have been credited as being an influence to later post-punk revival bands such as Blacklist, Bell Hollow, Editors and Interpol.
They debuted with an EP, released in 1979, named “Red Planet“. This release attracted Polydor A&R man Frank Neilson and the band signed a three-album recording contract. These three LPs – Waiting for a Miracle (1980), which included the single “Independence Day“, probably their best known song, Sleep No More (1981) and Fiction (1982) – are regarded by some as their best, but only sold modestly.
In their early years, the group shared live stages with bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Depeche Mode, U2 (an 18-date tour in 1981), Captain Beefheart, The Sound, Wall of Voodoo, and Gang of Four.
Having failed to live up to Polydor’s expectations with the first three albums, the record label let the band go. They then signed with Jive Records and recorded Land (1983), delving into a more commercial, new wave-oriented sound. The album spawned the single “Will You Stay Tonight?” which met with some US radio success. Fifth album 7 Day Weekend (1985) also followed a more pop-oriented trend. However, it also failed on the charts, resulting in the band being dropped by a second record label. Their single “I’m Falling” was featured in its entirety in the movie Real Genius with Val Kilmer. (Personally, I LOVE this movie!)
One of the other things that stuck out to me was the band’s earlier album covers. (Yes, I use to drive to Boston on a regular basis to go “record” shopping. ) I found them to be different than other album covers of the time. More “artsy”, more interesting. This was most likely my first appreciation of “font” although I didn’t know it at the time.
Give their 1981 Peel Session a listen and see what you think. I immediately heard their influence in Interpol’s music (another band I greatly favor) and I’m anxious to hear if any of you have heard of the Comsat Angels or what you THINK of their music. Be nice! They bring back fond memories for me, don’t trash them if you don’t like their sound!
Do yourself a favor and search out their first three albums HERE. They sit in my CD AND album collection as some of my most prized possessions.