Retro Cassette Friday

Cassette 002-001This week on Retro Cassette Friday we take a listen to three self titled albums. One from a guy who used to be in a trio, another from a girl who was half of a duo and the third from a band who have been ridiculed about their hair – and deservedly so.

Roland Gift, Self-Titled

MCA, 2002

It’s a bit of mystery when the singer of a hugely successful band, who has one of the most distinctive voices around, releases a solo album and nobody really cares. Maybe it’s the timing, or the promotion of the album that is the key. As the leader singer of Fine Young Cannibals Roland Gift had two mega-selling albums, but more than a decade passed before this, his one and only, solo record appeared. It’s a great collection of tunes of Gift’s voice is as unique and beautiful. What is misses though is the interesting sounds created by the two other Cannibals – Cox and Steele – without that element it all comes across a little middle of the road.

Kim Appleby – Self Titled

EMI, 1990

Sisters Mel and Kim were huge with their Stock Aitken Waterman produced hits like ‘Showing Out’ and ‘Respectable’ – but tragically Mel Appleby developed cancer and died cutting their career short. After a few years later Mel was back with a solo record. Most of the tracks are co-written with her then boyfriend Craig Logan, who had dropped out of Bros and her late sister. This was a big hit in the UK but had less success in Australia. It’s a pity because the singles ‘Don’t Worry’ is a fantastic pop song. The follow up ‘G.L.A.D.’ was good too, but showed Kim had a propensity for abbreviation songs. Having previously recorded ‘F.L.M.’ – Fun, Love and Money, singing a song about ‘Good Loving and Devotion’ seemed lazy. The ballad ‘Mama’ is lovely.

A Flock of Seagulls – Self Titled

Festival, 1982

This British 80’s new wave band is remembered more for their hair than their music, which is unfortunate. New wave was as much about the hair as it was about the music but for a Flock of Seagulls the scales seemed to tip too much to the hair side, probably because band founder Michael Score was previously a hairdresser.

This debut album, which is a concept album about an alien invasion, gave the band one massive hit with ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’. The track was later covered by Perth band Jebediah. It’s a classic of the new wave genre. They also picked up a Grammy award for the instrumental track ‘D.N.A.’ This album is really cool, a great example of the new wave sound.





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