- 12 May 01
The first part of the year undoubtedly belonged to the Americans. Week after week the albums drifted through signalling a shift back to a more orientated form of music – no bad thing from my point of view as I’ve had it up to here with Fairlights and bloody drum machines.
The first part of the year undoubtedly belonged to the Americans. Week after week the albums drifted through signalling a shift back to a more orientated form of music – no bad thing from my point of view as I’ve had it up to here with Fairlights and bloody drum machines. That early part of ’85 brought excellent debut records from The Del-Fuegoes, The Beat Farmers and Guadalcanal Diary, as well as the welcome return of John fogerty with ‘Centrefield’ and R.E.M.’s finest hour in ‘Fables Of The Reconstruction’ (slag away to your hearts content Lynch!).
On the home front, 1985 provided more in the way of pointers to the future than definitive vinyl statements. The Blades finally got around to releasing their first album and ended the year by splitting-up (I’m tempted to comment, Bloody typical, Irish bands again!), but the fact that Paul Cleary is due to record a new album early in the near year with Donal Lunny at the controls does offer some cause for optimism, while my own banker for overseas success Light A Big Fire released a fine sampler in the mini-album ‘Gunpowders’. Other non-tax-less Irish acts who contributed to the year’s store of goodies included the enigmatic Golden Horde and the sublime Micro Disney, while 7” honours must go to That Petrol Emotion for ‘Keen’ and The Stars of Heaven for the best home-produced single in many years with ‘Clothes Of Pride’/’All About You’, if you didn’t buy this record then you should be ashamed of yourself.
I’m afraid I’ll have to suffer the accusations of wimp by naming Prefab Sprout’s ‘Steve McQueen’ as my album of the year. Great songs, no apologies. The surprise packet however, arrived in the shape of Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth’s ‘Robespiere’s Velvet Basement’– not the drunken meanderings which Sudden’s live gigs would have suggested but an incredibly warm, rich album featuring some of the best songs of the year.
Elsewhere, the Waterboys produced their most coherent record to date in ‘This Is The Sea’ while those lovable Scots lads The Jesus And Mary Chain proved the dictum that Rock’n’roll & feedback were made for each other. A howling success!
I can’t but fail to mention the most important addition to Dublin’s fine circuit in years – The Underground – an establishment which proves that wit, sympathy and basic common-sense are not beyond all venue owners: Jeff Brennan, take a bow, you deserve it!
1985! Phew! Thank God it’s over!