Dr. Who & The Daleks, the 1965 film with Peter Cushing as the Doctor, was on TV here the other week. It was the first time my kids had seen Daleks so I hyped up them up beforehand with tales of how much they scared me when I was young.
Now, my kids love Ray Harryhausen films so they’re not some jaded modern youths only impressed by state-of-the-art CGI, but sadly the Daleks didn’t frighten them in the slightest. Admittedly it isn’t a very good film, and it probably didn’t help that in it these supposedly terrifying machines were incapable of moving on a carpet. But still, at no point did either of the kids hide behind the couch which was very disappointing.
But the kid in me always gets a kick out of seeing the Daleks in widescreen colour instead of the grainy, black and white TV figures of my youth. The adult in me didn’t mind the lovely Jennie Linden either, that’s the young lady the Dalek is getting fresh with in the picture above. Careful where you’re pointing that plunger.
Dalek I Love You was a post-punk synthpop group from Liverpool who weren’t all that successful and it’s members more famous for other bands they were in. Formed by Alan Gill and David Balfe who later joined The Teardrop Explodes (where Gill co-wrote “Reward”), the lineup at one point also included Andy McCluskey before he formed Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. This was a single from their 1980 album Compass Kumpas by which time they’d shortened their name to Dalek I. Didn’t make any difference to their record sales though.
Here’s one last great flipside for the time being. This ethereal beauty was the b-side of “Mr. X”, the second single from Pauline Murray’s 1980 album with The Invisible Girls which you should all know by now I think is one of the all-time great post-punk records. God knows I’ve gone on about it enough times.
This was a non-album track not included in the first CD reissue of the album so I’ve had a few requests to post it again since I first did years ago. It’s now on the latest version along with a bag-load of other new extras so it’s not so rare anymore, but you can’t beat the crackle of the original vinyl.
“The Staircase (Mystery)” was The Banshees’ 1979 follow-up to their classic debut single “Hong Kong Garden” and I’ve never thought it was anywhere near as good as that. I kept the single all these years because of the flipside though, Siouxsie showing her Glam love with a cover of the T.Rex track which is a lot of glitter-stomping fun.
This is another b-side that was unavailable anywhere for years until the 2004 release of the Downside Up collection of Banshees’ b-sides. That seems to be out of print now so this has gone back to being rare again.
Had another stroll down 45 memory lane the other day and pulled this plum out of the singles box. You probably all know the a-side “Plain Sailing” from her 1982 student-bedsit classic album A Distant Shore, but it was the other side I loved more. “Goodbye Joe” is a cover of a Monochrome Set song and is a beautiful little gem of a track. Those were the days when you were more likely than not to find such hidden treasure on the other side of a single. We got our money’s worth back then.
I have posted this track before but I think it was long enough ago — eight years! — to warrant doing it again. Another reason is it’s only available on a rather expensive Cherry Red boxset which is a shame. Such beauty shouldn’t be so rare.
This 1980 single is the only Psychedelic Furs record I ever bought. They were a good band, but in a crowded field of a million Bowie/Roxy-influenced post-punk acts I didn’t think there wasn’t anything that special to make me spend my Saturday job wages on them. But I obviously did like this enough.
“Mr. Jones” is from their second album Talk Talk Talk but this single version was given a bolder, brighter production which I prefer to the rawer album original. It’s less punky and shorter, but the beat has more punch to it. It didn’t make a dent in the charts so it’s one of the many “Am I the only one who bought this?” records I have.
The Pretenders were my favourite band in 1979 when this was filmed, even more than The Jam I think. I have a photo of me in my bedroom circa that year and there are three posters of them on the wall, and readers of this blog will know all about the massive crush I had on Chrissie Hynde, even writing letters to Smash Hits in her defense.
I was lucky enough to see the original line-up live in 1980 (with UB40 and Tenpole Tudor supporting) and I will carry the sight of Chrissie swaggering around stage in leather trousers until my dying day. The rest of the band were pretty good too as you can tell from this performance. Decided to post the entire show as it’s all great.