Thursday, April 07, 2005

Extended Play on George 6 April

Kitty Grant-Glad to Know You-Canyon-1983 Style Council-Party Chambers-Polydor-1983 Salsoul Orchestra-Lovebreak-Salsoul-1983 Johnny Dynell-Jam Hot (Mark Kamins Rubber mix)-Atoll-1988 Kriss Coleman-Shine (Larry Heard Sunrise mix)-Alleviated -1992 Slave-Watching You-Cotillion-1980 James Brown-No Static (Full Force Def Mix0-Scotti Bros-1988 Earth People-Reach Up to Mars (Martian Mix)-Champion-1990 Kerri Chandler-Inspiration-Freetown-1994 Brian Wilson-My Prayer (Freeform Five mix)-Nonesuch-2005 4 Hero-Mr Kirk’s Nightmare-Reinforced-1990 Common-New Wave (Playgroup dub)-White-2004 Melba Moore-Its a Peach Melba-Moxie-2003 Out Hud-Its For You-!k7-2005 Jay Williams-Sweat-Big Beat-1990 Todd Terry-Weekend-Sleeping Bag-1988 Fast Eddie-Yo Yo Get Funky (Original)-Dj International-1988 Joey Beltram-Energy Flash-Transmat-1990 Happy Mondays -Step On (Oakenfold Stuff It In mix)-Factory-1990 Kym Mazelle-Useless-Syncopate-1988 Robert Owens-Visions (Morales / Knuckles Dreamy mix)-4th & Broadway-1990 Putsch 79-Cokiane Dub-Clone-2003 Aaron Carl-100%-Planet E-1998 Capricorn-20Hz-R&S-1992 Captain Sky-Super Sporm-Dynamic Sounds-1980 GU-Pulp Fiction-White-1996 LL Cool J-I’m Bad-Def Jam -1985 Mantronix -Ladies-Sleeping Bag-1986 Culture Club-Church of The Poison Mind-Virgin-1983

no EP for next four weeks.......

Monday, April 04, 2005

Credit Cards and a Maserati....

It must be a world record for CD re-issue gestation, problems with record companies, missing master tapes and a five way democracy all with the power of veto, but fifteen years after it was first mooted I finally have a CD reissue of the Toy Love album in my hand.

Yes…..I do have in my possession, courtesy of the outer reaches of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, the mighty “Cuts”, a double disc set comprising the original album and singles on disc one, all remastered to some degree, and a second disc of bits and pieces, some released (like the AK79 tracks) and some unreleased. It comes out on Anzac Day I’m told (does that have some significance…if so I can’t figure out what it is but how does one release on a public holiday?) and it deservedly is gonna be huge and travel around the world. The record company woes for Toy Love go back to the early days, and, as far as I can gather no actually knows who owns this stuff. I would imagine Warners own the first single but probably have no idea they do and after all the grief, its warming to see that this album is copyrighted to the band.

Toy Love were a fucking wonder, they really were. I remember the day the Enemy arrived in Auckland…we all thought they were a bunch of bloody hippies but they changed the face of the city and the sound of the nation. There was nothing quite like the Saturday afternoons at The Windsor over the spring and summer of 79-80..hundreds of punkish looking teens invading main street of the pristine upper middle class Parnell every week and causing mayhem (not least to my flat..Chris had an unfortunate habit of announcing a party at my place on stage...). Terry Hogan, the man who signed Toy Love to WEA, and myself were running the local record shop, which, in the Stalinistic days of Rob Muldoon, was the only record shop open in Auckland on a Saturday..we closed at 2pm too. In mid 79 we were, thanks to Terry, the first to get the “Rebel” / “Squeeze” single and, with Toy Love playing down the road, we sold a truckload (we did a similar trick with the other great local single of 79..”Saturday Night Stay at Home”). It was a time when most local bands simply didn’t release records (sure Hello Sailor and Th’Dudes had stuff out but Sailor were cool but of a previous era and Th’Dudes simply weren’t ever close to cool at all) and this record was a mind fuck and to this day I can’t listen to it without shivers... the second single was just about as good, but the first was, and is the one. Funnily enough if any record the band released sounds unlike them live though, it was this one.

Legend has it that the Toy Love album was a disappointment. Little bit of revisionism going on there….I disagree. I hated the sleeve..still do (I was never a fan of Toy Love’s graphics but that’s’ neither here nor there..good videos though in an era when crap videos were the rule) but what was inside it worked for pretty much everybody at the time. It sounded rough and unpolished and the production was a bit ropey but that was Toy Love live..they always sounded rough as guts but it was about the show…nothing could hope to faithfully capture Mike Dooley’s machine like pounding or Jane’s incredible cascades of sound on vinyl. Toy Love, as a unit were simply uunbelievable live..every single one of them..but working as cohesive chaos with an obvious expiry date built in. No band could perform like that and last. I like the remaster on the disc (no remix as the masters are AWOL) but I pulled out the original vinyl and I think despite it all I kinda like the 1980 issue more's warmer and sparkles a bit more. But the band doesn’t like it and that’s fine with me…

The demos on disc two give you an insight into that and I’ve got a few live tapes somewhere (including one recorded by Nigel Russell and little brother Harry “Ratbag” which has a killer take of Shocking Blue’s “Venus” and another of the rarely performed "Positively 4th St"into "Yummy Yummy Yummy"…Toy Love did quite a few covers) which bring a nostalgic tear to my eye..although the tapes are rough and I think you kinda had to be there to listen to them

The influence of these five, working as a band, is massive….Flying Nun later on of course…but the influence went way beyond that. I’d done a record with the Suburban Reptiles but it was Toy Love that inspired a whole lot of us to start labels and you can draw a line from Toy Love to the likes of The Meemees, Car Crash Set and Body Electric and the whole indie pop explosion of the eighties. They changed attitudes, the way we did things and approached our lives...they added humour, anarchy and a fuck you to the next two decades and NZ would've been a lessor place without them

soooo....wicked…a brand new Toy Love Cd to play loud….my daughter has already asked me to take it off