Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bigger than the Beatles - Microdisney


Today's bigger than the Beatles post is inspired okay lifted from a piece written by the vinyl villian here. Microdisney made wonderful pop music with a bite and an edge that doomed them from the start as far as top of the pops and hit singles were concerned (their debut lp was called we hate you south african bastards - hardly likely to get name checked on the Gary Davies show)

This was a real shame as they made the kind of easy listening polished pop music that the Beautiful South would build a career on a few years later.

I couldn't possibly summarise their short life span as well as jim does in the link above. He also posts Town to Town which was the single that got me into them. The lp it came from "A Crooked Mile" featured in most papers end of year best lps chart, however this didn't translate into sales or popularity (I saw them play leeds warehouse with about 20 other people in the same year)

The two main songwriters splintered into Fatima Mansions and the High Llamas, with both bands taking an element of Microdisney and taking it to a bigger extreme. Cathal Coughlan had no-one to balance the darkness and the bile while without the intense singer, Sean O,Hagan's High Llamas disappeared up an easy listening cul du sac.

They left some great songs with the trio of lps , The Clock Came Down the Stairs, The Crooked Mile and 39 Minutes of some of the best smart pop songs going.

I've posted 2 tracks (the 2 singles) from their final lp 39 Minutes.

Gale Force Wind - Microdisney

Singer's Hampstead Home - Microdisney

The second track is a dig at Boy George who shared a label with the band


Got a heart shaped swimming pool,
A broken heart in a swimming pool.

Big house and a running joke,
Big joke everybody can come and see.

Harp songs and happy ends,
You know they're dead but you still pretend.

Complain it hurts on the telephone,
Say goodbye, say you wont be home, not ever.

And the rein,
Of the vain,
Is a pain.

Singer's Hampstead home.
Waiting for the blows to fall.
They don't hurt at all.
Singer's Hampstead home.
Snoopers underneath the bed,
Born in Singers head.

He's coming home to his golden bath,
Drags his face all around the path.

He only had blank lines to say,
Although he said them in a witty and stylish way.

And the rein,
Of the vain,
Is a pain.

Singer's Hampstead home.
Waiting for the blows to fall.
They don't hurt at all.
Singer's Hampstead home.
Snoopers underneath the bed,
Born in Singers head.

Singer's Hampstead home,
Going down the gospel road,
With all the old frauds and bores,
Singer's Hampstead home,
They will never have their fill,
Of sliding down their sacred hill.

And the strain,
On the rein,
Such a shame.






It is difficult to get the 3 lps but you can buy a couple of compilations here



The first is more comprehensive with the second (Big Sleeping House) focusing more on the final 2 lps

2 comments:

  1. Saw and loved them at the Mean Fiddler (again).
    Slavishly brought CC's solo stuff but, as you, couldn't find the wit (see Tom Waits & Nick Cave) to balance the bile.
    High Lamas OK but preferred it direct from the Beach Boys...
    Trev

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi trev

    hope there was more in teh audience than when i went - we all felt a bit uncomfortable as despite being only about 20 of us cc still did his intense stage craft which felt all a bit odd

    ReplyDelete

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