Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Life of Live - Black

Black was the recording name for Colin Vearncombe, they'd had an indie hit with Hey Presto but a couple of slow sad songs , "the Sweetest Smile" and "Wonderful Life" had given him the breakthough.

The new lp Comedy was set to cement his position in the upper reaches of the chart, however, first single "The Big one" disappointed and the lp never really recovered. This was a real shame as the sound was a lot richer and varied, although I can imagine the record company saying .."yes but we want another Wonderful Life"

I remember going to see Black live and not really sure what to expect. It seems that free of the restraints of the record he could let flow the different styles and influences, so everything had a bit more energy power and expression. One song a good tune on the lp is suddenly live built around a mad bit of flamenco guitar. The other thing I remember is just how powerful his voice was and again a much wider range than came across on the lps.

The song I've posted is not his best by a long chalk but it was one of the ones that live blew everyone away

Colin Vearncombe is still recording and like others such as Lloyd Cole has embraced the web and operates outside the usual record company arena. He knows who his fans are and what they want. There is a wealth of info on his website here which is worth checking out and where you can also buy his backlist


  1. Colin Vearncombe/Black holds a high place in pop for me. He has a lyrical strength that is hard to match. His more recent bluesy and acoustic work is as powerful as any of the more big, orchestrated work from the end of the 80's. He also has a voice that is hard to match.

  2. Hi Echo

    have you heard the smoke up close lp 30 songs recorded in one take - it is very patchy but has some diamonds in the dirt and his best evers song "The Sunshine" - I'll post it if you haven't heard it

  3. YES!! I have it and I agree there are some amazing songs on there. Sunshine is among the best! It reminds me, not aurally, but in theory, of Bill Nelson's Demonstrations of Affection from the 1990's - 4 cd's of one takes and song ideas.


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