Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Desert Island Discs -118 Tales of the Expected by The Red Guitars
118 Tales of the Expected by The Red Guitars 1986
The Red Guitars had released a great set of singles and debut lp that combined African Rhythms within a rock/pop format long before Paul Simon had been to Graceland. I'm guessing that most people who like the Red Guitars would say that the first lp is by far the best, however I've got a soft spot for the follow up Tales of the Expected.
Internal tensions had led to a change in lead singer who brought with him an American obsession in the lyrics and in a number of the songs a much more straight forward rock approach
Jackie Onassis cry me a river
I'll sing you every kind of blue
When the storm breaks
We can take a car ride
Down to some californian beach
We can swim out of reach
Over time though subtle changes in direction and tempo start to emerge and the whole lp has one of my favourite guitar sounds
With a strange sense of contrariness the first single is a gorgeous track .. but not really a single, no chorus a fade in that takes an eternity and a meandering instrumental fade out with a final mumbled lyric.
The guitar playing is exquisite and the lyrics have a great conversational style and if this was top 125 singles this would be up there
National Avenue (Sunday Afternoon) - the Red Guitars
This was followed up with an even slower song got to number one in the indie charts (remember when they meant something?) . It either runs out of ideas at the end or builds to great crescendo depending on your view.
Be With Me - The Red Guitars
The rest of the lp is more up tempo, but i think the american references and more mainstream approach put off a lot of the band's fans and so the lp didn't really sell as much as the company hoped. A couple more non lp singles followed (both also excellent) before the band broke up.
I'm not sure I'll convert anyone who doesn't already like the lp but it is one i keep coming back to again and again