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


  1. Another new one to me. I like the first track, nice guitar tones...

    #118 - Shack - HMS Fable

    PS: Just read in Mojo that new Love & Money album released. Feedback?


  2. Hi Tim

    Shack is coming soon but different lp although again if it was singles - comedy would be up there

    Not sure the Love and Money lp is quite out yet think it may be next week here - I've heard a coupl eof preview tracks and it is great (apparently some of the songs are recorded versions from an abandoned lp that eventually became dogs in traffic , plus some new songs)

    The first track isnt really representative of the whole lp which has a rockeir sound - great guitar playing is a consistent - it is worth trying to trackdown one of their early singles with the previous singers Good Technology a lost indie classic

  3. Red Guitars are a band I've heard of but this is the first time I've heard them and I like their sound especially 'National Avenue'. that sounds rather like Friends Again.
    Tim - I struggled when choosing a Shack album, but in the end chose a different one.
    Devils Debt was released on Monday but they've had problems with distribution ,I think.Lots of complaints that the album was nowhere to be seen on release date ( although 'Jumbo' in Leeds had it stocked ).It's available on i-tunes though. I heard 4 tracks from it and it sounds really good.
    Her's an upbeat track from my #118 album 'My Friend The Chocolate Cake' - 'Good Luck'
    Tel Aviv

  4. Hi Phil

    interesting to see if we've both gone for the same shack lp
    Just got a compilation of David Bridies pre MFTCC band "not drowning , waving" you can see how the sound evolved into MFTCC


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