Sunday, 4 November 2012

Desert Island Discs 102 - Pacific Street by the Pale Fountains

102 - Pacific Street by the Pale Fountains 1984

If I'm being honest depending on what day of the week it is it could have been this or their second lp the slightly harder From Across the Kitchen Table. Both lp are out of time. Pacific Street especially pulls on Love , Burt Bacharach, Scott Walker etc as inspiration.  They stuck out like a sore thumb in 1984/5 but if they'd been around in the days of Brit pop they would have been massive. Then again with the Head brother's luck it still probably wouldn't have happened (if fact it didn't as they were around with Shack .. more of whom later on in the 125)

Pacific Street wears its heart on its sleeve , strings fight for attention with subtle brass and woodwind and brass (I mean there is a flute in there that thankfully is as far form Jethro Tull as you could get). There are elements of jazz and slight blues , all mixed in with pure Beatles pop.

The whole thing bursts with the romanticism and innocence of youth

Don't Let Your Love Start a War - The Pale Fountains

The cd version I have is a bit of a cheat as it has some extra track son including their own almost breakthrough single the best song Burt Bacharach never wrote , Thankyou

Here they are on the Old Grey Whistle Test which highlights the problem , the sound doesn't translate that well  live ,although stick around for the wonderful 2nd track Palm of My Hand (one of the extra tracks on my version of the lp) also the record company seem to have got them into some sub Haircut 100 image

You can buy Pacific Street here its full of fantastic 3 min pop songwriting


  1. I can't separate these two albums! They were wonderful island of escape at a time when Post Punk and the New Wave was being crushed by the weight of a new round of record company sponsored mediocrity and the over ambitions of bands which were tired of the struggle and changing their sound to reach for the brass ring.
    The fact that the Head Brothers have consistently had rotten luck while producing stellar music is the stuff of music legend...

  2. Ditto Echo...

    #102 - MONTROSE - Paper Money (1974)

    Umm, You'll likely want to skip this one... Or enter the time-capsule, and indulge in my teenage heavy-metal past! Ronnie Montrose actually cut his teeth playing guitar on Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks", then with the Edgar Winter Group before forming Montrose with unknown Sammy Hagar. Arguably, the first American band to tussle with Brit headbanger royalty, their eponymous first album consists of 9 perfect classic hard-rock tracks. But my favorite is the follow-up LP, more mature and varied and featuring some of the most explosive but tasteful guitar solos you'll ever hear. Adjust volume to 11!

    I Got The Fire:
    We're Going Home:

  3. This ones already packed, ready to take to the island with me. Michael Head a real rock and roll legend!
    #102 Cosmic Rough Riders - Enjoy the melodic sunshine.
    More sunshine pop from Glasgow

  4. I'd forgotten how giddily euphoric 'Thank You' was; the Billy McKenzie influence seems startling in retrospect (or were they before? It's all becoming a blur...)
    Montrose a little too AC/DC for Sunday morning TT; maybe tomorrow...
    Like the CRRs Phil; really liked David Wylie's 'The High Cost of Happiness'...

  5. Hi all

    couple of points of diversion at last - Tim I'd have to agree with Trev although I'm less certain things will have changed on monday!
    Phil I bought the CRR debut lp and it was just a tad too referentially retro for me

    This is a good thing as this exercise is already costing me a lot of money as most days i seem to end up ordering one of the lps mentioned in the comments!!

  6. Agree that Wylie's lyrics can be a bit too mainstream, easy rhyming west coast; I guess it matches the music...
    My 102 btw is William Fitszimmon's 'The Sparrow and the Crow';

  7. I remember hearing and buying 'Thank You', in quick succession. It still gets pulled out for a play every now and again when I retreat to my boxes of seven inch singles. I never bought anything else though, except perhaps one more single.
    When initially looking at the comments I thought there was a reference to Pete Wylie, as listening to Thank You brought The Mighty Wah! to mind.

  8. The Mighty Wah!
    Big, bold, overblown, majestic; and that's just Pete Wylie's estimation of himself.
    'Story of the Blues' kind of proves all of the above...
    I brought his Songs of Strength and Heartbreak which I remember liking; must try and dig it out.
    Thanks for reminding Seamus.
    Thanks for joining the inner circle too; we have a special handshake you know...

  9. Hi Seamus

    Story of the blues / Come Back / Sinful fantastic singles one and all


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