Saturday, April 11, 2020

Buy the new Members album and get a necktie

The Members : Romance

In April of 1980, The Members, the band that gave us "The Sound of the Suburbs", released the Rupert Hine produced 1980-The Choice Is Yours. Early buyers got a necktie with The Members logo. And Joe Jackson plays some practically inaudible piano.

The album still sounds pretty fresh today. "Romance" is so catchy my 15 year old son was singing "Ro-ro-ro-ro-ro-ro-ro-romance" the second time I played it for him.  And he doesn't sing out loud ever.

Which is what makes the last line of David Hepworth's 7 1/2 out of 10 review for Smash Hits so confusing:

No great departures here; just standards maintained. Tough, nifty songs that treat serious subjects (employment and the opposite sex) in witty, sympathetic terms. Repeated plays reveal thought has gone into the songs, each one a soap opera with a sting in the tail. Their very lack of glamour is what makes them so strong. Sadly though, there's no hit single here.

Maybe Madness just did it better.

Jim Green says this for Trouser Press:

The material seems thin — a cover of ex-Pink Fairy Larry Wallis' "Police Car" is far and away the most memorable track — and any spark and grit the band might have mustered is sterilized by Rupert Hine's production.

1 comment:

  1. Something about ska bands. It's catchy for a bit, but they're all largely fungible.