Friday, April 25, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 23)

I'm counting down my top 50 singles from the golden age of the UK Independent Charts.

23. The Teardrop Explodes - "Treason (It's Just a Story)"

Other Contenders: This was the band's only indie charting single.

Chart Entry: March 15, 1980

Peak Position: No. 3

Comment: "Treason" was the result of a few minutes in the band's infancy on the legendary Liverpudlian label Zoo Records. It was produced by the clever duo of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. This song and the flip side, "Books," as well as a couple of other Zoo-era songs, would appear on on the band's debut album, 'Kilimanjaro,' later that year. The Langer/Winstanley version was actually used on the album, but it was said to be remixed by Hugh Jones. Frankly, I can't really tell the difference, but the song above is the Zoo take. The re-release reached No. 18 on the singles chart, making it the band's second-biggest hit behind the smash "Reward." That song would certainly show up somewhere on my all-time tracks list. I really dig both albums from the Teardrop Explodes, but I have always had trouble warming up to Julian Cope's solo work. I have a feeling this is my loss. "Treason" is the first Zoo single to appear on this countdown, but it won't be the last....

Buy "Treason (It's Just a Story)" on 'The Zoo Uncaged 1978-1982.'


george said...

Excellent choice. Not heard this in a while, and although you can date it, to me it hasn't aged like other songs can. The intro somehow reminded me of Echo and The Bunnymen's first album. Re. his solo work, I like and indeed own some of his albums, but some, like Peggy Suicide, I just don't like at all. He's very hit-and-miss.

Brian said...

Good call on Echo and the Bunnymen, George. I hear it too. They were Zoo labelmates in 1979, and Ian and Julian go back even further than that. They co-wrote "Books," and different versions of the song appeared on the flip sides of "Treason" and the Bunnymen's "The Pictures on My Wall" (and later on 'Crocodiles,' of course). If I had heard both of these bands during their Zoo years, I would have bet on the Teardrop Explodes. I'm just that good. Would you like me to choose some stocks for you?

Echorich said...

I came to Teardrop Explodes the same day as Echo And The Bunnymen. My local record store played both of their debut albums while I browsed one afternoon after classes and I walked out with both and on the next visit I think I bought WAH!'s debut as well. It was all over then and their. I was thoroughly under the spell of the New Psychedelia which Cope, McCulloch and Wylie were extracting from the Post Punk scene. I walked around with a cassette in my walkman for weeks with Crocodiles on the A side and Kilimanjaro on the B side. The other cassette always in my pocket was WAH! - Nah=Poo - The Art Of Bluff on the A side and the Zoo Records compilation From The Shores Of Lake Placid on the B side.

Brian said...

Man, what a day at the record store that was. How come I didn't know anyone like you when I was a kid? Life would have been much more interesting. Of course, if you lived where I grew up you would have never had a day like that at the local record store... believe me.