Monday, January 26, 2015

Curtain Call: The Colour Field

Here's some more mid-'80s music from the stage to follow up that live beauty from the Housemartins the other day. Terry Hall would most certainly make my all-time top 10 favorite musicians. From the Specials to the Fun Boy Three to the Colour Field, he's really never had a stumble. Even Vegas and his solo albums deserve more than a passing mention. Today we're going to hear a couple taken from the North American self-titled six-song mini LP, released in 1986. These little samplers were quite popular on this side of the pond in the '80s. For example, I believe many American fans of the Jam will remember a 1981 five-song self-titled EP that featured "Absolute Beginners," but I digress. For those fans of the Colour Field in the UK, you might have the following live songs on the flip side of your "Things Could Be Beautiful" 12" from 1985.

Unfortunately, the date of the show, recorded at the Hammersmith Palais, has been omitted from the cover (I hate that!), but I believe this was recorded by Capital Radio on June 24, 1985. If that's the case, this night was a memorable one, as this was when opening act the Loft imploded and called it quits right there on stage in front of 3,000 witnesses. If you're interested, I had a post about that a couple of years ago. If I'm incorrect about the date of this recording -- it's certainly possible the Colour Field played there another time that year -- please let me know.

Anyway, let's get to the music. The studio versions of these songs are from the lovely 'Virgins and Philistines' era. "Pushing Up the Daisies" was the B-side to the "Take" single, and "Yours Sincerely" is a deep cut from the album. They illustrate the two sides of the band, really. One is quite raucous, while the other is "beautiful," as Hall describes it in his on-stage introduction.

Pushing Up the Daisies (Live)
Yours Sincerely (Live)

8 comments:

Echorich said...

Top stuff! And yes, Terry Hall is among my favorites as well. I think his first solo album is one of the most underrated of the 90's. The First Attack Of Love from that album is a great favorite of mine.
As for that Jam EP...it was a great way to show the range of the band when it was released. I think though that it was meant to be a Canada only release but Polydor/Polygram gave it a full North American release by accident.

Scott said...

Terry Hall can do no wrong in my eyes. From The Specials through The Colourfield and all his other incarnations he has barely put a foot wrong. As a 10 year old in '79 the first album I bought with my own money was The Specials and he has remained a favourite ever since...

Brian said...

Echorich,
I wondered if I would hear from you. Did you have to weigh your love for Terry Hall against your displeasure for live tracks/albums? The First Attack of Love is wonderful. I wonder how many have heard it?

I had read that about the Jam EP. The powers that be were smart not to stand in the way of America receiving that one. I have a feeling that was a first listen for many over here.

Scott,
First off, I believe we are exactly the same age. As for your first album bought with your own money, not many can claim a better one than that first Specials album. I listened to a lot of music at that age, but it was all of my mother's '60s albums on the family stereo. For the record, my first two purchases with my own money (I had a paper route) were at the same time... Ramones and Rocket to Russia. I had just seen Rock n Roll High School on cable and got hooked.

george said...

Brian, a slightly older man writes: just read The Loft post, now that was a spectacular way to end a band. And after only making two singles? Is that right? Like the first Colourfield song you posted.

Brian said...

Hi George. The Loft had two singles for Creation: Why Does the Rain? in '84 and Up the Hill and Down the Slope in '85. Both were indie hits and big favorites of mine. Up the Hill had four songs on it. There was a song on a 1984 Creation sampler and three others that didn't get a proper release until many years later on a band compilation. I think that's everything. Of course, we have heard much from Pete Astor since those days. So pleased you like that one from the Colour Field. I have listened to almost nothing but Terry Hall for three days now.

The Swede said...

Great stuff. The second Fun Boy Three LP is a particular favourite of mine, but I agree with Scott, Mr Hall can do little wrong.
(As an even older correspondent I can reveal that the first LP I bought with my own money was 'The Slider' by T.Rex, quite soon after its release.)

Brian said...

Swede, Loving this subject. Very fine first from you too. I have listened to both FB3 albums this week. Wonderful.

Scott said...

Brian, Ramones and Rocket To Russia are on a par with The Specials as first purchases. I still recall going into my local Woolworths and buying The Specials (on cassette) and the sheer excitement of getting it back up the road and playing it. Don't remember much about being 10, but still remember that as though it was yesterday.