Monday, June 13, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 10)

As expected, not much love for China Crisis this past weekend, but the following three songs were mentioned in the comments section, and they just happen to be the ones I had planned to post if there was to be a part two to the China Crisis story. So, why not? Speaking of comments, Echorich went into quite a bit of detail about the band last time, and I can't do a better job of encapsulating China Crisis' entire career. I'll refer you there for his heartfelt description. As always, thank you, Echorich. I mentioned last time China Crisis went through quite a metamorphosis with third album 'Flaunt the Imperfection'. The fellas were enamored with producer Walter Becker of Steely Dan fame. His influence was so strong Becker was named as a member of the band on the album credits, and there's no denying the long player bears a resemblance to Becker's more popular band. This may have alienated a handful of seasoned fans, but 'Flaunt the Imperfection' attracted many more into the fold. In 1985, the album peaked at No. 9 on the UK chart. This may seem like a minor feat, but it also charted here in America (a first!), peaking on the Billboard 200 at No. 171. I can even remember hearing single "King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up)" on the radio once or twice.

China Crisis would turn to Becker once more for 1989 album 'Diary of a Hollow Horse,' but preceding that was 'What Price Paradise.' The 1986 album was produced by the hit-making team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley. Once again, I think you can feel the influence of those behind the glass. Echorich described it as a "sparkling gem of sophisticated pop craft," and I couldn't agree more. This would prove to be the band's high point on this side of the Atlantic (No. 114), just as their popularity was beginning to wane at home. The lush "Arizona Sky" found regular airings on MTV, and it has always been my favorite song from the era we are listening to today. As with the previous post, the numbers alone reflect highs on the UK singles chart.

"Black Man Ray" (No. 14, 1985)
"King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up)" (No. 19, 1985)
"Arizona Sky" (No. 47, 1986)

6 comments:

George said...

Would it be really insulting to say that the first two tracks remind me of Howard Jones and Nik Kershaw?

Echorich said...

Ouch George! Ouch!!!

I used to listen to a cassette on the way to Uni in Manhattan that had Working With Fire And Steel on one side and Flaunt The Imperfection on the other. For me, and likely few others, those two albums are a big part of my late college years. I remember having a computer class (it was 1985) and the professor would have us bring in music to play on his stereo while we were teaching outselves DBase II or Word Perfect (remember, 1985). I was asked a number of times to play my China Crisis cassette and ended up copying it for at least 5 of my classmates. I was a music business major in college and I was able to use this exposure in a paper I wrote on music promotion that same semester. Thanks China Crisis - straight A's in Computers and Music Business thanks to you...

charity chic said...

Keep 'em coming Brian if only to annoy George
I am the proud owner of The China Crisis Collection compilation

The Swede said...

As I mentioned last time, this is the period of China Crisis with which I'm most familiar. 'Catholic Style' still sounds jaunty and I was looking forward to catching up with 'Black Man Ray', but you've posted 'Arizona Sky' twice!

Brian said...

Fixed. Thanks for letting me know, Swede. Never pays to hurry.

Brian said...

George, I'm beginning to think you might not like China Crisis. Oh well, I'm sure you'll be converted by part three.

Kidding. No part three.