Friday, April 18, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 27)

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

27. The Flatmates - "I Could Be in Heaven"

Other Contenders: The Flatmates had five stellar singles between 1986 and 1988, and each of them made the indie chart. My personal battle was between their biggest hit, the more mature pop of "Shimmer," and this two-minute eye-opening debut.

Chart Entry: Nov. 1, 1986

Peak Position: No. 18

Comment: As you have surmised by now, I had a thing for girl and boy-girl groups, and the Flatmates were one of my favorites. I'm sure part of the attraction was lead singer Debbie Haynes and bassist Sarah Fletcher. For the most part, the songs seemed loud, fast and, well, kind of dirty, somehow. Just what this wimpy teen without a clue wanted to hear in his bedroom at the time. I heard girl groups of yesteryear in there, like the Shangri-Las and Ronettes, but with a dash of the Ramones thrown in for fellas like me. As for this particular song, it's the exchange of screams that always gave me goosebumps. Here's another in a long line of bands that imploded on stage just before they would have probably made it to the majors. With groups like the Primitives just about to hit the other singles chart, there is no reason to think there wouldn't have been room for the Flatmates as well.

Buy "I Could Be in Heaven" on 'Potpourri {Hits, Mixes and Demos '85-'89}.'


george said...

just caught up on the last 3 tracks. And I have them all! A fine choice of indie-pop from that decade. I'm not sure they have aged well, but it's nice to hear them again.

Brian said...

George, Your point about aging well is an interesting one. I'm going to wait to address that point in a more general sense the day after this list is finished. I have learned a few things along the way worth noting in a postmortem. Very cool that you have these last three. For some reason I was thinking you weren't much for the Primitives. Another jangly one coming up next, but not too many of those left on the list.

Brett Alan said...

My only complaint about the last three songs is that they're such good choices, I already have them! Always loved this single. Recently found out that The Flatmates are doing their firat EVER US gigs soon--I'm thinking I'll go see them in New York at the end of May. Anyone seen them? Worth going?

Brian said...

Brett Alan,
Good day, sir. Not sure about the current lineup. I have read that Lisa Westerlund was lead vocalist last year. Is that still the case? Still, for those of us in America, this is pretty interesting news. The Popfest folks are great about bringing in a band or two each year for us old timers. Last year it was the Monochrome Set, Wolfhounds and Close Lobsters! Not quite as interesting to me this year, but I imagine I would check out the Flatmates if I was around New York. Hopefully someone out there has more news.

Dirk said...

Another great choice: I would prefer 'Heaven' to 'Shimmer' as well, although there isn't pretty much of a difference qualitywise ..