Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thirty-Two Years Before Teen Canteen...

Several of my favorite bloggers have fallen under the spell of Teen Canteen, a new band out of Glasgow. I, too, haven't been immune to their charms. I have especially enjoyed my peers conjuring up comparisons to Altered Images, a popular Scottish band from my youth. A peek at my records illustrates I was (and still am) a pretty big fan. I have the three albums and seven of Altered Images' 11 singles. Not bad, but certainly not on the level of JC from The (New) Vinyl Villain. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of spending the day with him. We talked a lot about Scottish music. Eventually, long after soliloquies about Roddy and Edwyn, the discussion came around to Clare Grogan and the lads. Now, we didn't know each other well. I have a feeling we were both worried any enthusiastic displays for light-weight hit-making pop could be followed by a long awkward silence. Thankfully, JC went first. "You know, I have every one of their singles," JC said sheepishly. It was one of my favorite moments of the day.

If you're a fan, then you probably already have the LPs 'Happy Birthday,' 'Pinky Blue' and 'Bite.' Today's offerings are off the board a bit... although I do recall all of these albums being reissued with bonus tracks about 10 years ago. So, perhaps these songs are easy to find these days. "Surprise Me" is a B-side from the "Bring Me Closer" 7" and extended 12" single. "Bring Me Closer" was the second single of the 'Bite' era, and it was clear from the album and single art that the band was going for a glossier and more mature look and sound. We could argue about whether they pulled it off, but "Surprise Me" hearkened back to an earlier era for the band, and it's one of my favorites of the B-sides. Perhaps it was a 'Pinky Blue' leftover. "Little Town Flirt" is a cover made famous by Del Shannon in 1962. Altered Images' version comes from the soundtrack to the 1983 movie 'Party Party.' Much like 'That Summer,' my favorite soundtrack of all time, I have had this soundtrack for more than 30 years. Oddly, I have never seen either one of the films.

Time to go order that Teen Canteen single.

Surprise Me
Little Town Flirt


Charity Chic said...

Good stuff Brian.always good to hear a bit of Claire who is a lovely person. Like you That Summer is my favourite soundtrack and like you I've never seen the film

The Swede said...

I'd agree, 'Surprise Me' sounds like a 'Pinky Blue' leftover. If so, it's a shame that it didn't make the cut. I'm pretty sure that I hadn't heard 'Little town Flirt' before today, so that was an unexpected surprise. 'Bite' vies with 'Pinky Blue' as my favourite Altered Image LP, such a shame it all fell apart so quickly after that.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what 2015 holds in store for Teen Canteen.

JC said...

Cheers Brian.

I actually own all the singles in 7" form most of them in 12" form and a couple of picture discs as well. And all the albums on vinyl....



Brian said...

Gregory got the correct girl in the end, that's for sure. If you share my affinity for the That Summer soundtrack, I have a whole new respect for you. It's one of my earliest records, and that one piece of vinyl certainly turned my musical tastes in a more proper direction.

I know Little Town Flirt is no great shakes, but it's a smile for me if you got to hear something from Altered Images that was new to your ears. It made all of the tech issues I dealt with converting it to mp3 completely worth it. I had one of those days putting this post together.

Great to hear from you, pal. Seems I sold you short on your collection. I got Happy New Year from your old place... so I assume you have the flexi on your shelf somewhere too. Lucky! All seven of my singles are 12 inchers. Always been a sucker for the format. And, of course I have the three albums on vinyl.
Just wanted to add you are on quite a roll so far this year... what with the Zoo posts, Billy and the like. Really looking good. Take care.

Scott said...

There is a definite lineage from Altered Images through to Teen Canteen. Like yourself Brian I grew up with Altered Images, although I don't quite have the amount of singles and albums as yourself or JC. Pinky Blue has always been the one for me. Glad you have fallen under the spell of Teen Canteen, like the rest of us.