Friday, April 22, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter B, Part 21)

The letter B is getting a little long in the teeth. So, I'm going to skip ahead a bit for a quickie. This chap named Peter Bramall was in the power-pop band the Motors for a moment in '77 and part of '78 under the stage name Bram Tchaikovsky. Perhaps you know the song "Airport," a minor hit here in America and a rather major one on their home turf of the UK. Bram Tchaikovsky struck out on his own and released the album 'Strange Man, Changed Man' in 1979. I'm not going to push the album on you, but the one minor hit, "Girl of My Dreams," would just sneak into the Billboard Top 40 and become a power-pop staple on compilations for decades to come... and for good reason. It's perfection. There were two more studio albums after that, but each one was less successful. Bram Tchaikovsky called it a day in 1981.

One question I have always had... if the frontman goes by Bram Tchaikovsky, why isn't this album filed under the letter T? I have always put it in the B section, and that seems to be the correct move. According to my copy of 'The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits,' Bram Tchaikovsky is considered a band name too, and they have it in the Bs.

"Girl of My Dreams"


Echorich said...

The Motors were one of those bands that straddled the widening chasm between popular music and the New Wave at the end of the 70's. Airport was an important song in that bridge to the other side. After Bram left they still had something left in them with the powerful Tenement Steps and hit Love And Loneliness.
But Bram Tchaikovsky would step off that bridge as a "solo" artist and the hit Girl Of My Dreams, but it was always Strange Man, Changed Man and Stand And Delver that did it for me. Some of his solo work sits up there with Tom Robinson for me. It's emotional, solid, power pop.
I've never understood what made him choose to walk away from a music career in the early 80's. There were moments when I thought he was in the same league as Weller with songs such as Stand And Deliver.

Walter said...

I only can agree to Echorich's words. This first records from his solo career were still unique in the tradition of power pop and still worth to listen. It is correct to file this records under B because the bands name is a nickname.

charity chic said...

I can understand you filing in under B Brian I have Cat Power under C and King Creosote under K

kevinpat said...

Posit this: How many great songs from the late 70's and early 80's that have the word "girl" in it. Almost every band has a "girl" song and it's usually the best track. Yes, I guess it is what most men about that age are obsessed with so it's understandable. Because that's what I do, I made 8 cd playlists with "girl" songs.
(I know you are thinking.......) Right off the bat I can think of 4 Elvis Costello "girl" songs. And each one is a keeper. But that's Mr. C for ya. On the first playlist I made was of course "Girl of My Dream", sandwiched somewhere between "Another Girl, Another Planet" and I think "London Girl" by the Jam. And the Bram T song, as good as it is, sounds even better bookended by these two. A great track.

I'm sorry. I know I totally distracted you from whatever you were doing. Go "girl"!!

The Swede said...

Once again I find myself surprised to find that a band like Bram Tchaikovsky (or The Motors for that matter) made any impression in the States. I had no idea. What a fine tune too.

Brian said...

Just heard Stand and Deliver for the first time earlier today. Right on, Echorich!

Swede, I don't want to give the impression the Motors and Bram Tchaikovsky were big over here. I'm sure Echorich would describe himself as an outlier.

Kevinpat, EC does have a lot of girl songs. They keep popping into my head now too.

JC said...

See the thing is....when you're 16 years old you look at the name of a singer or band and dismiss it right away cos its so stupid and ridiculous. That what I did with Bram Tchaikovsky and haven't ever listened to anything.

Have dug out Girl Of My Dreams on youtube.

It's more than half-decent...the melodies are occasionally reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub.