Thursday, November 8, 2018

Dusted Off and Visible Again

I found myself in one of those YouTube rabbit holes the other night, and a wonderful and relatively recent clip of Pauline Murray performing "Dream Sequence" unplugged popped up. That immediately took me to the shelves to pull out 'Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls.'

This came out a couple of years before my time, but I understand it was a hit in the UK, reaching No. 25 on the album chart in 1980. I, however, was an ocean away, and I bought it later in the decade without ever hearing a note or even knowing the name Pauline Murray. Her previous group, the punk band Penetration, had not been on my radar either. What attracted me to it was the cover. Remember when we used to see an album in the bins and take a risk like that? I miss that mystery, but at the vinyl prices these days, I'm not going to complain too much about Soundcloud and the like. Uh-oh, here comes a tangent. Focus, Brian, focus.

There was a Factory look to the image and, sure enough, the cover was credited to two giants, photographer/designer Trevor Key and graphic designer Peter Saville. It didn't hurt to see Martin Hannet's name on there as producer and band member too. As you can see, Vini Reilly was part of the Invisible Girls as well, but I had not discovered the charms of the Durutti Column just yet.

All these years later, I enjoyed listening to the album this week more than I thought I would, but "Dream Sequence" remains a level above the rest. I don't know if I completely buy into this description from Melody Maker, but I do wish I had said it. They called it "an exciting new area of electronic pop where Motown meets the modern world." Rolls off the tongue.

Dream Sequence


Echorich said...

I love that album. It fit so well into the sound that I was obsessed with in 1980. I would play it alongside Kilimanjaro and Crocodiles and Jeopardy and The Correct Use Of Soap.

C said...

You're so right about those days when you could just see a cover and take a chance on it - very much part of the fun! Sometimes disappointing but what a joy when it wasn't. I liked Dream Sequence but didn't get so much into the Invisible Girls as I had been into Penetration. Was lucky enough to see Penetration at one of their very last gigs - Pauline on form - missed the last train home and had to sit in a cold station waiting room 'til the early hours!

Brian said...

Thought you might have time for this one, Echorich. There are some real keepers on this one... Mr. X and Screaming in the Darkness, in particular. Apparently, the great Les Disques Du Crépuscule reissued the album a few years ago as a two-disc set with lots of extras. Missed that completely.

Brian said...

C, I wondered if that have been one of your bands from the early days. I have to admit that's a punk band I missed completely. Robert Blamire has been the one constant from those years and this band and beyond. I think they ended up a couple.

The Swede said...

I lost count of the records I picked up over the years, based on the cover alone - those were the days!
'Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls' has somehow managed to avoid the many financially driven record collection purges I've undertaken throughout my life. It's a lovely LP. I met Pauline once, in the foyer of a Patti Smith gig at The Rainbow in 1978.

Brian said...

Swede, That story is cool on so many levels.