Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

The return of the '80s...

Break out the hairspray again... this seems to have been the year of 80's comebacks...
and you know what?! I'm sick of it... Sure, the B52's and Berlin and all of them were great bands at the time, but let me remember them for the days when they were still artistically creative and vital... not that I might not go to see them all anyway, but still... hmph.

Fortunately, there has been some excellent new material from a couple of the old artistes, though most of them have been largely overlooked and underpromoted. One 80's band that has successfully come back from the grave is XTC. They had label problems that prevented them from releasing an album for nearly a decade, but if you tuned out on them, I suggest you give Apple Venus Volume 1 a listen... it really grows on you and is probably my favorite XTC album to date. Sound clips are available at A bit of all right and a great album to make early morning commutes tolerable...!

I had a drink with Andy Partridge from XTC at a party once. Charming, well dressed gentleman with a great, dry wit and a talent for lampooning clueless record execs and commercial radio DJs. Less shy and more talkative than you would think amongst good company... He was very glad to meet people actually seemed to know and appreciate what he did! Ah, my college radio days... Good times, they were...

Another comeback that I am very happy about is still in early stages... Anyone else out there remember The Chameleons?! What about "Swamp Thing" or "Tears"? No? Ok.. go to the cdnow and take a listen... the song names may not be familiar, but I bet the songs are for many of you. This is a Manchestrian band of substance, this is... They broke up before they became the next big arena band... and before their artistic integrity could be compromised.

Well, after a death of a common friend, the bandmembers had a few pints, talked a bit, and decided to reform. They designed themselves a nice little website, released an indie album of accoustic versions of some of their earlier material (including one new song) and are now playing gigs and recording a new album!

If you are in Europe, expect to see them at some of the many Summer festivals... and for those in the U.S., they're promising the first of several U.S. gigs sometime before the year is over, so keep an eye out... They have already turned down one of those commercial "revenge of the '80s" concerts (the ones where old synthpop bands go to die), choosing instead to develop new material and succeed (or fail) on their own merits. IMHO, this is how a band should make a comeback... they should forget about the quick buck and do the work!

Perhaps in another five or ten years, The Chameleons will call it a day again... they'll release a critically successful album, make a final tour to say goodbye to all of their fans, and retire in semi-comfort, meeting at the local pub every now and then to talk about the old times... at least they won't be playing with the B-52s and Eddie Money at the grand opening of the mini-mall.

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