heard on the wire

How does it feel?

Normally, 1983’s song-from-each-year-of-my-life would be a shoo in for the record of the decade, Blue Monday. But New Order’s 12-inch mould breaker has already featured hereabouts the deck is cleared for another slice of perfectly formed black plastic.

And what a choice there is: Red Guitars’ ode to Good Technology; Billy Bragg’s An New England, without the awful extra verse that he later added; the first recordings by The Smiths; Temple of Love, the Sisters of Mercy single that defined “goth”; and virtually a whole LP by New Order.

Hell, just take a look at John Peels’s Festive Fifty; brilliant record after brilliant record (save some U2 nonsense and a rather lacklustre Cure single). I’m not sure there was ever a better year.

At number 31, The Chameleons, might be overlooked. As Wikipedia puts it, “The Chameleons never attained the level of commercial success or fame enjoyed by their contemporaries” such as the aforementioned Cure or Echo and the Bunnymen. Which is sad, since their debut LP, Script of the Bridge, bears comparison with any other work of the time, despite the awful cover.

The Chameleons :: Second Skin
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