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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie-Pop 1980-1989: Fnarf Is Going to Flip

Posted by on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM


Fans of '80s British Isles indie pop—thinking especially of Fnarf here—are going to go mad over a 5-CD/127-song box set Cherry Red Records is fixing to release in mid June titled Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie-Pop 1980-1989. The compilation is slated to cost around $80US.

The artists featured here skew heavily toward the twee, bedsit-friendly style that inhabited the UK indie charts for that decade. Some exceptions to that rule include the Shamen, Fire Engines, Jesus and Mary Chain, Wolfhounds, and the Telescopes. (The last of whom, by the way, will be playing the Comet April 15.) This is an absurdly thorough survey of a very narrow niche of music, but there's a lot of great stuff here... and some cutesy fluff that only the musicians' mothers—and Fnarf—could love. Check out the tracklist after the jump.

Tracklist: Scared To Get Happy: A Story of Indie-Pop 1980-1989

CD 1
1. The Wild Swans, “Revolutionary Spirit”
2. Girls At Our Best, “Getting Nowhere Fast”
3. The Pale Fountains, “(There’s Always) Something On My Mind”
4. Josef K, “The Missionary”
5. The Monochrome Set, “Jet Set Junta”
6. The Blue Orchids, “Dumb Magician”
7. The Marine Girls, “Don’t Come Back”
8. The Fire Engines, “Candy Skin”
9. Dolly Mixture, “Everything And More”
10. Scars, “All About You”
11. The Nightingales, “Paraffin Brain”
12. Farmers Boys, “I Think I Need Help”
13. Jane, “It’s A Fine Day”
14. Prefab Sprout, “Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone)”
15. Weekend, “Summerdays”
16. The Lines, “Nerve Pylon”
17. Fantastic Something, “If She Doesn’t Smile It’ll Rain”
18. The Higsons, “The Lost And The Lonely”
19. Everything But The Girl, “Feeling Dizzy”
20. Black, “Human Features”
21. Strawberry Switchblade, “Trees And Flowers”
22. The Daintees, “Roll On Summertime”
23. Nick Nicely, “49 Cigars”
24. Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike, “Norman And Narcissus”
25. The Cherry Boys, “Kardomah Café”
26. Aztec Camera, “Oblivious”

CD 2
1. Hurrah, “The Sun Shines Here”
2. The Pastels, “I Wonder Why”
3. Pulp, “Everybody’s Problem”
4. Grab Grab The Haddock, “I’m Used Now”
5. Friends Again, “Honey At The Core” (Moonboot Version)
6. The Bluebells, “Callander Green”
7. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken” (Indie Version)
8. In Embrace, “This Brilliant Evening”
9. Microdisney, “Dolly”
10. The Woodentops, “Plenty”
11. The Jazz Butcher, “Southern Mark Smith”
12. The Jasmine Minks, “Where The Traffic Goes”
13. The June Brides, “Every Conversation” (Single Version)
14. The Revolving Paint Dream, “In The Afternoon”
15. The Shop Assistants, “All Day Long”
16. Biff Bang Pow!, “The Chocolate Elephant Man”
17. James, “Hymn From A Village”
18. The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Just Like Honey” (Demo Oct ‘84)
19. The Loft, “Up The Hill And Down The Slope”
20. That Petrol Emotion, “Keen”
21. Yeah Yeah Noh, “Temple Of Convenience”
22. The Wedding Present, “Go Out And Get ‘Em Boy”
23. The Bodines, “God Bless”
24. We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It, “Xx Sex” (Demo)
25. Mccarthy, “Red Sleeping Beauty”
26. The Mighty Lemon Drops, “Something Happens”

CD 3
1. Primal Scream, “Velocity Girl”
2. The Primitives, “Thru The Flowers”
3. The BMX Bandits, “Sad”
4. Mighty Mighty, “Is There Anyone Out There?”
5. The Soup Dragons, “Fair’s Fair”
6. The Wolfhounds, “Cut The Cake”
7. The Chesterfields, “Completely And Utterly”
8. The Servants, “Transparent”
9. The Close Lobsters, “What Is There To Smile About” (Demo)
10. Pop Will Eat Itself, “Sick Little Girl”
11. The Razorcuts, “Big Pink Cake”
12. The Weather Prophets, “Almost Prayed”
13. Jamie Wednesday, “Vote For Love”
14. Talulah Gosh, “Beatnik Boy”
15. The Dentists, “She Dazzled Me With Basil”
16. The Railway Children, “A Gentle Sound”
17. The Groove Farm, “Baby Blue Marine”
18. Jesse Garon & The Desperadoes, “The Rain Fell Down”
19. Rosemary’s Children, “(Whatever Happened To) Alice?”
20. The Wonder Stuff, “A Wonderful Day”
21. This Poison!, “Engine Failure”
22. The Brilliant Corners, “Delilah Sands”
23. 14 Iced Bears, “Balloon Song”
24. The Heart Throbs “Toy”
25. The Rosehips, “Room In Your Heart”
26. King Of Luxembourg, “A Picture Of Dorian Gray”

CD 4
1. The House Of Love, “Shine On”
2. The Darling Buds, “Shame On You” (Native Single Version)
3. The Pooh Sticks, “Indiepop Ain’t Noise Pollution”
4. The Bachelor Pad, “The Albums Of Jack”
5. The Shamen, “Something About You”
6. Gol Gappas, “Albert Parker”
7. Hangman’s Beautiful Daughters, “Love Is Blue”
8. Whirl, “Heaven Forbid”
9. The Boy, “Hairdressers Tidalwave”
10. The Flatmates, “Shimmer”
11. Apple Boutique, “Love Resistance”
12. Laugh, “Take Your Time Yeah!”
13. Groovy Little Numbers, “You Make My Head Explode”
14. The Waltones, “She Looks Right Through Me”
15. Yeah Jazz, “Sharon”
16. The Clouds, “Tranquil”
17. The Raw Herbs, “She’s A Nurse But She’s Alright”
18. The Siddeleys, “My Favourite Wet Wednesday Afternoon”
19. Rodney Allen, “Circle Line”
20. The Corn Dollies, “Be Small Again”
21. The Hepburns, “The World Is”
22. Bubblegum Splash, “One Of Those Things”
23. The McTells, “Jesse Man Rae”
24. The Charlottes, “Are You Happy Now?”
25. Another Sunny Day, “I’m In Love With A Girl Who Doesn’t Know I Exist”
26. The La’s, “Son Of A Gun” (Demo)

CD 5
1. The Stone Roses, “The Hardest Thing In The World”
2. The Inspiral Carpets, “Keep The Circle Around”
3. The Sea Urchins, “Solace”
4. Cud, “Only (A Prawn In Whitby)”
5. The Popguns, “Landslide”
6. East Village, “Strawberry Window”
7. The Fanatics, “Suburban Love Songs”
8. The Milltown Brothers, “Roses”
9. The Orchids, “I’ve Got A Habit”
10. Bradford, “Skin Storm”
11. The Claim, “Picking Up The Bitter Little Pieces”
12. The Poppyheads, “Pictures You Weave”
13. The Sun And The Moon, “Adam’s Song (Pour Fenella)”
14. The Desert Wolves, “Speak To Me Rochelle”
15. The Golden Dawn, “My Secret World”
16. Blow Up, “Forever Holiday”
17. Korova Milk Bar, “Do It Again”
18. Avo-8, “Big Car”
19. The Rain, “Dry The Rain”
20. The Boo Radleys, “Catweazle”
21. The Seers, “Sun Is In The Sky”
22. The Telescopes, “Perfect Needle”
23. The Vaselines, “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam”


Comments (10) RSS

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Mrs. Fnarf 1
The Wolfhounds were one of the best live bands I've ever seen, and have recently reunited (check out their new 7" "Cheer Up" on the Odd Box Bandcamp page). The game is to see how many of these tracks I can cobble together from my iTunes before I go rummaging around in the 7" boxes in the garage. No Orange Juice or Felt, but glad to see they've included the rather obscure "Kardomah Cafe" by The Cherry Boys, which is a lovely song indeed.
Posted by Mrs. Fnarf on February 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Fnarf 2
I hear they had licensing problems with some stuff (Felt, Field Mice). But yeah, holy fuck. There's some great stuff here -- The Siddeleys! The Orchids! The Clouds! Shoppies! Motherfuckin' BODINES! The Charlottes! The shoulda-been-huge Dentists! Pooh Sticks! The mighty Claim!

I would have liked to see a couple entries from the US (Choo Choo Train) and Germany (Die Fünf Freunde) but I can see why they limited it. I think it's all UK or Ireland except for The Fantastic Something, who were Greek (and magnificent). I have that 7".

Back when indiepop had a razor edge to it and wasn't just cardigans and hair barrettes and humming inaudibly (not that there's anything wrong with that). "I made a big pink cake, I made a big mistake, I should have pushed the whole thing in your face". And I have to say it's quite gratifying to see this stuff get special treatment after receiving so much abuse, especially in plodding, brain-dead Grunge Seattle and other corners of what used to be called, ludicrously, "Alternative". I used to get spit on for listening to this stuff.
Posted by Fnarf on February 6, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Mrs. Fnarf 3
Even in the darkest days you could still find Talulah Gosh singles at Fallout, but yeah, it was really hard living through that.
Posted by Mrs. Fnarf on February 6, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
lowlytootle 4
This is a really good tracklisting and this is exactly the kind of indie-pop I love. The Monochrome Set, swoon. Girls At Our Best are awesome, and ohmygosh, TALULAH GOSH are the greatest indie-pop band ever.
Posted by lowlytootle on February 6, 2013 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
@4, and the most accomplished! Elizabeth Price won this year's Turner Prize for visual art, and Amelia Fletcher, main singer and songwriter, is a top economist in the British government, and is soon leaving to become a top university professor.
Posted by Fnarf on February 6, 2013 at 7:30 PM · Report this
Fnarf 6
Also, Dave, there's none of the real fluffy fluff here. Nothing from Fat Tulips or Dufflecoats; Nothing from They Go Boom!, either which is a shame.

I see that Hurrah's "The Sun It Shines Here" is here, though, which is the song of songs, the one that started the revolution as much as any other with the possible exception of "Velocity Girl" with vodka in her veins.

Are you scared to get happy?
Posted by Fnarf on February 6, 2013 at 7:37 PM · Report this
mackro 7
McCarthy are one of my faves, as well as the pre-techno Shamen. (though I love "In Gorbachev We Trust", "Phorward", and "En Tact")
Posted by mackro on February 6, 2013 at 8:14 PM · Report this
Mrs. Fnarf 8
@6 Yeah but those bands were mostly 90s, right? I think of them as the second wave, maybe too Sarah-influenced for my taste. Horrible things happened to some of these bands who stuck around past '89 (I'm looking at you Primal Scream, 14 Iced Bears and Soup Dragons).
Posted by Mrs. Fnarf on February 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM · Report this
Summerisle 9
Adding it to the list!
Posted by Summerisle on February 6, 2013 at 10:46 PM · Report this
Fnarf 10
@8, leather pants. Any band who gets the rawk virus and pulls on leather pants, loses its soul.
Posted by Fnarf on February 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM · Report this

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