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Au Pairs - Playing With A Different Sex (81 ^ 506mb)
The Au Pairs are one of those bands that aren’t imprinted on the mainstream but are regularly hailed by artists as an influence. They split in 1982 but have been name-dropped by a number of scenes - riot grrrl, US alt. rock (starting with The Pixies) gay and lesbian punks and more recently by punk funk revivalists - Chicks on Speed, DFA, Rapture, etc.
The Au Pairs formed in Birmingham in 1979. They are one of those bands that found their own sound - something that shifts between forms - from reggae (upbeat dance rather than experimental dub) to punk and funk. They are often close to ESG, the rhythm section was tight and funky with tough, bare drums and raw, physical bass. Another reason The Au Pairs sound distinctive is that singer Lesley Woods had a unique and astonishing voice, besides being an outspoken feminist and lesbian.
Their first album Playing with a Different Sex is considered a post-punk classic, an uncompromising, defiant record that asks no quarter; gender roles are turned upside down, hetero- and homosexual relationships put under a microscope, and theories about sex and sexuality turned upside down, an unfliching look at the world. Strong, sarcastic songs like "It's Obvious" and "We're so cool" taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as "Armagh" with its refrain,"we don't torture" took a pro-republican look at the then ongoing "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, which caused some controversy at the time.
The band's second album, Sense and Sensuality, showed an even greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band's sound, but was less well received. The band fell apart on a European tour - It had been an impossible year – they’d already played 280 live shows in 1982. There were other difficulties - they were ripped off by their record label - which was ironic as they’d chosen a small label because it seemed more ‘ethical’ than a major. Woods formed an all woman band called the Darlings in the late '80s, but then left the music industry. She now works as a lawyer. Guitarist, Paul Foad remains an active musician, playing with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, a Jamaican Jazz band and teaching guitar in and around Birmingham. He has also published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist in Birmingham.Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham.
01 - We're So Cool (3:29)
02 - Love Song (2:51)
03 - Set-Up (3:21)
04 - Repetition (3:34)
05 - Headache (For Michelle) (6:39)
06 - Come Again (3:54)
07 - Armagh (3:37)
08 - Unfinished Business (3:29)
09 - Dear John (2:57)
10 - It's Obvious (6:19)
11 - Pretty Boys (BBC Session) (4:01)
12 - Monogamy (BBC Session) (2:56)
13 - Ideal Woman (BBC Session) (3:56)
14 - You (2:52)
15 - Domestic Departure (2:22)
16 - Kerb Crawler (2:47)
17 - Diet (4:19)
18 - It's Obvious (Single Version) (5:47)
19 - Inconvenience (12" Version) (2:56)
20 - Pretty Boys (12" version) (3:39)
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Howard Jones - Human's Lib ( 84 ^ 305mb)
Jones took piano lessons from the age of 7 and joined his first band at 15. When he was young, he used to give piano lessons. One of his clients was a girl named Jan Smith, whom he later married. Whilst working with her, a vehicle crashed into their van, injuring Smith. She claimed compensation and used the money to buy Howard a synthesiser, a Moog Prodigy. He was sent two synthesizers by accident, and he liked the combination of the two so much that he paid for the extra one. He appeared as a solo artist in local venues in High Wycombe, before inviting a mime artist called Jed Hoile, who used to do improvised choreography while doused in white paint as Jones played behind him. Jones combined synthesizer music with comment on animal rights and life's excesses. Philosophy, spirituality and humanistic ideals were all lyrical themes. After a well-received John Peel session he obtained support slots with China Crisis and OMD before signing to WEA in the summer of 1983.
After a promotional frenzy, his first single called "New Song" was released in September 1983 and reached the UK top five and U.S. top 30. He subsequently had four more hits over the next twelve months and a UK Number 1 album, Human's Lib. This album went gold and platinum in a number of countries and established a hardcore fanbase for Jones. In the summer of 1984, he released a single called "Like To Get To Know You Well", which he said was 'dedicated to the original spirit of the Olympic Games', it caught on and was a huge worldwide hit. When he released his second studio album, Dream Into Action, in 1985 he introduced his own backing band, including female backing vocal trio Afrodiziak. Afrodiziak featured Caron Wheeler (who went on to greater success with Soul II Soul) and Claudia Fontaine (who became a renowned backing singer). Playing bass guitar, meanwhile, was Jones' own brother Martin. In July 1985, Jones performed at Wembley Stadium as part of the Live Aid concert, subsequently he embarked on a major world tour-hitting countries such as Japan, Australia and the US where Jones was selling out huge arenas. Jones had his last UK Top 40 hit in 1986 with 'All I Want' but continued to have a degree of success in the US. He concentrated on production, songwriting and running a successful vegetarian restaurant called Nowhere.
In 2001, Jones played keyboards for Beatles legend Ringo Starr for Ringo's All Starr Band tour. The 2001 All Starr Band line-up consisted of ex-Supertramp frontman Roger Hodgson, dance-music percussionist Sheila E., former Mott the Hoople singer Ian Hunter and King Crimson/Emerson, Lake and Palmer singer-bassist Greg Lake. Jones fulfilled two life-long ambitions on this tour: to play live in a band with a member of the Beatles and to play Karn Evil 9 live. Keith Emerson’s classic keyboard arrangement is regarded as one of the most difficult keyboard pieces ever written. See/DL E.L.P. - Karn Evil . Jones has been busy in the past few years touring the world - playing gigs in the United States, Italy, Germany, Sweden and other countries. He has been putting the finishing touches to a new acoustic album, a second album of piano solos and remixing some tracks from his last album. His latest a ten track retro electronic album, 'Revolution of the heart', was released in 2005. It didn't achieve chart success and was aimed more at the loyal fan base Howard still has in the UK and the U.S.
01 - Conditioning (4:30)
02 - What Is Love? (3:41)
03 - Pearl in the Shell (3:56)
04 - Hide and Seek (5:27)
05 - Hunt the Self (3:38)
06 - New Song (4:15)
07 - Don't Always Look at the Rain (4:03)
08 - Equality (4:23)
09 - Natural (4:17)
10 - Human's Lib (3:59)
11 - China Dance (3:52)
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The Mighty Wah! - A Word To The Wise Guy (84 ^ 389mb)
Pete Wylie (born 22 March 1958, Liverpool), formed the band The Crucial Three with Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope who also went on to fame with Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes respectively. but Wylie is best known as the leader of the band known as various incarnations of Wah !. Active from 1979, they garnered critical acclaim for the singles "Better Scream" and "Seven Minutes to Midnight" (both as Wah! Heat), and the album Nah = Poo! - The Art of Bluff (as Wah!). Their biggest hit single was "The Story of the Blues", which was released in late 1982, and ultimately reached Number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. The Mighty Wah! also had a Top 20 hit with the song "Come Back" in 1984. Both tracks were chosen by the late BBC Radio 1 Radio DJ John Peel, as his 'single of the year'. The album, A word to the Wise Guy, was critically acclaimed but sold poorly and the band were dropped by WEA.
By 1986, Pete Wylie had a solo hit with "Sinful!", it became the title track of his 1987 solo album. In 1990 a single called “Imperfect List” was released under the name of “Big Hard Excellent Fish”. The spoken-word track is a list of 64 least favourite people and things read by Josie Jones. The list was written by Wylie and the track was recorded by Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins. On 11 November 1991, Wylie suffered a near fatal fall when a railing gave way in Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool. He fractured both his spine and his sternum. A long period of rehabilitation ensued. At some point, Wylie began to write songs again and eventually sent demos to David Balfe (ex The Teardrop Explodes), head of A&R of the Sony's Columbia label. Balfe was impressed he signed Wylie to record the songs which he duly did (in London and Memphis), delivering Songs of Strength and Heartbreak in 1998. Despite the album being finished up to the point where artwork was finalised and discs even sent out for review, Sony did not release it. It left Wylie in artistic limbo, eventually, however, he was given the master tapes and Castle records released the album 3 years later, but without much commercial success.
Wylie then joined Dead Men Walking, featuring Mike Peters of The Alarm, Kirk Brandon of Spear of Destiny and Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols. They toured extensively, performing old songs as well as new, including Wylie's "Your Mother Must Be Very Proud." Wylie's latest project is a twin album release with the working titles Pete Sounds and SLiME, both puns on mid-60s Beach Boys projects. Although he has sold demos of some of the new songs at gigs in 2004, he remains without a recording contract. Over the last couple of years Wylie has written the soundtracks for two films; Alex Cox's I'm A Juvenile Delinquent - Jail Me! and Under the Mud .
01 - Yuh Learn I (2:10)
02 - Weekends (3:39)
03 - Everwanna (3:40)
04 - The Lost Generation (3:16)
05 - Yuh Learn II (1:39)
06 - I Know There Was Something...(7:49)
07 - Yuh Learn III (1:05)
08 - In The Bleak - Body 'N' Soul - Midwinter ( 3::31)
09 - Papa Crack (God's Lonely Man) (6:42)
10 - What's Happening Here (3:07)
11 - Yuh Learn IV (1:14)
12 - Come Back (The Story Of The Reds) / The Devil In Miss Jones 8:26
13 - Don't Step On The Cracks 4:30
14 - Yuh Learn (Version) 5:54
15 - Come Back (The Holiday Romance Version) 5:21
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