7.3.09

WIN : Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon) (1987)

Win
A marvellous record, providing you're partial to smartarse pop music with a spotless punk rock lineage & an ever-so-subtle line in rampant Beach Boys plagiarism. And, frankly, who isn't?

Win were Davey Henderson's solitary shot at bona fide pop stardom. Henderson, if you weren't already aware, spearheaded the fantastic Fire Engines in Edinburgh in 1979 - apparently galvanised in direct response to witnessing Vic Godard & The Subway Sect in 1977 - penning the ultimate post punk 7" ("Candyskin"/"Meat Whiplash" on Pop:Aural) along the way. The Fire Engines having burned themselves out by NYE 1981, Henderson briefly formed Heartbeat with ex-Flowers vocalist Hillary Morrison (their recorded legacy: one track, "Spooksex" on the NME's Racket Packet cassette). When that project folded, he subsequently put together Win (with a couple of his Fire Engines cohorts in tow), wangled a major label c/o Alan Horne's post-Postcard venture Swamplands (actually a London Records subsidiary), & staggeringly failed to set the top 40 alight. Despite their "hot tip for 1987" status, even their seemingly surefire "You've Got The Power" 45 flopped despite repeated attempts to barge it onto TOTP c/o innumerable re-releases & a very prominent lager ad. Not that this makes Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Icon) any less of a spectacular achievement, of course. A wryly complicit, saccharine sick 80s hybrid of Bolan, Warhol, Wilson & Wham!, it really ought to be bracketed alongside Associate's Sulk as a deranged New Pop masterpiece. It's a shame that their covers of "In Heaven (The Lady In The Radiator Song)" & "The Slider" (b-sides both) weren't included on this jampacked CD, but as copies now go for £100+ on Ebay it seems rather churlish to yarp on about it...
Win
After one other divebombing Win album (Freaky Trigger, definitely worth a listen or 30), Henderson steered himself offroad & into Neil Young's legendary post-Harvest ditch (er, Horne's fleetingly resuscitated Postcard actually) with The Nectarine No.9 (quite possibly the 90s greatest guitar-ist band) & is now getting it on with The Sexual Objects (3 singles & counting). Some people, thankfully, never learn.

12 comments:

  1. Twas a blinking fine album & at £100 a throw on e-bay I deeply wish I hadn't lost my copy way back in the mists of time.

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  2. I don't think either Win LP was around for a long time - I only remember seeing them as cassettes as a nipper? Definiely track Freaky Trigger down as well 'cos it's the more of the same but, erm, DIFFERENT...!

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  3. Anonymous20.1.10

    Any chance you could re-up - my scratchy vinyl version is on its last legs!

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  4. I can do better than that! You'll find pretty much EVERYTHING Win released over at Saltyka's great blog..

    http://saltyka.blogspot.com/2007/06/win-fire-engines-related.html

    ...dig in!

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  5. Strangely enough it looks like Freaky Trigger is being re-released this summer.

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  6. That's great news! Am SOOOOOOOOO looking forward to reading gushing reviews by "professional" music journalists who've totally ignored &/or disregarded it for the last 20 years! At least Davey Henderson might finally get paid though, eh?

    No reissue for Uh! Tears Baby you say...?

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  7. Dunno. Just read Alex Ogg's book "Independence Days: The Story of UK Independent Labels". The stories about Alan Horne are amusing. Are you a fan of Future Pilot AKA?

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  8. Not read the book you mentioned as I'm not a massive fan of Alex Ogg's stuff, but any mention of A.Horne is certainly worth a look I reckon? Which stories does Ogg dredge up, I'm only really familiar with the ones in David Cavanagh's My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For The Prize book? Horne = masochistic genius!

    N.B. I can't work out if this is genuine or not (probably NOT)!: http://www.edwyncollins.com/profile/ALANHORNE?xg_source=activity

    Future Pilot? I've heard various bits & pieces over the years but only actually own A Galaxy Of Sound - 'bout time I pulled it out for a listen actually, it's been years since I last played it. Why do you ask?

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  9. I asked about Future Pilot AKA only because Davey Henderson has played on some of their material, and you seem to be a completist. I have St. Jack, Received Transgressed and Transmitted, and It's Just the Way It Is Joe (my favorite of the three). Would love to hear the NN9/Jock Scot collaboration. Guitar Thieves is also OOP and fetching $$$, if you are taking requests (or hints).

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  10. Oh really? Had no idea Future PIlot had a Davey link, I'll have to make I scrutinise their credits more closely in future - which records of theirs is he on?

    I've got a few further N#9 LPs to the ones you've listed: A Sea With 3 Stars & (ahem!) I Love Total Destruction for starters. I definitely think the Jock Scot collab is worth posting, I'll try & sort it this weekend... I don't want to post Guitar Thieves just yet as I suspect it might be about to be reissued (via iTunes), but I could send you mp3 at some point if you like? Let me know...

    Have you heard Cucumber yet?

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  11. I have heard the Cucumbers, but no Cucumber of the singular variety.

    Davey played on "Nuclear War" (with Mike Watt, Thurston Moore, and Kim Gordon) on the last Future Pilot album "Secrets from the Clockhouse" (a Creeping Bent release). Now that I look more closely, that's the only credit I can find.

    Anything you care to share would be most welcome! The UK iTunes store has a lot of things I can't get in the US (like Earl Brutus).

    A Sea with Three Stars has several songs in common with It's Just the Way It Is, Joe. Are they different versions? And is the NN9 version of "These Days" only available on the Niagra Falls comp?

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  12. "Cucumber" is The Sexual Objects' 1st LP (vinyl + DL only I think?). It's basically their 4 7"s (A+Bs) with a few other songs tacked on. It's definitely worth tracking down if you missed out on the singles. Only 500 copies available so far: http://www.normanrecords.com/records/119713

    "These Days" is from a Peel session &, yep, is only available on Niagara Falls. If you have it & could send me an mp3 (of just that 1 song) I'd be UBER grateful, I only have it on cassette from back when I taped it off of the radio! N#9 really ought to release ALL of their BBC sessions c/o iTunes or something - a couple turned up on Guitar Thieves (including a brilliant Beefheart cover) but there are several more, all with exclusive odds & ends... GAH!

    And... the Joe / Stars songs are the same versions I think? Some of them might be from the Unloaded For You EP though, it was largely made up of (superior) alternate versions of Stars songs. Phew!

    OK, I'll try & get the Jock Scot LP up on the blog over the weekend...

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