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Friday, August 17, 2012

The Now Wave Sampler (1979)

Front Cover

Back Cover

The year was 1979 and there was change in the air.......

1979 was the year the disco backlash began. And something NEW was going to replace it. Something for the '80s. But what?

Well, leave it to Columbia Records to figure that out.

Columbia released this FREE 7" EP to record stores. Columbia (then a part of the CBS Records empire that was acquired by Sony in 1989) had been on a signing binge of assorted Knack-like power pop acts and this EP was a freebie at the counter of the Lynnwood, WA Fred Meyer Music Market I just couldn't pass up. (It had new music on vinyl and it was FREE. So there.....)

There were four recently signed groups featured on this EP.

1. "Take Me To Your Leader" The Sinceros

 2. "Do Wah Diddy" The Hounds

3. "Don't Wait Up For Me" The Beat

4. "Good Reason" Jules & The Polar Bears

This EP did help launch a few minor stars. Jules & The Polar Bears, who's frontman Jules Shear reappeared in 1983 as the writer of Cyndi Lauper's megahit "All Through The Night" and The Bangles 1986 hit "If She Knew What She Wants". He's still active and a well respected songwriter.

Paul Collins was no newbie. His former band, The Nerves gave us the original version of what would become a classic for Blondie

His second band, The Beat however ran into a few problems. There was a British band, also called The Beat. So the band changed their name to Paul Collins' Beat (the British band was known in the US as The English Beat.) But Columbia decided to ruffle the feathers of the British band by threatening them with a lawsuit to completely change their name. There were other tensions between Paul Collins' Beat and Columbia that led to Columbia suddenly dropping the band in 1982. But the group pressed on and self financed the videos for their last album for Columbia, one of which became an early MTV hit.

Paul Collins is still active today, fronting the alt-country Paul Collins' Band

None of the other two groups, The Sinceros and The Hounds, who's songs on this EP also got modest airplay on early New Wave stations were ever heard from again.

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