The Sun Shines Here: The Roots Of Indie Pop 1980-1984
published: 18 /
Cherry Red Records
Format: CD Box
Essential and delightful five CD box set from Cherry Red which focuses on the roots of indie pop and should be in every pop fan’s record collection.
Back in 2013, Cherry Red released the five CD compilation ‘Scared to Get Happy – A Story of Indie Pop 1980-1989)’, chronicling the early roots of indie pop and also the golden days in the late 80s, with bands like The Stone Roses and The La’s. The box set was hugely successful, with numerous reprints, and that’s probably one of the reasons why they are now releasing a companion to ‘Scared to Get Happy’, this time focusing on the roots-part of the indie pop story, from 1980 to 1984. There are a lot of household names here as well, like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Everything But The Girl and Pulp, but the real treat here is the vast number of rare tracks and songs that have never been released on CD before.
A lot of the bands on here could easily be featured on a post punk compilation as well (and they surely have been, too), like Mo-Dettes, Josef K and Au Pairs, and that just goes to show that many bands that embraced the more experimental part of the punk scene then evolved into what we now call ‘indie pop’, but in those days the term ‘new pop’ was more frequently used, especially by the music press.
Many of the tracks picked for inclusion on ‘The Sun Shines Here’ are not the most famous ones by the bands, which makes it even more interesting, if you ask me. If you want the ‘hits’, I would rather recommend the equally brilliant Cherry Red compilations ‘C86’, ‘C87’ etc, or maybe try to find a copy of the aforementioned ‘Scared to Get Happy’ box set. For instance, the Everything But The Girl song included here is ‘On My Mind’, originally written and recorded by Tracey Thorn’s first band, Marine Girls (also featured here, of course), and then re-recorded with Ben Watt for the duo’s first single, ‘Night And Day’, in 1982. And the Aztec Camera song on the third disc isn’t ‘Oblivious’ or ‘Walk Out to Winter’, but instead his cover of Van Halen’s ‘Jump’, recorded in 1984.
Oh, you want some of my personal picks off the 74 songs on the 3 discs? Well, I’d love to share that! For starters, ‘Sweetie’ (The Chefs), ‘It’s Obvious’ (Au Pairs), ‘Go For Gold!’ (Girls At Our Best!), ‘You’re My Kind Of Girl’ (The Page Boys, who later evolved into 1000 Violins) and ‘Million Tears’ (The Pastels) are some of my old favorites here, but there are heaps of great tunes here! Josef K, Dolly Mixture, It’s Immaterial, The Monochrome Set, Lori & The Chameleons, Weekend, The Pale Fountains, The Gymslips, The June Brides, Hurrah! (by the way, the song ‘Hip Hip’ ends with the chant ‘Are you scared to get happy?"), The Loft, The Wee Cherubs… the list goes on and on, making it longer than a Gary Moore guitar solo.
As usual when we’re dealing with Cherry Red box sets, the packaging and information is absolutely flawless, with lots of facts about the bands and the songs contributed here, and also a very interesting essay by Tim Barr that kicks off the accompanying booklet.
For me, as an indie pop aficionado, this compilation is pure delight, and even though all the songs might not be top notch, it’s really interesting to hear those early attempts at merging the pop of the 60s with the punk spirit of the 70s, resulting in the perfect sound of the 80s!
WAH HEAT! Better Scream
THE TEARDROP EXPLODES Read It In Books
LORI & THE CHAMELEONS The Lonely Spy
SCARS Love Song
THE DISCO ZOMBIES Mary Millington
MO-DETTES Twist And Shout 7 IT’S IMMATERIAL Young Man (Seeks Interesting Job)
MANICURED NOISE Freetime 9 THE CHEFS Sweetie
JOSEF K It’s Kinda Funny 11 AU PAIRS It’s Obvious
DOLLY MIXTURE Step Close Now
VIC GODARD & THE SUBWAY SECT Stop That Girl
FAMILY FODDER Debbie Harrry
GIRLS AT OUR BEST! Go For Gold!
ESSENTIAL LOGIC Fanfare In The Garden
THE MONOCHROME SET Ten Don’ts For Honeymooners
ART OBJECTS 20th Century Composites
THE LINES Transit
JOWE HEAD Cake Shop Girl
THE WILD SWANS God Forbid
ALTERED IMAGES Insects
THE BLUEBELLS Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool (Demo)
THE JAZZATEERS Don’t Let Your Son Grow Up To Be A Cowboy
SCRITTI POLITTI The “Sweetest’ Girl”
THE NIGHTINGALES Inside Out
WEEKEND The View From Her Room
EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL On My Mind
BLUE ORCHIDS Wait
PREFAB SPROUT Radio Love
JONI DEE Featuring THE TIMES Here Come The Holidays
THE FARMER’S BOYS Whatever Is He Like?
THE PALE FOUNTAINS Just A Girl
THE RAINCOATS Running Away
THE GIFT Crashing Down
TRACEY THORN Simply Couldn’t Care
MICRODISNEY Hello Rascals
DISLOCATION DANCE You’ll Never Never Know
THE LAUGHING APPLE Wouldn’t You?
THE CINEMATICS Puffa Train 17 IN EMBRACE Sun Brings Smiles
THE DAINTEES Involved With Love
FIVE OR SIX Chalk Circle
TRIXIE’S BIG RED MOTORBIKE Hold Me
THE GYMSLIPS Big Sister (It’s Probably Better)
BEN WATT On Box Hill
MARINE GIRLS That Fink Jazz-Me-Blues Boy
DEL AMITRI The Difference Is
FRIENDS AGAIN State Of Art
PULP There Was…
JANE AND BARTON I Want To Be With You
SWALLOW TONGUE Got To Be There
THE PAGE BOYS You’re My Kind Of Girl + 20 Others