There are two records I am going to delve into today, both 12’ singles. The first is The Adult Net “Waking Up In The Sun”. The Adult Net was a British band Fronted by Brix Smith former member of The Fall and former wife of The Fall singer Mark E. Smith. Around 1980 Brix moved to Chicago with a school friend and played a few local shows under the name Branda Dratsing. Introduced by a friend to The Fall’s music, Brix went to see them in April of 1983 at the Metro and met Mark E. Smith downstairs at Smart Bar. After listening to her demos over the course of the rest of the tour, he took a liking and agreed to produce Branda Dratsing, asking Brix to come to England. Within six weeks she was in Manchester and two months later they were married. During the recording of the next Fall album Mark asked to use one of the Branda Dratsing demo’s and had her play guitar and sing on the track. She gradually became a member of The Fall, at first singing one song during the show until she was gradually added to the line-up. After a year or so Brix realized she needed and outlet for her pop music interests and formed The Adult Net, taking the name from a line in a Fall song called Stephen Song. The first Adult Net single was two covers, Incense and Peppermint by Strawberry Alarm Clock and the B-side was a cover of the Fall song Rebellious Jukebox (re-titled “Searching For The Now”) The band was comprised of members of The Fall using pseudonyms, Simon Rogers used the name Ottersley Kipling; Karl Burns was ‘Mask’ Aiechmann; Craig Scanlon appeared as Silki Guth; Mark E Smith credited as technical advisor, went by the name Count Gunther Hoalingen. The record was released on Beggars Banquet. "Waking Up In The Sun" was the fourth single released(September, 1986) by The Adult Net, with the B-side a cover of the Shangri-La’s “(Remember) Walking In The Sand”, produced by Ian Broudie (of The Lightning Seeds and Big In Japan). This single serves as a continuation of the classic girl group pop sound that Brix was influenced heavily by. The coming years would see her delve into an almost psychedelic version of this with songs like “Where Were You” and “Take Me”. As an aside… in 1987 Brix would recruit former Smiths members Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce and Craig Gannon as her backing band. If you know me… this is a huge selling point, hahaha. By 1990, Brix has left The Fall, her marriage to Mark E. Smith was over and The Adult Net drifted into obscurity. I actually prefer the B-side to this single, it’s a great cover and retains the classic orchestral sound of the original Shangri-La’s song (the demo of which, in 1964, incidentally, featured a then-unknown Billy Joel).
The second record today is The Genius “Come Do Me”. In the early 80’s a young man by the name of Gary Grice was part of a three man hip hop group in Queens called All In Together Now. Featuring his cousins Robert F. Diggs and Russell Tyrone Jones, All In Together Now would attend local hip shows, battling and Djing throughout the city. Gary singled out and signed to Cold Chillin Records and released one album Words From The Genius under the name The Genius. The single Come Do Me was released in February of 1991, but after a poor tour experience and Grice asked to be released from the label. He soon joined with back up with his cousins now known as RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard and their current group the Wu-Tang Clan. Gary was now goes by GZA and went on to release the seminal hip hop album Liquid Swords, produced by his cousin RZA. Words From The Genius deserves to be noted as the only album to be released by a member of Wu Tang prior to the creation of The Wu Tang Clan. Come Do Me is pretty classic New Jack style and can be easily be compared to The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground, with it’s goofy PG almost sexual tone. The single that I have has four different mixes and does not feature the original B side “Phony As Ya Wanna Be”. And on that note….here are the other finds of the week.
So this week, digging around at Salvation Army on Clybourn Ave, I found Phil Lynott’s first solo release, Solo In Soho. Released in 1980 and featuring members of Thin Lizzy, Ultravox, Mark Knopfler and Huey Lewis(!!), this album came out at a time that Thin Lizzy was doing quite well. Mixing 80’s electronics on Tattoo (later covered by Huey Lewis) and Yellow Pearl (thanks to Midge Ure and Billy Curry from Ultravox) and Sprinsteenesque rock, soulful introspection about the passing of Elvis (with guitar by Mark Knopfler) on King’s Call, this album is stellar! I’ve read online several reviews giving it flak for it’s experiments in electronics and straying from the Thin Lizzy sound, but that’s what makes it so much fun for me. Songs like “Talk In ‘79” show an appreciation for all forms of music:
"The Clash were headed for a head on collision Crash for complete control The Pistols left behind a swindle and a scandal That nobody wished to handle Sham 69 were left in a shambles Generation X was next Elvis and Nick Lowe They had a go With the help of the Attractions And Joe Jackson said it wasn’t his style Dave Edmunds survived alive On top of a Rockpile Devo didn’t know if they were men Because they couldn’t get no satisfaction The Rats were caught in their own trap Steve Strange began to change Ultravox had a system Kraftwerk nearly beat them And the Yellow Magic Orchestra missed them Eno rose for Lowe The Slits became rasta And the Buzzcocks played faster and faster with adrenalin John Cooper Clarke he was smart The Public Image became Limited The Police were re-released and came out as a three-piece The Rocky Horror Show became the history of tomorrow Nina Hagen, she was a German maiden And the music press revealed their anger When threatened by the Stranglers This broadcast was brought to you in 1979 I’m just talking to you over these waves Not just about another time and another place And before we knew it The old wave was gone and controlled”
The album itself kicks off with “Dear Miss Lonely Hearts” which sounds like it could be classic Thin Lizzy, as does Solo In Soho. On the B side Girls and Talk In ‘79 are the stand out tracks for me. Yellow Pearl (used as the theme song for Top Of The Pops) sounds like a duet between Lynott and the Daleks, but it’s definitely an interesting song and I can appreciate the experiment. This is one of my new favorite records. It’s not available on iTunes, but I highly recommend finding it. Track listings and times are listed below
A1 Dear Miss Lonely Hearts 4:10
A2 King’s Call 3:38
A3 A Child’s Lullaby 2:42
A4 Tattoo (Giving It All up for Love) 3:20
A5 Solo in Soho 4:07
B1 Girls 4:01
B2 Yellow Pearl 4:04
B3 Ode to a Blackman 4:11
B4 Jamaican Rum 2:43
B5Talk in 79 2:44
for fans of Thin Lizzy, The Exit, Ultravox, Dire Straits, Vampire Weekend