The Epic 2017 Project #356: 171222
XTC – Go To (1978)
Go 2 is the second studio album from XTC, released on 6 October 1978.
The album’s cover was designed and executed by Hipgnosis. It consists of an essay about how album covers are used to attract buyers of the album. On the first British pressings of the LP version of the Go 2 album the track listing on the vinyl disc label mimicked the type style of the cover art. The label is crammed full of text.
In some non-English speaking countries, the group shot that was featured on the album’s inner sleeve in the UK was used instead as the album cover. The French 13-track album, including the bonus track “Are You Receiving Me?”, was one of the releases that featured this sleeve.
The Epic 2017 Project #322: 171118
Tears for Fears – Tears roll down (1992)
Tears Roll Down is a compilation of the band’s hits between 1982 and 1992, released in 1992. Preceded by the hit single “Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)”, the album contains 12 of the band’s UK Top 40 hits. It’s been certified double platinum in the UK, platinum in the US, and gold in several other countries including Canada and France.
Tears Roll Down originally peaked at No.1 in Italy and No.2 in the UK and France upon its release, but returned to the UK Top 10 (No.6) in 2004 for several weeks following the success of Gary Jules’ cover version of “Mad World”.
A compilation video under the same title was also released in 1992, and later issued on DVD.
The album itself was reissued in 2004 as a 2CD/1DVD set under the “Sound+Vision Deluxe” line, and again in 2005 with a bonus disc containing various remixes.
The Epic 2017 Project #318: 171114
Talking Heads – More songs about buildings and food (1978)
Talking Heads’ second studio album – More Songs About Buildings and Food – was released in July 1978. The album was the first of three Talking Heads LPs produced by collaborator Brian Eno. It saw the group move musically toward a danceable style, crossing singer David Byrne’s unusual delivery with new emphasis on the rhythm section (made up of bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz).
More Songs established the group as a critical success, reaching No.21 in the UK Albums Chart. It featured the group’s first Top 30 single, a cover of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River”.
The Epic 2017 Project #317: 171113
Talking Heads – ’77 (1977)
Talking Heads: 77 was their debut. Released in September of that year, it now ranks at No. 290 on Rolling Stone magazine’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
“Psycho Killer” was written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and first played by their band the Artistic in 1974. But it also made it onto their 77 debut and became the band’s signature debut hit. Originally written and performed as a ballad, “Psycho Killer” became what AllMusic calls a “deceptively funky new wave/no wave song” with “an insistent rhythm, and one of the most memorable, driving basslines in rock & roll.”
“Psycho Killer” was the only song from the album to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 92. It reached number 32 on the Triple J Hottest 100 in 1989, and peaked at number 11 on the Dutch singles chart in 1977. The song is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
The Epic 2017 Project #300: 171027
Spandau Ballet – Journeys to glory (1981)
Journeys to Glory was the first studio album by Spandau Ballet. It was released on 6 March 1981 by Chrysalis Records, just ten days after its recording at Trident Studios. The first editions of the vinyl version (like mine) have an embossed cover. just 5,000 of these were pressed rendering it something of a collectors item some 36 years on.The album was re-released in a remastered and expanded 2 CD Special Edition on 8 March 2010.
When it was released the album was considered “fresh, bold, and even somewhat avant-garde”Many fans feel that the spare, drum-led, funk-undertones are more original than the group’s later soul-influenced recordings. AllMusic describes the recordings as “completely unforgettable” and Hadley’s semi-operatic vocals as “really strong” and demonstrating a “willingness to experiment”.
The Epic 2017 Project #234: 170822
The Police – Outlandos D’Amour (1978)
Outlandos d’Amour is the debut studio album by The Police, released in November 1978 by A&M Records. Elevated by the success of its lead single, “Roxanne”, Outlandos d’Amour peaked at No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart and at No. 23 in the US. It has since been certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of over one million units in the US. The album spawned two additional hit singles: “Can’t Stand Losing You” and “So Lonely”.
Although Outlandos d’Amour received mixed reviews upon its release, it has since been regarded as one of the strongest debut albums by any band or artist. It ranked No. 38 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “100 Best Debut Albums of All Time”. In 2012, the magazine ranked it No. 428 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time
The Epic 2017 Project #219: 170807
Patti Smith Group – Easter (1978)
Easter is the third studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released in March 1978 on Arista Records. Produced by Jimmy Iovine, it is regarded as the group’s commercial breakthrough, owing to the success of the single, “Because the Night” (co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Smith), which reached No.13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.5 in the UK.
The song was originally recorded by Springsteen during sessions for his Darkness on the Edge of Town album. He was not satisfied with the song and later declared he already knew he wasn’t going to finish it since it was “a[nother] love song”; the Patti Smith Group was working on Easter in the studio next door, with engineer/producer Jimmy Iovine working on both albums. Iovine gave Smith a tape of the song, she recast it, and it was included on Easter, becoming the first single released from that album.
‘Because the Night” also has another distinction. Every couple should have ‘a song’, and ‘Because the Night’ is ours. Released on 2 March 1978 when Sally and I first realised we were true soulmates, we purchased two copies of the single – one each – and exchanged them (akin to a ring). Of course, the song was the first on the turntable for our wedding reception some 16 months later. And, 39 years on, those 45″ singles still get an airing from time to time. Nostalgia rules as one of the sleeves still has Sally Haselum written on it (Sal’s maiden name).