“U2 are a band who believe in meetings, so everything has a meeting. With Depeche, it’s an exception to have a meeting at all. When I did visuals for The Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour, I also filmed the show in Mexico City. After the concert, U2 all came to look at the footage. At midnight! For two hours! I mean, Depeche – you couldn’t get them to watch a minute. It’s an incredible difference in attitude. But that’s also the charm of Depeche. They don’t do many interviews, there’s no big plans, they just make a record and tour.”
• ‘They had soul’: Anton Corbijn on 40 years shooting Depeche Mode, The Intermzinator, 1vi21
The peri-parapractic paronomasia in the title of this post corely references key Kulturkampf “Mods vs Rockers” in terms of 1960s Britain.
“H.P. Lovecraft were really underrated in terms of the sixties bands from the West Coast.” — Psychic Hi-Fi: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge’s Favourite Albums, The Quietus, 23i2014.
• He Say, He Sigh, He Sow #23 — an earlier engagement by Genesis P. Orridge in terms of issues around “in terms of” (dot dot dot)
Papyrocentric Performativity Presents:
• Clarke’s Sparks – The Collected Stories, Arthur C. Clarke (Victor Gollancz 2000)
• Deeper and Down – Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth, James M. Tabor (Random House 2010)
• Manchester’s Mozzerabilist Messiah – Morrissey: The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart, Gavin Hopps (Continuum Books 2012)
• Or Read a Review at Random: RaRaR
• The Autumn Spiders, Trapped in the Ape-Enclosure (At the Cosmic Zoo) (1987)
Bombshell: The Hits and More, The Primitives (1994)
In all walks of life, from pop music to drug-dealing, some people achieve far more success than their talents deserve and some people achieve far less. Paul Court, the song-writer for the late-’eighties-and-a-bit-of-the-’nineties indie group The Primitives, is one of the second group. And perhaps drug-dealing describes his largely unrewarded talents too. Like a drug, music is designed to alter your consciousness and some of the songs on this compilation album are perfect little pills of pop, filling your brain with a two- or three-minute rush of jingly-jangly melodic pleasure. And maybe jungly pleasure too: The Primitives were a primitive band in the garage-and-bubblegum-pop tradition, particularly when they played live. Female vox, occasional male backing vocals, guitar, bass and drums, and that was it. There was no pretension about them, but they achieved the kind of a-lot-in-a-little simplicity that only an intelligent and skilful songwriter can give a band.
“Crash”, their most famous song, both opens and closes the album (apart from the doubly unexpected hidden track). It appears first as the album track, then as a demo, and some of the other songs come in a second version, whether demo or acoustic. I enjoy the chance to hear the different interpretations, but this padding does reflect the brevity of their career, which stretched from about 1987 to about 1992. Unfortunately, a twice-misspelt “Way Behing Me” and the appearance of “Secrets (Demo)” as the already-heard album track rather than the demo also reflect the sloppiness of the German company that put the compilation out. Court deserved better. There’s further proof of that in the single cover version, “As Tears Go By” by the Rolling Stones. It’s given the light treatment of the early Primitives and isn’t anywhere near as good as Court’s own compositions, I’d say.
Perhaps that’s why he chose it, and perhaps the darker songs on their final album, “Glamour”, reflect his frustration at not achieving the success that seemed to await him in the beginning. But there was a big obstacle ahead of him: although bands with attractive female singers can get attention more easily, they find it harder to get taken seriously. The Primitives never did drop any bombshells in the end and I suspect that the title of this compilation is a self-ironizing acknowledgment of that, as well as a reference to Tracy’s gleaming blonde locks.