Each Friday brings us a hodge-podge of out-of-print gems.
Before there was Eurythmics, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox were part of a London rock band call The Tourists, led by the severely underrated Peet Coombes. Their’s was a great blend of new wave, psychedelia, and keyboard-drenched sixties pop.
I once had the pleasure of meeting Annie, wherein I gushed about my love for the Tourists’ third and final album, LUMINOUS BASEMENT (from which the above tracks are taken). She, of course, smiled politely and, once my adoring rant subsided, admitted: “I had actually forgotten all about that album. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I should probably go back and give it a listen.” I later read in an interview that took place prior to our discussion that she wasn’t all that fond of the record at all. Hmm.
Many consider Ministry’s TWITCH (1985) to be the template for the launch of the industrial movement that occurred in the mid-to-late 80’s that included such luminaries as Front 242, Laibach, Front Line Assembly, Nitzer Ebb, and Nine Inch Nails. That’s only because they never had the chance to hear the one and only release by Germany’s criminally-unknown Belfegore. Sure, they recall early 80’s Killing Joke, too. But, thanks to production by the legendary Conny Plank (who, strangely enough, also produced the above tracks by The Tourists), they bring a certain slickness and accessibility to the proceedings that Killing Joke sometimes lacked.
Midwestern power pop wunderkind (and now a noted indie producer) Schmitt released two albums for Reprise in the early 90’s that came and went with little fanfare. The only press I ever saw for either release was a review in Stereo Review magazine, and the only airplay I ever heard was a couple spins of “Waiting To Shine” (from his second release, ILLITERATURE) via left-of-center Chicago rock station WXRT.
I’d have probably never known about him if I hadn’t already worked with him on my first record in 1988 (and on each release thereafter) and, truth be told, I was prepared to hang up my guitar in anticipation of the release of his first solo effort. This was, after all, one of the youngest and most talented guys I had ever known. If anyone had the ability to turn the music scene on its ear, it was Adam.
While neither release turned out to be the juggernaut I was hoping for, Adam’s talent was evident to the few who happened upon his records. To this day, he is revered within the power pop community and is a quite in-demand producer based out of Illinois.
The two tracks available here are non-lp tracks included on label samplers. The first, “Overdone”, saw release only on the limited-edition PARASOL’S SWEET SIXTEEN, VOLUME 4 (released by Parasol Records in 2001).
The second track was released on a Warner Brothers sampler called TRADEMARK OF QUALITY in 1993. The song, “I Know You’re All Mine”, was actually penned by local Champaign-Urbana rocker Nick Rudd.
Needless to say, both samplers are long out-of-print and darn near hard to find these days.