I loved these two albums when they first came out in 1984 and 1986, respectively, through the good folks at A&M Records.  This Atlanta band had that wonderful mix of melody and mayhem (think an artistic pallete of Beefheart mixed with New Wave quirkiness).  It’s been a long time, as The Swimming Pool Q’a A&M albums have never been released on CD – except for a brief, difficult-to-find German pressing of Blue Tomorrow – so it’s a joy to rediscover these gems, which have seen better days in my collection on vinyl.

The high points are many – starting with “The Bells Ring”, off the self-titled album, it chimes in all the best ways an album opener can; it whets the appetite nicely.  Anne Richmond Boston’s vocals are emotional and breathy, taking you on a speeding ride.   “Celestion”, “Sacrificial Altar” and “Just Property” are strong, melodic, solid and tie this album together perfectly.  From Blue Tomorrow, the achingly beautiful “Now I’m Talking About Now”, a magnificent opener, opens an even stronger musical road.  Why this song wasn’t on every radio in ’86 is still a mystery to me.  “Pretty On The Inside” and “Wreck Around” are two more heart-stoppers as is the country-fied “Laredo Radio” – Jeff Calder’s vocals are wonderfully wry and yet, sublime.  Blue Tomorrow also includes a more polished version of “Big Fat Tractor”, which initially appeared on their debut album, The Deep End.

A Kickstarter campaign helped make this 2-CD set a reality and it’s nice to see that Universal got this right; more importantly, I hope that it opens up a new audience to the beauty of The Swimming Pool Q’s.

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About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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