Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Wild Swans Biography

Wild Swans 1988


Although there are countless groups who have released a couple of albums and then disappeared into the shadowy recesses of pop culture trivia, Liverpool's Wild Swans deserved a slightly better fate. Led by former Teardrop Explodes organist Paul Simpson, the group's pair of discs attracted little attention on either side of the Atlantic when released, yet stand up favorably, in retrospect, to the group's better-known contemporaries.
It took Wild Swans a while to get off the ground; an early lineup disbanded in the early '80s after recording a single for the Zoo label, but the band reconvened a few years later and released an official debut, Bringing Home The Ashes, in 1988. Although its most striking attribute was Simpson's vocal similarity to OMD's Andy McCluskey, the disc was filled with handsome, well-crafted guitar pop that gained a bit of color from splashes of organ and piano, and even made an occasional overture toward the dance floor. Simpson and bassist Joe Fearon made a far stronger impression with their 1990 follow-up, however, recruiting outstanding drummer Chris Sharrock and guitarist/vocalist Ian MacNabb from the Icicle Works, as well as that group's producer, Lightning Seeds frontman Ian Broudie. Powered by Sharrock's rock-solid timekeeping, Space Flower touched on mild funk ("Melting Blue Delicious"), psychedelic-tinged rock ("Tangerine Temple") and hummable, chiming pop ("Butterfly Girl;" the Smiths "Immaculate"), while Broudie glazed each of the album's 10 tracks with a likable, confident sheen.
That was the last transmission from the group, who exist now as a mere footnote to late-'80s pop. But those who bother to read the fine print and stumble onto Wild Swans may be in for a pleasant surprise indeed.

1990 Bringing Home The Ashes The Wild Swans

Bringing Home The Ashes
Jeremy Kelly, Joseph Fearon, Paul Simpson

Track listing

Young Manhood
Bible Dreams
Northern England
Whirlpool Heart
Bringing Home The Ashes
Mythical Beast
Now And Forever
Worst Year Of My Life
Enchanted (Updated)

1 comment:

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