Candy Opera ‎– 45 Revolutions Per Minute (Firestation Records in 2018)

14 Fév

Catalogue Number FST154
Format LP/CD
Release 2018/02/23

/// TRACKLIST

What A Way To Travel
The Good Book And The Green
Religious
Fever Pitch
With Yesterday In All The Right Places
Time
Left, Right And Centre
Serious
Slow Down The Slow Dive
The Gravy Train Run (CD only)
Nine Times Out Of Ten
Diane
Happy To Be The Plot But Not The Crime
Shoot
Second Time Around
Love Constitution [Remix]
Whip Crack Away
Crucified (CD only)

When Candy Opera release 45 Revolutions Per Minute on February 23rd, it will be a belated introduction to a very special band, sired during Liverpool’s 1980s golden age, which has taken almost thirty years to happen.

Lovingly unearthed and compiled by Firestation Records of Berlin, and available on limited edition 18-track CD and deluxe 16-track vinyl, the result is a lost gem that points to a million what-might- have-beens.

When Candy Opera first appeared on the kaleidoscopic early 1980s Liverpool music scene, by rights they should have changed the world. Here was a classic four-piece, after all, steeped in the symphonic pop of Love’s Forever Changes and The Beach Boys’ Surf’s Up. Taking such influences as a template, alongside contemporaries such as Aztec Camera, The Pale Fountains and Prefab Sprout, Candy Opera were in the throes of crafting a 1980s song-book in their own image, and the band’s 1983 Honeysuckle Rose demo has become something of a holy grail.

By 1985, the band had played alongside the likes of The Pogues, The Go-Betweens and The Redskins, as well as appearing on Granada TV. Reviews in NME, Sounds and Jamming magazine followed.

With assorted Candy Opera line-ups augmented at various points by baroque flourishes of clarinet, flute or violin, such a sophisticated musical palette went way beyond notions of indie-band purism to create something grander, none of which remotely fitted in with the voguish scene-setters behind shoegaze, baggy and Britpop.

 

After a decade ploughing their own stubborn furrow in various guises, despite interest from EMI and Go! Discs, Candy Opera called it a day in 1993 with only a fistful of demos to their name. As the mainstream took a glossier turn, Candy Opera somehow got left behind, and for the best part of thirty years have remained a rumour, a whisper and a quietly lost legend that the occasional online leak could only hint at. Until now…

In 2017, the Berlin-based purveyors of indie obscurities behind Firestation Records chanced upon those same demos and it was love at first listen. The label’s Uwe Weigmann tracked down Malone and co, and found a band who hadn’t made music for a very long time. Paul comments, “When the label got in touch, it just all seemed a bit surreal to me; it was a big surprise, especially after 35 years, but I was glad that somebody finally recognised our worth.”

Having unearthed a spate of recordings that span Candy Opera’s entire history, the result is 45 Revolutions Per Minute.

“I first read about the band some years ago, on a forum for The La’s, and from this point on I was very interested to hear the band’s music,” recalls Uwe, Firestation’s founder and label manager. “Then a friend of mine told me that some Candy Opera songs were on YouTube. The first I listened to was What A Way To Travel. A couple of minutes later, I was sure that I wanted to work with the band. 45 Revolutions Per Minute is the perfect pop album, in my opinion.

It is an absolute masterpiece and I would list it next to such classics as Steve McQueen (Prefab Sprout), From Across The Kitchen Table (The Pale Fountains), High Land, Hard Rain (Aztec Camera) or Trapped and Unwrapped (Friends Again).”(firesation records)

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