Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Faith Global "Earth Report" (Survival Records 12" 1982)


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Of all the bands I've ever obsessed over, early Ultravox! come top of the pile. I've blogged about how it all started, and it all came to a glorious head when I was asked to contribute a quote to the sleeve notes for the recent CD reissue of "ha!-ha!-ha!" (My favourite album, EVER.) John Foxx-era Ultravox! made three albums, "Ultravox!", "ha!-ha!-ha!" and "Systems Of Romance", but it's the first two albums that really do it for me. And the common thread running through those two albums? Their original guitarist, Stevie Shears. Stevie was replaced just before "Systems..." by Robin Simon, and while the exact reasons have never really been made clear, it seems as if he wasn't thought to be capable of making the new guitar sounds they wanted, as the band explored differing textures and moved towards a synthesiser dominated sonic palette. That, to me, was a crying shame. It was Stevie's coruscating, amphetamine-drenched waves of guitar that made the early recordings: "Distant Smile" (from "ha!-ha!-ha!") is a great case in point; the two-note riff, on strings stretched way further than sounds necessary, still stands as some of most primal, exciting rock music I've heard. It's Stevie who blazes all across "Young Savage", it's Stevie whose riff lights up "Hiroshima Mon Amour". And they replaced him. Oh well.


After his time in Ultravox (and following a brief sojourn in Cowboys International) Stevie Shears returned to the musical arena with his new band, Faith Global. Comprised of himself, Jason Guy on vocals and associated session musicians backing him up, they released this, their debut single, and a following album "The Same Mistakes" It's a classic slice of early 80's new wave, lots of whooshing synths and earnest vocals.It's let down slightly by a tentative production job, but the melodies are strong and precise, and the tune buries itself neatly in the back of your mind.The entire thing reeks a little of The Psychedelic Furs a bit TOO much, and there's not enough of Stevie's guitar histrionics for me, but I love it nonetheless. The albums great as well, remind me to rip a few tracks from it some time in the future.

And what of Faith Global? Well, like so many of the bands I feature on this blog; nothing much. Stevie doesn't seem to have done anything since, and I can't find any trace of Jason Guy whatsoever. If anyone has any information about either, I'd love to hear it! The single turns up on eBay from time to time, because it's a bit of an adjunct to the Ultravox! story, it doesn't go for huge money, so snap it up if you see it.

Faith Global "Earth Report" (mp3)

10 comments:

Mick said...

Another great one I haven't heard before. Not a million miles from Ultravox, is it? I am so in awe of your record collection.

iain said...

Hey, don't worry, there's plenty of dross in the collection as well!
:)))))
You're right though, it IS not that far from Ultravox, right down the synth fading in over the intro, which sounds exactly the same as "Slow Motion"

Neato said...

I wonder if Jason Guy is the same guy who was MD of S2 Records for a while...

iain said...

Hmmmm, that sounds interesting, i'm off to do a little digging...
:)

So It Goes said...

Now WHAT would you define as dross, Iain? Almost without exception, every track you've played has been a winner.
I have 'Ha! Ha! Ha!' in an Island Records Master, and this makes me want to dig it out.

Sonic Avenger said...

I loved ha!ha!ha!
Definitely my favourite Ultravox! album, uncool though that was back then. I saw 'em Live previewing that LP's material during the Autumn of Hate.
I actually met Jon Foxx during the '90's when he became a lecturer at Leeds College of Art for a time.
Great days pop-kids.....

Nick said...

Found an old mixtape of yours this morning. I appreciate that you're currently ploughing an electropop furrow but how long are we going to have to wait for "Louise" - The Bicycle Thieves? The kids need some jangly guitars!

iain said...

@ sonic avenger, you saw 'em live? At that time? Now i'm jealous....there are a couple of bootlegs in circulation, notably one of a radio broadcast from Stockholm in 1977 that show they were ON FIRE then.....
@Nick, now there's a tune....it's definitely on the list of tunes to rip....
:)
have a listen to those mixtapes and see if there's anything else!!

Perpistol said...

Post The Same Mistakes album, Earth Report EP and other Faith Global recordings (demos, peel sessions, live, etc.) Thanks for the song.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Guy_(singer)
I know Jason, a really lovely guy and doing very well for himself! Managing a wonderful act called Hey Laura