Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Impossible Years "Scenes We'd Like To See" (Dreamworld 12", 1983)

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First off, a slight apology for the lack of posts, I guess i'm going to have to try and make up for lost time and post as much as possible over the next couple of days.

Next, it looks like I made it onto Hype Machine! To anyone who has arrived at this small outpost of musical whimsy as a result: welcome. Today's post relates to the TV Personalities , but mainly to Dreamworld Records, the Label that Dan Treacy set up after Whaam! records had folded. (Full history lesson here ) My connection with Dan goes back to my days at University, where I was friends with a guy called Colin Gregory. Together with his best friend from Sheffield, Dave Walmsley, they had been in a band called The Page Boys, putting out one single ("My Kind Of Girl") on Whaam!. During the course of our time at Uni, they decided to form a new band, and I actually joined them for a few weeks. I'm not sure we even had a name, though we may have been Jonathon's Chocolate Factory for a few days (!) and we restricted our musical output to furtive rehearsals in empty lecture halls where we practiced the fruits of our new venture. These included a synth-led instrumental called "Gnat In A Storm" and a song called "Telephone" which was dominated by, you guessed it, the sound of a telephone ringing. After a few weeks of this, it became clear that their ambition was greater than mine, so I left them to it. I joined my best friend Nick in a situationist art-punk duo called The Violet Wardrobe, and Jonathon's Chocolate Factory became 1000 Violins. Obviously, I kept in touch, and when I left Uni, I would follow the Violins around when they came down to play gigs in London. This led me to the TVP's, and my eventual position as sometime doorperson at Dan's club, The Room At The Top, in Chalk Farm. All of this led to my "C86 years" and I'm sure I'll get into that at some later date, but for now, let's return to Dreamworld.

There's been a compilation of Dan's output on the Whaam! imprint (here; essentially a reissue of the vinyl "All For Art...And Art For All!" compilation, with some TVP's demos tacked on), but there's no sign of any compilation of the stuff that appeared on Dreamworld. Indeed, when I saw Dan in the late 1990's , he was trawling round second-hand shops, trying to collect some of the missing links in the Dreamworld discography, with a view to just such a compilation. Unfortunately, other events got in the way, and it would be a few more years before Dan got himself sorted out (further details here) so I'm guessing the compilation remains on hold. Dreamworld was a poppier label than it's more psychedelic predecessor, and boasted some great acts: The Mighty Lemon Drops, 1000 Violins, and Go! Service/Blue Train, better known today as It's Jo And Danny. But some of the releases are a little more obscure; I can remember that the records Dan was trying to find and complete his compilation were the Jane Bond LP, and Dreamworld's first release, and the subject of this post, "Scenes We'd Like To See" by The Impossible Years. It didn't attract as much attention as other Dreamworld releases due to the fact that it's creators were the other side of The Atlantic: whereas The Mighty Lemon Drops could come down from Dudley at a moment's notice and play The Room At The Top, The Impossible Years were stuck in Philadelphia. Consequently, not many people got to hear this EP, which is a great shame. It's a beautifully constructed selection of songs, blessed with chiming guitars, sunny harmonies, poppy optimism and killer melodies. the best two tracks on the EP are "Attraction Gear", a fuzzy, psychedelic love song, and "Flower Girl", a fuzzy, psychedelic......oh you get the picture. The record itself is in the Bible for £12, though due to it's relative scarcity, I guess a price of anything up to double that would be fair.Looking around, I i notice there's one on sale on the 'bay for a fiver, which is an absolute steal, if anyone out there likes these mp3's enough to want to purchase the EP, I suggest you do so sharpish, it won't be there for long.

The Impossible Years "Attraction Gear" (mp3)

The Impossible Years "Flower Girl" (mp3)


Paul Groovy said...

The Impossible Years! That takes me back.I have the ep and am gonna play it when i get home.
Did you ever get the Jane Bond album.For some reason I didn't and have been looking for a copy.
take care

So It Goes said...

I remember some crappy Radio 1 DJ having a spot called 'Is was And Should have', where you had to choose one current hit you liked, one from the past, and one that wasn't a hit but deserved to have been (the only selection I can remember for the latter is David Essex's 'Stay With Me Baby'!!!). Anyway, this band definitely fall into the latter category: teasingly meomorable, just like a song called 'Right Here Right Now' by....oh shit, what was their name???

So It Goes said...

Paul Groovy? is that you, Mr. Pledger????

Anonymous said...

I won this single off ebay a few months back and it only cost me £7.
Wonderful it is too. I have the Jane Bond LP. Bought it in Plymouth MVE about 5 years ago. It was going cheap.

Iain Baker said...

Aaah, Plymouth MVE, it's run by an old friend (and MVE cohort) called Mark. Great bloke, and loves his vinyl. Nice score, to get a copy of the Jane Bond album, they're incredibly difficult to find...

Anonymous said...

Hi, Iain,

Much thanks for your kind comments on our EP. As you pointed out, we were here in Philadelphia, so it was quite a surprise to hear that anyone remembers it or continues to play it. Even more surprising was your link to an eBay listing. We thought we had the last remaining copies.

You may be interested to learn that I released a CD of 20 4-track home recordings, two of which were Impossible Years demos. My home email is: shusters@comcast.net if you'd like more information.

Once again, thanks for your interest and support,
Todd (Louis) Shuster