Friday, 11 July 2008

The Cradle "It's Too High" (Rough Trade Records, 1987)

The 80's were a great time for agit-pop. Some of my strongest memories of the decade were the impact of the Miners strike, and the effect it had on the musical landscape. From features in the press, to benefit gigs, to student demos, to Rough Trade releasing "Strike" by The Enemy Within: it was a time full of militancy and the possibility that political change could be instigated by the sounds we listened to, and the ideals we held. Just around the corner was the 90's and the decade that was all abut greed being good, but in the mid 80's, things seemed just that little bit more empowered; even if, ultimately, it all came to nothing. Hey, at least we tried.
As far as agit-pop goes, one record really sums up the time: "Whistling In the Dark" by Easterhouse. A chiming slice of classic 80's pop, it was full of rage and exhortation: a diatribe about a country riven apart by industrial strife. "Whistling..." is available on "Contenders", a Cherry Red compilation which I can heartily recommend. However, less is known about the band that followed Easterhouse: The Cradle. The Perry brothers, Ivor And Andy, who made up Easterhouse, had a major falling out, and Andy disappeared. Ivor went on to form The Cradle, who are perhaps most notable for the fact that they included future member of The Smiths Craig Gannon in their midst (this rounded off a nice Smiths connection, as Easterhouse's first gig in London was supporting The Smiths at ULU).
This song makes me seriously nostalgic for the 80's. Not because it's a definitive 80's classic, but because I can hear the musical landscape shifting as this piece of vinyl spins on the turntable. The days of the independent charts producing great crossover hits was fading: just over the horizon was the birth of Dance culture and a thousand new genres, feeding off each other. This record feels like the proud last stand of an old guard. But, despite all of that, it's wonderful. Like so many of the tunes I post here, the reason I love it so much is that it acts as a landmark, a beacon, a snapshot of a time which has passed. Enjoy.

The Cradle "It's Too High" (mp3)


Ctelblog said...

Great post.

Unknown said...

And I too salute you comrade.

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Anonymous said...

hi . First of all, i want to thank you for this Great BLOG. i found it looking for jesus & mary chain live stuff. btw, i will love to have the concert you uploaded in 2007 but i found it is no longer available. :(
last but not least, i am a big southamerican fan of JJ, i was one of the kids that followed you in Argentina back in perverse era. We had a chat in an argentinian cementery, lol.
Thanks for everything, man. It's a pleasure to find these songs and your stories among these beautiful forgotten sounds.
love & respect. maxi

Iain Baker said...

I remember meeting some JJ fans on my journey around Buenos Aires (with my Argentinian friend Peta) I would love to go back one day, and also would love to catch up with Charly Alberti too....

Anonymous said...

yeap, i knew you worked with Soda Stereo in Sueño Stereo album. they are a huge band here. C. Alberti is playing with Mole.
last time i saw Peta was in some electronic festival he worked with.
I was one of the lucky kids that met you. i ended up in record stores, somehow we all ended up doing what we love. the other two of my friends down there meeting the band , are now making music too.
One is the singer of lastrax (they opened for camouflage in Bs As) , the other one plays bass in lendi Vexer as guest. i will post some links for you below. Another link i want to share with you is an Argentinian band that used to do music in jesus jones mood, they used your info freako sampler in one of their songs. lol, hope you don't mind.
kisses, and i leave you with some monsters you have managed to create
Enjoy it.



Martes menta ( deleted CD)

The Wolfmen said...

Wasn't there a Matt Fretton song of the same title

Anonymous said...

Thanks! i used to have this vinyl 12'' in the it would be nice to hear, again, the two tracks on the flipside :)

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