Hello Young Lovers,
Are you ready for a night of romance with an unknown stranger? What can you divine about our Mystery Date with only sound, organized in time? Where is your date from? When is your date from? Do you know who your date actually is? (If you do, then shhhhh!) Would you go out with your Mystery Date again?
If you know who it is, don’t spoil it for the rest. Anyone who knows it can play the “mockcarr option.” (And I’ve got a hunch at least one of you know this one.) This option is for those of you who just can’t hold your tongue and must let everyone know just how in-the-know you are by calling it. So if you know who it is and want everyone else to know that you know, email Mr. Moderator at
mrmoderator [at] rocktownhall [dot] com. If correct we will post how brilliant you are in the Comments section.
Listen on and decide if you are wanting to get lucky!
This should be a good one, cher! Here’s my initial thought – and I won’t name any names: I get the feeling this is a solo release by someone who was a replacement member for a key original member in a well-known band from the ’70s.
Nope! This is not a solo release! Though several (if not all) members of this band did various collaborations during and after this band’s lifetime, as well as some solo projects from at least two members of this group. Ergo, this is a band, not a solo artist.
Interesting tune — sounds like a grunge band trying for a hit. Circa 1995 or so. Will keep listening.
Nope, not 1995! This is definitely of its own era, not any kind of retro re-tread. Well, maybe it tips its hat to a slightly earlier era, but not by much.
My immediate guess, and it was a guess, was that it was Adrian Belew’s power pop band, the Bears. I thought this because of the wacky wang bar guitar and, I felt that the vocal coulda been him, but the recording quality seemed a little too much like a bargain studio demo.Now I’m guessing it’s from 1975 and the very familiar woo-woos toward the end have taken on a new significance.
Something sounds very Warren Zevon to me (transplanted to Britain, that is). I would also guess 70’s.
Wow, that is a fascinating guess. It is not the Bears, you are on the wrong continent – and off by four years. If these clues help.
I’m curious – do you guys like the song?
We are thinking along similar lines. I had a replacement guy on keyboards and violin in mind, someone from the mid-’70s.
I generally did, more than I expected as it started.
Okay, you brought me out of the woods on this one. Ladymiss guesses Bowie, and that’s not far off, cuz this guy modeled himself on Bowie/Ferry/Johansen before he matured into one of my very favorite artists.
True. This band definitely changed its sound, which was then was a jumping off point for solo careers.
I’m a little unclear on the hints about the dates but I’m getting a late 80’s/early 90’s vibe. Was Karl Wallenger involved?
Geo guessed 1975, which is a good guess. This tune is from the late 70’s, though.
Was Karl Wallenger in a band of note before the Waterboys? Anyway, not him!
I think its safe to assume that everyone has heard of this band – they were pretty popular in Europe, not so much in the US.
Bingo! The arrangement sounded like something he would have had his hand in.
No Roxy Music connections here, though, as you can hear, the glam is strong with this one.
Actually I just recognized the singer’s voice. I didn’t realize they were popular in Europe, but definitely not the US.
Well, since a few people seem to know anyway, the jig is up!
From their early (I think dismissed by the band) glam phase, it’s Japan! I’ve been a bit interested in earlier iterations of bands, less popular but perhaps less commercial. Ultravox. Split Enz. That era. Which lead me to this corner of the musical universe.
Thinking about the band Japan reminded me that in high school I had a homemade cassette of the best-of double album called, “Exorcising Ghosts.” My friend Matt had the album and we were hanging out in my room while I taped it. I was remembering that feeling of wanting to be careful while I was taping a record, and it amused me. Nevertheless, at one point, one of us threw something that bumped into the turntable, so there was a big “Whomp!” at the beginning of the solo in Visions Of China. Also, I had a synth in the room we were playing with, and it somehow induced itself onto the tape as well. Quality control! Oh yeah, and David Sylvian.
Didn’t the bass player in Japan form a band called “Dali’s Car”, referencing a Beefheart tune or re-referencing some surrealistic vehicle that Dali painted/created/owned? I vaguely recollect hearing something from them that was pretty good, some sort of instrumental.
Yes, that was Mick Karn (RIP) and Peter Murphy from Bauhaus.
I liked that Dali’s Car album, too, at least the couple of times I heard it in a friend’s room.
David Sylvian was still channeling Bowie on those early albums. Soon after this song, his voice got deeper, and he switched his allegiance to Bryan Ferry. The rest is history. On the early albums Japan seem like a different band.
David Sylvian released an album in 1993 with Robert Fripp called The First Day. Not as Crimson-y as you might expect. Here’s a live concert from their late 1993 tour.
I saw a show on that tour – Beacon Theatre. It was a really good show, though not really my favorite of Sylvian’s stuff. I think my favorite is “Secrets of the Beehive,” although I confess I stopped following him closely after “Dead Bees on a Cake.” I liked that album too, not sure why I stopped paying attention other than those outside forces that constitute life.