Gibsons Coast News, May 15, 1979

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Gibsons Coast News
  • 1979 May 15

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The new music has arrived! Let's look at the three groups that have spearheaded the attack on our complacent radio stations; Dire Straits, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and Blondie.

We should all be familiar with Dire Straits by now. Their first album has been out for more than six months and it nearly went unnoticed until someone actually listened to it and decided to take a chance and play it on the radio. Now it is firmly rooted in the top of the album charts and the radio playlists as well. The success of Dire Straits shows that people want to hear something other than the soft disco pap that is currently strangling the radio frequencies across North America and the radio programmers are starting to respond. Their songs are longer than those of most new bands but the energy is there in abundance as well as a bit of punkish venom. Their second album Communique is to be released in May and the band could be in the unique position of having two albums in the top ten at the same time; I would like to see their royalty cheques if that happens.

Elvis Costello and the Attractions have made it the hard way. When it became obvious that radio stations weren't going to play his style of rock and roll, he started touring North America almost constantly for the past year and a half. His third album, Armed Forces broke into the top ten on the strength of his great live performances and a lot of good press coverage; now radio stations are starting to play Costello's music. His earlier records certainly shouldn't be overlooked. The first, My Aim Is True is his most varied record, ranging from the tender "Allison" ballad to the reggae based classic "Watching the Detectives." The second album This Years Model was claimed album of the year in nearly every music paper and it ranks as one of the best records of the decade. The songs are driven along by the manic playing of the Attractions and the spite of Costello's lyrics. It is a great dancing record for people who like rock and roll in a Buddy Holly style. Armed Forces combines elements of the early records with more emphasis on the songwriting in an attack on what Elvis calls emotional fascism; music for the head as well as the feet.

Blondie have used a different method to gather airplay. They recorded a disco song and got it played on both AM and FM radio. David Bowie used this technique to finally gain North American recognition with his "Fame" hit; it worked for him and the method seems to be working for Blondie. The song "Heart of Glass" was number one in England for about four weeks and its success pushed the album Parallel Lines into the number one album spot. The group led by singer Debby Harry play pop-rock material with roots in the late fifties early sixties, adolescent it songs with the insight of a thirty year old. They also have three albums Blondie, Plastic Letters and Parallel Lines, try the latter and if you get hooked then try the other two.

All three groups have brightened up the radio playlists considerably. More importantly they have opened the doors for more new music to get a fair hearing. So if you're suffering from dull music do yourself a favour and try one of the above records, but be prepared to do some dancing.


Gibsons Coast News, May 15, 1979

Isaac profiles Dire Straits, Elvis Costello and Blondie.


1979-05-15 Gibsons Coast News page 05 clipping 01.jpg

1979-05-15 Gibsons Coast News page 05.jpg
Page scan.


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