Archive | January, 2019

Certain Songs #1442: Paul Kelly and The Messengers – “The Execution”

Album: Gossip
Year: 1986

There was a bit of an Australian invasion during the 1980s, probably sparked off by the surprising success of Men At Work, but throughout the decade, band like Hoodoo Gurus, The Church and Midnight Oil made splashes and even had hit singles, which, of course led to even more Australian signings.

One of those signings was a singer/songwriter named Paul Kelly, who along with his band — renamed from the problematic “Coloured Girls” (a “Walk on the Wild Side” reference) to the more generic “Messengers” — made music that somehow split the middle ground between Lloyd Cole & The Commotions and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

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Certain Songs #1441: Paul Collins Beat – “I Will Say No”

Album: The Kids Are The Same
Year: 1982

The final song on The Kids are The Same isn’t really a power pop song at all.

And fact, it’s a big generic rocker, cut more from the cloth of the dreaded “On The Highway” than the sublime “The Kids Are The Same.” And therefore, it only makes sense that it’s also my favorite song from the original incarnation of the Paul Collins Beat, as well as a song that I never really get sick of.

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Certain Songs #1440: Paul Collins Beat – “The Kids Are The Same”

Album: The Kids Are The Same
Year: 1982

By the fashion of the time, it took quite a long time for Paul Collins and company to follow up on The Beat, as The Kids Are The Same didn’t come out until 1982, this time fully credited to Paul Collins Beat, as by that time, both I Just Can’t Stop It and Wha’ppen had both come out on these shores.

The difference between the two albums is mostly signified by the track lengths: on The Beat, 9 out of the 12 songs were under 3:00, signifying that album’s focus on catchy power-pop. On The Kids Are The Same only 3 out of the 10 songs were under 3:00, because Paul Collins had decided to expand his music, make it more than just snappy power pop tunes.

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Certain Songs #1439: Paul Collins Beat – “Don’t Wait Up For Me”

Album: The Beat
Year: 1979

Of course, The Beat wasn’t the first group that Paul Collins was in.

During the mid-1970s, he was the drummer in a proto power pow trio called The Nerves, which featured Peter Case — whom we will be getting to soon enough — on bass, and a guy named Jack Lee on guitar. Outside of letting both Case and Collins develop their songwriting chops, The Nerves are mostly known for Jack Lee’s “Hanging on the Telephone,” which is a song that I probably should have written about back in early 2015 when I criminally underserved Blondie.

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Certain Songs #1438: Paul Collins Beat – “Rock N Roll Girl”

Album: The Beat
Year: 1979

What’s weird is that “The Beat” is such a great name for a band is that it took until 1979 for any band to use it. And then, it turned out that two bands decided to use it.

One of those bands was English, and one of those bands was led by Paul Collins, and so for the past 40 years I’ve referred to both bands as “The English Beat” or “Paul Collins Beat,” even when I think of them both as “The Beat” with absolutely no confusion, given that the English Beat traded in ska and the Paul Collins Beat were as pure of a power pop band that ever existed.

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