The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Motors



9-26-08 The Motors


CD 1 VIRGIN UK CDV 2089

1977 9 TRKS (1 x bonus track) ('90 issue)

LP 1 VIRGIN UK V 2089

1977 8 TRKS UK original issue

12" AIRPORT VIRGIN UK VS 219-12

1978 3 TRKS no pic sleeve, blue vinyl

CD AIRPORT - GREATEST HITS CAROLINE US CAROL 1777.2

1995 17 TRK Collection

7" AIRPORT (mono / stereo) promo VIRGIN US ZS8 9519

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

CD APPROVED BY THE MOTORS VIRGIN UK CDV 2101

1978 12 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks) ('90 issue)

LP APPROVED BY THE MOTORS VIRGIN UK V 2101

1978 10 TRKS red vinyl

7" BE WHAT YOU GOTTA BE VIRGIN UK VS 194

1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" COLD LOVE (mono / stereo) promo VIRGIN US ZS8 9517

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

12" DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY VIRGIN UK VS 186-12

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

12" FORGET ABOUT YOU VIRGIN UK VS 222-12

1978 4 TRKS no pic sleeve, red vinyl

10" LOVE AND LONLINESS VIRGIN UK VS 263

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, yellow vinyl

LP TENEMENT STEPS VIRGIN US VA 13139

1980 8 TRKS die-cut cover

Nick Garvey solo:

LP BLUE SKIES VIRGIN UK V 2231

1982 11 TRKS Ex-Motors

Bram Tchaikovsky solo:

LP RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RADAR UK RAD 26

1980 11 TRKS Ex-Motors


Former Ducks Deluxe guys, Class of ’77 – not quite punk, but not really ‘power pop’ or ‘pub rock’. In 2008, they sound like nobody else. I recently came to reconsider The Motors after seeing a music video for the track “Dreaming Your Life Away” off of their 2nd album, “Approved By The Motors” (I don’t think it was ever a single, and Virgin Records UK seemed to make videos for songs that weren’t singles, at that time).


I remember liking “Cold Love” from their debut album when it was new; that’s why I got a copy of their debut LP – years later, I discovered that the US 45 of that song is totally different! Seriously, The Motors were a great singles band – I am surprised that they didn’t have too many hits in England – I know “Airport” was big, but…it’s not my favorite Motors song – this week, that would be “Dreaming Your Life Away” – sounds like a ‘lost Beatles song’ to me!


Ah, the solo albums are a tad disappointing. I know there are two other Bram Tchaikovsky albums for me to find, still. I don’t remember the Nick Garvey album at all, must give it a spin. It’s nice to have all (?) of their colored-vinyl 12” (and 10”) singles!


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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

I never heard The Motors until the divisive 3rd album! I chanced to hear the epic "Love & Loneliness" ONCE on the local FM Rock station and wasted no time in buying the immediately cut out LP in the neat die-cut sleeve.

What can I say? Half of the tracks are great, overblown Phil Spector Meets Trevor Horn productions that will sear your eyebrows off at 40 paces! The other half of the album should have never been recorded! The Worst excesses of Broadway soundtrack mated with turgid rock! "Tenement Steps" would have made a fine EP.

Later I heard earlier, less overproduced material which was good, in a very different way. I was going to remaster "Tenement Steps" to a 3" CD but now I see the real thing is finally available (with proper bonus tracks) so I'll grudgingly pony up for the real thing if only to save myself 20 hours of work.

My big question re: The Motors is - that 10" of "Love & Loneliness;" is it different in any way from the LP version? Extended? Remixed? I've always wanted to know! I would pay $$$ for an even longer version of that incredible song! Like nothing else prior to the mature productions of TCH, "L&L" just sounds like money!!!

9:31 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

Ah, the Motors -- pub rock gone horribly/delightfully wrong!

I think this is yet another of those bands I was introduced to via a sampler, probably "Dancing the Night Away." I know I owned the blue 12" of Airport for a very long time indeed, and still have a red 45 of that somewhere, along with at least two copies of L&L and one of "Approved By."

I have a fondness for them for two reasons:
1. UGLY! These were not "pop star" looks, quite the opposite -- the lot of them looked like slavic coal miners to me!

2. CAN'T SING! Seriously, take a close listen to those vocals -- yes, they can carry the tune (just), but it's all PHLEGM-BRATO and a Doberman hooked booze and smokes supplying the growl and snarl!

"L&L" is just one of the all-time zenith-y, purely GLORIOUS moments in rock, and on top of being fantastic, is THE archetype of overstretched talent being saved by ambitious overproduction! Jimmy Iovine is probably best known now as a cartoon felon record producer (like his idol, Phil Spector!) on Family Guy, but as far as I'm concerned he never got better than turning two average joes into rock n roll perfection -- if just for one perfect moment.

4:37 AM  

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