Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Stiff Records: Second Choice

Day three in our excursion into the catalog of Stiff Records and we remember one of my favorite bands on the label: “Any Trouble.” I’m not sure how I got to know this English band, as none of the stations where I worked played their music. I think I found their debut LP, “Where Are All the Nice Girls?” in a stack of discarded records at WCIR in 1981 and took it home. “Where Are All the Nice Girls?” was on my turntable for a season – until it was replaced by another latest and greatest discovery.

“Second Choice” was the band’s second single and was the second cut on their album. While I didn’t like every song on this LP, there were some really stand-out tracks such as “Second Choice,” “Playing Bogart,” “Foolish Pride,” and “No Idea.” As always, veteran producer John Wood did an excellent job in molding and capturing the sound of the musicians.

As I listened to the album this morning, the variety of styles used by Any Trouble was amazing; however, I quickly grew tired of Clive Gregson’s vocals. Not that he is a bad singer – on the contrary, he is quite good. I think a few other vocalists would have made this album a bit more palatable 35 years later. As they say variety is the spice of life and a couple other lead vocalists would have added to the musical variety of the songs.

While the four tunes I mentioned earlier still capture my ear, I doubt that today I would list “Where Are All the Nice Girls?” in my top list of albums; however, with that said, I could listen to “Second Choice” every day and not get tired of it. Too bad it wasn’t a hit. Its Ska based rhythms still sound good today. Thanks guys for the memories of discovering this LP In 1981.

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