October 1, 2020

1983-03-10 – The Guardian

1983 03 10 The_Guardian_Thu__Mar_10__1983_

Robin Denselow reviews the new rock records

Peaceful demos

IN A‘ WEEK dominated by
classykenjoyable, but ultima-
tely. dlsposable examples of
British pop, the most unusual
and Intriguing release is a
double-album of 26 tracks
that .were never intended for
public airing. Pete Town-
shend’s Scoop (Atco) is a

“scoop" from the hundreds;

of demo tapes he 'has ire:
corded for his own interest,
often at home, over the past
19 years.

Some of them were made
so that the rest of The Who
could listen to his new songs,
to decide which would suit
their style for recording, and
others were made _for pos-
sible film projects or just as

experiments. He claims in
the sleeve notes that “re-
cording is a hobby...

making demos is where I

find peace.”
After Townshend’s de‘

pressed outbursts during The
Who’s final American tour
last year, and his patchy last
solo album. this wi-ldly-varied
collection is a charming re-
flecti'm of the joy and enthu-
siasm he can put into his
music — at least when he’s
writing and singing for him-
self, without commercial

Thls “sc00p” ranges from
the brilliant to the throw-
away. thh varying examples
of the care and occasional
genius that has marked his

wo rk.

seduction songs, like the
cheerful single Drop The

Naked Eyes: Burning
Bridges (EMI). Yet more
classy British pop. this time
from a new electronic duo
from Bath, who were once in
a band alongside the duo
who are now the best—selling
Tears For Fears. After the
success of Soft Cell, Yazoo,
and Tears For Fears, it
seems the market is swamped
by bands consisting of one
singer and one keyboard
player Operating the synthe-
sisers, but Naaked Eyes de‘
serve to do as well as the
rest. Most of the songs start
with a burst of Rob Fisher’s
pounding synthesisers and
syn-drums playlng off-beat
rhythm patterns, and then
singer Peter Byrne adds in a
smooth, medium-paced, dead-
pan white soul ballad. More
layers of swirling electromcs
and the occasional live horn
to brighten the sound, are
added. From the soulful
Could Be to the bouncy
Voices In My Head“ they
write highly attractive if un-
demanding melodies.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In
The Dark: Dazzle Ships (Vlr-
gin). In which a well-known
electronics band try to break
away from the formula that
has made them successful,
gallantly attempt the new
and experimental, and end
nn in a horrible mess. OMD