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The Unknown Beauty Of The 80’s Volume 125

Discuss hard-to-find or out-of-print New Wave and '80s Alternative, and share a few songs along the way.
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The Unknown Beauty Of The 80’s Volume 125

Postby Rissan » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:25 am

The History Of British Progressive Rock Of The Eighties Volume 2

After the positive reaction on the first Progressive Rock Volume in this series, I present you the second one. Again the booklet The History Of British Progressive Rock Of The Eighties by François Guirin & André- François Ruaud and the Directory Of British Progressive Rock by David Robinson were used as guideline for this compilation.

Tamarisk was founded in June 1982 by two ex-members of Chemical Alice, Steve Leigh (later in Quasar and Landmarq) and Andy Grant. The band recorded two demos in 1982 and 1983 and changed their name to Corrupted By Toys in 1985, when they became a three piece. Shortly after he band split to reform in 2011. The demos were re-released in 2012 on CD and the band toured again. The 2012 CD was rereleased in 2018 with four bonustracks.

As Above…So Below, a Hertfordshire-based progressive rock band, recorded their first and only demo in 1981, a good year before Marillion released their debut single. The same year they played the Friday Rock Show. Keyboard player Phil Hodge is known for his 1977-79 period in the live band of Steve Hillage.

Dagaband, active between 1973 to 1987, was formed in 1973 by the brothers Greg and Phil Boynton and originating from Chesterfield. As they were largely a touring act, they only ever released a single, and an E.P. in the early eigthies. Nick May at one point was their bass-player. They reformed in early 2010 with the idea to finally put together an album, but the band’s driving force Greg Boynton died in April that year.

Cardiacs formed in England as Cardiac Arrest in 1977, but changed names in 1981. They were active until 2005 and began their label alphabet, later renamed to Alphabet Business Concern, to release their own material. They are known for their unique style of music (termed “Pronk” by many) which blends elements of Progressive Rock, Punk and Psychedelic Rock.

Solstice formed in 1980 as a four-piece instrumental band. After several female singers, including Sue Robinson (who was briefly in Quasar after this), the band finally found Sandy Leigh as their female vocalist in February 1983, with whom they recorded several demos and the album Silent Dance. In the early nineties they found a new singer with Emma Brown. The last studio recordings were released in 2013 on the CD Prophecy.

Citizen Cain formed in 1982 in London and this first line-up was active until 1988, when vocalist George Scott moved back to Scotland. From this period the only known recording is their contribution Unspoken Words for the Fire In Harmony compilation. In 1990 the band reincarnated with a new line-up around the vocalist, who had changed his name to Cyrus. After a well-received four track demo in 1991, they were contracted by SI Music, whom released their first two albums. When SI Music went bankrupt the band recorded another four albums for four different labels. Since 2012 It is quite silent around the band although Stewart Bell released two chapters of his story The Antechamber Of Being.

It Bites formed in 1982 in the market town of Egremont. After a split in 1983 the band reunited in 1984 and became a household name in 1986 when Super Channel used their song Calling All The Heroes for the baseball games. Their diverse set of support slots (Go West, Marillion, The Montreux Jazz Fesitval, Robert Plant) revealed a problem in marketing the band which would last throughout their career. It Bites' blend of contemporary 1980s producer-pop, progressive rock and hard rock (setting glossy keyboards and massed harmony vocals against heavy drumming, complex time signatures and Allan-Holdsworth-inspired guitar solos) would draw criticism from some music press writers who accused the band of failing to settle on a coherent direction. Despite this, the band forged a loyal and enthusiastic following.

Geoff Mann is best known as being the ex-vocalist of Twelfth Night. After leaving the band in 1983 in the next ten years until his death in 1993, he released four albums as a solo artist, two with Marc Catley, two with The Bond, one with A Geoff Mann Band, one with Eh! Geoff Mann Band and one with Casino. The recordings and touring were done besides his job as vicar.

Chemical Alice formed in Romford and created mainly instrumental and improvisational music. They are best know for the keyboard players it produced. Mark Kelly (of Marillion) with his distinctive play played on their debut 12”. After Mark Kelly joins Marillion (which supported Chemical Alice once!), he is replaced by Steve Leigh (of Tamarisk, Quasar, Landmarq). Due to musical differences Steve Leigh, Andy Grant and Ricard Crichton leave the band in 1984 to form Tamarisk. The Remaining line-up recruit new members and change the band name to Alice Band.

Niadem’s Ghost: After Peter Nicholls left IQ in 1985 he formed Niadem’s Ghost. During 1987 the band recorded the LP In Sheltering Winds and the demo Thirst. In 1992 both were re-released on cd by Giant Electric Pea, the record label of IQ. Nicholls rejoined IQ in 1990 and is since then the vocalist of the band.

Tony Banks / Fish: Both known for their membership of well known progbands Genesis and Marillion. Banks approached Fish to join him in writing the lyrics on a song for the soundtrack Quicksilver. The result was Short Cut To Somewhere. The single version featured a picture of Tony Banks in a Marillion shirt and Fish in a Genesis shirt on the sleeve. Banks is the first of the current Genesis line-up that goes solo in 1979, although Collins and Rutherford follow in 1980, but never gain the solo success as his co-members. Over the years he has written several film scores, and released material as a solo artist, sometimes with help of guest singers like Nik Kershaw, Andy Taylor, Fish, Jayney Klimek, Jim Diamond and Toyah. With Jayney Klimak, Alistair Gordon and Steve Hillage he did the one-off Bankestament and with Jeremy Allan Ryder (Jack Hues of Wang Chung) the one-off Strictly Inc. Since 2004 he has released several classical albums.

Haze formed in May 1978 in Sheffield by the brothers Chris and Paul McMahon and although the band split in 1988 after a sell-out gig celebrating their 10th anniversary, they stayed active on an occasional basis as of today (celebrations of their 20th, 30th and 40th anniversary). They recently released a new album Back To The Bones and did some garden concerts which were broadcasted on the internet during the covid-19 lockdown. The Brothers McMahon also released material under the names Von Daniken and World Turtle.

Marillion is the best-known name of the New Wave Of British Progressive Rock. Mick Pointer, nowadays in Arena, and Doug Irvine formed in 1979 in Aylesbury as Silmarillion with Andy Glass (later Solstice). Early Autumn, after the joining of Steve Rothery and Brian Jelliman (keyboards) the band changed the name to Marillion. After Doug Irvine leaves, through an add in Musicians Only in January 1981 Fish joins the band on vocals bringing in Diz Minnett on bass. During 1981 Brian Jelliman is replaced by Mark Kelly (ex-Chemical Alice) and in March 1982 Pete Trawavas replaces Diz Minnitt. After the first album the only original member Mick Pointer is dismissed and replaced by Andy Ward (ex-Camel), who after a US tour is replaced by John Martyr, who on his turn gets replaced by Jonathan Mover (later GTR), then finally in November 1983 by Ian Mosley (ex-Curved Air, Steve Hackett, Sally Oldfield, Gordon Giltrap to name some), which makes the classic line-up that consist until September 1988, when Fish leaves to start a solo career. The result creates the second distinct era with Steve Hogarth on vocals.

Presence formed in Staffordshire who recorded just one demo in 1983.

Trilogy was founded in November 1981. They played the Friday rock Show in January 1983 and tried a lot to get a record deal. Special made demo tapes were send to various record companies, but none showed interest. They were featured on the Fire On Harmony compilation. Called it a day in the same year, but are very active on Facebook and YouTube since May of this year.

The Bond was one of the bands led by Geoff Mann after leaving Twelfth Night. The band delived three cassettes and a LP, and were featured on the Double Exposure compilation in 1987. Recently the albums of the Bond (and solo work Of Geoff Mann and The Geoff Mann Band) have been made digital available through the bandcamp page of Twelfth Night.

Mike Rutherford is the second member of Genesis featured on this Volume and he delivers the closing piece. At the End Of The Day comes from his marvelous solo debut Smallcreep’s Day, which is the closing section of the one side concept based on the only novel of writer Peter Currell Brown. Rutherford asked Noel McCalla (ex Sniff ‘n’ The Tears) to do the vocals. He would be doing vocals for/with Paul Carrack, Trevor Rabin, Mezzoforte, Manfred Mann Earth Band among others later on. Rutherfords second album was done completely by himself, including the vocals, after which he formed Mike & The Mechanics in the mid-eighties.

This last track complete the circle I start with the first “The History Of British Progressive Rock Of The Eighties” Volume, since At The End Of The Day was for years the closing track of the TROS LP/CD Show, the radio show that made me aware of progressive rock bands. But never say never, so maybe a third volume will pop up in the (near) future.

01. Tamarisk - An Alien Heat (5:19)
02. As Above…So Below - City In The Sea (3:58)
03. Dagaband - I Can See For Miles (4:19)
04. Cardiacs - The Leader Of The Starry Skies (3:52)
05. Solstice - Pathways (5:06)
06. Citizen Cain - Unspoken Words (5:24)
07. It Bites - Plastic Dreamers (3:53)
08. Geoff Mann - Creation (3:50)
09. Chemical Alice - Goodnight Vienna (3:38)
10. Niadem's Ghost - Endless Time (5:07)
11. Tony Banks & Fish - Shortcut To Somewhere (3:36)
12. Haze - In The End (4:39)
13. Marillion - Assassing (7" version) (3:39)
14. Presence - Serendipity (4:52)
15. Trilogy - A Legion In Morocco (4:54)
16. Liaison - Turn The Gun Down (4:13)
17. The Bond - Stranded (3:26)
18. Mike Rutherford - At The End Of The Day (5:34)

The link: ... QCsRFty4f4

Last edited by Rissan on Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80’s Volume 125

Postby crichert » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:08 am

Beautiful!! Thanks Rissan!! :D
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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80’s Volume 125

Postby Gazebo Music » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:13 pm


This is such an awesome share and a great continuation! The time and effort you put in is very much appreciated! Will definitely have a listen this weekend!

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Re: The Unknown Beauty Of The 80’s Volume 125

Postby maccafan076 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:06 pm

Thanks Rissan. Looking forward to giving this a listen
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