I’ve long said that my personal favorite era of pop music is England from 1977 to 1984 or so. While most would immediately cite the boom that was 1963-67, and that was certainly a fertile ground for much dynamic invention, I’ve always liked where the form went in the later era. It seemed that pop music was nothing but dead ends by the late 70’s and yet miraculously by the middle of the next decade there seemed to be countless new avenues and directions to go (and indeed it did). The inventiveness of dozens of major and minor bands broke so much ground at a time when moving the form an inch was akin to a mile (whereas the artists in 1963 saw a mile to be just about a mile) that 30 years later there is still countless records ripe for discovery.
While I wouldn’t say that today’s pick is anything that obscure—though they aren’t where they should be in fans memories—regardless, I wanted to say more that in my favorite era this band produced two stellar records that I turn to as much as any when I’ve nothing readily in my mind to listen to.