Beleave it or not this album WAS released Stateside! And it was sadly ignored! Too bad. The Photos-aka "Britian's answer to Blondie" (a promo the band HATED) more recalled the Buzzcocks with a female singer. There are no wasted tracks here. Best moments: "all I want", "Barbarella's "(about a club), "Irine", "look at the band", "do you have fun", both versions of "Evelyn", "last time", "who stole my skateboard" and a cover of "do you wanna dance" that rivals the Ramones' version. Other great songs of theirs that aren't on this CD but should be: "year of the rat", "Louise", "guitar hero", "cridsilla", "Ja'tame" and "we'll win". Here's hoping for a CD issue of their never released second LP "Crystal Tips For Naughty Mice".
I first picked up this album soon after its release in 1980. I had never actually heard any of the band's music, but I was intrigued by their contemporary description as "the poor man's Blondie" - and I liked the cover! It wasn't long before I was buying up their back catalogue of singles and jumping up and down in a sweaty mass of bodies at the next available Photos gig at Bristol Polytechnic.
This album is choc(olate) full of blistering melodic pop songs driven by rhythmn section Olly Harrison (drums) and Dave Sparrow (grinding Rickenbacker bass) - with the underrated Dave Eagle on pre-Edge guitar mysteryonics and minx Wendy Wu on voice/ adolescent fantasy.
Highlights are "Irene", "Barbarellas", "She's Artistic" and "Maxine". The package comes complete with the "Blackmail Tapes" - a selection of covers and fledging self-compositions recorded "in a garage somewhere in Worcestershire".
The Photos never quite made it. Their second album "Crystal Tips and Mighty Mice", which could and should have broken them into the big time, was in the can but never released. The band broke up soon after following the release of their final, and excellent, single "We'll Win". Wendy Wu subsequently left the music business following three solo singles and a brief flirtation with Steve Strange in his band "Strange Cruise".
One of the first albums I ever listened to. The sounds rang out from my brothers room till eventually, I aquired his LP in his abscence! Each track is different and rebellious. Now available on CD, my life is once again complete!
I first discovered these in 1980 , on a whim i bought the album on the cover alone .. dunno just felt somethin. My copy included a sort of bootleggy live thing which was also great. From the first listen i loved it and now 29 yrs later I still do . a real sad loss and a really seriously missed opportunity by the record moguls these really could have been huge . I really have no idea why they just faded away . I still play the album often and remember adolescent days of cider and impure thoughts for wendy ..lol..
The Photos with their ravishing lead singer (Wendy Wu) released at least one perfect-pop record in the early 80s. This compilation features all the songs from that album and also a selection from the hard-to-get Embarassment Tapes (I think it was called) LP that accompanied that album. Stand-out tracks are 'Irene', 'Do You Have Fun...' and 'Barbarellas'. Tough-girl garage pop suprisingly lushly produced makes this an under-rated classic - Buy It!
I am not sure that this was ever available on CD. I suggest people look for the double offering The Photos together with the Blackmail tapes on vinyl or cassette and then put it onto CD or Minidisc. Better still write to Epic and demand that they re-release this classic on CD. I am now looking for the 2nd album, there must be a bootleg out there somewhere!
I only ever had the original Photos album taped from a borrowed LP back in the early 80's, and am I glad to have bought this collection. Perfect short, sharp pop songs combining Blondie-type harmonies with the energy of the Buzzcocks! Absolutely fantastic!