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This review is from: The Photos (Audio CD)
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".
Blondie as the poor man's Photos?