Thursday, March 27, 2008

PEARL HARBOUR - Pearls Galore!

Pearls Galore! by Pearl Harbour is one of those "lost" albums that even many fans never knew existed.

The LP was the follow-up to Harbour's 1980 album, Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too, which was more widely known and consisted of short, clever rockabilly pop tunes. Before that, Harbour performed under the moniker Pearl E. Gates as front woman in new wave band Pearl Harbor and the Explosions.

By the time Pearls Galore! came out to limited release it was already 1984, and after four years of silence it's no surprise Harbour had fallen off the radar. Even so, the LP is a very worthy listen, with production by Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, The Go-Go's) and the material itself adding more of a 60s girl group polish to the singer's rockabilly base. Harbour even throws in a Shangri-Las cover (Out in the Streets) and an original track (He Ain't So Bad) that sounds remarkably like one.

Opener Killer Joe is another cover that pays tribute to 60s pop. The calypso-tinged Flirt and the latin and surf-flavored Spanish Bop are lots of fun. Nerves, Run Rhythm Run and the twangy Please Come Home hearken back to the sound of Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too. Get Outta Here is tough and catty, and wouldn't sound out of place on a Joan Jett record. Hula Love, yet another retro cover - this one originally by Buddy Knox - closes the album off with a laid back island vibe.

Flirt and Hula Love were pulled as singles (the latter released on 10" blue vinyl!), but unsurprisingly neither left a dent.

According to this site, the Japanese edition of the album contained some alternate songs - Voodoo Voodoo, You Don't Fool Me, A Love Like Yours, I Can't Tell You on the Phone and What I Should've Said. Apart from the first two, which were released on an earlier single, I've never heard these tracks. If anyone can help, PLEASE let me know.

One interesting fact to note is that during this time Harbour was married to Paul Simonon of The Clash. Check out this cool clip of her performing Fujiyama Mama with the band in 1982.

After releasing Pearls Galore! Harbour was quiet for over a decade, then released the raw Here Comes Trouble in 1995.

While Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too has seen digital release on iTunes, the elusive Pearls Galore! has never been reissued in any format. Check out a vinyl rip here:

Pearl Harbour - Pearls Galore! (1984)

Track listing:
1 - Killer Joe
2 - He Ain't So Bad
3 - Flirt
4 - Spanish Bop
5 - Nerves
6 - Get Outta Here
7 - Out in the Streets
8 - Please Come Home
9 - Run Rhythm Run
10 - Hula Love


Lito Sandoval said...

Wow I remember Pearl. She was a fixture in the San Francisco New wave scene. It was Pearl, Romeo Void & Translator. Back when I was too young to get into clubs like the Mabuhay.

Dean said...

Fantastic! I had looked for this album for years before you managed to unearth it. Now, can you find the unreleased second House of Schock album?

eric said...

You're right, I had no idea that this one existed. I bought the Explosions album and "Don't Follow Me" back when they were first released, so it's strange that I didn't see this one when it came out, or come across it in all the years since. Thank you VERY much for turning me on to it!

jeffen said...

Vinyl rips of girl-pop, Canadiana and joyously dated ephemera. Awesome

You're linked at

Franko6677 said...

Thanks, guys! Glad I could help with this!

jonderneathica said...

I have the "Voodoo Voodoo/You Don't Fool Me" single (which was recorded with Wilko Johnson from Dr. Feelgood) and "Hula Love/Please Come Home".

I also have a Pearl Harbour cd from 1995 called "Here Comes Trouble". She recorded it with East Bay Ray (from the Dead Kennedys) and members of Buck Naked's band. The cd includes a great cover of "Have Love Will Travel". But "Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost Too" is my favorite. Any chance you could repost "Pearls Galore"?

sexy said...




Anonymous said...

Just found this LP for a $1 at a sidewalk sale, didn't spin it yet, sounds promising.

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