Saturday, March 8, 2008

THE REELS - Self-Titled Debut



The Reels were yet another great band that came out of Australia in the late 70s. This one I got wind of on Overhere's blog. After reading a few of the entries and sampling a few of the tunes on that site I just had to track down some Reels on vinyl. I started with their debut LP from 1979.

The band specialized in quirky new wave that changed shape quite a bit throughout its existence. The first album is mostly energetic and bouncy, and much of the material is marked by ska and reggae touches. The singles, Love Will Find a Way and Prefab Hearts, for example, are upbeat and catchy ska pop. They are pure fun and arguably the best tracks on the record. Album closer Livalafaway is another peppy, irresistible ska number. Plastic Pop and Baby's in the Know are just as energetic, but more straight-up new wave, while the off-kilter reggae of Spot the Ridge is another highlight. Lead vocalist Dave Mason is versatile and convincing, delivering each song with gusto.

After their debut, The Reels went on to release a few more albums and EPs. The haunting title track from sophomore album Quasimodo's Dream is perhaps the most remembered Reels track. In 1982 the band released Beautiful, an unexpected but great covers collection of easy listening standards. The album included another hit in a version of the Burt Bacharach classic, This Guy's in Love With You. The Reels gained further attention in 1986 with an unlikely, synth-heavy cover of CCR's Bad Moon Rising, and continued until coming to an official end in 1995.

Upon breakup, the band released a now out of print best of collection called Requiem, but the individual LPs have not been reissued on CD. Here is my vinyl rip of the debut:

The Reels - Self-Titled Debut (1979)

Track listing:
1 - Plastic Pop
2 - Baby's in the Know
3 - Love Will Find a Way
4 - Don't Get Me Wrong
5 - Wonder Why
6 - Misused, Abused
7 - Prefab Hearts
8 - Spot the Ridge
9 - Apathy
10 - Go Away
11 - The Meeting
12 - Livalafaway

FOR FANS OF:
XTC, Squeeze, The Dugites, The Specials, Split Enz, Madness

WEB LINKS:
- The Reels on Wikipedia
- Love Will Find a Way video on YouTube
- Prefab Heart video on YouTube
- Quasimodo's Dream video on YouTube
- This Guy's in Love With You video on YouTube

1 comment:

zach phillips said...

does anyone out there have a digital or physical copy of Beautiful or Neighbours to give/trade/sell? the only copies I can find are $50+ on ebay which I can't do. please get in touch if you want to work something out -- zphillips at gmail dot com -- thanks!