First of all, I must send out a big thanks to Music Ruined My Life for turning me on to this gem of an album!
Just when I feel like I'm beginning to close in on all the best lost records of the late 70s-early 80s new wave era, I come across something like Promises and Ties by U.K. band the Expressos and realize that the treasure chest is pretty much endless.
1981's Promises and Ties was the first and only LP by the Expressos, and this album is so good there's absolutely no reason it shouldn't have been a smash hit. Its cocktail of new wave, power pop and 60s girl group, during its strongest moments, stands up to classic tracks by the likes of Blondie and The Pretenders.
The album kicks off with the infectious, energetic single Tango in Mono, which Elvis Costello supposedly selected as his second favorite pop song of all time. My Yesterday follows with tasty slice of power pop, and There She Goes is a gorgeous track featuring Byrds-like guitar. Another single, By Tonight, is highly melodic 60s girl group, as is the clever ballad B Side. The true centerpiece of the album, though, is the title track. It's a soaring pop masterpiece just begging to be covered by someone. Other highlights include yet another single, the sing-songy Hey Girl, the jangling beauty of Miss You Melody (The French Song) and album closer The Trap, which sounds like it could have been on Pretenders II.
What's really amazing about this record is that for something that went largely unnoticed, the songwriting is consistently superb. It features one luscious pop tune after another, and the bright vocals of Rozzi Rayner gives them even more life.
Every fan of melodic, 60s-influenced new wave and power pop should discover this album! Check it out at Music Ruined My Life.
1 - Tango in Mono
2 - My Yesterday
3 - There She Goes
4 - By Tonight
5 - B Side
6 - Promises and Ties
7 - Kiss You All Over
8 - Want
9 - Hey Girl
10 - Missing You Melody (The French Song)
11 - Thumbs on the Ground
12 - The Trap
FOR FANS OF:
Blondie, The Pretenders, The Sinceros, The Photos, The Tourists