Friday, May 16, 2008


Tom Dickie and the Desires were a New York City band that released two LPs, Competition in 1981 and The Eleventh Hour in 1982. I recently picked up the latter in record shop for just 25 cents (!!) simply because I thought the album art was interesting and seemed pretty new wave-ish.

It's difficult to pinpoint this album as new wave, power pop, or anything else because it doesn't follow a single direction. It jumps from blatantly 80s new wave (Victimless Crime, So Mystified) to pure power pop (I Don't Want to Live Without You, Gone to Stay, Twisted Years) to earnest slow tunes (If I Could Paint, They Don't Know Anymore).

That being said, there's some fantastic moments here - namely the tracks on which the band aims for a more straightforward power pop approach. The best is arguably I Don't Want to Live Without You, which is melodic ear candy through and through and boasts the record's strongest hook. Gone to Stay and Twisted Years take a similar approach and are almost as good, while Stolen Time has a great sing-along chorus.

The copy I picked up was a DJ promo, which included a biography from PolyGram Records that had this to say:

If one feels an urgency in the second album by Tom Dickie and the Desires, appropriately titled "The Eleventh Hour," it probably stems from this important new group's intention to make rock 'n' roll that matters. "There was this general feeling about everything that was going on while we were making this album," explains Dickie, "almost like - will we get it down on vinyl in time?"
"It's something we not only felt in our lives, but everywhere around us - in New York City, with the Yankees, in the Falklands...everywhere. That sense is found in the songs on the album, the urgency of people trying to accomplish something before their time is up."
...Dickie feels "The Eleventh Hour" reflects the band's experiences "living in New York where everything is always happening. You sometimes feel like you're living a day ahead of everything else, always on the eleventh hour."

Tom Dickie & the Desires - The Eleventh Hour (LP, 1982)

Track listing:
1 - Victimless Crime
2 - Stolen Time
3 - Gone to Stay
4 - Our Eyes
5 - So Mystified
6 - I Don't Want to Live Without You
7 - What Happened
8 - Twisted Years
9 - Patience Is a Virtue
10 - They Don't Know Anymore
11 - If I Could Paint


Uncle E said...

You picked it up for a quarter? Nice snag! Very cool album art, I would have paid at least double that.
They sound interesting, thanks for the tip off, once again.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY!!!!!! I've been waiting. :)

Anonymous said...

Lotta good songs on this album! "Twisted Years" comes at you like a freight train, "So Mystfied" is a spooky obsessed-fan song, and "Victimless Crime" is a Rock/Dance/Rap kinda unique thing. The group was really stretching out - too bad it was their last album.

Fox Pass said...

You can find 2 of the Desires members, including songwriter Jon Macey, at

We still perform Downtown Talk.