Saturday, February 5, 2022

VA - The Sun Shines Here, The Roots of Indie Pop 1980-1984 [2021] (3 x CD's)



VA - The Sun Shines Here, The Roots of Indie Pop 1980-1984 [2021] (3 x CD's)

The Sun Shines Here: Roots of Indie Pop 1980-1984 is a sequel of sorts to Cherry Red's 2013 release Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie Pop. The three-disc set delves a little deeper into the early years of the sound, showing how post-punk evolved into something that could be a little brighter or more melodic, while still staking out tonal and rhythmic territory outside of the norm. While there are quite a few groups that appear on both collections, the extra space here gives the compilers more room to tell the story and uncover a wider range of bands this time that ranges from important (the Teardrop Explodes) to totally forgotten (the Cinematics). There are a variety of sounds and styles represented, enough that one gets a clear picture of just how fragmented the music scene became the further away it got from punk. Contrast the slick jazz-pop of Weekend with the hard-charging mod pop of the Laughing Apple, the lo-fi frug of the Mo-Dettes with the rollicking cabaret punk of Ludus, or the dubby new wave of the Lines with the sophisticated pop of Pale Fountains to see how very different the bands could be. They are drawn together by an abiding love of a good melody and the desire to make music that didn't follow trends, but rather seemed dead set on starting them. At least that's the case on the first two discs of the collection, which conclude in early 1983.

After that point, there seems to be a slight codification of the scene into more straightforward, 60's inspired pop of the kind made famous by labels like Creation. Of course, there are exceptions (like Swallow Tongue's amazing avant-funk take on the Jackson 5's "Got to Be There"), but all the groups here are guided by the twin deities of jangle and fuzz, knocking out brilliant songs that burst out of the speakers like glimmering rays of the sun (Hurrah!'s "Hip Hip," the Suede Crocodiles' "Paint Yourself a Rainbow") or leak out like bitter tears (Revolving Paint Dream's "In the Afternoon," the Pastels' "A Million Tears"). It makes a compelling case that 1984 was one of the great years for indie pop and brings the set to a thrilling, if less adventurous, conclusion. As with Scared, there are a few big bands missing, but it's hard to bark too much about that when what is actually here is so enjoyable. The one complaint that might stick is that each year covered here could have been expanded to three discs each; the music taken from each year is so good and so much fun to discover and/or revisit that one is left wanting more to hear and discover. (AllMusic review Review by Tim Sendra)



Track lists


01 Wah! Heat Better Scream 3:20

02 Teardrop Explodes Read it in Books 2:19

03 Lori & the Chameleons The Lonely Spy 3:27

04 Scars Love Song 3:14

05 Disco Zombies Mary Millington 4:18

06 Mo-Dettes Twist and Shout 2:28

07 It's Immaterial Young Man (Seeks Interesting Job) 2:56

08 Manicured Noise Freetime 3:38

09 Chefs Sweetie 2:25

10 Josef K It's Kinda Funny 3:44

11 Au Pairs It's Obvious 5:45

12 Dolly Mixture Step Close Now 1:58

13 Vic Godard & the Subway Sect Stop That Girl 3:02

14 Family Fodder Debbie Harrry 3:12

15 Ludus Mutilate 2:33

16 Girls at Our Best! Go for Gold! 3:23

17 Essential Logic Fanfare in the Garden 3:06

18 Monochrome Set Ten Don'ts for Honeymooners 2:54

19 Art Objects 20th Century Composites 2:45

20 Lines Transit 2:47

21 Jowe Head Cake Shop Girl 2:30

22 Wild Swans God Forbid 3:10

23 Altered Images Insects 3:31

24 Bluebells Everybody's Somebody's Fool (Demo) 2:47

25 Jazzateers Don't Let Your Son Grow Up to Be a Cowboy 3:06


01 Scritti Politti The "Sweetest Girl" 5:05

02 Nightingales Inside Out 3:02

03 Weekend The View From Her Room (7" Version) 4:05

04 Everything But the Girl On My Mind 3:10

05 Blue Orchids Wait 3:54

06 Prefab Sprout Radio Love 4:06

07 Joni Dee Feat. the Times Here Come the Holidays 3:32

08 Farmer's Boys Whatever is He Like? 3:19

09 Pale Fountains Just a Girl 4:23

10 The Raincoats Running Away 2:49

11 Gift Crashing Down 4:02

12 Tracey Thorn Simply Couldn't Care 2:47

13 Microdisney Hello Rascals 2:44

14 Dislocation Dance You'll Never Never Know 2:29

15 Laughing Apple Wouldn't You? 2:17

16 Cinematics Puffa Train 3:26

17 In Embrace Sun Brings Smiles 3:19

18 Daintees Involved With Love 2:31

19 Five Or Six Chalk Circle 4:23

20 Trixie's Big Red Motorbike Hold Me 1:37

21 Gymslips Big Sister (It's Probably Better) 2:22

22 Ben Watt On Box Hill 2:24

23 Marine Girls That Fink, Jazz-Me-Blues Boy 1:34

24 Del Amitri The Difference Is 4:50


01 Friends Again State of Art 3:56

02 Pulp There Was... 3:32

03 Jane and Barton I Want to Be With You 3:43

04 Swallow Tongue Got to Be There 3:39

05 Page Boys You're My Kind of Girl 3:00

06 Jetset Judy's Toy Box 2:26

07 Hurrah! Hip Hip 3:03

08 Biff Bang Pow! Fifty Years of Fun 1:55

09 June Brides In the Rain 3:56

10 Revolving Paint Dream In the Afternoon (Early Version) 3:40

11 Brilliant Corners Tangled Up in Blue 2:09

12 Yeah Yeah Noh Bias Binding 1:57

13 April Showers Abandon Ship 3:40

14 Twinsets Sophisticated Boom Boom 2:52

15 Aztec Camera Jump 2:50

16 Ringing Caprice 2:43

17 Higsons Music to Watch Boys By 2:50

18 Loft Winter 3:04

19 Jasmine Minks Ghost of a Young Man 3:42

20 The Wee Cherubs Waiting for My Man 4:48

21 Grab Grab the Haddock I'm Used Now 3:18

22 Pastels Million Tears 2:53

23 St. Christopher Crystal Clear 3:18

24 Suede Crocodiles Paint Yourself a Rainbow 3:29

25 Jesus and Mary Chain Upside Down 3:00




  1. Now how can a compilation be that starts off with one of my all-time favourite tracks and groups? I know and love many of the others and am looking forward to the ones I don't! Thanks for this gem!

    1. Hi Wolfgang.
      The first track is amazing. It is always great to be reminded of what was and how it made us feel.


    2. Hi Butterboy, Wah/Pete Wylie has done a lot more good tracks, especially his first album is great. And I must admit I don't need to get reminded of this kind of music, I listen to it all the time ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Great as always. A lot of songs I like and many more to discover. Thank you BB!!

    1. HiManolis,
      Enjoy these as you continue to explore.


  3. What a playlist! Nice one ๐Ÿ‘Š

  4. Grab Grab the Haddock AND Jesus and Mary Chain? Gotta love this!

    1. Hi Pol.
      So many wonderful songs in the supermarket of sound.


  5. Thanks so much for this. Have to add Pale Fountains are just so underrated.

    1. Hi deathandtaxes.
      I love the Pale Fountains.. I shared their works previously.