10 September 2008
Parachute Men - If I Could Wear Your Jacket...?
Year of Release: 1988
I've only recently begun to realise how few female lead singers had success in the eighties and nineties - in the present decade it would be considered extremely unusual if there were a top ten singles chart without a woman to be seen anywhere. A quick bit of research for previous decades shows that this was nothing absurd back then at all.
Perhaps this is why I keep on digging up so many female-fronted bands for consideration on this blog. The Leeds based band The Parachute Men were no exception to the lock-out, and being an indie band in the eighties as well could hardly have set the odds stacked against them higher. This is interesting, as the music they produced was actually thoroughly commercial, utlising chiming guitar lines and infectious vocal melodies. Fire Records obviously thought so - they made an official to complaint to the BBC about their failure to playlist their single "Leeds Station" on Radio One, and took it public in the music press as evidence of Auntie Beeb's bias against independent labels. Whilst the resulting squabble was interesting and fun, it didn't cause the corporation to change their minds about either that single or any of the rest of the band's output.
Somewhat predictably, the band were said to have knocked it on the head when they finally got sick of travelling down to London to play the same old half-filled small venues, and by the time the nineties dawned they were largely forgotten. A deep shame - this single proves they had a sound easily the equal of their more successful peers, and to prove it's no fluke, I've bundled in another A-side "Sometimes In Vain" for your approval. It's a lot moodier than "Jacket", and has a heavy, brooding atmosphere along with its pop hooks.
I've also included the b-side to "Jacket", "Meredith Burgess"... which once again isn't all that much cop. Perhaps I should just forget about uploading flip sides unless they're any good...
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