1 January 2015

The Crying Shames - Over My Head/ Autumn In The City

Label: Logo
Year of Release: 1980

A total mystery, this one - a record which, according to most vinyl cataloguing sites online, doesn't even exist. Naturally, scarcity is no guarantee of value and I managed to pick it up for less than the price of a glossy magazine. 

As you might suspect, "Over My Head" is a cover of the Fleetwood Mac track, only given a particularly sultry Marshall Hain treatment. Electronic keyboards coo underneath a shuffling rhythm and a male and female duet, and it sounds slightly more date-stamped than the original. This kind of hushed, silky smooth, slightly dancefloor orientated MOR was all over the late-night FM airwaves during the late seventies and very early eighties, and brings to mind the sleeve (and occasionally music) of the K-Tel compilation "Night Moves". That it's stylistically firmly locked in that era doesn't render it irrelevant, however - I've a sneaking appreciation for this single, and if I'd ever been sleazy enough to have a bedroom seduction tape, I'm sure it might have made its way on. And I'm sure it would have improved my prospects with the opposite sex little.

The Crying Shames are also a mystery, and for reasons more intriguing than usual. They appear to have only had one other single out on Logo (although as this one was largely unaccounted for by the Internet, there may be others hidden away). Entitled "That's Rock 'n' Roll", it was credited as featuring Andy Taylor, who online auctioneers and record dealers alike have always assumed was occasional "Left and to the Back" reader Andy Taylor out of Duran Duran. However, he has consistently denied any involvement. As the single also pre-dates the release of their debut single "Planet Earth" by six months, it's also unlikely that a credit for his work would have given the record any particular advantages even if he had worked his way on to the track then subsequently forgotten the entire session.

Anyway, if you know more, drop me a comment. And Happy New Year! There are lots of interesting records coming up over the next few weeks, so please stick with us.


Anonymous said...
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23 Daves said...

Thanks for letting me know. It's an interesting case, a record deemed to be "of value" purely due to the supposed involvement of a famous person who denies all knowledge of it. This happens surprisingly often…

Horrible to hear about the treatment of the other Andy Taylor, if that's correct.

Anonymous said...
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23 Daves said...

Thanks for the added information, which is really interesting.

As no charges have ever been bought against anyone here and the Internet is largely silent on the subject, I do think we have to be a bit careful. There's absolutely no question (in my mind) that some tragic things happened to young people both at the hands of entertainment moguls and politicians, but libel law still applies even to tiny blogs like this one. I'd obviously be very interested to read any on-the-record allegations which were published about this, though.

Anonymous said...

Yes of course, fair point. Andrew (or Lewis) is a mate of mine and he has been quite open about that particular past situation with me and feels he has nothing to hide, he has also found the confusion with the Duran thing very amusing.

However the last thing I want is to get you or your blog into any kind of trouble so please feel free to remove any of the information from my comments should they prove to be problematic for you.

If any thing above board comes to light I'll certainly drop you a line here.

23 Daves said...

Thanks. Believe it or not I've actually witnessed what an explosive minefield stuff like this can be… So, here are the edited comments (for which I'm really grateful)!

"As far as the Andy Taylor involvement is concerned I can confirm that the Andy Taylor in question had nothing to do with Duran Duran, it was actually a guy who later went on to have a bit of a career in the 90's under the name of Lewis Taylor. The guy who was resposible for the record is Barry Evangeli, who later made records with cross-dressing star of dodgy porn films Divine.

As for the other one, it seems to be a completely different set of people recording under the same name, although Evangeli's involvement is still there."

"The whole thing was a farce right down to the fake note home to his mum on the cover of the single, which you can see on the net if you google it on images. Also Taylor, who had only just turned 14 at the time, was credited as having played drums, lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards and vocals - hence the 'featuring Andy Taylor' credit (like anybody would know what that meant at the time!).

The truth is that he played guitar and a bit of piano and organ but didn't sing on it at all. The lead vocals were by the 18 year old bass player Andy Georgiou who Taylor was at school with, the other guitarist from the band was completely written out of the picture but was also a band member at the time and played as much guitar on the session as Taylor did. The drums were by a guy who was called in as a session player. His name was Brett Morgan, the son of the studio owner, and the backing vocals were by Cliff Richards backing vocalist Tony Rivers. Terry Russell didn't exist.

A google search revealed that Evangeli is now deputy mayor of Barnet, albeit not a very popular one, plus he also dj's on greek radio.

The record failed to do anything and it seems that the one on your blog was put together by Evangeli fairly quickly afterwards with a completely different set of musicians."