15 February 2015

Hotel UK - Dream Street/ Silver Bay

Label: Logo
Year of Release: 1981

Logo were an odd little label, existing from late 1977- 1982 and generally issuing a mixed bag of novelty, new wave, rock and pop records. They're excellent fodder for a blog like this one in that most of their material - barring some successes with The Tourists, Driver 67 and Streetband - flopped hopelessly, leaving very little trace of its existence even in these "you can hear everything on YouTube and Spotify" times.

Hotel UK seemed to be signed to the label during its Autumn years, at the point where the modest flow of hits had truly been stemmed and the Executives had, for reasons known only to themselves, replaced the original company logo with a jagged neon lime green on black creation. Well, it was the eighties, I suppose.  And man, does "Dream Street" make that clear. It's all synthetic pulses, electronic piano sounds, dramatic guitar riffs, and lyrics about "dudes" with big white cars. It sort-of "rocks", but in a very self-conscious way - it's so polished it positively dazzles in places. You know before you even get to that point that it's going to finish on a Eurovision song styled fist-punching repetition of the refrain "Midnight on dream street!" then rapidly stop on a final guitar chord, and then that's exactly what it does. No alarms, and no surprises - but it's got a choppy hook that will definitely appeal to people who don't mind their rock undercut with eighties production stylings. 

As for who Hotel UK are - that's a mystery to me, I'm afraid. This appears to have been their only single, so my guess would be that they were a gigging act who were unfortunate enough to be made promises by Logo Records shortly before they ceased their trading activities, or else were signed for a one single deal and didn't have the option picked up on their contract. 

This record is notable for being a Mick Glossop production. Glossop was truly the producer of choice if you were an alternative pop band in the late eighties, commandeering sessions by The Wonder Stuff, Lloyd Cole, PiL, The Waterboys and Sinead O'Connor, among many others. "Dream Street" is a little atypical of the kind of work he usually took on, but shows a diversity to his approach he perhaps may not generally be appreciated for. 


Arthur Nibble said...

One Logo track inadvertently shipped way more than expected soon after this release but for no financial gain, as "Samba Someday" (B-side of a single by Music For Boys) was accidentally pressed on to the flip side of many copies of "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers, due to a pressing plant error as both singles had the same three digits in their catalogue number. I very much doubt we'll hear the A-side of GO 408 any time soon - "Gary Glitter Part One" by Vardis.

23 Daves said...

Well, now you've mentioned it, that record is the kind of thing I might be tempted to feature on here - if I feel I can deal with the angry comments, that is. (I got a pissed off comment from someone recently about a Rolf Harris entry I wrote in 2009. I didn't know any better then!)

I should also check the flip of my copy of "Strange Little Girl", as I don't think I've ever bothered to actually play it.

Graham Clayton said...

I like these early 80's tracks because a conventional drum kit is being used (high hat and snare), rather then the more "mechanical" drum sounds of the mid to late 1980's.

vizzio said...

Sorry you dont rate this single, I saw them live in 81 twice in Kent, my neighbour did the mixing for them, they were phenomenal and me and my kids absolutely love both a and b sides.

23 Daves said...

Heh! I don't dislike the single, vizzio, but it's not something I'd ever go overboard about. But I like to give records like this one a fair hearing on the blog, and it's safe to say that it has picked up some appreciation from other readers.

Flooz said...

Just found this! Hotel UK were a gigging band, they played several time at a pub called The Prince of Wales, in Gravesend, Kent. If memory serves me right, they were from the Liverpool area. Oh, and I have that single! 😊