10 March 2010

Second Hand Record Dip Part 48 - Harmony Blend - Blue City

Harmony Blend - Blue City

Who: Harmony Blend

What: Blue City (Paloma Blanca) (b/w "(If You Knew) The Way I Feel")
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street, London
When: 1978
Label: Alaska

Cost: 50p

I'm not really particularly interested in football - actually, scratch that, I'm not remotely interested in football - so whilst there are tons of soccer song goodies to be grabbed from second hand record stores out there, I'm seldom tempted to pick them up. There are whole blogs dedicated to them already, anyway, and I wouldn't want to delude myself that my quarter-hearted knowledge about the teams in question (and inevitably seventies teams at that, since that's when these records seemed most plentiful) would really add any joy to the world.

So then, I freely admit that I stumbled on this little oddity by accident. The title "Blue City" should have been a screaming giveaway of course, but I'm thick like that. In a way, I'm glad I did take this one home - the single appears to be a Euro-disco soccer-based take on "Una Paloma Blanca", complete with Linn drum "peooing!" noises, used here to an effect not heard since Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell". Clearly the market for disco-loving Manchester City fans was no stronger in 1978 than it is today, as the single flopped. Ah well, everyone tried.

Alaska Records were an independent seventies label owned by John Schroeder who littered the seventies with all kinds of novelty pop and disco, almost none of their releases really meeting with any success. I've a strong suspicion - but no more than that, which would cause a Wikipedia moderator to go beetroot red with fury - that they're also linked to Alaska Studios based near Waterloo station in London, once a popular choice for the cash-strapped indie band. Creation Records used them regularly in the eighties, and due to the proximity of the trainlines to the studio itself, noise pollution was apparently an occupational hazard in the eighties. The Jesus and Mary Chain recorded "Upside Down" there and were apparently 'inconvenienced' by this, even though one would have hoped they'd kept the clattering noise on the single, the weeds. Of course, you could argue that a certain amount of fate came into play here, as hardcore Manchester City fans Noel and Liam Gallagher later signed to Creation in the nineties, although history does not record whether they owned a copy of this record or not.

The vinyl releasing outlet of Alaska appears to have ceased its activities at the end of the seventies, meaning we never did get to hear a hi-NRG football song recorded by Leicester City fans or something like that.


Matthew Cheeseman said...

Like the 'cost' indicator - you should add that to all the entries!

23 Daves said...

For as long as my wife dips into this blog, I am not prepared to divulge how much of the household budget I've spent on certain records.

The 50p bargains on the Second Hand Record Dip entries, though... that's fine by me!

Anonymous said...

That 'Alaska ' label never had any hits , did it? It might have been the most chart un-bothering British label ever.

23 Daves said...

A quick web search reveals that Joy Sarney's "Naughty Naughty Naughty" was on Alaska, and got to number 26 in 1977. That's it, though.

I'd almost completely forgotten about that one, but the ludicrousness of it is available for all to see on YouTube:

I'm stunned.

Anonymous said...

Leicester City Football Club - This Is The Season (1974) Sad thing is I've got it !!

Ian (London)