I completely missed out on the Au Pairs at the time. If you've been following the story so far, you'll know I mostly spent 1981 listening to Rush, Jon Anderson and Tangerine Dream. And I only started to catch up on what I'd missed a couple of years later. Even then, I failed to catch up on the Au Pairs.
I got this in 2003. te was clearing his old records out of D's house, and he'd left a pile of the unwanted ones behind. D offered me first refusal on them before they went to the charity shop. I don't think that was the time I had the car with me, so I was limited to what I could reasonably carry back to London on the train: I came away with about six LPs and a 12" single. "There aren't any that are really valuable, are there?" asked D. "I don't know," I said. And I don't; though I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be quite valuable [Hmmm, eBay has it for as little as 99 pence]. The cover is pretty knackered, but the disc inside is in fine nick — I guess that's because te didn't like it much, and hence left it behind.
Lucy didn't recognise the band when I played the record for the first time yesterday. I asked if she thought it sounded like the Gang of Four, and she agreed it did. There's that strong influence of dub reggae and funk along with the spiky new wavery. If I hadn't heard a thousand songs from the last four years ripping off this sound, I'd probably enjoy it more. It does make you wonder why the Gang of Four are lauded everywhere you look, but everyone, including us, seems to have forgotten the Au Pairs. According to Wikipedia the band members are all still alive and mostly still around Birmingham, so perhaps they should reform. I mean, everyone else has.
Meanwhile Lucy did recognise that Repetition was a cover of a David Bowie song, and I didn't, even though I have the album it's from.
Fantastically enigmatic cover art that still manages to convey the oppositional stance of the music. It's even better than the best Simple Minds covers.
|MusicBrainz entry for this album|