Saturday, July 11, 2015

Words of LOVE: SPAZ reviews THE LOVER SPEAKS!

     
THE LOVER SPEAKS

THE LOVER SPEAKS
(Expanded Edition)

Available NOW!
    
 Once upon a time, there was a British Punk quartet called The Flys.  In early ’79, I managed to pick up their debut album that had come out at the end of the previous year.  While they didn’t sell as many records as their contemporaries, I thought they were just as good as any of the bands on the scene.  Their second album came out at the end of ’79 and I was, again,  hooked.  Unfortunately, the band split the following year, but it was nice to see that band leader Neil O’Connor joined his sister Hazel O’Connor’s band so at least he was able to get out and see a little more of the world while touring with her. A few years later, drummer Pete King ended up in After The Fire, who released a trio of great records that combined the energy of New Wave, the complexity of Prog Rock and the instant hummability of  Synthpop.  However, the biggest shock came when the other two Flys – David Freeman and Joseph Hughes – became The Lover Speaks and released their self-titled debut album in 1986, a lush, romantic affair that was light years away from their edgy beginnings.


     The album’s first single, ‘No More ‘I Love Yous’” sold rather well at first but didn’t quite hit the Top 50 in the UK before dropping off the charts.  As an introduction to the band’s sound, it was the perfect single.  The Lover Speaks’ album was wonderfully produced and arranged and should have appealed to fans of Eurythmics (David A Stewart helped them get their deal with A&M) , Roxy Music, Breathe and Black (“Wonderful Life”). David Freeman’s smooth baritone vocals were offset by June Miles Kingston’s slightly playful voice (she actually should have been given credit as a band member alongside keyboardist Barry Gilbert) and the whole album drips with the highs of lows of romance. Synths swirl around like the warm aroma of baking bread while Freeman’s lyrics cut through the heart like butter. “Every Lover’s Sign, “ “Face Me And Smile” and the aforementioned “No More ‘I Love Yous’” are highpoints of the album but there’s really no weak track here to speak of. After three decades, the production may sound dated yet the songs still dig deep and capture your heart.   


     Cherry Pop’s reissue adds a non-album track plus seven additional remixes. A wonderful and sadly overlooked album that deserves another chance… and now it is your turn to fall in love with it!

(P.S. Eurythmics' Annie Lennox would later score a hit with her version of "No More 'I Love Yous'")

Peace, love and pancakes,
SPAZ

1 comment:

lauraichase said...

This is a great album and it is widely known within the industry that the keyboardist, Barry Gilbert, was responsible for all of the orchestration of the original demos, as neither Joe nor David played the keyboards, and when the album was recorded in the United States, Barry Gilbert was flown over to do the keyboard parts. I saw the band playing live in Glasgow, and Joe Hughes played an acoustic guitar that wasn't even plugged in.