Virgin 1990. VST1196
This was the final single of Robert Lloyds brief solo career. I’ve posted his two indie singles here and here. This suffers somewhat from major label over-production which as I recall alienated his existing fan base while failing to win any new ones. As a result it featured heavily in bargain bins throughout the 90s. However underneath all of that it’s a decent enough song, and the B sides didn’t suffer so much from the production, so are more rewarding listens.
The last track features Peter Byrchmore on guitar. I went to school with him, although he was in the year above me, so he was never a friend. The riff he plays here is very familiar – I’ve heard him use it live, but not with Robert Lloyd, or even I think the Nightingales, who he’s best known for playing with. It’ll come to me eventually.
In Tape 1988. ITTI059
This is the second and last Robert Lloyd In Tape 12″; the first one is here.
It has a lot in common with Something Nice. It’s long but doesn’t outstay its welcome, it’s a great song performed with an infectious energy and no-one bought it. The first B side is a rather odd variant on Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue (!) but when it launches straight into Mr Superior, normal service is resumed. Why he sings it as Mr Soupy Rear isn’t clear though.
According to Discogs I also have his entire output on Virgin, so I’ll post that at some point too.
In Tape, 1988. ITT056
Writing about the long tracks on Dexy’s Don’t Stand Me Down put me in mind of this very fine Robert Lloyd single which clocks in at a hefty 9 minutes or so, but like Dexy’s, doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Robert Lloyd is mostly known as a founder member of The Nightingales, but he had a brief stint in the late 80s as a solo artist, initially on Marc Reilly’s In Tape, then Virgin. He also used to run Birmingham’s Vindaloo Records who were responsible for discovering Ted Chippington (he justified his existence by this alone) and Fuzzbox.
His solo career didn’t go well at all, but it wasn’t for want of good material. This single is as good as anything I bought that year; a wonderful song played with a real energy complete with Stone Roses style drumming, a year before the Stone Roses really made it big. The B sides aren’t too shabby either. I have no idea what the “New Four Seasons” thing is about though. He doesn’t sound anything like them.
Further listening: well none of his solo material is available, but the Nightingales are soldiering on and always worth a listen. Their current album No Love Lost is as good as anything they’ve done, which is no mean feat with a back catalogue like theirs.