Quite often I find a lot of music on eBay, Discogs, and other online sellers that is sold as "ska" which isn't ska. I have been disappointed so many times by buying things blindly that you would assume I would learn my lesson at some point and only buy things that I hear first, but I keep falling for it. There are a couple reasons for this - firstly, when I go to record shops, conventions, thrift stores, etc. I take way more chances on things than I do when I buy online and I have struck gold too many times that I see no need to to change my ways. Secondly, I listen to lots of different types of music (we all do, I know) so, even though it may not be what I'm looking for, it might still be good.
Here are a few things I bought thinking they were ska but they aren't - but they're still pretty good.
Drive-Ins - Movie Girls (1985)
I'm posting this one because I get requests for it - a lot of requests. It's labeled as ska on Discogs but it's not ska at all. It's upbeat new wave/rock with lots of keyboard, distorted 80s guitar, and a bit of saxophone here and there. The closest it comes to ska might be the title track "Movie Girls", or maybe the song "Get the Message". But it is very rare so you might want to download it for that reason alone.
1 Just Respondin'
2 Don't Kiss My Face
3 Movie Girls
4 You're so Independent
5 Life ain't no Day on the Beach
6 Busy Signal
8 Secret Sessions
9 Echoes of War
10 Get the Message
There was an expensive copy of this on eBay for years. This is that same copy. Try as I might, I was never able to find out anything about it so one drunken night I just bought the damned thing. It was disappointing to hear in the end but at least the vase was finally broken. (There was an old fable about a woman who had a priceless vase and she was so constantly stressed about it breaking that she finally broke it for some relief. Maybe it wasn't a fable. It could have been an episode of Growing Pains.)
I am not a fan of Buddy System. They had a hard rock look with a soft rock sound and all of their music was incredibly 80s. They wanted to impress Cyndi Lauper's, Poison's, and Bonnie Raitt's fans all at the same time. They were radio-friendly enough to the point of being bland.
Now, after slandering their good name (I know they have a fan base that wouldn't tolerate my comments all that well), I have to admit that I absolutely love their first record. Both sides are great. It doesn't sound like their other releases. Both songs are a little more heartfelt and there is a slight-but-noticeable ska influence in the rhythms of both songs. I heard samples of both songs before I bought this one and I sat on it too long so somebody else bought it. It took me years to find another copy and the small sample ate at me for those years.
Some of the other stuff in this post is just okay. This is one of my favorite records ever.
I have included their self-titled record and the "Go Back to Hollywood" single so you can compare it to this release.
If you have been following this blog for a while you know I can be pretty stupid at times. I base my knowledge on the things I read on eBay and Discogs and I take them at face value. The Heavy Manners record was posted on Discogs and it was linked to this one here but they really have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
First of all it's the band that's called Barley Wine and the song is called Heavy Manners. Secondly, they are not the Belgian band. These guys are from England and Saxa from the Beat (The English Beat to my fellow Yanks) is their sax player. I know nothing else about the band or about any other releases they might have had but if I learn anything new from an eBay seller who specializes in Andorrian folk music but stumbled across this record at a swap meet I will report anything he says as fact. That's my style.
A - That Train (Click to hear on Soundcloud - I'm trying something new)
B - Heavy Manners
This is the actual single. I know I posted this years ago but they were the versions from the album. This is my own rip of the single.
Igor was a boy from Vladivostok, Skanouska was the girl on his mind. He always did his best to attract her attention, but it seemed as if Skanouska was blind.
He swam the Wolga nude with minus 20 degrees, he climbed the Kaukasus on his two bare knees. But Skanouska made love with all the other boys, 'cause for her they were all much better toys.
One day Igor found Skanouska messin' around, she was playing with Igor's best mate. He was frustrated 'cause he wanted to show her his dung, that he saved for weeks in a box with a gate.
So Igor grabbed his knife and cut his friend in two, and after him all the others of Skanouska's crew. Now Igor was happy and he wanted nothing more, but Skanouska was crying 'cause Igor was a bore.
Let's Quit's stuff is hard to track down. They have several other recordings and there are still two that I need: a 4-track EP from 1997 called "Survival of the Quittest" with song titles: Kirk's Deception, Don't Count on Me, Postman, and Padadow, - the first three songs were on the album "Imprisoned" but the 'song' Padadow isn't on any of their other recordings and I'm guessing, because it's less than a minute long, that it's not a song, just some studio shenanigans. Then they had another one called "Burp That Offbeat". I don't know if Burp That Offbeat is an album or an EP and I have no idea what year it's from or what songs are on it. I have never even seen the covers for these two releases. I'm not exactly desperate to get a copy of Survival of the Quittest (but if you see a copy you should snatch it up - it is rare) but I am desperate to find out more about Burp that Offbeat.
What I do have by them was sent to me by different people because they have never been available for sale anywhere as long as I have been aware of the band.
I have posted their first album "The Southern Belles Party Beat" from 1995 previously and the one I'm posting here is that same low-quality version with track #14 missing.
1 The Southern Belles Party Beat 2 Lies and Lullabies 3 Skanouska 4 Let's Ska Tonight 5 Syndrome Friends 6 Ennio Ska 7 Snowflakes 8 Yes or No 9 Vegetarian Shoes 10 Hip Hip to the Next Life 11 Can You Tell Me My Name? 12 Viktor the Pig 13 The Bailiff 14 The Return of Cliff Barnes 15 Sergio Ska 16 Down I Go 17 Stolen Minds
Let's Quit - My Bottled Friend & Foe (2005)
(This is their last album - I don't even have a cover for it.)
1 Don't Ask
2 I Don't Wanna Lose You
4 Strange Love
7 Your Place or Mine
8 Revenge of the Pigs
9 Can You Take Your Hands Off My Girlfriend?
10 Voor ik het Vergeet
11 Way in Our Lives
12 Dangerous Tactics