Category: Pete Shelley

Pete Shelley – XL1

ARTIST: Pete Shelley R-8022905-1453656345-7292.jpeg
TITLE: XL1
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #42 UK
SINGLES: Telephone Operator (#66 UK), (Millions of People) No One Like You
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No.
LINEUP: Pete Shelley, Barry Adamson, Jim Russell, Martin Rushent
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second solo disc from former Buzzcocks leader is a deep move to electro pop. The songs are flat and the execution is so-so. Meh.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Pete Shelley had moved far away from his taut, tight Buzzcocks pop-punk and heavily into electronics by the time this album was released. It seems to my ears that he was trying to be another Gary Numan.

Unlike Numan, the material isn’t strong, which is odd coming from a man that wrote so many classic songs in the Buzzcocks. It seems by moving to this genre, he lost is way, somehow. Not many songs really hit the mark, and only a few songs have hooks and memorable melodies.

Most everything sound pretty generic, really, with electronic drums, 80’s keyboards and funked bass, with similar lines in most every song. The result is a so-so album that is far away from the brilliance of the Buzzcocks.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The original LP was packaged with a disc (5 ¼” disc no doubt) for a computer program used on the ZX Spectrum computer, a UK home computer like the tiny Sinclair here in the states.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A couple of dance mixes are appended.

GRADE: C+: A couple highlights, but it’s just average. I also exiled a few tracks.

Pete Shelley – Homosapien

ARTIST: Pete Shelley          220px-Pete_Shelley_-_Homosapien_LP_album_cover

TITLE: Homosapien

YEAR RELEASED: 1981

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Homosapien (#14 US Dance), I Don’t Know What It Is

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not unless you bought it.

LINEUP: Pete Shelley and Martin Rushent

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Buzzcocks break apart demoing Shelley’s songs, so he and producer Rushent record them (and some older ones) in a more electronic and dance vein than the Buzzcocks ever dreamed about.

 

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Some eagle eyed MTV viewers remember the Homosapien video, which caused some snickers in some ill-informed locker rooms. It’s a catchy tune and definitely got some dance play. The rest of the album is decent for the most part. Nothing is as memorable as the initial single but Shelley’s electronics experiment is pretty successful.

If you’re expecting the Buzzcocks, don’t be. If you like early New Order / Depeche Mode type stuff you’d dig this.

 

NOTES & MINUTAE: Homosapien was banned by the BBC for ‘promoting homosexuality’. Shelley came out as a bisexual at that time. The BBC was a bunch of prudes then.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  Yes. This has the singles B sides (which were on the US version of the record), and a dub mix of the title track. I’m not a fan of the dub mix but I bet it worked well in the club,
GRADE: B. Good solid album with a great single