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15/01/2016 : THE PASSIONS - Michael & Miranda

THE PASSIONS

Michael & Miranda

MusicCD
Post Punk
Cherry Red Records
15/01/2016, Didier BECU

EN

Of course you remember The Passions of their smash hit I'm In Love With A German Film Star, and in fact it is the sole song most people know by this band. Therefore they’re often described as one hit wonder. Wrong. Before the “hit record” Thirty Thousand Feet Over China, they already had a career on Fiction Records (the label of The Cure). Although Michael & Miranda is a gem, it is better not to focus on that one superb big synth pop hit, because the 12 songs on this debut are raw post-punk songs that have more in common with acts like Lene Lovich and Martha & The Muffins.

The London band was founded in 1978 and all four members have some experience in the punk scene. Their first single Needles And Pills was self-released (a bonus on this reissue), and didn’t move the earth. However, the band got the attention of Fiction Records. The label offered them a record deal and the first album (Michael & Miranda) was produced by label boss Chris Parry, who previously did some work for The Associates, The Jam and of course The Cure.

You won’t find real hits on this album (simply because there were not any), but the rhythmic post-punk also could have been released on Stiff Records and is strongly dominated by the voice of singer Barbara Gogan. The album needs several spins, and that's probably the reason why back then Michael & Miranda was unnoticed. Even though it's 35 years later, you can rediscover this fine debut through this reissue on Cherry Red.

Didier BECU
15/01/2016


NL

The Passions herinner je je natuurlijk van hun superhit I’m In Love With A German Filmstar, en eerlijkheidshalve is dat ook het enige nummer dat de meeste mensen kennen waardoor ze vaak ten onrechte het etiket van een onehitwonder opgeplakt krijgen. Dat is zeker niet het geval, want voor de “hitplaat” Thirty Thousand Feet Over China hadden ze ook al een carrière op Fiction Records (het label van The Cure). Ofschoon Michael & Miranda een pareltje is, staar je je beter niet blind op die ene superhit, want de 12 nummers van dit debuut zijn rauwe postpunknummers die eerder lijken op Lene Lovich en Martha & The Muffins.

De Londense band is in 1978 opgericht en alle vier leden hadden ervaring in de punkscène. Hun eerste single Needles And Pills, die in eigen beheer werd uitgebracht (en die je als bonus op deze heruitgave terugvindt) deed het niet bijzonder goed, toch hield de groep er de aandacht van Fiction Records aan over. Het label bood de groep prompt een platendeal aan. De lp werd geproduceerd door de labelbaas Chris Parry die eerder werk leverde voor The Associates, The Jam en natuurlijk ook The Cure.

Echte hits vind je niet op dit album (gewoon omdat er geen waren), maar hun ritmische postpunk kon eigenlijk best op Stiff Records belanden en wordt sterk gedomineerd door de stem van zangeres Barbara Gogan. De plaat heeft meerdere luisterbeurten nodig en dat is waarschijnlijk ook de reden waarom destijds Michael & Miranda niet echt aansloeg. Ook al is het 35 jaar na datum, kun je dit fijne debuut via deze heruitgave op Cherry Red alsnog herontdekken. 

Didier BECU
15/01/2016


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