#578: 1981, Altered Images, Happy Birthday

by George_East on November 15, 2012

And why the fuck not? We deserve it.  As we are two today and as the greatest birthday song in pop, Bjork’s debut single with The Sugarcubes’ Birthday, has already appeared in Songs To Lean and Sing (though thanks anyway for the suggestion, Nat), it is time for the second best.

Altered Images’ variety of insanely catchy and cheery indie pop doesn’t really have any equivalents in the music scene today and yet in their time they were one of the finest singles bands around.  Their time though was very short (1981-1983), as Clare Grogan’s ambitions were far bigger than pop music (in the same year that this came out, she, of course, appeared as Susan in the wonderful coming of age film, Gregory’s Girl).

Although they were slightly before my time (I was 11 when this came out) when I first starting buying records properly I tracked down all of Altered Images’ singles, which I still have on vinyl.  How could you not love a band whose first single was called, Dead Pop Stars. For a long time Altered Images’ first album, also called Happy Birthday, was the very first record in my filed vinyl (alphabetical by artist and chronological within artist, of course).

Anyway enough about them and more about us.  Allthatsleft is 2 today and I’d like to dedicate this to Ray and Jackie for making this blog what it is, and to Bobby for being there at the outset and for contributing when he can.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth November 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Two, eh? Be out of nappies soon, then…

Seriously tho’: well done, guys 😆


Geoff Elliott November 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I bought Dead Pop Stars the day it was released.

By the time the first album arrived any edge that they had had been ‘major labelled’ out of them and it was a big disappointment. Too poppy for my then edgy teen age self.


George_East November 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I agree that the albums are a bit disappointing. The singles though remain superb. I also heard a great early Peel session once – from 1979 I think, well before anything was released.


Ray_North November 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm

It was in the charts when Reenee North had her eighteenth birthday – we played it to death on her birthday! Happy days!


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