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Ha Ha I'm Drowning

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Version one - BBC Session for John Peel, recorded 2nd October 1979, available on "Peel Sessions Plus" and "Kilimanjaro" deluxe edition Julian Cope - bass, vocals Ged Quinn - organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Version two - "Kilimanjaro" album, recorded Spring 1980, released October 1980 Julian Cope -.vocals, bass David Balfe - organ, piano Mick Finkler - guitar Alan Gill - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Hurricane Smith, Ray Martinez - Trumpets Version three - single on Mercury Records TEAR 4 / TEAR 44, recorded Spring 1980, released June 1981. (Available on "The Greatest Hit" compilation) Julian Cope -.vocals, bass David Balfe - organ, piano Mick Finkler - guitar Alan Gill - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Hurricane Smith, Ray Martinez - Trumpets Written by Cope / Dwyer / Finkler "Ha ha I'm drowning" is a song which made a lot of progress in a year from radio session to debut album opener - but then the band made quite a lot of pro

Early Ephemera

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During the early stages of their existence almost every band creates a catalogue of songs which they would draw on for a time then drop from their live sets. Sometimes ideas would be merged into other songs, sometimes they'd just get discarded and sometimes they'd be treasured as early hints of greatness. After listening to early live shows and other recordings I've identified a number of songs by the Teardrop Explodes from their early career which the band would never record but are worth hearing, even if only once.  From Five Miles Up The sleeve notes on the "Zoology" are notoriously wrong in many ways. Already in this blog the notes have assigned a live "Sleeping Gas" to the wrong bootleg from the wrong year, and given a different date for the Granada broadcast of "Camera Camera". So should we take the notes on "From five miles up" with a pinch of salt? Maybe. Cope states this instrumental was recorded at MVCU in December 1978 then

All I Am Is Loving You

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Zoo Records CAGE 005 - recorded 14th May 1979 released June 1979 Julian Cope -.vocals, bass, Mick Finkler - guitar, organ, piano Gary Dwyer - drums, organ, piano Written by Finkler / Dwyer / Cope / Simpson As their career progressed, the Teardrop Explodes gained a reputation for having great b sides. There's even a blog post by Bob Stanley about it  here Of course that particular song which Bob mentions is a long way in the future of this blog but the point remains - once they were up and running, the Teardrops made great b-sides. Except for this one. "All I am is loving you" was inspired by the "Nite Flights" album by the Walker Brothers, released in 1978. This was their third and last album made during their reunion, which had started so well with "No regrets" a few years earlier. Now the Walkers had been told their label was folding and to record whatever they wanted, so the three "brothers" wrote some songs, recorded them and got the LP i

Bouncing Babies

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Version One - Zoo Records CAGE 005 - recorded 14th May 1979 released June 1979 Julian Cope - vocals, bass, organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Version Two - "Kilimanjaro" album, recorded Spring 1980, released October 1980 Julian Cope - vocals, bass David Balfe - organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Written by Finkler / Dwyer / Cope / Simpson The Teardrop Explodes had made a splash in the indie world with their debut single "Sleeping Gas" in February, and alongside the debut single by Echo and the Bunnymen (released in May 79, also on Zoo Records) it was clear there was a scene developing around the two bands in Liverpool. Of course both Bill Drummond and Dave Balfe wanted to encourage this as both bands were on their label and managed by the pair and oh yeah they were the producers too. Echo and Teardrop weren't the only bands in Liverpool but the first to move from stage to vinyl. They would soon be touring together around the

Kirkby Workers Dreams Fade

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Version One - Zoo Records CAGE 003 - recorded 1st December 1978, released 4th February 1979 Julian Cope - bass Paul Simpson - organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Written by The Teardrop Explodes This is probably going to be the shortest entry on this blog as quite frankly there's not much to say about this song. It's an instrumental, four descending organ notes, a complementary guitar lick, a bass riff and occasional cymbal hits to keep time. It's sort of ominous. It passes by in two minutes and that's about it really. In "Head On", Julian Cope has little to say about this song. They had recorded three songs - "Sleeping Gas", "Camera Camera" and "Seeing through you", but weren't that happy with the third song so recorded "one of Simmo's dreary instrumentals" quickly to finish the session and the EP. Awash in light reverb, the instrumental sets its theme, repeats it then fades out slowly. I

Camera Camera

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Version One - Zoo Records CAGE 003 - recorded 1st December 1978, released 4th February 1979 Julian Cope -.vocals, bass Paul Simpson - organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Version two - "What's On" - Granada TV, 15th February 1979. Released on "Zoology" CD, 2004, which credits the performance with a date later in the year.  Julian Cope -.vocals, bass Paul Simpson - organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Written by The Teardrop Explodes (credit on Zoo single), Cope / Finkler (credit on "Zoology") If there is one song and recording which encapsulates the early magic of The Teardrop Explodes it is "Camera Camera". It makes sense that this song would appear on their debut EP, would be the first song they play on television and become an early set closer. Everything in "Camera Camera" works in cycles. Mick Finkler starts with a four note guitar figure, then Paul Simpson adds his five note organ figure, befor

Sleeping Gas

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Version One - Zoo Records CAGE 003 - recorded 1st December 1978, released 4th February 1979 Julian Cope -.vocals, bass Paul Simpson - organ Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Version Two - "Kilimanjaro" album, recorded Spring 1980, released October 1980 Julian Cope -.vocals, bass David Balfe - organ, piano Mick Finkler - guitar Gary Dwyer - drums Hurricane Smith, Ray Martinez - Trumpets Version Three - "Zoology" compilation album, recorded 1981, released 2004 Julian Cope - vocals Jeff Hammer - keyboards, piano Troy Tate - guitar Alfie Agius - bass Gary Dwyer - drums Luke Tunney, Ted Emmett - trumpets Version Four - extra track on "Tiny Children" twelve inch single, recorded at Club Zoo December 22nd 1981, released June 1982 Julian Cope - vocals David Balfe - keyboards Troy Tate - guitar Ron Francois - bass Gary Dwyer - drums Luke Tunney, Ted Emmett - trumpets Written by The Teardrop Explodes (credit on Zoo single and "Tiny Children&