Modern English “After the Snow”

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#566 in the Series) is Modern English, After the Snow.

Modern English was given a double-dose of good luck in 1982.  You can’t find a bigger break than having one of your first singles included in a hit picture movie. This was the case when “I Melt With You” was part of the mix of “Valley Girl.”

The second piece of good luck, well that’s easy. That piece would be the complete idiotic way that record companies and contract lawyers went about trying to secure deals for an official movie soundtrack.  “I Melt With You” wasn’t the only great song in this movie. You also had The Payola$, “Eyes of a Stanger”, The Plimsouls, “A Million Miles Away”, The Flirts “Juke Box” and many more great songs by the likes of Pat Travers, The Psychedelic Furs and Sparks.

This would have been a monster album. During my ‘record schlepping days” I can personally tell you that I received more requests for this than almost any album that I could not get. It would have done huge numbers. An official never did come out in the era of the film. There was a sic song EP but that was about it.  About 10 years later, Rhino did finally release one.

The lucky part comes in because now, if you wanted “I Melt With You,” you had to go out and purchase the full debut album, After the Snow.

I’m sure there were many people that only listened to that big hit which was found on side two, track one. I’m also sure that many people listened to the full album. “I Melt With You” was so strong a track and showed so much promise that many people wanted to hear what else this English band had to say.

What you found was After the Snow, which followed their debut which was called Mesh and Lace, was a darn good album.

What you found was an album that could be tossed into the New Wave category but I always looked at it more in the line of the New Romantic movement that included acts like Talk Talk, Icehouse and even Ultravox.  A Flock of Seagulls would have fit in that category I believe as well.

“Someone’s Calling” was a great set opener. Other highlights included “Life in the Gladhouse” the title cut “After the Snow “and especially the raucous “Tables Turning.”

Modern English After the Snow peaked at #78 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart in the US.  On the UK Indie chart it reached #13.

In closing, I’d like to share a story that was told to me by one of our regular readers named Bubby Lewis. He mentioned that long time DJ “Weasel” from Annapolis’ WHFS once referred to “I Melt With You” as the “Stariway to Heaven” of New Wave. A very interesting quote. It’s hard to argue against that.  You have thoughts? Leave them below…

— Larry Carta

Track listing

All songs written and arranged by Modern English.

Side One

  1. “Someone’s Calling” 4:01
  2. “Life in the Gladhouse” 4:38
  3. “Face of Wood” 5:56
  4. “Dawn Chorus” 4:43

Side Two

  1. “I Melt with You” 4:10
  2. “After the Snow” 3:51
  3. “Carry Me Down” 5:25
  4. “Tables Turning” 4:33

Personnel

Modern English

  • Robbie Grey: Vocals
  • Gary McDowell: Guitars
  • Stephen Walker: Keyboards
  • Michael Conroy: Bass, Violin
  • Richard Brown: Drums, Percussion

Additional Personnel

  • Hugh Jones: Additional Keyboards, Backing Vocals
  • Faith: Flute on “Carry Me Down”

Links

Listen to After the Snow below.


Posted by Larry Carta


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