Thursday, April 08, 2021

 Classix Nouveaux - The Liberty Recordings 1981-83

Following the demise of X-Ray Spex in 1979, two members of the band (Jak Airport and B.P. Hurding) joined forces with Mik Sweeney and vocalist Sal Solo from the band The News to form Classix Nouveaux.  Taking inspiration from Bowie and Roxy Music, over the next six years and through several lineup changes Classic Nouveaux released three albums (four if you include the alternate version of their debut album) and alongside bands like Spandau Ballet, Ultravox, Japan and Duran Duran, Classix Nouveaux was at the forefront of the New Romantic movement.  Their debut Night People (and the slightly different eponymous US version) is a really strong release full of infectious synth driven tunes and Solo’s distinctive vocals, and even though it contained  a couple of UK hits with “Tokyo” and “Guilty” you can tell the band is still getting their footing and finding their direction at this point.  Their sophomore release La Verite found the band heading in the same direction as their debut, but they really found their sound at this point by smoothing things out a bit and resulting in the biggest hits of their career with “Is It A Dream” reaching number 11 on the UK charts.  Unfortunately on their final release Secrets the band seemed to be pushing too hard for radio hits and the album sounded way too polished and completely lost any edge they had before.  Having said that Classic Nouveaux is definitely a band that deserved more attention than they got and The Liberty Sessions is an outstanding box set that not only includes all of their releases, but also contains 24 bonus tracks consisting of b sides, extended mixes and single versions along with an essay on the history of the band from Sal Solo.  

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