80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Blue Peter

uptoyouLong-lived yet virtually unknown outside of Canada, Toronto’s 80’s New Wave band “Blue Peter” enjoyed a couple of hits with “Don’t Walk Past” and “Radio Silence.” The band’s original line-up was comprised of Geoff McOuat, Mike Bambrick, Ron Tomlinson, Chris Wardman, Paul Humphrey, Owen Tennyson, Rick Joudrey and Jason Sniderman.
Blue Peter’s sound is basically unique, more piano-driven than synthesized, and heavy on bass riffs; however, the more I listen to tracks like “Falling,” “Take Me To War,” “All Your Time,” and “Unchained Heart” from the 1983-released album Falling, the more Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music-esque influence is apparent. Paul Humphrey’s voice is strong and descriptive, conjuring images of love, lust, heartache, and a heavy dose of reality tossed in for good measure. They may have tired of the comparisons to David Byrne, Roxy Music, and David Bowie when Blue Peter was trying to break into the music scene, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. When someone new and musically exciting comes along, the tendency exists to describe them in relation to someone or something well-known.  
Blue Peter’s songs remain timeless, lacking the signature 80’s New Wave sound which shackles a lot of their contemporaries to that decade. Much of that is owed to spare use of keyboards/synthesizers and a more heavy accent on guitars and rhythm. Their popularity as a local Toronto attraction remains strong twenty years later, fueled by a hard-core group of dedicated fans. There aren’t an abundance of quality current Blue Peter videos on YouTube, but their video for their best-known 80’s hit never fails to raise a goose-bump or two.
Blue Peter ~ Don’t Walk Past from YouTube user johnmcboston:

Blue Peter ~ Video Verite from YouTube user orbitalpopdog:

Here’s an amateur video taken from a live concert in Toronto last year. The energy and talent is still there after all these years.

Blue Peter ~ Radio Silence from YouTube user FritzBacharach:

I know I sound like a broken record, reaching the same oft-repeated conclusion in all of my “Criminally Underrated” posts, but I am adamant about this: Blue Peter should have caught a hugely deserved break here in the U.S. With a musical prowess that rivaled all of the acts they were ultimately compared to, this band earned the privilege of being in heavy radio and MTV promotion, yet they were allowed to drift into oblivion. The only winners are the fans that have stood by them all these years, being paid back for their loyalty with superb live shows and first rate music.

Purchase Blue Peter while it’s still in print:

Radio Silence



allthroughthe-night All Through the Night




80’s Music Rules ~ More From Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 01-27-09


Well, Ed-FM overcame some downright daunting obstacles to deliver the goods with style and panache last night. It seems some enterprising lowlife hacked the CFRC-FM website, giving me caniptions when 5 minutes after 8 pm, I still wasn’t able to tune in. A quick email to Ed-FM, an even quicker response (with an alternate URL), and I was hooked up. Crisis averted.

Have a look at the multi-faceted and diverse playlist and, if you see something you like, be sure to tune in next Tuesday from 8 pm until 10 pm. Treat your ears to a show that won’t disappoint fans of obscure, yet incomparably fabulous, 80’s music…that doesn’t suck.

CFRC-FM Playlist January 27, 2009


Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario

ED-FM ~ Retrospect

80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck


1.      Monty Python – Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

2.      BB Gabor – Metropolitan Life

3.      Bow Wow Wow – Orang-Outang

4.      Luba – Stay

5.      The Mission – Severina (12” single)

6.      Chris & Cosey – October Love Song

7.      Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings

8.      Flash and the Pan – Walking In The Rain

9.      Gerry Cott – Alphabet Town

10. The Creatures – Standing There(The Andalucian Mix)

11. Ministry – I Wanted To Tell Her

12. Martha and the Muffins – By The Rivers Of Babylon

13. Blancmange – Game Above My Head (12” Single)

14. Echo and the Bunnymen – Never Stop (Discotheque Version)

15. West India Company – Ave Maria

16.  Nina Hagen – Was Es Ist

17. Kid Creole and the Coconuts – Male Curiosity

18. Information Society – Tomorrow

19. The The – Infected (12” Single)

80’s Music Rules ~ We Love You David Marsden!

Dear David,bigmars1

Please feel better soon. Your presence on Thursday and Friday nights is sorely missed. Through the wonders of technology, people like me who are far away from Ontario Canada are privileged to hear your voice, your irreverent humor, your warmth, and your exceptionally good taste in free-form broadcasting from 94.9 The Rock.

David, you are the light of so many people’s lives. And, you have been for many, many years. Everyone whose heart you have touched wishes you all the best for a speedy recovery. The world has been a little colder and a little more empty without you, but when you return, I have a feeling it will be as though you were never away. We all look forward to a trip to the Marsbar Theatre to wave, give you a hug, and line up for a turn in seat 36. 😉

Love, Hugs and *Smoochies*,


80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 01-20-09


Last night’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM totally rocked the house. It was easy to see that ED-FM was chomping at the bit after being derailed last week by a frozen transmitter. The playlist was hot and chock full of obscurities.

One amazing track that Ed played was a song called “Midway” by Ohama which narrated the hardships Ohama’s parents went through as a result of internment of Japanese-Canadians in a prison camp during World War II. The United States committed similar atrocities with its Japanese-American citizens. A very sad time for so many people who had their worldly possessions and their livelihoods unjustly stripped from them.

I heard from a reliable source that Ed was bouncing off the walls at the CFRC studio, especially during his much-beloved “Yello” track. It’s OK Ed, because I was doing some heavy chair-dancing myself. And, I’m sure we were in good company.

A warm Welcome Back to Ed. Have a look at the playlist and if you see something you like, be sure to listen in next Tuesday from 8-10pm EST. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.”

CFRC-FM Playlist January 20, 2009


Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario

ED-FM ~ Retrospect

80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck


  1. Rough Trade – Deca-Dance
  2. Lene Lovich – It’s You, Only You (Mein Schmerz) – Extended Dance mix
  3. Ohama – Midway
  4. Simple Minds – Here Comes The Fool
  5. Mark Shreve – Legion
  6. Matt Bianco – Yeah Yeah
  7. Alexei Sayle – Didn’t You Kill My Brother? (Mr. Crazy Mix)
  8. Gordon Deppe and The Spoons – Theme For A City
  9. Blue Peter – Don’t Walk Past (F version 12” Mix)
  10. Yello – The Race (12” Mix)
  11. Siouxsie and the Banshees – Song From The Edge Of The World (Columbus Mix)
  12. Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11
  13. Benjamin Russell – Miracle
  14. Gary Numan/Tubeway Army – We Have A Technical J
  15. Rheingold – Triad Dimensions

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Armoury Show

as29Few 80’s musicians affect me in the way that Armoury Show does. Since I first heard “Castles in Spain” on the recommendation of my 80’s mentor several years ago, I was hooked. Sure, Richard Jobson was mercilessly criticized as being nothing more than a showman, acting out every nuance and feeling, emoting each emotionally charged lyric; but in my mind, and to my ear, it worked beautifully. Add to the mix the supreme and seasoned talents of John McGeoch (RIP), Russell Webb and John Doyle, and what you have is an unmatched combination that produced only one album of outstandingly lovely songs.


So what happened?


I wish I knew. I am fortunate to have the LP Waiting for the Floods in its entirety. No matter how often I play this collection, nas31o matter how many times I put my favorite selection, the song identically named “Waiting for the Floods” on repeat, I am overcome. Jobson had a way with wringing the sentiment out of each song that shot daggers into even the coldest and unyielding of hearts. This was a huge leap from his previous punk roots as the angry lead singer of The Skids.


John McGeoch’s pedigree included Howard Devoto’s group Magazine and contributions to Siouxsie and the Banshees. He went on to further his career with Public Image Ltd. Webb followed Jobson from the Skids and left Armoury Show to pursue a solo career. Doyle, too, came from Magazine and post-Armoury Show, went on to rejoin Devoto and play with the Buzzcocks.


There are a few offerings from YouTube that will familiarize those of you who have never heard Armoury Show with their rich music. Unfortunately, the sole and home-made video on YouTube for “Waiting for the Floods” cuts off at the end. The song is a full 5:23 in duration, yet the video clocks in at only 4:23.


From the YouTube user RNregina ~ Waiting for the Floods:


From the YouTube user GallowayHills ~ We Can Be Brave Again:


From the YouTube user godisatan ~ Casles in Spain:


From the YouTube user godisatan ~ Kyrie:



In terms of time, Armoury show, as a group, may have only been a short flash in the pan of a burgeoning era of post-punk and New Wave music. But, they left an indelible mark on the decade with a single album that remains as a testimonial to their talent. Why they were unable to take the world by storm will remain one of life’s ironic mysteries. Meanwhile, if you can find a copy of Waiting for the Floods, I urge you to buy it. Every 80’s music collection deserves to have this gem.

80’s Music Rules ~ I Want My CFRC-FM ~ 01-13-09


Sigh. I just received word that there will be no Retrospect broadcast tonight from CFRC-FM. Inclement weather (quite possibly an understatement based on the winter storms my Canadian friends have been experiencing all season) has caused a power outage at the station’s transmitter.

Tune in next Tuesday night from 8-10 pm (EST) for a delightful show from Ed-FM and “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.”

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ The Waterboys

waterboys_mike-scottThe first song that would pop into my head when I heard the name The Waterboys was “Whole of the Moon.” It’s an incredible song, full of emotion, and first-rate instrumentation; but that was the extent of my knowledge of this band.

When I started listening to David Marsden’s show, I was treated to my first time hearing “Independence Day” by this wonderful band. Then soccerfan, one of the Marsden Theatre regulars, mentioned a Waterboys song named “The Pan Within.” After finding and listening to this outstanding masterpiece of a song, I began to wake up to the fact that The Waterboys had created some phenomenal music over the past 20 years.

Mike Scott formed the band in 1983, made up of musicianswaterboys_this-is-the-sea from Scotland, England and Ireland. Their style is more commonly described as a curious blend of “Celtic folk music and rock.” According to Wikipedia, the group’s “big music” sound influenced such groups as Simple Minds, The Alarm, Big Country and World Party. If that’s the case, The Waterboys should have been huge.

If you’re not familiar with this first-rate and wholly brilliant band, take the time to listen to the following samples gathered from YouTube. Then, go out and find the 1985 album This Is The Sea that contains both “The Whole of the Moon” and “The Pan Within,” in addition to a gem called “Medicine Bow.” You won’t regret it. This is not merely 80’s music — this is absolutely timeless.

From the user StuffByMe on Youtube:

From the user connacht2009 on YouTube:

From the user arcmorality on YouTube: