80s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Abecedarians are Back!

AbecedariansI can hardly contain my excitement. There have been rumblings over the past couple of years of a re-release of Abecedarians music. The moment has finally come!

Bassist John Blake contacted me a couple of months ago to let me know this long-awaited treat was on the verge of becoming a reality. It was hard to keep quiet about this news, but I didn’t want to spoil the delicious anticipation that fans all over the world have been experiencing.


I received my copies of both Eureka on vinyl and CD and the Eureka “Bonus” CD this past week. Also available from the Pylon Records site are Eureka color vinyl, an Abecedarians leather iPad cover, and T-shirts in both tan and dark blue.

Track listings are as follows:

Eureka double vinyl or single CD

Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians
I Glide
Mice & Coconut Tree
Misery of Cities
Smiling Monarchs
Benways Carnival
Other Side of the Fence
They Said Tomorrow
John’s Pop
Spaghetti Western

Bonus CD (included in select packages only)


Come Out
Where’s Karen
Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians

Get yourselves over to Pylon Records and order your Abecedarians merchandise and music now. Or, if someone you know is struggling with what to get you for a gift this holiday season (or for any occasion whatsoever), drop a big hint that they should indulge your Abecedarians music cravings.

Abecedarians ~ I Glide ~ via YouTube user missparker0106

Not included in the re-release, but one of my favorites.

Abecedarians ~ Dinner ~ via YouTube user missparker0106

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Abecedarians


(Check out exciting, updated information HERE.)

Most people will recognize Abecedarians from their single 80’s hit called “Smiling Monarchs.” The original band formed in 1983 in Los Angeles and consisted of Chris Manecke (guitar, vocals, keyboards), John Blake (bass), and Kevin Dolan (drums). “Smiling Monarchs” was mixed by Bernard Sumner of New Order and released on Factory Records. The New Order influence is apparent in the prominent use of synthesizer, the magnitude of which is not heard in any of the band’s subsequent recordings. This debut track became instantly popular and is featured on many 80’s various artist collections.


Abecedarians moved to Caroline one year later for their debut EP EurekaResin followed in 1987. Two compilations have since been released: AB-CD (1988), which is a collection of nearly all of Eureka and Resin, plus the Factory single “Smiling Monarchs,” and The Other Side of the Fence (which includes unavailable early demo tracks).


Beyond “Smiling Monarchs,” the band had a unique, spare sound that was both genuine and endearing. Chris Manecke’s understated vocals, churning guitar, and accompanying earnest rhythm licks via John Blake’s chugging bass and Kevin Dolan’s thrumming drum kit made the band’s sound larger than a mere trio, yet refreshingly raw á la garage rock. The lyrics are dark, yet delivered in a way that makes the listener think perhaps the intention is more ironic than morose. There’s no denying Abecedarians’ post-punk roots.


Abecedarians recordings are rare and very hard to get. I have heard from John Blake that a box set is planned for release. No date has been set, but I know that such a release will make a lot of Abecedarians fans very happy. It has been a long wait for those wishing to replace lovingly worn vinyl with updated audio tracks. Here’s hoping the long wait will soon be over.

John Blake’s MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/northjohn

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abecedarians_(band)

“Dinner” via YouTube user missparker0106:

“I Glide” via YouTube user missparker0106:

“Soil” via YouTube user tadeuz30:

“Smiling Monarchs” via YouTube user missparker0106:




01 Smiling Monarchs
02 Benway’s Carnival


EUREKA EP (1986)eurekaTracklist :

01 Ghosts
02 Soil
03 Beneath the City of the Hedonistic Bohemians
04 I Glide
05 Mice & Coconut Tree
06 The Misery of Cities


RESIN (1987)resinTracklist :

01 Dinner
02 Spaghetti Western
03 Where Whitie Ain’t Allowed
04 Wild Flowers Grow From the Trash
05 Press Escape
06 Laugh at Yourself
07 Sufferin’ Tarnation
08 Panic in Needle Park


AB-CD (1988) ab-cdTracklist :

01 Ghosts
02 Soil
03 Other Side Of The Future, The
04 I Glide
05 Mice And Coconut Tree
06 Smiling Monarchs
07 Dinner
08 Spaghetti Western
09 Where White Ain’t Allowed
10 Press Escape
11 Laugh At Yourself
12 Surf Western


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE 10″ (1990) other_side


CD 1

01 Beneath The City Of The Hedonistic Bohemians
02 Ghosts
03 John’s Pop
04 Come Out
05 Classic
06 Spaghetti Western
07 Switch
08 Where’s Karen
09 Soil
10 The Other Side Of The Fence
11 Wildflower
12 They Said Tomorrow

CD 2

01 Benways Carnival
02 Beneath The City Of The Hedonistic Bohemians
03 The Misery Of Cities
04 Wildflowers Grow From The Tras
05 They Said Tomorrow

live gig on June 17, 1988 :
06 Where Whitie Ain’t Allowed
07 Press Escape
08 Dinner
09 Lift Off
10 Spaghetti Western
11 Soil
12 Laugh at Yourself