doa inevitable lp sleeve

Dead Or Alive – Running Wild – The Inevitable Years (Cherry Red)

Another in the series of posthumous releases by Cherry Red, the latest collecting together music from what is described as “Two classic and highly collectable inevitable singles, plus related Peel Session recordings”, I can’t say fairer. Since his passing in 2016, there has been a wealth of recordings issued to commemorate this artist, later known for his passion to recreate himself, plastic-encounter fantastic comes to mind when I think of him these days, but the music is the real epilogue. It was 1985 when I first encountered the sounds of his band, Dead Or Alive, on the release of ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’. What an encounter. Top of the Pops may never be the same again, I thought. Be you straight or queer, these were sounds that were undoubtedly pop, but from a band who first presented music that was on the side of New Wave with a Gothic touch. The tracks on Running Wild capture the band in the first 2 years since their formation and rather than peddling pop, these sounds have a feel of Gothic menace and the alternative night at the local rock club.

Nightmares In Wax preceded Dead Or Alive and were a band fronted by Pete Burns, during the punk rock explosion of the late 70s. Pete’s discovery at Liverpool’s Probe Records elevated his persona onto a more public stage and enabled his creativity to find a greater audience, with Nightmares quickly mutating into the band we hear today. ‘I’m Falling’ is the first to play out here, a number filled with early synthesiser and heavy bassline, a sound familiar to the goth scene. Following is ‘Flowers’, a track that possesses an even heavier musical backing, bearing similarities to early Sisters Of Mercy. At this point, Burns perhaps bore a visual resemblance to bassist Patricia Morrision, more than he did vocalist Andrew Eldritch; the single was full of musical chaos, suggested by a synthesiser, drums, an echo unit and Burns’s familiar vocal. The first side of this vinyl-only release continues with 2 further tracks which suggests that Goth-rock was a scene the band could so easily have followed and carved a successful path, had these early singles reached a greater audience.

The B-side features tracks recorded for the John Peel Show on the 1st of March 1982 and broadcast on the 18th. ‘Nowhere To Nowhere’ is the first of these tracks, with an Arabian feel played by the lead guitarist. The opening, title track features the memorable vocal “…from nowhere, to nowhere…” sung on repetition until the drums cut in. I can hear exactly why the show’s producers had chosen the band to appear on the programme. At this stage, they had both the look and sound that listeners of Peel’s gospel would have enjoyed. Like all the music Dead Or Alive performed, this could be described as ‘current’. Be it ‘Running Wild’ or ‘You Spin Me Round’, Pete Burns and his band had written tracks that were ‘of the moment’. Of the 5 numbers recorded for John Peel, all of have a quality of excellence and playability. This is an entirely different side to Dead Or Alive than I had been accustomed to and The Peel Sessions, a worthwhile contribution to any record collection. Released on glorious berry-red vinyl, this is a peach of a release, or perhaps that should be strawberry.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.