Friday, 7 February 2020

The Comsat Angels - History (1982)

The Comsat Angels were an English post-punk band from Sheffield, and were named after the J. G. Ballard short story 'The Comsat Angels', with the original line-up consisting of Stephen Fellows (vocals, guitar), Mik Glaisher (drums), Kevin Bacon (bass) and Andy Peake (keyboards). Their first release was the three-track EP 'Red Planet' 1979, and as soon as I heard it I knew the band were something special. This release attracted Polydor A&R man Frank Neilson and the band signed a three-album recording contract with the label, releasing 'Waiting for a Miracle' (1980), 'Sleep No More' (1981) and 'Fiction' (1982) for them, with these three records containing some of their best work. Although they were basically an 80's indie band, they supported a wide variety of artists, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Depeche Mode, U2 (an 18-date tour in 1981), Captain Beefheart, the Sound, Wall of Voodoo and Gang Of Four. In 1982 the US-based company Communication Satellite Corporation wrote a series of letters to the band's management saying that "the word 'Comsat' was a registered trade mark in America and that the group had no authority to use the name", even though the band had actually taken the name from the J. G. Ballard story. However, as a result of the threatened lawsuit, the band were forced to perform and release their records in the US under the name The C.S. Angels, and coincidentally it was around this time that I lost interest in them. 'Waiting For A Miracle' is a superb early 80's new wave/indie album, and includes some of my favourite songs of theirs, and the other two Polydor records have their moments, but as their best period was between 1979 and 1982, I've collected some of their hard-to-find singles, b-sides and out-takes from that time, and listening to them should convey what a great little band they were.

Track listing

01 Red Planet (single 1979)
02 I Get Excited (b-side of 'Red Planet')
03 Specimen No. 2 (b-side of 'Red Planet')
04 Home Is The Range (b-side of 'Total War' 1980)  
05 Work (previously unreleased)
06 We Were (b-side of 'Independence Day' 1980)
07 Eye Of The Lens (single 1981)
08 At Sea (b-side of 'Eye Of The Lens')
09 Another World (b-side of 'Eye Of The Lens' 12") 
10 Do The Empty House (single 1981)
11 It's History (single 1982)
12 Red Planet Revisited (b-side of 'Do The Empty House')
13 For Your Information (previously unreleased)
14 Private Party (b-side of 'After The Rain' 1982)

Enjoy / Enjoy

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