Radio Stars to end the working week. With three albums and a top-40 single in the UK to their credit, they managed to accomplish a fair amount in a short time, being together the first time for only 2 years (1977-1979). Barely known in the U.S. (mostly because they had no U.S. label at the time), they nonetheless had an underground reputation over here – mostly, because Radio Stars frontman was none other than Andy Ellison, whom collectors and fans of Psychedelia remember very well as also the frontman for the legendary John’s Children – another band that barely scratched the surface in the U.S., but who were big in the UK, turned in some mind-melting classics and had Marc Bolan (later to be T-Rex) as a member.
Ellison also had a post-John’s Children solo career, turning out the memorable and highly sought-after single Cornflake Zoo shortly after John’s Children’s demise and went on to become something of a cult figure throughout the 80s and 90s.
So his appearance as lead singer for Radio Stars was a big plus for those in-the-know, and they have benefitted from steady reissues over the years, as well as a one-off reunion in 2008.
This concert, their second appearance on the In Concert series marked the band’s tenure drawing to a close. Their first appearance, which I ran two years ago, from 1977, was when the band was first getting started. So in a way, the two concerts find the band coming full circle. Since the 1980s, Radio Stars have been anthologized some three times – with multiple CD sets issued by Moonlight Records, Ace Records and Cherry Red Records issued in 1982, 1992 and 2017 respectively.
If you missed them the first time around, you have another chance to get acquainted with one of the pioneering New Wave bands of the late 70s, by way of this concert, recorded on June 30, 1979 by BBC Radio 1. If you are familiar, this should bring you back to a few memorable moments. BTW: listen all the way to the end, as the announcer’s closing remarks indicated The BBC Festival Of Light Music would be coming up next, right after the concert. Further proof radio was all over the place, musically. And even if you weren’t interested, you were certainly exposed to it.
Either way, crank it up and get ready for the weekend.