China Crisis for Mid-week. This second session for John Peel, broadcast on January 15, 1983.
China Crisis were formed in 1979 in Kirkby, near Liverpool, Merseyside with a core of vocalist/keyboardist Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon. They were part of a wave of new Liverpool acts in the late 1970s and early 1980s, led by OMD and also including Echo and the Bunnymen, the Teardrop Explodes, A Flock of Seagulls and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
Sharing an affection for Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, David Bowie, and Brian Eno, Daly and Lundon played with various Knowsley post-punk groups. Daly then spent time tinkering with synthesizers and a drum machine. Along with Lundon, Daly began writing songs. The pair eventually asked drummer and percussionist Dave Reilly to join them in 1981, and in 1982 they released their debut single “African and White” as China Crisis on the independent record label, Inevitable. In June 1982, they backed Tom Verlaine at The Venue in London.
The band were signed to Virgin Records and recorded their debut album, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It’s Fun to Entertain, which was released in December 1982. A re-release of “African and White” reached No. 45 in the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up single, “Christian”, made UK No. 12 in early 1983 and brought them to national prominence. By the time of this success; Reilly had left the band, but had remained with the band long enough to co-write and perform on “Christian”, along with session musician Steve Levy playing oboe and saxophone. The album peaked at No. 21 in the UK Albums Chart. During this period the band toured supporting Simple Minds (as discussed in interviews on the DVD Live in Concert at the Paul McCartney Auditorium Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts).
This session puts them right around the time between the releases of their debut album Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms Some People Think It’s Fun to Entertain (November 1982) and Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two (May 1983).
A reminder in case you forgot – an introduction in case you missed it the first time.