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Thursday, February 2, 2017

(the) Tourists - Reality Effect

Name: The Tourists
Album: Reality Effect
Year: 1979
Style: New Wave
Similar Bands: Eurythmics, Roxy Music, Holly & The Italians, Pretenders, Transvision Vamp
One Word Review: Jangly Building Updated Oldies 
Based Out Of: London, UK
Label: Logo, Metronome Musik
 Reality Effect - Cover & Record
Reality Effect - Back & Record
Reality Effect (1979)
  1. It Doesn't Have to be this Way 3:45
  2. I Only Want to Be With You 2:24
  3. In The Morning (When the Madness Has Faded) 4:09
  4. All Life's Tragedies 3:48
  5. Everywhere You Look 3:18
  6. So Good to be Back Home Again 2:39 /
  7. Nothing To Do 3:27
  8. Circular Fever 3:06
  9. In My Mind (There's Sorrow) 4:44
  10. Something In The Air Tonight 3:42
  11. Summer's Night 3:17
Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Ann (Annie) Lennox - Vox, Organ, Piano, Synth (The Catch, Eurythmics, Robert Gorl, Maddy Prior, Band Aid)
Peet Coombes - Vox, Guitars (The Catch, Acid Drops, Barracudas, The Wildhearts)
Dave Stewart - Guitars, Vox (The Catch, Eurythmics, Long Dancer, Da Universal Playaz, Spiritual Cowboys, Platinum Weird, Superheavy, Brothers of Doom, Vegas)
Eddie Chin - Bass (Acid Drops)
Jim "Do It" Toomey - Drums, Percussion, Bolero Dancing, Wet Fish (Dragonfly, Jon, Titus Groan, Colin Blunstone, Paul Brett, Bettina Jonic, John T Fisher, Harvey Andrews, Sadista Sisters, Chris Rohmann, Ziggy Byfield & the Blackheart Band, Jet, Ken Hensley, Satisfaction, Little Ginny)
Tom Allow - Producer
Andy Lunn - Engineer
Bill Gill - Engineer
Dick Plant - Engineer
Barry Kidd - Engineer
Graham Preskett - Trumpet & String Arrangement
Gered Mankoqitz - Photograpy
Acrobat - Artwork
Lloyd Beiny - Direction
Tom Allom - Producer

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of the Tourists (although, I probably should have). Looks like intelligent concept new wave music from the abstract splatter-art display on their surroundings as compared to the "before" picture on the back. The paint seems to create a fun, energetic idea fromt he depths of banal monotony. Shows promise for an album from 1979.

Album Review: The Tourists were the band that immediately pre-dated the Eurythmics, with both Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart as dating members. Although the band was not their showcase, it produced some big singles. From the ashes of the band and their intimate relationship came the Eurythmics. The Tourists only really lasted for 3 years, and produced 3 albums to their name.

“It Doesn't Have to Be This Way” begins with a synth back drop, and driving, energetic guitar & bouncy bass. The song falls into a jangle-pop category, and it builds well. The catchy guitar hooks remind me of the pretenders (even if their debut was a year later). The song mixes a nice balance of rock with digital sterility.
“I Only Want to Be With You” is a Dusty Springfield cover, and was a #4 UK, #8 Aus, #83 US single. It continues with the chugging guitar and bass tempo. Annie’s vocals are bold and strong, with their familiar lush, deep key. The song is familiar, and just pushes the classic oldie structure up to a modern time, kind of like The Ramones. The guitar rings out in the chorus, creating a confident setting.
“In The Morning (When the Madness Has Faded)” starts with a neurotic organ, and psych, echoing vocals. It straddles the line between tedious jangle bands and 60’s psych garage bands. It is just an upbeat and hopeful pop song, with multiple sections that speed up and slow down, including a swirling, middle eastern breakdown in the end.
“All Life's Tragedies” begins with the same structure, chugging instruments, with a steady driving tempo. The vocals flow over the shifting notes. The chorus is slowed down, and melancholy, before being lifted back up again with the guitar. But overall there is sadness in the song, based on the inflection of the vocals.
“Everywhere You Look” has a Siouxsie Sioux gothic tone to the beginning, and key shrieking guitar instrumental hook. The rest of the song is a pleasant building new wave track, reminding me of Nick Lowe or Graham Parker with melody and composition.
“So Good to be Back Home Again” was a #8 UK single. It kicks in with a drum beat, and the music is fuzzy punk underneath harmonized, pop vocals. The organ returns for verse accents. This is a nice blend of punk electric guitars paralleling and taking turns with the new wave organ melody. The chorus is complemented with an “Ooo-Ooo-Ooo” vocal in support.

“Nothing To Do” kicks in with a simple jangly guitar hook. The vocals remind me of Marshall Crenshaw. The chorus is the song title sung in response/echo to each other, with a final, combined effort.
“Circular Fever” starts with a three chord chunky guitar hook, and is supported by a bass line that reminds me of the building verse of Born to be Wild. The vocals are combined together, in a shrill, warbly harmony of sorts. It follows the title, where the sections feature little circular hooks that play over and over again, slowly building, but constantly driving.
“In My Mind (There's Sorrow)” has a sort of anthemic, jangly arena rock guitar aesthetic at the beginning. The organ anxiously pulses beneath the steady tempo. The bridge breaks the momentum and slows things down, before it starts up again. The song features a short renaissance section toward the end that is unusual for the song’s style, but somehow fits in naturally. The song does drag out a little too long.
“Something In The Air Tonight” is a slow tempo’ed jangly song. It acts like a ballad or a slow dance with some bold, precise guitar chords. The song churns and like a whirlwind at the end, rocks out before it fades away.
“Summer's Night” starts with Mexican horns and vocals, but becomes a rollicking folksy sing-along. It returns to the section as an interlude between verses. The verses actually remind me of New Pornographers, with the way they are blended together. 

Stand Out Track: I Only Want to Be With You

Annie Lennox

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