THIS CRIMSON BEAUTY
1988, the year Sonny Bono became mayor of Palm Springs, George HW Bush became president of the US&A and Rick Astley hit it big with Never Gonna Give You Up, allowing future generations to partake in the side splitting pastime of Rick Rolling.
It was also the year that The Motorcycle Boy eventually got around to recording their debut (and only) album. That this album failed to see the light of day is one of music's great travesties. A perfect storm of band in fighting, sackings, naive management and record company reticence led to the album being shelved.
The band had formed from the ashes of, East Kilbride teenage upstarts, Meat Whiplash who were joined by Alex Taylor, recently departed from the Shop Assistants, and Belfast guitarist David Scott. Their debut single, Big Rock Candy Mountain, was a move away from the "shambling" indie scene of the time, replacing jangle with sequencers and anoraks with leather. The single sold healthily and gained daytime Radio 1 airplay, almost unheard of at the time for an indie band.
An aborted second single, the Flood produced Sweet Dreams Pretty Baby, stalled the band's progress. The single is included as a bonus track on the CD release. Undeterred the band entered Greenhouse Studios, with Pat Collier producing, to start work on the album that would become Scarlet.
Three weeks of recording and a further week of mixing produced 12 tracks that not only continued the faster miles per hour sequencer heavy Big Rock Candy Mountain in songs such as Hey Mama and Trying To Be Kind but offered more plaintive moments in Valentine and Under The Bridge. Throw in the hypnotic Take Me For A Walk and the stunning Up Here and it's hard to understand why this album was never given a release at the time.
Forgotten Astronaut Records