Saturday, September 27, 2014

Life's Little Victories: Record Collecting Edition #3

Back in the early 80s, WLIR--the modern rock/new wave/post-punk station on Long Island that broadcast to the New York City metro area (and which brought a host of truly amazing and much needed music into my drab and unhappy adolescent life)--played a fair amount of angular, white-boy, post-punk funk from bands like APB, Gang of Four, Heaven 17, early Ministry, and many others dabbled in this style, from The Clash, the Talking Heads, to Duran Duran. And since new wave served as an umbrella for a host of non-pop-mainstream genres (and there was much more of a willingness for bands to venture into other genres then), I was exposed to--and loved--a lot of different types of music and bands.

Recently, several decades later, I found myself flipping through the bins at one of my favorite used record stores and came across The Higsons' "Run Me Down" 7" single on 2 Tone Records. I'd picked up their (non-ska) "Tear The Whole Thing Down" single a few months ago (their only other release on 2 Tone) and liked it enough--but not so much that it compelled me to immediately buy "Run Me Down" (it was in mint condition, but priced significantly higher than most of their other used singles--though not outrageously so). Plus, I'm not obsessed with acquiring every single 2 Tone release in all of their iterations...

However, later that day I looked up "Run Me Down" on YouTube and upon hearing it instantly recognized it as one of those post-punk funk songs that WLIR played the hell out of (though I never knew the name of the band that performed it, since the DJs didn't always announce the songs they played). It's track that I really liked then and one that now is very much a new wave classic (at least in the NYC area for a people of a certain age!). So, the next day, during my lunch break, I rushed over to the record shop and was relieved to find that no one had snapped it up (according to Discogs, the 7" single of this release is very hard to find, though the 12" version is still to be had).

"Run Me Down" is a brilliant rejection/put me out of my misery song--something I could relate to back then--but one with wry humor, a great groove, and you have to love the female backup singers' work here (listen to the song below)!

"You came around the corner in your big black car
and the lights danced on the windscreen
Blind behind your huge dark glasses
You slipped a smile that could have killed a cat

You said to me you should have run me down
I had to agree, I had to agree
'Cause we've been through hell to be standing here
On this dusty road with a burnt out future

It all began in that car of yours
It wasn't me you were making love to
You're squeezing me and still you smile
But a good assassination should be silent

I don't want you and you don't want me
So, why hang on to something that's dying?

I think it's sick the way you talk to your car
You won't ever talk to me
(You should have run me down)
The roads are littered with your accidents
Why won't you let me join them?
(You should have run me down)

I don't want you and you don't want me
So, why hang on to something, something that's dying?

(Come on boys, dump the car)
Set another round up on the bar
(Forget the past, forget the future)
Collapse into a drunken stupor

Run me down, you should have run me down
(You should have run me down)
Run me down, you should have run me down
(You should have run me down)
I wanna see it, I wanna hear it, I wanna live it!
(You should have run me down)
The feel of metal against my flesh
You should have run me down"

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