Album Review: Purple Hearts: Extraordinary Sensations Studio And Live 1979-1986, 3CD Set

Relive the early 1980s Mod revival

The Breakdown

Cherry Red Records 7.5

The influence of 60s mod bands like The Kinks and The Who can’t be overstated in shaping the musical landscape of the UK in the mid to late 70’s. Fledgling punk bands adopted, adapted and bastardised versions of Daltry & Co, honing their musical chops before eventually venturing on to penning their own songs. The Jam were foremost in this approach, reimagining the mod look with punk sensibilities. As the kids dug back into the influences displayed by Paul Weller in their music, a second wave of scooter boys and girls sprung up and bands like Secret Affair, The Chords and Purple Hearts were instrumental in flying the flag from their 2 wheeled chariots.

The Purple Hearts only recorded 2 albums; the brilliant Chris Parry produced Beat That! in 1980 and Pop-ish Frenzy, which limped in6 years later, by which time the movement had moved on. When Weller decided to end The Jam in 1982, forming the Style Council, the emphasis had shifted back to the Stax/Soul sounds leaving a huge hole in the Mod scene.

During their career they only actually released 6 singles, not helped by the 2-year hiatus between 1982 and 1984 when the band broke up and then reformed. Both the A and B sides of that half dozen releases are included in this 76-track collection, spread over 3 CDs. Both their studio albums are included. Interestingly the set includes 6 Polydor demos produced by Sham 69’s Jimmy Pursey, which show a rougher edge than the final versions. There are also two demos produced by The Modfather himself, originally destined for Weller’s own Respond label, again recorded for Polydor in 1981, but never released. For the first time ever these tracks are officially licensed and taken from the master tapes.

In addition, a fantastic 13 song, unreleased live set recorded at prestigious London club The Hippodrome in 1986 shows the band firing on all cylinders and features a scorching cover of The Creation’s Pop Art mod favourite ‘Painter Man’.

Also included are four songs recorded live from the Mod Aid Alldayer held in Walthamstow, East London in 1985 plus two bonus tracks from the Purple Hearts reunion at Mods Mayday 99.
Guitarist and songwriter Simon Stebbing has been involved with providing and approving audio for this box set and has been newly interviewed for the booklet by MOJO magazine’s Lois Wilson. The booklet also contains a foreword by Purple Hearts fan Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield (Stone Roses / Primal Scream).

Purple Hearts: : Extraordinary Sensations Studio And Live 1979-1986, is available here from Cherry Red Records

Track Listing

Disc One
Beat That!

1. Jimmy
2. Perfect World
3. Something You Can’t Have
4. Beat That!
5. Nothing’s Left
6. Frustration
7. If You Need Me
8. Can’t Stay Here
9. Can’t Help Thinking About Me
10. Slay It with Flowers
11. I’ve Been Away
Singles And Demos
12. Millions Like Us
13. Beat That! (Single Version)
14. Extraordinary Sensations
15. What Am I Gonna Do
16. Jimmy (Demo, 1979)
17. Frustration (Demo, 1979)
18. If You Need Me (Demo, 1979)
19. What Am I Gonna Do (Demo, 1979)
20. Can’t Help Thinking About Me (Demo, 1979)
21. Millions Like Us (Demo, 1979)
22. My Life’s A Jigsaw (Single Version)
23. Just To Please You
24. The Guy Who Made Her A Star
25. Plane Crash (Demo, 1981)
26. Concrete Mixer (Demo, 1981)
27. My Life’s A Jigsaw (Demo, 1980)

Disc Two
Pop-ish Frenzy
1. Friends Again
2. When I See You
3. Call Of The Wild
4. I’ll Make You Mine
5. Get Out Of My Life Woman
6. Hi Baby!
7. Shell Shock
8. But On Sunday
9. I Can’t Dream
10. Gun Of Life
Singles And Demos
11. Plane Crash (Single Version)
12. Scooby Doo
13. Gun Of Life – (Single Version)
14. Let’s Get A Burger Man
15. Friends Again (Single Version)
16. Head on Collision Time
17. I’ll Make You Mine (Demo, 1981)
18. Smashing Time (Demo, 1981)
19. Hazy Darkness (Demo, 1981)
20. Gun Of Life (Demo, 1981)
21. Another Day (Demo, 1981)
22. When I See You (Demo, 1981)
23. Friends Again (Demo, 1982)
24. Smashing Time (Demo, 1982)
25. Just Like Real Life (2 Track Demo)

Disc Three
Purple Hearts: Live! plus 2 track recordings
Live At The Hippodrome, 9th November 1986 1.Frustration
2. Beat That!
3. Concrete Mixer
4. Get Out Of My Life Woman
5. Slay It With Flowers
6. Painter Man
7. My Life’s A Jigsaw
8. I Can’t Stay Here
9. Friends Again
10. Gun Of Life
11. Extraordinary Sensations
12. Perfect World
13. Millions Like Us
Live at Walthamstow Assembly Hall – Mod Aid Alldayer, 15th December 1985
14. Frustration
15. Beat That!
16. Millions like us
17. Plane Crash
2 Track Rehearsal Recordings
18. Closer Than Close
19. Playing With Fire
20. Restless Dream Recurring
21. I Can’t Dream
22. What A Shame (2 track Demo)
Live at Mods Mayday 1999, Kentish Town Forum
23. I’ve Been Away
24. Everybody Needs Somebody

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