Thursday, June 11, 2015

I try and play it cool (Vertical Hold) #417-421

Vertical Hold My Imagination/ Baby You Send Me (RCA, 103888, 1981)
Vertical Hold Tears Of Emotion/ In Your Life (WEA, 100226, 1982)
Vertical Hold This Must Be Love/ She Comes To Me (WEA, 7-259630, 1983)
Vertical Hold United States Of America/ Teacher Teach Me (WEA, 7-259475, 1983)
Vertical Hold Shot Down (In Love)/ Nite Bite (WEA, 7-259786, 1983)

These are obscure, I grant you. Without being a friend to the drummer, Noel Forth, I never would have found these Australian gems.

Noel started writing to me in the late seventies from Adelaide after discovering that I was a fellow rabid Beatle fan. 

At that time he was in a band called Tortis (see what they did there) with two guys Jim Mountzouris and Mick Michalopoulos. They were terrific - Noel sent me heaps of their rehearsal tapes and I grooved on their Beatle, ELO influenced sounds for a few years.

With the eighties came a name change to Vertical Hold and an album (called Vertical Hold). Because it was the eighties synths and a cello player were added to the trio. Not so sure about the synths guys, even now.

Jim and Mick continued to do all the writing and they have a set of great pop ears. Luckily, some Tortis favs made it onto the Vertical Hold set list.

The picks from this bunch of singles (apart from the first one, all tracks are from the parent album): This Must Be Love with a Caribbean jaunty vibe going on; Tears Of Emotion should have been a worldwide hit single (went to #3 in Adelaide); USA is a Tortis era song with a new punchy arrangement (I still love those early versions as well).

Hidden gems: Baby You Send Me is a great lost Police song - terrific pop in other words; She Comes To Me and Teacher Teach Me are dripping in hooks - probably the catchiest songs on these singles; In You Life is a psychedelic mix of sixties Troggs and seventies ELO - wow baby! Perfect B sides!

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