Slow To Fade LP

The dreams you dream are the dreams of tomorrow, the tears you cry are the tears of today…

Like the singles that proceeded it, the Slow To Fade album was recorded at Fairview Studios in Willerby. The band had demoed a couple of tracks at Matrix in London with John Porter who produced the first Smiths album. Martix was a good studio with an old Neve desk for tracking and an automated SSL desk for mixing, plus it was next door to Pizza Express, but the recordings didn't work out so it was back to Hull and engineer, co-producer Roy Neave.

Lou in Fairview Studio with Roy Neve and Grant Ardis.

Lou in Fairview Studio with Roy Neve and Grant Ardis.

The session ran from Wednesday the 4th July to Friday 14th September, interrupted by the recording of a second Peel session on Saturday the 14th July at Maida Vale, and the band clocked up 485½ hours studio time at a cost of just over £6,000. Tony K who ran our distributors, Red Rhino in York, paid for the whole album as an advance against sales and without him it could never have been made. Sadly Tony passed away in 2008, he was a great friend and mentor to the band.

A tip of the hat is also due to Danny Wood who played the Hammond organ parts impeccably and usually in one take and Grant Ardis for extra percussion. Grant was the drummer in Tony Menzies' My Silent War and later joined Hal and Lou in Planet Wilson.

The album was mixed over 10 days at Music Works Studios in London, with Roy Neave and in-house engineer Neil Drake, and mastered at Virgin's Townhouse Studios on Wednesday the 3rd of October. It was released at the beginning of November 1984 with the catalogue number SCAR LP1.

Band for the Japanese Slow To Fade album cover.

RED DEVILS Slow To Fade (Self Drive Records SCAR LP1) ****½

THE WHITTERING twaddle of this summer's guitar-orientated rock revival left a pretty sickening taste. Load of crap really. And where do you end up? Big Country release something that sounds like it was recorded with thick wollen gloves on.

Paradoxically - or, in fact, rather pleasingly - Hull's very own Red Guitars have released a string of singles on their very own label. Not all masterpieces, but much closer than most.

When I saw them on the Whistle Test earlier in the year, I expected that they'd be 'kicking serious quantities of ass, Stateside' by now. But, no. And so…

Slow To Fade is a bit of a classic - quite a bit. And a grower, too, featuring songs with melodies, guitars, drums, bass and a singer who can sing. He doesn't sound like a dishwasher. Nothing here is overdone. No demanding concepts, no immature egotists, just great songs.

The Red Guitars, thankfully, aren't the Fixx and thus have avoided the first test of having a guitar in the band and aiming for melody. Secondly, they aren't Talk Talk because they haven't got any synths and they're not pretentious (now, that's important). That's only part of the make up, too.

Slow To Fade had a lot to live up to. I had trouble sleeping after hearing the magnificent Steeltown (not on the LP) but was a bit worried about Marimba Jive at first - it did grow. The LP is even easier though, twanging through verse and chorus on songs you can actually remember (whistling and singing in the bath optional).

I could list the tracks but what's the point? Just buy, hear, blag or steal this album. Your probation officer will forgive you.

Dave Henderson, SOUNDS, 10/11/1984.