Sunday, 26 September 2010

‘California’ – American Music Club (1986)

“If I have to be this lonely,
I may as well be alone.”

Walk into any supermarket in any town and you can buy a Westlife CD. Yet try and find this album in any shop in any country and you’ll be out of luck. It’s a depressing thought.

American Music Club were one of the many bands I discovered reading Melody Maker during break-time at school, but the first to introduce me to the delights of what would become 'the new sounds of the old west'. ‘California’ is their third album though the first I heard. It’s regarded as the one where they found their voice. Every song is a gem that sparkles with tales of yearning, devotion and addiction. My favourite musical cocktail.

Lead singer Mark Eitzel is unfortunately one of those artists destined to be recognised only when he’s no longer with us. I’ve only seen him live once and it was actually only last year, at a solo show in a church off Charing Cross Road. Why only once and after all these years? Well, you know when something is so special to you that you actually keep yourself away from it so as not to spoil it? Yes? Well, AMC songs are like that to me. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see them performed live with an audience as all my memories of their songs revolve around me on my lonesome. I’m pleased I went though. It was a night of beauty and pain. My favourite social cocktail.

Two decades of legal wrangles are still keeping ‘California’ from a re-release. And I’m sure the supermarkets aren’t exactly hollering to get it on their shelves. I want to live in a world though where I can find this CD in Asda. Is that too much to ask?

Spotify linky:
Mark Eitzel – Blue And Grey Shirt
‘California’ is also unavailable on Spotify, but this is a live version of one of the album’s tracks from a Mark Eitzel solo show back in 1991.

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