“30,000 Feet Over China” by The Passions - album review

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TJR says

Almost 18 months on from their debut, the second LP from the London quartet arrived in September, 1981. In the interim period, bassist Claire Bidwell has been replaced by David Agar and this move, together with the appointment of a new producer, Nigel Gray, results in a warmer record, heavier on the bass and more melodic, whilst still retaining their moody charms. The new quartet line-up: Barbara Gogan (vocals, guitar, piano), Clive Timperley (guitar, vocals, piano), David Agar (bass, vocals, guitar, percussion) and Richard Williams (percussion). Barbara has a go on the studio piano on “Small Stones”, as does Clive on “Someone Special”.

Anyone who's ever played in a group knows that the odds are stacked against creating one spark of genius that lights up the musical world and leaves something special which is remembered for decades, but The Passions did just that with “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”, a piece which stands apart from the album sessions, having been produced by Pete Wilson (The Jam, Comsat Angels) who was the in-house Polydor producer at the time of recording in late 1980. As told on the Passions website, the lyrics were written by the band's vocalist Barbara Gogan about Steve 'Roadent' Connelly, a one-time roadie for the Clash and Sex Pistols, who had minor roles in several German films and played the Joker in the “Das Ding” (“The Thing”), a 2-episode TV drama which first aired in August, 1979. She and the Coventry-born lad were an item for a while. Bass guitarist David Agar says: “It was a song that almost seemed to write itself. We were 'rehearsing' at Clink studios in Southwark, which meant standing around holding instruments while sipping really bad tea. Clive (Timperley, guitarist) and I were jamming a three chord progression which Barbara (Gogan, vocalist) liked. She scribbled a few words. We stopped. 'I'm In Love With A German Film Star' Barbara said. Richard (Williams, drummer) put his fag out and picked up his drumsticks. 'That's a hit single' he said.” He got that right, although the #25 placing in the Uk was a bit of a travesty. Should've been a #1!

The Jukebox Rebel
26-Oct-2008

A1 [04:01] 9.6.png The Passions - I’m In Love With A German Film Star (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave
A2 [04:07] 5.2.png The Passions - Someone Special (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, Claire Bidwell) New Wave
A3 [03:32] 5.5.png The Passions - The Swimmer (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave
A4 [03:29] 5.7.png The Passions - Strange Affair (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave
A5 [05:37] 6.2.png The Passions - Small Stones (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) Post-Punk
B1 [03:04] 4.8.png The Passions - Runaway (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave
B2 [03:30] 5.0.png The Passions - The Square (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave
B3 [03:12] 6.0.png The Passions - Alice’s Song (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave
B4 [02:21] 5.4.png The Passions - Bachelor Girls (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, Claire Bidwell) New Wave
B5 [04:19] 5.0.png The Passions - Skin Deep (Barbara Gogan, Richard Williams, Clive Timperley, David Wardill) New Wave




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