Tag Archives: Virgin Records

Airport – The Motors (1978)

Virgin Records VS 219

Back in the day this single was always being played. One of my go to tracks that has me both singing (very badly) and wanting to hit the dance floor. A commercial pop song from what was a new group with band members more associated with new wave/rock. This managed to get a Silver disc in the UK for its sales which in the summer of 1978 were more than 250,000 copies. It raced up the charts taking 4 weeks to reach the top ten, finally peaking at #4 in a 13 week run.

The single also charted in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and in Sweden where it also reached #4 in an 18 week run. At the time Sweden produced their chart fortnightly.

The Motors were active from 1977 until 1982. They performed for John Peel on his National Radio One nighttime show “The John Peel Sessions” in March 1977. He was well known for giving many bands their big break, mainly those that wouldn’t normally get played on the radio. They signed for Richard Branson’s Virgin Record label and did another session for John Peel in September 1977 and released a single called “Dancing The Night Away”. It was a modest beginning peaking at #42 in the UK chart.

Original plain white paper sleeve was replaced with a cardboard one.

At the time of this recording the band members were: Nick Garvey (b. 1951 Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England) – Vocals/Guitar. Andy McMaster  (b.1947 Glasgow, Scotland)  Bass/Vocals/Keyboards.
Ricky Slaughter (real name Richard Wernham) – Drums. Bram Tchaikovsky (b. 1950 Lincolnshire, England real name Peter Bramell – Guitar and vocals.

Cold love the B-side is a live recording lasting 5mins and 5 secs. 

B-Side live recording of Cold Love

A track driven by various guitar sounds which is rough around the edges and different from the polished pop of the A- side, and probably more of a sense of what sort of band they were. It was recorded at The Marquee Club a famous live jazz and rock venue in London in the 60’s and 70’s.

The single is in good condition and in the top ten of most played on my iPod.


Open Your Heart – The Human League (1981)

            Virgin Records VS453

The Human League were formed in their home town of Sheffield, England as “The Future” in 1977 at a time when British music was moving away from Glam Rock and Punk into a new type of electronic/new wave style of music. In the early years original members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh lost band member Adi Newton, they tried to recruit a singer and turned to old school friend Phil Oakey. Keyboard player Philip Wright was also added. To get a chance of a commercial record deal they changed their name and began making demo’s and playing live.

They released an independent  EP of instrumental tracks and soon record companies began to take notice and in 1979 they signed to Virgin Records. During this early period musical direction of both the record company and individual band members caused problems. Singles struggled to make a big impact on the chart, ultimately causing Ware and Marsh to leave.

Oakey and Wright continued with the band and its name and recruited two school girls for vocals, Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall,  Ian Burden and lastly Jo Callis creating a new sound.

           Open You Heart Picture Sleeve

1981 became the international breakout year for The Human League. “Open Your Heart” was released in September and became their second top ten single in the UK reaching #6 with a run of 9 weeks on the chart, helping to catapult the sales of the album Dare from which this single is lifted when it was released in October. It’s follow-up single “Don’t You Want Me” was to become their signature song when it reached #1 all over the world.
The single was produced by Martin Rushent who at the time was known as both an Engineer and Producer of many Punk/Alternative singles and albums. He died in 2011 whilst preparing for a 30th anniversary version of the album Dare.

B-Side  Non Stop
B-Side Non Stop

The B-Side “Non-Stop” is a pulsating synthpop instrumental clearly identifying their sound at the time.

The group have continued to successfully release singles and albums and despite other line up changes over the years, the band are still touring as a three-piece with Oakey, Sulley and Catherall,