Men Without Hats: I Got The Message / Utter Space

menwithouthats_message

Format: 7″
Label: Statik (STAT 20)
Country: UK
Year: 1982
Price paid: $4
Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY

 

“It’s long and hard, this road to Mars.”

For my money Men Without Hats was the greatest New Wave band to come out of Canada, with Martha and the Muffins a close second and Trans-X not far behind. Truth be told, when compared to the musical juggernauts in the US and England churning out vast piles of tunes during this period, the Great White North doesn’t immediately comes across as a locus of international chart-topping acts…

‘I Got the Message’ was a single released from Men Without Hats’ first album ‘Rhythm of Youth.’ First released in 1982 (this version), With the success of their runaway hit ‘Safety Dance’ in 1983 it was re-released both as a ‘special edit’ (TAK 20) with alternative artwork and as a shaped picture disc. The single eked in #99 on the UK charts in late ’83 and #53 on the US Dance chart.

I love this cover. With its searing electric pink and caustic yellow palette it positively screams eighties like a three ton electric python full of pop rocks.

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The Dishes: Hot Property! EP

dishes1Format: 7″
Label: Regular Records
Country: Canada
Year: 1978
Price paid: $4
Purchased at: The Bop Shop, Rochester NY

 

Canadian band The Dishes formed in Toronto in 1975 and were an early example of the Queen West scene, a ‘movement that would spawn arguably Canada’s best New Wave act Martha and the Muffins.

dishes3The band released two 7″ EPs- ‘Fashion Plates’ in 1977 and this EP in 1978. They disbanded shortly thereafter, but a retrospective CD ‘Kitschenette: The Best of the Dishes’ (Bullseye Records) was released in 2002. Perhaps their brightest moment was opening for Talking Heads in a small local club circa 1978.

Little is known of the ‘Regular Records’ label. It is believed that the two Dishes 7″ were the only product they ever released.

Sleeve design was done by the Canadian artist collective General Idea (Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson), a group active from the late sixties to the mid-nineties.

dishes2