Today’s Half-Forgotten Record: Win / You’ve Got The Power

6 thoughts on “Today’s Half-Forgotten Record: Win / You’ve Got The Power”

  1. Absolutely unforgotten by me! After all, I named my band after Davy Henderson’s first post-Win album, A Sea With Three Stars. What I think, possibly arrogantly, is that Win’s failure to become significant pop stars, despite Henderson’s teen-magazine good looks and fresh-as-a-daisy (at the time) updates of Bowie and Bolan, is that it has little to do with the work, and everything to do with the moment. How else to explain Franz Ferdinand’s success with a formula well-established twenty five years previously and almost entirely overlooked by the mainstream then?

    1. That’s an extremely legitimate point; when it comes to fad and musical vogue, the record gods are extremely fickle with their attentions. Arbitrary, even. Fashions as something to be continually reheated, and only very occasionally lauded – at least the members of Franz Ferdinand had the good grace to have fluttered around the Glasgow scene for quite a few years before fame struck.

      An example: ‘Wolf Songs For Lambs’ by Jonathan Fire*Eater from ’97 – what it lacks in originality it makes up for in bite. Also: very few sales. A wee while later – The Strokes, and ‘Is This Is’; a very similar album in its angularity, and a great deal weaker than ‘Wolf Songs’. Only, the planets (and the marketing guys) had by this stage aligned, and a fad ensued.

      As for Davy Henderson – I must admit that I’m not terribly familiar. Any recommendations, particularly from the The Nectarine No. 9 era?

      1. My addiction to simple, straightforwardly enjoyable melody means A Sea With Three Stars is, for me, their ‘best’ album, since their later, ever increasing adventures into musical ‘dadaism’, like most jazz, ended up leaving me slightly more intelligent but emotionally hungry – that pretty much covers everything they recorded after 1992.

        I actually ‘found out’ (pre-mass WWW) in about 1996 that Henderson was still writing and recording, and ended up buying what I think was a Canadian-import ‘greatest hits’ album release called “Niagara Falls” (and about the only thing available on HMV’s racks) which contained the most accessible songs from their first three albums. Pretty sure their first album had already been deleted by that time. I was instantly charmed by the track ’22 Blue (edit)’ and used to cover it at gigs. Finally, maybe ten years ago, I got a second-hand copy of ASW3S and was overjoyed to find the original version was twice as long by dint of the fact that they had recorded two different versions of it and bolted them together into one song. This sealed my eternal affection for the man.

        The more recent (mp3 only) release under the band name ‘The Sexual Objects’ is definitely worth listening to – it’s almost as if his on-stage bonding with Franz Ferdinand as the reformed Fire Engines had reinvigorated a desire to do more ‘old-fashioned’ pop, something he had appeared to be backing away from rapidly, as if traumatised by the failure of the out-and-out ‘commercialism’ of Win.

        I was reminded while writing this of something Jason Pierce said (and I’ll have to paraphrase) when he confessed that (with the last album) he had found himself incapable of writing anything other than four-square pop songs (whether he was successful or not is open for debate but I most enjoyed the first and last tracks, probably for this reason). Perhaps at some point in every ageing folk songwriter’s life there comes a time when you either completely throw yourself into experimental / classical composition and never come back, or just abandon all pretension to do anything other than getting the crowd singing along, however abashed you may be as a result?

  2. I agree pretty much with what Mr Ings has to say in his 1st comment. For the love of me I don’t know why ‘Win’ didn’t take off; I really thought that the band was so much better than ‘Fire Engines.’ Just wasn’t their moment. Living abroad; in an era when internet & Upay were figments of some mad sci-fi writers’ imagination, it was almost impossible to find any of their discs but I was fortunate enough to pick up a couple of them -‘UnAmerican Broadcasting’ (12″) and the ‘Freaky Trigger’ album. As for Nectarine 9, I regret not buying the ‘Un-loaded For You’ ep; with the still from Bertolucci’s ‘1900’ on the front cover, when I had the chance. I’d moved on to other things when Postcard 2 came about. Apart from the Orange Juice stuff I bought nothing else.

  3. @Richard Ings

    “Perhaps at some point in every ageing folk songwriter’s life there comes a time when you either completely throw yourself into experimental / classical composition and never come back”

    Mark Hollis, anyone? It’s enough to make me play Robyn Hitchcock records on heavy repeat – again.

    @japanese forms

    I’m growing convinced; I feel an eBay scour coming up – followed by a “wandering fingers” trawl through those specialist vinyl dealers that already pocket far too much of my pocket pocket. Cheers for the suggestions.

    And on a completed unrelated matter: why on earth does WordPress facilitate embedded comments, but not after the second reply? Should be one of the other, surely?

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