I was visiting some friends a few weeks ago and I always like to bring along party favors; new REVO remasters of rare music. Between that event and a friend’s recent birthday I wanted to have some quick accomplishments before going back to the long term Associates BSOG®. I settled on the OOP albums of Peter Godwin as my goal. I have already written about mastering his 1983 solo album “Correspondence.” Today the never reissued 2nd album by his band Metro comes into play.
“New Love” followed on from the debut Metro album of 1976 three years later. Peter Godwin and remaining guitarist Sean Lyons moved onward from the loss of lead guitarist/keyboardist Duncan Browne and built up a five piece unit featuring Tony Adams on bass, John Laforge on drums and Colin Wight on second guitar. They also moved from the small Transatlantic label, on its last legs then, to EMI. Since it was 1979, the sound had changed dramatically from the first Metro album since the seismic shift of punk had already occurred. For that reason, there is a stepping stone to this album which bears discussion first.
Prior to this album the Public Zone single was issued as a one-off on Logo Records [home of The Tourists – that’s another story]. Godwin, Lyons and Adams along with drummer Stewart Copeland, on loan from The Police, cut this New Wave single. Interestingly enough, the A-side also credits Duncan Browne on the writing, so maybe this was an unused Metro song they worked with. In any case, the single went nowhere, and Copeland felt his chances might be better with The Police, so Public Zone evaporated and I guess the participants felt there was enough name value in Metro to continue using that name.
The “New Love” album of two years later certainly bears the hallmarks of the “Naive” single more than the prog-glam-noir leanings of the early Metro sound. What is served is pop rock with some definite New Wave leanings. There’s no synthesizers that I can hear, just a twin guitar sound by Wight and Lyons that fills the breach admirably. There are several touchstones that immediately come to mind when listening to this album.
“Now I Wanna Dance” bears the unmistakable whiff of not one but two Talking Heads numbers. The intro quotes “Artists Only” and “Psycho Killer!” That Godwin already sounds like David Byrne makes the easy comparisons even more blatant. Of course, Godwin never loses his cool like Byrne made his stock in trade. “The Mystery” reflects the influence of Siouxsie & The Banshees, particularly the cut “Happy House.” So Godwin was definitely keeping up at the time of this album. No more cod-Genesis wrapped in a Roxy Music skin as on the first Metro album.
Elsewhere, the single “Girls In Love” has the ebullient euro-bounce of Andy MacKay of Roxy Music, albeit performed solely on guitars and not horns. I’m reminded somewhat of the original version of Angel Eyes” or perhaps the album “In Search Of Eddie Riff” here. The album has a brighter pop sheen overall with the chiaroscuro of the debut album muted considerably here. The sole track that seems like a throwback to the first Metro album is the six minute closer “Woman Zone.” When Godwin spills the opening line “tension was high in the sleazy little club…” it sets up a scenario fans of “Black Lace Shoulder,” “Flame” and “Criminal World” from “Metro” will no doubt recognize.
This disc, along with the 2xCD “Torch Songs + Heroics” I remastered from Godwin rarities and non-LP singles in 2009 and the previously mentioned “Correspondence” takes care of the early career of Peter Godwin. The first Metro album is often in print on CD somewhere [though not right now] and can easily be had as a legal download for those who are curious. Oglio Records did issue the rare third Metro album “Future Imperfect” in 2005 [as Peter Godwin: “America In My Head”] but that now looks to be OOP. Since that disc was remastered from vinyl, I may revisit my copy of the German LP and see if perhaps I can improve on its mastering.
If I get really bored one day! Since time passes quickly, I’m considering moving in the opposite direction, at least for projects that are 2nd or third tier, because spending 1-2 hours meticulously de-noising a single track is beginning to lose its sheen for me. There are so many records I’ve bought with remastering in mind that have been sitting on my racks, not listened to, and I’m considering lowering my remastering standards just to get this music moving and heard once more.
– 30 –