REDUX: Want List: The Invaders Singles


August 13, 2014

Polydor | UK | LP | 1980 | 2383 589

Polydor | UK | LP | 1980 | 2383 589

We were discussing the Polydor US compilation “Made In Britain” in the recent comments and though I loved that record from day one, it was not for the early appearance of the Comsat Angels. Rather, my ears were immediately pinned to the four cuts by The Invaders, who for me, at least, dramatically overshadowed all other bands on that compilation. Were there other bands on it? I hadn’t noticed. The Invaders were a no-hit wonder with more than enough New Wave pop goods to have gotten the nod from others, but over the years, I have found that my torch is out there, quite alone in the dark. What they had on their album, “Test Card” was a grasp of pop dynamics brushed with the hints of New Wave common to another cult band who meant the world to me, but few others… That would be The Tourists. When I heard the four cuts culled from “Test Card” on “Made In Britain,” I was hooked, but good! It took the better part of a decade, before I finally found an import cutout of the LP in town at a chain store and man, did my eyes pop when i saw the disc finally sitting there, awaiting purchase.

© Ray Stevenson

Soo Lucas: The face that launched ten thousand t-shirts © Ray Stevenson

The production, by David Batchelor [and engineering by a young Gary Langan] is immaculate and engaging. I see that Batchelor has had his hands in many a Scot band’s production over the years: The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Skids, Fingerprintz. That said, I am not sure if The Invaders are Scottish. Vocalist Sid Sidelynk is an unknown, but he co-wrote half of the excellent songs here with the aid of “backing vocalist” Soo Lucas, better known as Soo Catwoman. The photo of her with the band printed small on the back cover shows her completely shucking her distinct punk look for a polished 1940s glam femme fatale look. Her vocals were highly melodious and on the one cut she sang lead on, “Backstreet Romeo” the effect was comparable to my very favorite Blondie tracks, like “Union City Blue,” though Ms. Lucas did not have the “bite” that Debbie Harry had. “Magic Mirror” is a soaring ballad that exists in a dreamlike state and I could never get enough of it.

So when I finally had the album I’d been chasing for years, it fell until the [fairly recent] internet era that I discovered that The Invaders had a quartet of 7″ singles on Polydor, with only two of them being pulled from their sole album. I need these for bonus tracks on the hopeful, inevitable REVO remaster of the complete works of The Invaders. The first single came out in 1979 and was produced by Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69.

Polydor | UK \ 7" | 1979 | 2059 111

Polydor | UK \ 7″ | 1979 | 2059 111

The Invaders: Best Thing I Ever Did UK 7″ [1979]

  1. The Best Thing I Ever Did
  2. Much Closer Still

There was another single out that year in advance of their album with Pursey again in the producer’s chair.

Polydor | UK | 7" | 1979 | 2059 111

Polydor | UK | 7″ | 1979 | 2059 111

The Invaders: Girl’s In Action UK 7″ [1979]

  1. Girl’s In Action
  2. No Secrets

1980 brought the “mature” sound of The Invaders with the stellar single “Magic Mirror,” the first taste of the “Test Card” project with a cover photo of Ms. Lucas sporting a mirrorball hat. For having punk icon Soo Catwoman on the cover, prices are known to inflate for this release.

the invaders - magicmirrorUK7A

The Invaders: Magic Mirror UK 7″ [1980]

  1. Magic Mirror
  2. Shirley You’re Wrong

Finally, a further EP was released, this time of the sumptuous “Backstreet Romeo” as sung by Ms. Lucas.

Polydor | UK | 7" | 1980 | POSP 180

Polydor | UK | 7″ | 1980 | POSP 180

The Invaders: Backstreet Romeo UK 7″ [1980]

  1. Backstreet Romeo
  2. Rock Methodology
  3. Invasion Of Privacy

I just learned of this last single [it’s not in the Discogs.com database] as I was writing this post! These will probably cost me a bit but given that the band had such a finite career, I owe it to myself to have it all. The album is an amazing production, with all of the songs tightly sequenced and segued together for punch and flow. These singles have another six tracks awaiting me, and who knows if those LP cuts are re-recorded for single or not, as was very common in the UK market of this time.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to REDUX: Want List: The Invaders Singles

  1. Tim says:

    That Invaders cover art is a tip of the hat to Norman Saunders who did a ton of pulp covers way back before I was born and when I was a kid he was the genius behind the original Wacky Packages.

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  2. Although I enjoyed the whole of Made in Britain perhaps a bit more than you — at least remembering the two also-ran bands Protex and Excel, though agreeing that Comsat and the Invaders were the reasons to buy the thing — I too was completely smitten with the Invaders as a sort of sub-Blondie-cum-Photos with a hell of a lot of promise. It’s a great pity they didn’t go further, but you’ll never be alone in your fandom of them as long as I’m around. I was unaware of any non-LP tracks from them, so this post offers new challenges, but like you (and like my eventual goal for The Tourists) I’m bound to try and to get all of their limited output at some point. I’m curious now about what happened to the others.

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