Want List: The Vapors Return With “Together” UK CD/LP/DL

the vaoprs - together CD cover

Is that “To Get Her?”

The Vapors: Together UK CD [2020]

  1. Together
  2. Crazy
  3. Sundown River
  4. Real Time
  5. Girl From the Factory
  6. I Don’t Remember
  7. In Babylon
  8. Letter to Hiro [no. 11]
  9. Wonderland
  10. Those Tears
  11. King L
  12. Nuclear Nights

Yow! I was aware that The Vapors, one of the beloved UK New Wave acts of the ’79-’81 period had reformed for the occasional gig in the last several years, but now they’re releasing that third album in a few weeks and the first single, “Crazy,” is out there for sampling and by golly, it sounds just like The Vapors we know and love. An energetic, sharp slice of pop rock with real instruments in this unreal time. Why not sample it right now?

Wow, the influence of The Flamin’ Groovies fairly leaps from that song. I can’t believe that I have not mentioned The Vapors in almost ten years of this blog, But like many, I was attracted to the band when “Turning Japanese” became a New Wave hit, even in America! I bought their “New Clear Days” album and always had a copy in the Record Cell. I thought their second album, “Magnets,” was even better. One of the great albums of a great year; 1981. But the band weren’t able to capitalize on their initial success, and with their label [the sort of clueless United Artists/Liberty Records] and they split the scene as quickly as they came into it. Leaving us to wonder what they would do next with main songwriter David Fenton having the chops to go places, obviously. Well, where he went was to law school to become a solicitor.  So he’s had a full career outside of music, and now he’s to the point where he can do whatever he likes.

On the other hand, guitarist Ed Bazalgette also had ambitions beyond pop. He became a TV director. I’ve seen his work on the first season of the fantastic remake of “Poldark” and his credit caused my eyes to pop as I exclaimed to my spouse, “surely not the Ed Bazalgette?” [Monk looks online to amazement as spouse says “who?”] Bassist Steve Smith has kept in the rock game; playing with numerous bands, including the great Frank Tovey. Drummer Howard Smith opted to run a record store and he’s the only original member not in the reformed lineup. The drum sticks are now in the hands of Michael Bowes, while Fenton’s son Daniel also plays guitar. I remember when looking online a few years back at their reformation that Bazalgette is [obviously] busy directing at some times, so Daniel is there to play when he can’t.

It looks like “Letter To Hiro [no.11]” revisits territory from the first album.  I’m interested in seeing how. The album was produced by Steve Levine of China Crisis/Culture Club fame. The band have been in some some 80s package tours in the past few years as well as headlining some UK shows, and while no gigs will be occurring now, obviously, they had not been averse to American soil in the past. So we may yet see the tour for this album going forward. Speaking of tours, it was very symmetrical that after getting their big break on The Jam’s “Setting Sons” tour in 1979, that the 40th anniversary of that tour happened last year with Foxton and Buckler playing “Setting Sons” again… with The Vapors as the opening act once more.

The options to purchase are simple and the band have engaged with Music Glue for distribution. There will be an autographed CD for $12.86. There is also an LP [with just the 10 songs in black as listed above] for $23.16, and a bundle of both for $30.89. With a DL for the immaterialists among us for $10.29. If this is your cup of tea, then hit that button below.
communist purchase button

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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17 Responses to Want List: The Vapors Return With “Together” UK CD/LP/DL

  1. Therein lies the risk in releasing a “novelty”-type track like Turning Japanese — it becomes the thing that defines you as a band. The same fate befell acts as disparate as Soft Cell and Wall of Voodoo — two incredible bands that are now criminally reduced in most people’s minds to “Tainted Love” and “Mexican Radio” respectively.


  2. dhrichards says:

    “crazy” is a great tune. I Forget how (and too lazy to Wikipedia it) but the band was connected to the Jam somehow (Weller’s Dad managed them, maybe?).
    I am eager to hear the new stuff beyond the single. the Magnets album is a stone cold classic 80s rock/pop album.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      dhrichards – You were right on the money! It was The Jam’s management [a.k.a. “Pop” Weller] who managed The Vapors. It must have been a little weird seeing them eclipse their main charges over here at the time, but The Jam were never the band for this country!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom says:

    Love the Vapors! So good to have them back! Fun fact: Ed Bazalgette’s American niece is a good friend of mine. I met her, appropriately enough, in Japan a few years ago. Funny how perfectly the universe works sometimes. The symmetry of singing “Turning Japanese” with her in Tokyo was a little surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bif Bam says:

    CD (with the single and digital D/L included) purchased. I STILL don’t get this whole “bundle with vinyl and CD” nonsense. Why the fuck would any sensible person (hipsters obviously don’t fall into that category) buy vinyl when a CD is available? You only get vinyl when better options (CD, BD, etc) are not to be had, and you don’t EXPECT them to be in the future. Or I suppose, if the vinyl has content unavailable elsewhere (though thank god, it’s usually the CD which has “bonus tracks” or such).
    Note for others that the (super-reasonable to me) $12 CD has an additional $7 S&H to the states, but that’s in no way a complaint, since this looks (and sounds) to be fantastic. I’d happily pay $19 bux in a store (if there WERE such a thing anymore) and this way I know the band is getting a MUCH bigger slice of the pie than they did back in 1980.

    Liked by 1 person

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Bif Bam – Neither do I. Though I have bought vinyl and CD for a select few artists I obsessively collect in the Record Cell. We’re looking at you, Rezillos/Revillos, John Foxx! $7 shipping to the US is as cheap as it gets these days. I think if we tried to go in the other direction, it would be more. In this case the CD has 2 more tracks but that is not always The Way in this TOPSY-TURVY World® we inhabit! In the last decade the obverse is more likely!!! [cue: pipe organ stab]


  5. Taffy says:

    Hey, great news about a new Vapors album; that advance track sounds like a fun piece of jittery power pop/new wave. Love the stop-start bits. Nice symmetry there – New Clear Days followed 40 years later by Nuclear Nights!
    BTW, never saw them the first time around, but last August they hit these parts with the “Lost 80’s Live” package tour and were my personal highlight. They sadly were only given 4 songs, but totally nailed it. I got autographs and a (sadly terrible) pic-with the band. Lovely chaps.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – It seems like they went over well enough on that tour to get higher billing on the next one with a bit more of a set! I only ever saw them on “Tush,” the great sketch comedy show on TBS back in 1980! Sort of like SNL with a several hundred dollar budget but fantastic writing/cast. Cast member/writers Terry + Bonnie Turner went on to real SNL with cast member Jan Hooks in tow for what I like to think of as the Second Coming of SNL.


  6. SimonH says:

    Thanks Monk – ordered!


  7. Now if the Only Ones would reunite and co-headline on this tour, I will have reached Guitar Pop Nirvana! So excited about this release!


  8. Scott says:

    David Fenton did release a solo single in 1983 called Fresh Air. It’s surprisingly very synthy and both sides of the single (which are on YouTube) are pretty cool. It’s a fairly rare and pricey single, so I have yet to get a copy but I may change that very soon.



    • postpunkmonk says:

      Scott – I think I ran across that once on Discogs and forgot all about it. Pricey, but not a deal breaker. Even a NM is moderate two figures. Ooh, I see David Tickle co-produced the A-side! Quite a fan of Mr. Tickle. He’s got an exceptional ear. Everything he touched until 83 or so was something I loved. But I see he got caught up in the Canuck rock/metal scene by the mid-80s. A pity! Waste of a good talent!


  9. Tony Harte says:

    ‘Together’ is a mighty fine album and has made me jolly happy!
    Seeing them live not long before the lockdown was an absolute treat. And meeting them afterwards, they remain humble and grounded, and genuinely realise it’s all about the fans.

    I would highly recommend this It’s really well produced by Steve Levine, and if power pop with catchy licks hooks and riffs (with some serious lyrics taboot) is for you, then buy this.
    New new wave, as it were!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tony Harte – Welcome to the comments! “Jolly happy” is nothing to sneeze at in the 21st century! Your report gladdens our heart. Now that it’s out I need to buy it – the more difficult part of the equation.


  10. Pingback: Record Review: The Vapors “Together” UK CD Melts Away The Years Between Albums Two And Three | Post-Punk Monk

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