Want List: Scars – “Author! Author!” DLX RM 3xCD In Depth From Cherry Red In October

edinburgh's scars band in 1981

Scars – they’re Scottish, from 1981, and that’s all I need to know…

Scars were a band I remembered reading reviews of in Trouser Press, back in 1981, but I never saw the album. I saw an ad showing that Stiff-America had released a 4 track EP in America from the album, but I never saw that either. <fast forward 31 years…> It was in the last decade that I finally saw a copy of the Scars “Author! Author!” import album on the short-lived Charisma subsidiary PRE Records, in a possibly local store. However, by then, I was aware that there was a 2007 CD release of the album and that I should put my money in that direction. After all, it had all of the bands single sides appended for an 18 track disc! But I didn’t immediately react fast enough! That CD has been scraping three figures for a while now, affording me only observation of its existence. <fast forward another 8 years…> And now comes the news that Cherry Red are doing it again. Releasing a definitive 57 track collection with the album, all single tracks, a disc of demos, and a live CD compiled from various gigs, coming on October 30th, 2020. Not too shabby. What do we get for our £17.99 [$23.61]? Tracks in red not part of the album.

Scars Author! Author! cover art

Cherry Red | UK | 3xCD | 2020 | CDTRED803

Scars: Author! Author! – UK – 3xCD [2020]

Disc 1 – Album/single tracks

  1. Leave Me In Autumn
  2. Fear Of The Dark
  3. Aquarama
  4. David
  5. Obsessions
  6. Everywhere I Go
  7. Lady In The Car With Glasses On And A Gun
  8. Je T’aime C’est La Mort
  9. Your Attention Please
  10. All About You
  11. She’s Alive
  12. They Came And Took Her
  13. Romance By Mail
  14. Love Song
  15. Psychomodo
  16. All About You (Single Version)
  17. Author! Author!
  18. Silver Dream Machine

Disc 2 – Demos

  1. The Victim
  2. Horrorshow
  3. Anti-feelings
  4. Obsessions
  5. Romance By Mail
  6. Slime
  7. Leave Me In Autumn
  8. Aquarama
  9. Everywhere I Go
  10. Next
  11. Illustrated Man
  12. Author! Author!
  13. Je ’taime C’est La Mort
  14. Fear Of The Dark
  15. Billy Porter
  16. Your Attention Please
  17. Psychomodo

Disc 3 – Live

  1. Anti-feelings (White Hart Inn, Edinburgh 1978)
  2. Bravado (White Hart Inn, Edinburgh 1978)
  3. Sweet Dreams / Psychomodo (Craigmillar Castle, Anti-nazi League Rally 1978)
  4. Horrorshow (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh 1979)
  5. So Strong (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh 1979)
  6. She’s Alive (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh 1979)
  7. Adult/ery (George Square Theatre, Edinburgh 1979)
  8. Fear Of The Dark (Plaza Ballroom, Glasgow 1981)
  9. Love Song (Plaza Ballroom, Glasgow 1981)
  10. They Came And Took Her (Plaza Ballroom, Glasgow 1981)
  11. Obsessions (Valentino’s, Edinburgh 1981)
  12. All About You (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  13. Aquarama (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  14. David (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  15. Je T’aime C’est La Mort (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  16. L’afrique (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  17. The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  18. Vanishing (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  19. Remember Me (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  20. Leave Me In Autumn (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  21. Author! Author! (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)
  22. Your Attention Please (Groningen, Netherlands 1981)

It’s an embarrassment of riches, but I am seeing a lack of BBC sessions, which might be the only other things potentially missing. Alas, there seem to be no Scars appearances on Strange Fruit issues, so that part of the band is still in a black hole. Actually, my entire impression of the band is in a black hole as I have never heard them and I can’t find them to preview on iTunes.  I don’t stream and would be shocked if they are on any services. I noticed that even Cherry Red boxed sets that they appeared on like “Big Gold Dreams” were edited for American sales on iTunes, with many tracks [including Scars] missing in action.

But, material like this that has swirled on my periphery for 40 years, in my awareness but not my environment, is like catnip to me and I don’t anticipate being disappointed once I actually hear them! The indigenous styled cover art by Rocking Russian has always stuck in my mind as being weirdly compelling. I probably correlate it to the weird vogue that Spandau Ballet had for First Nations derived artwork in their “Diamond” album period. If Scars are like catnip to you as well, then hit that button and pre-order.

post-punk monk buy button

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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23 Responses to Want List: Scars – “Author! Author!” DLX RM 3xCD In Depth From Cherry Red In October

  1. schwenko says:

    “All About You” is wonderful!

    Like

  2. bpdp3 says:

    I can’t recall if I first read about this album in Trouser Press or maybe the ‘Rock Yearbook’ series (Anglo-centric and a great place to learn about acts like Scars, Way of the West, and many others rarely covered state-side).

    I was lucky to find a $3.99 used copy of this lp back in the early 90’s….the term ‘lunging’ comes to mind. At any rate, a wonderful album teeming with the sounds of that era. Oh, and they had THE look… the look you WANTED a band to have back then. Perfectly foppish!

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      bpsp3 – Yeah, Not seeing a copy until about a decade or so ago, just seemed to be so wrong, considering how I had awareness of the album from day one. Ironically, I have many Way Of the West 12″ers. They were not hard to source.

      Like

  3. Regrettably — and rather surprisingly — this doesn’t seem to be complete. There is a wealth of Scars to be found on YouTube: in addition to the full (original) album, there are two 1981 Old Grey Whistle Test appearances, a fan video of the non-LP song “Love Song” (1980), a promo video for “All About You” (under the name “The Scar”), an audio-only play of the “Horrorshow/Adult/ery” single, an audio-only “The Lady in the Car with Glasses On and a Gun” (not live), the unreleased “You Turn Me On” (from a John Peel session), “Psychomodo,” a video of Scars with Lemon Jelly for the “Shouty Song” performance, a 2011 performance with Marc Riley on BBC 6 doing “Horrorshow,” and a few other bits and bobs.

    For those interested, the YouTube contributor name you’re looking for is “scoorieboy.”

    And finally, there is a half-hour DOCUMENTARY on the band that can be found on his channel as well.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – I am quite intrigued by the band covering Cockney Rebel’s “Psychomodo;” another British band very well established in the UK in that Glam-New Wave netherzone [where you would also find Doctors Of Madness] but almost completely unknown in America. Of course, Duran Duran covered “Come Up And See Me [Make Me Smile]” more famously by Cockney Rebel. Thanks to my better half listening to Cleveland radio, we’ve had a copy of “The Psychomodo” in house on LP and [quickly] CD from day one.

      Like

  4. PS. And for those of you who might hold out till your Cherry Red CD set comes in (looking at you O Monk) — yeah, you’ll like it.

    Like

  5. Ade.W says:

    At last! Now i can get my hands on the CD version. The previous release is hard to find and expensive. I loved this album when it came out , so i have it as an LP and the 7″ “All about you”.
    I always thought that the track “may I have your attention please” spoilt the flow on side Two, it sounds more like some sort of student art project to me. The 7″ B side track “Author Author” would have been better served swapping places with it. Putting the album title as a B side but not on said album, well its not big and its not clever. Scars also appear on an LP I have , FastProduct Mutant pop 78/79 , they sound a bit rougher here. All in all, I think you will like this. Oh and the naff new romantic cast off shirts and trousers did them no favours. Enjoy.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Ade.W – Yeah, I used to see that “FastProduct Mutant Pop” LP in the import cutout bins that I thought would always be there for me in the early 80s. Never got a copy! Crazy that I didn’t, considering the early Human League tracks within.

      Like

  6. David Simpson says:

    I chanced across this blog a few days ago, and it’s already come good by pointing this reissue out to me. I discovered Scars the easy way, by being Scottish and going to lots of gigs when Scars were around. They’re still a big favourite of mine (leapt on the earlier CD when it came out).
    I’m especially looking forward to the live material and to the demo of Illustrated Man, a tune still lodged in my head from seeing Scars live more than forty years ago.
    It’s a shame about the missing stuff, but it would need to be licensed from a variety of sources, and I can understand the situation.
    Finally, Monk, based on what I’ve read here, you’ll love Scars.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      David Simpson – Welcome to the comments! So you were there 40 years ago? I can imagine the pent up desire in the case of hearing “illustrated Man!” I once heard an early Berlin single in 1981 and looked for it for 30 years only to find it in the Discogs era, and see that it was a three figure record! And it’s been on my big want list that long. At least this new Cherry Red issue is priced modestly. Glad I was able to help a fan out by mentioning this. You’ve probably not delved deep into the roots of this blog this early, but I’ve a deep love for Scot Rock! It’s just measurably superior to any other kind!

      Like

      • David Simpson says:

        I was there at many a late seventies/early eighties Scot Rock gig including an earlyish Rezillos gig and lots of early Simple Minds shows, including one when they were still Johnny And The Self Abusers although, sadly, I can’t remember much more than that I saw them, and where I saw them (University Of Aberdeen Central Refectory, now the Student Union building, just two streets over from where I work.)

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          Davis Simpson – I hear you on the 40+ year gulf between gigs and now. There are gigs I can barely remember myself and I have no chemical excuses as a lifetime teatotaler and proto-straightedge geek. At least I saw The Rezillos in 2002 on their 1st US tour, apart from a one-off ’79 NYC gig. Yow!

          Like

  7. Christopher Merritt says:

    Love this – I’ve never heard of this band! Certainly we never had it at the import record shop I worked at in the 80s. What’s the Berlin single you were after? The original ‘Matter of Time’ with Nunn on vocals?

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Christopher Merritt – Oh that one’s easy! In fact, I once found a stack of the Nunn “Matter of Time” at a record show for $3.00 each and bought [and redistributed] them all! No, what I’m still withering inside for is the “Tell Me Why/The Metro” 7″ with the early version of “Tell Me Why.” The version on “Pleasure Victim” never sounds right to me after hearing that one first.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christopher Merritt says:

        $82 – $500 on Discogs! That’s insane…

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          Christopher Merritt – I’ve paid more than $20 for a 7″ single about twice. And one of those was an Ultravox! record of much higher caliber than anything Berlin could do. After all of these years, I might want to drop as much as $30 for this. $40 for an ultra clean copy. I don’t want to pay $30+ for something that sounds like garbage.

          Like

  8. Echorich says:

    Scars were from the wonderfully theatrical corridor of Post Punk. All About You from Author! Author! still sounds so fresh to me 39 years after it’s release.

    Like

  9. SimonH says:

    The original cd is brickwalled sadly, fingers crossed this one won’t be…

    Like

  10. Dalveen says:

    https://youtu.be/F_1qIrVS71o Got “Author! Author!” back when it came out. In fact bought it (promo copy) from Bongo John who ran a wee rehearsal studio down at Tam’s Brig in Ayr in 1980-81. Saw them at Valentino’s in Edinburgh 1981.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Dalveen – Welcome to the comments! How exciting it must have been to have bands like this local for you. Where I grew up [Orlando, Florida], I didn’t have local acts worth paying attention to until I was 30!

      Like

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