Friday, 18 February 2011
I revived this forgotten memory whilst trawling YouTube and was unexpectedly blown away by its sheer vivacity. It just jumps out of the speakers at you – all 80s synth stabs and fat plunking bass with Paul King’s impassioned vocal overlaying the musical maelstrom. For some reason it brings back memories of driving down to Hove for a weekend with friends, to visit another who lived in a flat overlooking the sea, yet I don’t recall playing it on any of those journeys. It must’ve just been in the air during those carefree years of the mid-1980s.
In fact, I discover, I have a cassette copy of King’s second album, ‘Bitter Sweet’ – but that doesn’t have ‘Love & Pride’ on it either. So quite where that recollection has sprung from I really don’t know but there is no doubt that it has the salty smell of the English Channel permanently attached to it in my mind. In fact, now I come to think about it, I had a King Christmas concert on video for a time – I recall it was taped over eventually in favour of some other fly-by-night. Oh, the vagaries of youth!
King was a bit of a here-today-gone-tomorrow outfit. Having burst onto the scene with ‘Love & Pride’ in 1985 they stayed around for little more than a year but in that time scored big-time with the equally fab ‘Alone Without You’ and ‘The Taste of Your Tears’ as well as collecting a few other minor hits along the way. I believe Paul King now works for MTV again, having been a VDJ prior to the formation of King, the band, which is a bit of a loss to the music industry.
In essence, King were a classic starburst in the rock ‘n’ Roll firmament – bright and dazzling but soon over. And that’s a pity really, as I have unexpectedly enjoyed rediscovering their material from 25 years ago and have not only resurrected my copy of ‘Bitter Sweet’ but have speculated 90p to put ‘Love & Pride’ on my iPod. A great band and probably a bit under-rated. There, something good came out of the 80s after all.