Friday, 18 February 2011


As you will have probably noticed, I’ve been musing on the 1980s recently and this sort of thing can throw up all sorts of forgotten gems. This was a period when a decent income and few responsibilities meant that I could indulge myself, musically and my music collection grew exponentially. Unfortunately, the downside was that most of my purchases never really received my full attention for long and many fell by the wayside. It also meant that little pockets of music became forgotten - like this one: ‘Love & Pride’ by the extravagantly attired, cockatoo coiffeured Paul King and his similarly clad mates, or collectively, King.

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.

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