One of the major problems facing the music industry these days is the ability for bands to release their own material without the use of the old record label apparatus. This has been a benefit to those of us who seek out new music on a regular basis but it does have one drawback. Back in my youth I could rely on certain record labels releasing material I was guaranteed to enjoy. 4AD, Sub Pop, Merge, and Sire records all released records that matched my sensibilities to the point that when I saw the logo I bought it without question (and was rewarded more often then not). In the case of Sire records, the best and biggest new wave bands were signed here throughout the 80's (Depeche Mode, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Smiths) so their catalogue was essential to shaping me as a musical youth. For a string of 5 years the label released a compilation CD highlighting artists for the year. The "Just Say..." series is a who's who alternative rock (mostly from Europe with a little US thrown in). There are actually seven volumes but since I only own five I will have to limit this to a five part series of posts.
The first album, Just Say Yes.., released in 1989, gave me my first real taste of Echo and James. I bought the record based on my knowledge of Depeche Mode and the Smiths (and the prospect of a rare Smiths song was worth the purchase alone). Despite all the big names it was two minor acts that I wore out. I absolutely fell in love with THE MIGHTY LEMON DROPS track, to the point were I sought out their albums with a furious passion and may have actually threatened a store clerk when he said he had to special order them. The other band that caught my ear was FIGURES ON A BEACH, who are actually from Boston. I was convinced these guys were going to be huge and proceeded to stake my fledgling reputation as a music snob on their merits. Two albums later they were gone, but I managed to get over it.
So here are those two tracks for your listening enjoyment. If you want any of the others drop me a line and I will oblige.
Tracklisting for JUST SAY YES...
Depeche Mode - "Never Let Me Down Again" [Split Mix]
Echo & the Bunnymen - "Lips Like Sugar" [12" Mix]
The Mighty Lemon Drops - "Out of Hand" [Extended Version]
James - "Ya-Ho"
The Smiths - "Work Is a Four-Letter Word"
Figures on a Beach - "No Stars"
Wild Swans - "Young Manhood"
Ice T - "Somebody Gotta Do It (Pimpin' Ain't Easy!)" [Remix]
The Ramones - "I Wanna Live"
Replacements - "Can't Hardly Wait"
Throwing Muses - "A Feeling"
Aztec Camera - "How Men Are"
The Casual Gods - "Cherokee Chief"
Erasure - Hideaway [Little Louie Vega Mix]