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It’s 1977 and Stiff Records struck oil in Akron, Ohio when they signed Devo. Following up with ‘The Akron Compilation’ which featured fellow ‘Akronites’ Jane Aire, The Waitresses and the youngest of them all, Rachel Sweet.
Already talented way beyond her years, Rachel had toured the US and recorded several independent Country singles by the time she took the train from London to John O’Groats with backing band The Records to become the surprise hit on 1978’s Be Stiff tour at the tender age of 16.
Rachel’s Country Music leanings were perfectly juxtaposed with songwriter/producer Liam ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ Sternberg’s urban new wave sketches and pop pastiches of the past with retro recordings of Carla Thomas’ Stax US hit ‘B-A-B-Y’ (a Top 40 UK hit for Rachel in January 1979) and the Spectropop treatment of Dusty Springfield’s ‘Stay Awhile’.
Subsequent recordings for the label resulted in the debut album Fool Around; a classic Stiff in house affair featuring The Rumour and The Blockheads, as well as Will Birch’s ‘Pin A Medal On Mary’ and Elvis Costello’s ‘Stranger In The House’.
RPM’s “B-A-B-Y: The Complete Stiff Recordings 1978-1980” collects together Rachel’s entire recorded output for the label with all the necessary Hits Greatest Stiffs including compilation only tracks, live and remix B-sides… and Rachel’s second and final album for the label in 1980, “Protect The Innocent”, produced by Martin Rushent and Alan Winstanley – a much, harder rock around the edges album taking on Elvis Presley, Lou Reed and Graham Parker.
Disc One presents the Akron Compilation tracks, the “Fool Around” LP , the first singles B-sides, a Sounds exclusive track. Disc Two presents the “Protect The Innocent” LP and the final single b-sides.
1. TRUCKSTOP QUEEN
2. TOURIST BOYS
4. JUST MY STYLE
5. WHO DOES LISA LIKE?
6. WILDWOOD SALOON
7. STAY AWHILE
8. SUSPENDED ANIMATION
9. IT’S SO DIFFERENT HERE
11.PIN A MEDAL ON MARY
12.GIRL WITH A SYNTHESIZER
13.STRANGER IN THE HOUSE
14.I’LL WATCH THE NEWS 15.BE STIFF
16.WILDWOOD SALOON (LIVE)
1. I GO TO PIECES
2. SAD SONG
5. I’VE GOT A REASON
6. NEW AGE
7. BABY LET’S PLAY HOUSE
8. NEW ROSE
9. FOOL’S GOLD
10.TAKE GOOD CARE OF ME
15.SPELLBOUND (SPECIAL DISCO REMIX)
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