Monday, February 1, 2010
Kursaal Flyers - Television Generation
KURSAAL FLYERS (Southend-on-Sea, UK)
Television Generation b/w Revolver (Live)
CBS (5771), 1977
The Kursaal Flyers (aka The Kursaals), formed at the tail end of 1973, primarily playing covers as a pub rock band with the likes of Dr. Feelgood and the ilk. After a few releases on the UK Records label (a London Records subsidiary), and having worked more originals into their repertoire, the band had built a following and were signed to CBS in 1976. Their CBS debut was an album entitled 'The Golden Mile,' which was produced by Mike Batt of The Wombles fame.
Under the leadership of Paul Conroy (who later had managerial and presidential roles with labels such as Stiff, Chrysalis, and Virgin UK), the band scored a spot on Top Of The Pops and had a minor hit with "Little Does She Know." Following this, guitarist Graeme Douglas left the band to join Eddie & The Hot Rods. The Kursaals released one more full length, 'Five Live Kursaals' and the "Television Generation" single, which was a far cry from their earlier work. The infectious, stutter-filled power pop classic was comped on an early Epic sampler called 'Permanent Wave' (which I highly recommend picking up). The single was produced by Muff Winwood (brother of Steve and member of Spencer Davis Group, who also produced records for Sparks, Mott The Hoople, Nirvana and many more) and Rhett Davies (who's spectrum of work includes Eno, Talking Heads, B-52s, Wang Chung, King Crimson, and plenty more).
John Wicks joined the group three months before the band dissolved. He and drummer Will Birch became a strong songwriting team who then started a much more successful group called The Records who had hits with "Starry Eyes" and "Teenarama," amongst others. Unfortunately nothing else the Kursaals did compared to the perfection or style of "Television Generation." One form or another of the group is still playing today.