23756-1 Go To The Line
Produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
Released on 1982
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
23756-1 cover
[high resolution photo]

N ice album cover. If the goal was to make the band look as queer as possible without spending more than $100. Fortunately, Sire spent the money where it mattered: top-notch production from Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Madness) and the full-time assistance of the Uptown Horns. (Langer and Winstanley never met a horn they didn’t like.) The Nitecaps had some small claim to fame when they entered the studio; guitarist/vocalist Jahn Xavier had played in The Voidoids, bassist Peter Jordan had been subbing in The New York Dolls. Go To The Line went in a different direction: horn-flavored new wave/pop similar to English Beat and Haircut One Hundred. Xavier, however, is an R&B growler, which would seem to be the natural enemy of new wave. So even with the horns and a boatload of tuneful tracks from Xavier, The Nitecaps suffer by straddling the line between new wave pop band and R&B bar band. The energy in the songs lies in their melody; “The New Me,” “Go To The Line” and “Can’t Let One More Day Go By” don’t need to be overplayed like sweaty R&B numbers to succeed. But then there’s that bar band mentality that says you’ve got to play your hearts out to win over listeners. What they should have focused on, instead, was a marketable gimmick. I know that sounds awfully shallow, but pop music is an overcrowded field, and you weren’t going to champion The Nitecaps just because they wrote some catchy songs. Think of the bands with less talent who got more out of the same kind of music: Skafish, Blotto, Romeo Void. Those bands were quirky, and you can market quirky. You can’t market a posse of pastel-colored Easter eggs as a borderline new wave pop band when they probably didn’t have a whole lot of interest in being a new wave band in the first place. And so Go To The Line proved to be the end of the line for The Nitecaps, which is a shame. It’s not hard to imagine Xavier and the band maturing to the point where they could have released a very good album. As it is, they left behind a pretty good album, worth picking up in a used record store if you felt the ‘80s new wave/pop party ended too early.

23756-1 back cover
23756-1 back cover


  1. SAME SITUATION    (Al Maddy/Jahn Xavier)    3:46
  2. GO TO THE LINE    4:36
  3. HOT PAVEMENT    2:58
  5. SOMEBODY CARES    5:10
  6. GIVE ME ONE MORE CHANCE    (Douglas Brown)    2:21
  7. LITTLE TOO LONG    3:53
  8. BLACK TEARS    4:03
  9. THE NEW ME    3:18
  10. IS THIS THE DREAM?/GOOD TIMES (MEDLEY)    (Rod Argent)(Harry Vanda/George Young)    5:30

    All songs written by Jahn Xavier unless noted


SAMMY BROWN -- drums, vocals
PETER JORDAN -- bass, vocals
AL MADDY -- vocals, guitar
JAHN XAVIER -- lead vocals, guitar, horn arrangements
Steve Allen -- backing vocals (9)
Ben Barson -- marimba (3)
Bob Funk -- trumpet (3,8)
The Uptown Horns -- horn arrangements
  Crispin Cioe -- alto and baritone saxophones
  Arno Hecht -- tenor saxophone
  "Hollywood" Paul Litteral -- trumpet
Urban Blight -- handclaps (6)
Dave Greenberg -- engineer
Dave Wooley -- additional engineering
Alan Winstanley -- mixing
Christine Rodin -- photo paintings
Waring Abbott -- album photos
Spencer Drate -- art direction, album design
Judith Salavetz -- album design

return to THE NITECAPS discography

US 1982 Sire LP/CS 23756-1/4 lyric sleeve
CAN/GER 1982 Sire LP 92 3756-1 lyric sleeve


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