PE 34039 Trouble
Produced by Jeffrey Lesser
Released on January 1976
UK CHART POSITION #45
Find it at GEMM
PE 34039 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I f you’re wondering how I got into Trouble, I blame The Rolling Stone Record Guide. They called this album “ersatz Roxy Music.” Now, an inferior Roxy Music is still superior to most things, so I was intrigued. And when I saw how much Georg Kajanus looked like Bryan Ferry, I was hooked. Well, I’m here to tell you: ersatz my arse. They don’t sound anything like Roxy Music. In fact, they don’t sound like anything I’ve heard before. This is quirky, clever, harmonious cabaret music: Hoagy Carmichael crossed with Brian Wilson. However, it has absolutely no place in 1975. Ferry’s wayback machine stopped in the ‘60s but Kajanus’ kept going to the 1920s. The whole album is eccentric, except that everyone plays it so straight I can’t tell if they’re trying to carve out a new niche or dig a tunnel back to a bygone era. The trouble with Trouble is, it won’t be so easily dismissed. Kajanus is an excellent songwriter who wraps all manner of catchy melodies into outmoded exotica like “Trouble in Hong Kong,” “Coconut” and “Glass of Champagne.” Girls and Glass were actually big hits, the latter likely because it sounded modern enough to be plucked from Trouble’s past and placed safely in the present. So what place do we accord in history for a band like Sailor? Their influence was greater in Germany, and certainly you could see them as a precursor to a band like Yello, whose “Swing” has a lot in common with “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Or you could see them as artists with the buoyancy of an XTC, Sparks and Harry Nilsson but misdirected by an errant compass. Likely, they’ll be viewed as continental curiosities; serious musicians making silly music who never let on that they got the joke. The last laugh may have been on them, or maybe on us. Theirs was likely never a star trek, but rather the careful indulgence of an admirable quirk.

PE 34039 back cover PE 34039 lyric sleeve
PE 34039 back cover PE 34039 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS    3:02
  2. TROUBLE IN HONG KONG    3:07
  3. PEOPLE IN LOVE    3:29
  4. COCONUT    2:24
  5. JACARANDA    2:15
  6. GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE    2:41
  7. MY KIND OF GIRL    3:04
  8. PANAMA    3:26
  9. STOP THAT MAN    3:07
  10. THE OLD NICKOLODEON SOUND    2:58

    All words and music by Georg Kajanus

CREDITS

GEORG KAJANUS -- 12-string guitars, charango, Veracruzana harp and lead vocals
HENRY MARSH -- nickolodeon, accordion, piano, marimbas and vocals
PHIL PICKETT -- bass nickolodeon, guitarron, piano and vocals
GRANT SERPELL -- drums, percussion and vocals
Rupert Holmes -- associate producer
Jeffrey Lesser -- engineer, mixing
Roslav Szaybo -- design
Peter Lavery -- photography

return to SAILOR discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK January 1976 Epic LP SEPC-69192 lyric insert
US January 1976 Epic LP PE 34039 lyric sleeve
AUSL/NZ 1976 Epic LP ELPS-3757  
CAN January 1976 Epic LP KE 34039  
SAF 1976 Epic LP KSF-7033  

 

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