LT-1049 New Clear Days
Produced by Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
(track 8 by Pete Wilson)
Released on 1980
UK CHART POSITION #44 . . . US CHART POSITION #62
Find it at GEMM
LT-1049 cover
[high resolution scan]

T urning Japanese. A masturfull stroke of genius, that song. It’s clearly the best thing about The Vapors’ debut album. The rest of New Clear Days contains quick, catchy songs from the early days of punk that sound like a slightly smoothed-over version of The Jam, Buzzcocks, Boomtown Rats, Undertones depending. Spiky-haired hooligans with Frankenstein eyes, those bands made some of the most pop-palatable punk music on the planet. The knock on New Clear Days is that the ten songs from David Fenton tend to sound alike. They’re edgy, clever songs much of the time (“Spring Collection,” “News At Ten”), but Fenton writes them the way others write pop music. A cookie-cutter counterculture wasn’t really going to cut it, something the aforementioned bands realized by being intentionally prickly at times. New Clear Days needs an eccentric raver, icy ballad or cacophonous cockfight to lend The Vapors a deeper shadow of substance. So what’s here is one fantastic song (“Turning Japanese”), just enough to namecheck The Vapors on a one-hit wonder retrospective of the 80s, and an album full of good songs that deserve a better fate than that. To its credit, the temptation to play “Turning Japanese” and call it a day isn’t that strong. If you like 80s new wave/punk (whatever, I know it’s not really punk but anyone with a striped sailor shirt and a safety pin got to be a punk for a few days until they finally nailed the thing down), you’ll have no trouble spinning this from one end to the other. Sharing a producer and manager with The Jam, The Vapors’ talents are spread thinner but at least evenly. The entire album was re-released as Anthology in 1995 (with four tracks from Magnets tacked on at the end) and again in 1998 with all of Magnets attached (this time as Vaporized). In whatever incarnation you find it, The Vapors’ first album remains a solid debut from a band that disappeared too quickly.

TRACK LISTING

  1. TURNING JAPANESE    3:40
  2. SIXTY SECOND INTERVAL    3:50
  3. WAITING FOR THE WEEKEND    3:04
  4. SPRING COLLECTION    2:52
  5. LETTER FROM HIRO    6:22
  6. NEWS AT TEN    3:18
  7. SOMEHOW    3:32
  8. PRISONERS    2:52
  9. TRAINS    3:26
  10. BUNKERS    3:53

    ANTHOLOGY repackage bonus tracks
  11. JIMMIE JONES
  12. SPIDERS
  13. LIVE AT THE MARQUEE
  14. MAGNETS

    Captain Oi! CD reissue bonus tracks
  15. PRISONERS
  16. SUNSTROKE
  17. HERE COMES THE JUDGE (LIVE)
  18. NEWS AT TEN (SINGLE VERSION)
  19. WASTED
  20. TALK TALK
  21. WAITING FOR THE WEEKEND (SINGLE VERSION)
  22. BILLY

    All selections written by David Fenton. All arrangements by The Vapors.

CREDITS

EDWARD BAZALGETTE -- lead guitar
DAVID FENTON -- guitar and lead vocals
HOWARD SMITH -- drums
STEVE SMITH -- bass guitar and vocals
Andy Lydon -- engineer, mixing
Alan Douglas -- engineer
Trevor Hallesy -- engineer (1)
Vic Coppersmith-Heaven -- mixing (1)
Paul Briginshaw -- concept
John Pasche -- art direction
Phil Jude -- photography
Shoot That Tiger! -- design

return to THE VAPORS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1980 United Artists LP UAG-30300 lyric sleeve
US/CAN 1980 United Artists LP LT-1049 lyric sleeve
NZ 1980 United Artists LP UAL-4012 lyric sleeve
US May 30, 1995 One Way CDX 18332 repackaged as ANTHOLOGY w. bonus tracks
  April 7, 1998 Collectable Records CD 5888 repackaged w. MAGNETS as VAPORIZED
UK 2000 Captain Oi! CDX MODSKA CD 011 w. bonus tracks

 

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