Wah! Heat: Hey Disco Joe (1980)

 |   |  1 min read

Wah! Heat: Hey Disco Joe (1980)

In the immediate post-punk era in Britain when the DIY culture meant bands could release singles faster than anyone could keep up with, it wasn't uncommon to see regional or themed compilation albums and cassettes.

In 1980 freelance writer Nigel Burnham (aka Des Moines) from Leeds threw attention on the north west "to neutralise the incredible London bias of the music press as effected by its most powerful journalists".

His album Hicks from the Sticks gathered 16 tracks from bands who subsequently made a small mark (Modern Eon, Clock DVA, Section 25) and those who didn't (Airkraft, Art Failure, Ada Wilson and Keeping Dark, the Distributors).

And the album was picked up and favourable reviewed in the London press (to salve its conscience?).

But in the grooves were some pretty terrific songs (Nightmares in Wax's Shangri-La among them) including this by Wah! Heat from Liverpool.

Fronted by Pete Wylie, they went on to considerable acclaim as Wah! who were signed to Warners for the album Wah=Poo! The Art of Bluff.

Wylie has had a creditable career, but here is the first incarnation of the band and - driven by a great bass line -- they already sound impressive and heroic in the manner of their peers in Liverpool like Teardrop Explodes and Echo and the Bunnymen.

Curiously enough though, in the few London reviews I read this track was passed over completely.

More from this and other similar compilations of lost or ignored bands coming soon at From the Vaults. Meantime, play this one loud for full dramatic effect.

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Tom Waits: What's He Building? (1999)

Tom Waits: What's He Building? (1999)

One of Tom Waits’ most eerie yet surprisingly popular songs is What’s He Building? which appeared on his very successful Mule Variations album. It possesses a spooky sound design... > Read more

General Echo: Bathroom Sex (1980)

General Echo: Bathroom Sex (1980)

General Echo (Earl Robinson, shot by police in 1980 shortly after this song appeared) is generally credited -- if that's the right word -- with shifting Jamaican reggae away from consciousness... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

JOHN PULE IN NIUE (2013): The homecoming

JOHN PULE IN NIUE (2013): The homecoming

John Pule pushes aside another tangle of thick branches, steps through the ankle-grabbing undergrowth, scans the ground which is strewn with coconuts then peers closely into the green canopy... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases,... > Read more