Reason #390 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: North Of A Miracle

nickMy daughter is fast approaching her awkward teenage years, so I thought it best to go through my library of music and pick out a few angst ballads/epics and make her a few mix-discs. Everything was going along swimmingly (a Cure song here, a Joy Division one there…) until I happened upon Whistle Down The Wind by Nick Heyward, former frontman and chief songwriter of Haircut 100. I found myself entranced, not necessarily by the song (although it is a fine example of ’80’s pop) but by the production, which sounded incredible! I immediately went to allmusic to see what genius produced this song and it’s parent album, the solo debut, North Of A Miracle. Well well well. The genius in question was none other than Geoff Emerick, he of the Beatles family of sound magicians!

I jump out of my seat and run over to the rows of CD’s in my music library and slide North Of A Miracle out of its dusty slot (alpha, chronological, natch!) and slip it in the player. This, I think, is a pretty damn fine little pop gem! It sounds a little like Pelican West (the aforementioned Haircut 100 album), but more like McCartney circa Revolver, especially given the prominence of the horns. Blue Hat For A Blue Day, When It Started To Begin, On A Sunday and the rest sound absolutely current, which is the thing about this album that surprised me the most upon revisiting. Absolutely no synthesizers were used, nor those dreaded gated drum machine sounds, thankfully. Give it a spin, it’s good. Still.

I ended up putting 2 songs from this album of the first mix-CD for my daughter, just in case you were wondering.