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Foreign Press

Foreign Press

Foreign Press


Manchester post-punk band who later embraced major label pop, but with little success. From the LTM records biography: Foreign Press formed in Manchester in January 1979 by brothers Ralph and Stuart Bowe, Dave 'Chubb' Murray, and Dave and John Midwood. The group wasted little time in cutting their first single at Cargo Studio in Rochdale on 25 March 1979, recording Downpour, Crossfire and Behind the Glass. Engineered by John Brierley, the three tracks were co-produced by the band and Joy Division manager Rob Gretton. Read more on Last.fm
Manchester post-punk band who later embraced major label pop, but with little success. From the LTM records biography: Foreign Press formed in Manchester in January 1979 by brothers Ralph and Stuart Bowe, Dave 'Chubb' Murray, and Dave and John Midwood. The group wasted little time in cutting their first single at Cargo Studio in Rochdale on 25 March 1979, recording Downpour, Crossfire and Behind the Glass. Engineered by John Brierley, the three tracks were co-produced by the band and Joy Division manager Rob Gretton. The 7" was released in June on small Manchester label Streets Ahead, in an early sleeve by Trevor Johnson, later an associate of Factory and Peter Saville. The single received limited airplay from BBC deejays John Peel and Peter Powell, and was favourably reviewed by Paul Morley in the NME: 'Foreign Press are Manchester's brightest brand new loved ones.

Their music is choppy, spiralling, edgy and well rinsed with guitars; they're like a well-cushioned Joy Division. Joy Division's flamboyant manager Rob Gretton in fact shares production chores with the group. Although Foreign Press stop short of achieving the channelled psychotic blitzkreig thrust of the very great Division, they manage a fluctuating, fortified sort of '79 psychedelia that makes them A Group To Look Out For. Foreign Press make good patterns.' Towards the end of 1979 the Midwood brothers left the band, and were replaced by Stuart Smith and Les Carey.

Although demo tapes failed to secure the desired major deal, Foreign Press did at least cut their second single for a London label. Recorded at Regent's Park Studios with producer Duncan Bruce in September 1981, the EP comprised Climbing, Remember You and Open Secret. A fourth track, Can You Hear Me?, was also taped. The 12" eventually appeared on Music International Records in August 1982. Bernard Sumner of New Order agreed to produce tracks for a third single, which were taped at Revolution Studio in Cheadle Hulme.

Lead track The Great Divide was then remixed by Sumner at Britannia Row in London after new management company Nomis secured a major deal. The Great Divide was released in October. The press release revised history in shameless fashion, fibbing that the group had formed in December 1981, and that The Great Divide was their first single. Although the single was a classic hard Sumner/Johnson electro-dance production, the single was not a hit.

Unperturbed, the band planned a fourth single, Set Your Love In Motion. This was finally released in October 1984. Despite strong press promotion and an intensive live schedule, Set Your Love In Motion failed to sell, having been dismissed by Melody Maker editor Allan Jones as anonymous pap pop. Although a remix of The Great Divide was considered as the next single, the label dropped the group in May 1985. While many bands might have quit at this stage, Foreign Press persevered.

Bassist Les Carey left, and was replaced by Derek Johnson, formerly with Factory soul-funk band 52nd Street. Although Johnson left in 1986, in 1989 the group recorded further demos co-produced by his brother Donald. However, the band were unable to place this slick new material with another major label, and disbanded in 1989. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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