The following year, the Barbs had their first European release on Italian label Cruisin’, who put out a 12” vinyl of ‘Where Have the Feelings Gone’ b/w ‘Round and Round.‘ Excited by the positive response to their music, the band formed their own independent label, Blue City Productions, in 1987, and began servicing college/alternative radio, garnering much positive press and radio response, including being named ’Spotlight Pick of the Month’ by The Gavin Report. Still without a major record deal, despite much interest from several top labels, the pair released their first full-length LP, ’Fatal Embrace,’ the same year, which was lauded by Billboard’s Music & Media, as well as scoring substantial radio play and press throughout western Europe and Asia, particularly in France, Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia. In 1989, the band’s first LP was re-released in Europe by London-based Aura Records, where labelmates included Alex Chilton, Steve Marriott, and Nico. Following this, the Barbs released two follow-up CDs, ‘Faith in a Desperate Place’ and ‘Dancing in Dreams,’ both of which were met with great enthusiasm on European radio, particularly in Denmark, where the group conducted a radio promotion tour in 1992.The band, who have been compared by critics to acts ranging from Tears for Fears to Eurythmics, went on extended hiatus, eventually resurfacing as the harder-edged Smoke Ring Days.
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