Friday, August 5, 2011

Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls- S/T (1980) MP3 & FLAC -Thank You Cudawaver!-

"Exteriors are never real, nobody shows just what they feel."

From the barely controlled (but still beautiful) punk rage of "Don't Dictate" to the often convincing Patti Smith-isms of Moving Targets  to the lush Post-Punk of her solo debut, Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls, Pauline Murray proved herself to be one of the most gifted vocalists of the Punk/Post-Punk era, who, in terms of ability, was easily the equal of her closest contemporary, Siouxsie Sioux, but in terms of career fortunes, was fated to play the role of obscure cult artist. After the acrimonious demise of Penetration, whose final album, Coming Up for Air, was a critical and commercial disaster to put it mildly, Murray found herself without a band or a record deal but with a reputation that all but guaranteed her a certain level of creative autonomy on her next project. This project would materialize after a move from Newcastle to Manchester with ex-Penetration band-mate and boyfriend, bass player Robert Blamire. While the move was ostensibly to find a more artist-friendly environment, Manchester also happened to be the home of producer Martin Hannett, who, during the course of the preceding two years, had made quite a name for himself as the sonic architect of Joy Division's iconic albums, Unknown Pleasures  and Closer. Hannett's unorthodox recording methods and Svengali-like presence in the production booth had lent Joy Division's work a unique and unprecedented approach to creating a sense of spatiality in the music, something he had borrowed from Dub Reggae artists such as Lee "Scratch" Perry. After deciding to work with Murray, Hannett coupled her with his "house band," The Invisible Girls, which included Hannett on bass, Vini Reilly of Durutti Column fame on guitar, and Buzzcocks drummer John Maher. In contrast to Hannett's better known work with Joy Division, Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls is, unapologetically, a pop record, but one that dresses its uniformly excellent songs in ethereal textures and dark, often edgy hues. This works to great affect on the opener, "Screaming in the Darkness," which bears the imprint of Hannett's obsessive emphasis on creating space between the various instruments and features one of Murray's most memorable vocal performances, managing to sound fey, melancholic, and stunningly beautiful all at once. And then there's the lovely first single, "Dream Sequence I," one of the poppiest moments on the album to be sure, though Hannett's arrangement is still off-kilter enough to give it some edge. Maybe more so than any other song on the album, "Dream Sequence I" makes it clear that Murray had finally found a sympathetic setting for her soulfully sad voice, especially as she belts out the devastatingly catchy chorus that makes the song impossible to forget. While listening to Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls more than thirty years after it was first released, it is hard not to wonder how Murray failed to become one of the bigger names of the Post-Punk movement, as much of the album seems anticipatory of (if not a direct influence on) many of the paths Post-Punk was to take later in the decade. Needless to say, this album is, without a doubt, one of the great lost gems of the early eighties.

Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls 
(Griffin ~ 1993/1980 ~ Remastered & Expanded Edition)

 1. Screaming in the Darkness  (3:37)
 2. Dream Sequence I  (3:20)
 3. European Eyes  (3:21)
 4. Shoot You Down  (2:07)
 5. Sympathy  (2:48)
 6. Time Slipping  (4:04)
 7. Drummer Boy  (3:04)
 8. Thundertunes  (3:23)
 9. When Will We Learn  (3:35)
10. Mr. X  (4:27)
11. Judgement Day  (4:26)
-Bonus Tracks-
12. The Visitor (Searching for Heaven EP)  (3:44)
13. Animal Crazy (Searching for Heaven EP)  (3:17)
14. Searching for Heaven (Searching for Heaven EP)  (2:59)


  1. Thank you so much for this. I would love, if I may say, to see some of her extraordinarily hard-to-find post-invisible-girls material show up here. I always appreciate the constancy of the quality at this blog.

  2. Anon., you're welcome. This one is a rare treat indeed. I wish I could post more of Murray's solo stuff but it's nowhere to be found. All vinyl-only and incredibly scarce. Thanks for your kind words about the blog; they are much appreciated :)

  3. Thanks. This is a classic. Where did you find this ?

  4. Vinyl Rules, a buddy of mine (cudawaver) shelled out the hefty price to purchase the CD. I'm quite thankful he did! Enjoy :)

  5. wow! this is just fantastic. many thanks for this. it is very much appreciated. cheers!

  6. marioscafe, wonderful to hear from you again! Yes, the Pauline Murray is a gem. I can't believe it's out of print and super rare. Seems a crime to me. I feel like starting a record label and re-issuing her solo albums/singles

  7. This is why I love the internet. Thanks a million.

  8. elliott, you're welcome. This one definitely needed to be made available.

  9. This Lp is in my personal Top 10 of the month. It sounds as fresh as ever. Vini Reilly guitars are miles ahead of other contenders of the time. Thanks for the great sounding Flac. Saludos.

  10. El Isabelino, great to hear from you here at luna! It was great to be able to post this gorgeous album in lossless. This needs to be re-issued NOW!

  11. Just found this posted in other quarters, and thought some folks here might like to partake of a little more Pauline Murray.


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