Girls At Our Best – Pleasure – Happy Birthday Records – 1981

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My first record was  chosen this evening after a day not listening to anything. For some reason I just listened to the radio in the car to and from work and so I came home thinking I have to choose a decent one for my first record. I went for a record that I am truly in love with every aspect of. One of my ‘perfect’ records. Having said that this record remained on tape for years where I had nabbed it years ago and then lost it to the ravages of tape degeneration from years of stretching. As was quite usual around its time of release I couldn’t afford many records and finally bought an original copy off Ebay about 3 years ago. As usual I went for a very reasonably priced version unfortunately without the splendid pleasure bag that came with the original.

Girls At Our Best were formed in Leeds in 1979 and consisted of Judy Evans on vocals, James Alan on Guitar, Gerard Swift on bass and an this album D Carl Harper on drums. A great favourite of John Peel, I first heard them on his show and faithfully taped some of their sessions. You can find out all sorts of facts about GAOB here  http://www.girlsatourbest.com/. And you can listen to the CD version of the record here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZx3sZR0XqE. The record runs from track 6 to 16. Plenty of other delicious morsels here too.

In Pleasure we have a glistening, shiny, guitar pop tower of a record. It is a tune menagerie; catchy as velcro and bright as a pin. It also has a lovely homemade feel and has some really odd instrumentation which I find irresistible (check out the keyboards on ‘She Flipped’ , the chugging pub pianner on ‘Too Big for Your Boots’ and the appearance of a clarinet on ‘Fun City Teenagers’!

Judy Evans, who no one appears to have heard from for years and years was a seriously lovely looking woman but played down this aspect entirely. She had a voice like a lungful of helium and pronounces her ‘t’s like Jenny Agutter in  The Railway Children.

In China Blue she sings ‘Oh why I am I so beautiful’. I have no idea Judy but you surely are. On side 1 also had a song called ‘I’m Beautiful Now’ which I always got a bit confused about in earlier times with a pirate tape with swiftly scribed scrawl on the insert. My copy now has a girt great scratch right in the middle of ‘Beautiful Now’ which actually needs a stylus shove so these days there is no confusion.

Oddly I also got confused similarly at Pleasure –  ‘1,2 go to Pleasure City Avenue’ and China Blue –  ‘Come to China for the day where you only have to pay Such a little for your pleasure at the open shop or take away’. Lots of pleasure and this album is full of it.

£600000 at the end of side 1 has a great touch as it wanders into the out groove there is a little tom tom run that would play forever if you didn’t take it off

Album Highlights

I don’t think there is a duff track on this

Waterbed Babies has the rousing chorus ‘Water babies in the sea, Watermelons are for tea, Waterbeds are made for me, They make my mouth water’. Utter nonsense about water chutes and other watery pass times but coming from Judy’s air laden vocal chords it sounds gorgeous.

Fast Boyfriends is my very very favourite track about falling in and out of love as quickly as you can play a track ‘last four minutes then thrown away’

All in all this is charming record that you should buy because it is ridiculously cheap to get hols of and so gorgeous. That is of course if you like the jingly jangly C86 sound as these are that scenes very roots. Descendants of this genre include Betty and the Werewolves, Bearsuit, Veronica Falls, Joanna Gruesome and Trust Fund; all well worth checking out

They reissued ‘Pleasure’ last year on a 2 disc yellow splatter effect vinyl which looks really nice. Hey, but its content not looks that keeps you listening. A bit like our Judy

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