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Welcome to the official Distractions website. We will be aiming to record the history of one of the greatest, but least heralded, of all Manchester beat groups.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One fine album

This little piece on The Distraction's first two 12-inch records - the You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That EP and the Nobody's Perfect LP - is on the website of the New York magazine, Trouser Press, founded by Ira Robbins.  Distractions articles appeared in the February and December 1980 issues, but this article appears to have been written more recently.

Trouser Press, issue 57, December 1980. (c) www.trouserpress.com/magazine/index.php.


You're Not Going Out Dressed Like That EP (UK TJM) 1979

Nobody's Perfect (UK Island) 1980

Decades from now, rock historians will scratch their heads in bewilderment that the Distractions' fine body of work didn't ensure the Manchester quintet a longer lifespan.  The 1979 EP (which contains rougher versions of two songs [Doesn't Bother Me and Nothing] that would later turn up on Nobody's Perfect, plus a live pair — "Too Young" and "Maybe It's Love" — unavailable elsewhere) hints that the group was working from an abnormally broad palette, a sense confirmed by its one fine album.

A lot of records belong to a specific time, but Nobody's Perfect continues to measure up as an ace slab of educated pop rock, right in tune with the ground rules laid down by Blondie, Squeeze and others of that ilk.  Part of the problem may be that Nobody's Perfect is too weighty to be passed off as a simple diversion.  The band's eclecticism draws on everything from Chuck Berry to Phil Spector to psychedelia — often within the same song — and the vocals tend to be more somber than carefree.  "Boys Cry" comes on like a Ronettes tune but delivers none of the upbeat emotional release seasoned pop listeners are trained to expect. Regardless, Nobody's Perfect very nearly is.

[David Sprague/Jon Young]

Trouser Press, issue 47, February 1980. (c) www.trouserpress.com/magazine/index.php.

Trouser Press, issue 47, February 1980.  (c) www.afka.net/mags/Trouser_Press.htm.


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