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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, April 10, 2012

Ripe for reissue

Eight years ago, Dan Selzer (of Acute Records) and pals discuss The Distractions' one and only album to date at ilxor:




The Distractions - Nobody's Perfect

After a Buzzcocks does power-pop EP on Manchester's leading punk label, and a beatiful done in every possible way single on Factory Records, The Distractions signed to Island and delivered an album that may not completely match the peaks of those first two releases, is still one of the great post-punk/power-pop/just plain old rock and roll records that time has forgotten.  The Distractions sang '60s girl group worthy melodies and played party garage rock worthy rhythms with a New Wave slant, while just about every single song is about a girl.  The Trouser Press said:

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 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]

And while this record is long-ripe for reissue, with the members of the band fully supporting such a project, the rights are lost somewhere in Island/Universal red tape.  Anyone with any leads or connections at Island or Universal...?

I think (the album) appeals to people who've spent equal amounts of time with Singles Going Steady as the Phil Spector Back to Mono box set.  If that sounds great to you but you don't feel The Distractions, we'll just have to agree to disagree.  However, I'd also ask if you've spent good time with the Factory single.  The LP production isn't nearly as interesting.

God, The Distractions at the Rock Garden, Spring 1980... sigh.  "It Doesn't Bother Me" was a severely underrated single, I thought. I *lived* that record. *LIVED* it, I tell you!




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