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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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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Skinny tie

Thirty-six years on and Adrian Wright's Time Goes By So Slow on Factory Records is still receiving the love it deserves. This Manchester classic (and its lovely B-side, Pillow Fight) will of course be appearing in one or two forms on the 'Parabolically Yours' set (Take 2), which is currently brewing nicely. The below review of FAC12 appeared recently in the Unsung section of the Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage site.


Released 1979 on Factory
Reviewed by Lawrence, 21/05/2015

Had to write another review concerning another old '79 'skinny tie' favorite. And this one appearing on Factory, a label not really known for power pop at the time... Of course this wasn't the band's debut record as I think they had a previous 12" on TJM.

Anyways this record displayed a different side to 'skinny tie' pop than "Girl of My Dreams" by Bram Tchaikovsky which I reviewed previous. This has more of a melancholic style, but not really the same kind as Joy Division which was more desperate and emotionally damaged. I'm talking more wistful melancholia, as in seeing an established relationship slip away as well as other forms of loss.

So this 7" came with the usual understated-yet-elegant sleeve, with both the spacious production (by Brandon Leon) and the music matching the same approach. The a-side is a break-up song, the kind Greg Kihn said 'they don't write anymore' except with a bit more intelligence and sophistication. Basically a deep longing for a love that was lost and thinking of what could've been. "Oh I wonder why you had to go, the way you had to go, time goes by so slow..."

The flip, "Pillow Fight", is a bit more 50's-ish, particularly with the guitar -- I don't mean it being Rockabilly, think more Buddy Holly than Elvis Presley. But still with that bright power-pop style of melodic panache.

So this would be enough for the band to land a record deal with a major, put out a relatively critically well-received album but then suffer the loss of a key member. Their last single, "Twenty Four Hours" would be even more on a sad note than this single. Still, "Time Goes By So Slow" is the Distractions at their most memorable so far, although I need to find their album which I haven't heard to this day... 


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