Dalek I Love You: An Annotated Discography

Latest Introduction

"I never, never thought it could happen here"

This discography has been kicking about the internet longer than most of my work, and has born fruit in ways I could never have envisaged. It has been credited in a published thesis, in the liner notes for the Dalek I Love You CD, and in the Eric's book. When the producers of Never Mind the Buzzcocks were sourcing acts for their Doctor Who themed episode, they gave me a call. And so it goes.

In recent years the massive adoption of YouTube as a platform for music sharing has revealed demo tapes, live recordings, and other ephemera previously unheard. It's time to include all of that material here, in a new Miscellaneous category.

So here we have twelve (count 'em) entries not found in version 2. A few peripheral entries were trimmed. I've finally heard all the music herein, and have checked every obscure fact. I've integrated quotations from sources that didn't exist until this millennium.

This document now being as close to definitive as possible, I've removed the annotations that previously petitioned help. Nonetheless, if you have corrections please contact me. Lost demos especially welcome!

I swear that no matter what else I do... my music, production, teaching, research... this document is destined to be my legacy. So here I am, 25 years on, writing another introduction to a Dalek I Love You discography.

Destiny. Dalek I Love You. So be it.

Robin Parmar, Ireland, May 2019

Original Introduction

"Nothing else I'd rather do"

When I read a review in the British music press of the first Dalek I Love You album, I just knew I had to find a copy. Their name was too perfect to resist. So I bundled myself off to the Big City (Toronto) and spent more money than I ever had before on a single piece of vinyl: $14.99. This was a fortune in 1980, when albums were regularly sold for $5 or less. After playing Compass Kumpas I remarked to my best friend Chris that it was either the best album I'd ever heard or a confused piece of junk. After a few more listens my ears became acclimatized to the sounds within and I realized I'd found one of those rare lifelong audio treasures.

For many years I encountered only a few individuals who'd heard Compass Kumpas, but they were uniform in their enthusiasm. I also found small pieces of evidence that this obscure record may have influenced more music than was commonly recognised. Like the fact that Tears For Fears chose the producer of their debut album based on their love for this album.

Years later, as the compact disc was being introduced (to great scepticism amongst audiophiles, rabid boosterism elsewhere) I swore I would not buy a player until Compass Kumpas was issued on CD. This was my way of saying "when hell freezes over". Well, I underestimated the number of fans. Fontana issued the album on CD and I had no choice but to purchase both it and a player.

This discography is for previous fans, and for those to come.

Robin Parmar, Canada, May 1994

Notes on format

"Mistakes you're sure to find"

I've indexed all releases using a chronological numbering scheme as follows:

S = 7" or 12" single, including extended players (EP)
L = 12" long players (LP)
C = compilations of various artists
M = miscellaneous, including bootlegs and streaming sources

Each release includes the artist name and release title on the first line, followed by the release date. The second line includes the format, label, and matrix number. Then, the tracks are listed. After the track name is its timing, for convenience in distinguishing different versions. Note that this is the actual duration, and not the number printed on a sleeve or label (which is often wrong).

I've put the records in a sequence to best suit the narrative. For this reason there is a chronology appended near the end of this document.

How to spell the name of the band? For "Dalek i" the lower-case "i" was used consistently by the band, so I have kept it that way. I use this name to refer to the two-person team who recorded for Phonogram. For "Dalek I Love You" the lower-case "i" is used on their sleeve designs, but it is always capitalised in the credits. I have taken the lower-case as a typographic affectation. I use this longer name to refer to the loose aggregation of musicians, in various configurations, even those that are basically Alan Gill solo releases.

The first album is denoted by the name Compass Kumpas, which is how it is spelled on the re-issue CD and also on the sleeve for the single "Dalek I Love You (Destiny)".

Some decisions needed to be made as to what side-projects to include. I've certainly erred on the generous side, just to make you aware of what's out there. But this version drops the Thomas Lang entries, a compilation, and two additional Teardrop releases as being too peripheral. Nowaday you can look everything up on the web, don'tcha know. That was far from the truth when I started this project!

Part One: Pre-History

"Here in Liverpool we sing"

There was little musical happening in Liverpool in the seventies apart from Deaf School, a mannered Roxy Music-style pastiche. More than a dozen members passed through their ranks from the time they were formed, at the beginning of 1974, to their breakup in April 1978. Deaf School showed the local youth that it was possible to make music without being The Beatles. They formed a continuum with the strong tradition of theatre that existed in the city.

The second spark was provided by punk. Local punters remember 5 May 1977 as the day The Clash played Liverpool. Their energy and DIY attitude was infectious: almost everybody at that gig went home and formed a band. This was a similar effect as the Sex Pistols gig in Machester, that famed event that spawned Magazine, Joy Division, and so many others.

One of the first Liverpudlian groups to embody this spirit was Big in Japan. Their connection to the theatrical stylings of Deaf School were obvious; they even started by borrowing equipment from their predecessor. But they had a raw spirit, embodied in Jayne Casey's bizarre look and no-nonsense attitude. She and the other members (Ian Broudie, Holly Johnson, Dave Balfe, Budgie, Bill Drummond) went on to shape the musical landscape of the eighties. The list now looks like a veritable supergroup, without whom we wouldn't have Siouxsie & the Banshees, The KLF, The Timelords, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Lightning Seeds, Pink Industry, Blur...

Drummond explains the Big in Japan outlook:

We were known as the Liverpool punk band. But we weren't really punk, we were showband punk. We didn't have the idealism that the younger people had. I wanted to have hit singles.

Big in Japan released a couple of records and showed everyone else you could make music — yes, even in Liverpool — on your own terms. By the time they folded in August 1978 they had influence far beyond their musical ability.

As important as the music was the fact that there was a venue in which it could be heard. Everyone who was anyone played at Eric's, a club started 1 October 1976 by Roger Eagle and closed 14 March 1980 by the police. The management's liberal attitude allowed many one-night-stand bands a chance at the stage. Ian Broudie explains:

Roger would book bands just because they had ridiculous names. He had one called The Table. His advertising campaign consisted of sticking a table outside the club. It was subliminal stuff. He'd tell you the band's name if you asked, but you were meant to click.

Alan Gill was from Thingwall on The Wirral, the peninsula of land opposite the big city of Liverpool. (And, coincidentally, where my own Liverpudlian relatives are from.) He had taught himself guitar by playing in various school bands. Dave Balfe lived in the same neighbourhood, and though he couldn't play bass, he did own a car and a PA. Plus he wore the right clothes. Soon they were playing together in a pub band, Mister McKenzie.

Mister McKenzie
Alan Gill: guitar
Dave Balfe: bass
Keith Hartley: vocals
constantly changing drummer

In November 1976 they changed their name to Radio Blank, formed in the spirit of The Damned. As The Wirral's only local punk group they achieved local infamy. They played Eric's five times in their year-long career, taking turns headlining and supporting The Spitfire Boys.

Radio Blank (November 1976)
Alan Gill: guitar
Dave Balfe: bass
Keith Hartley: vocals
Stephen Brick: drums

While half of the group wanted to continue with punk music, Gill had noticed how different Deaf School's approach was. He wished to experiment with novel instruments and arrangements. Balfe continues the story:

When Radio Blank split up, Alan and I wanted to do something more adventurous -- and when we were unable to find a suitable drummer, we decided to get a drum machine. That was the real turning point: we dropped ideas of trying to copy Deaf School or being commercial and did exactly what we wanted.

There are several stories of Radio Blank infamy. One has them stealing the gear of fellow Wirral group Equinox, a seventies cover band with future members of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys, and Malcolm Holmes. This story has been denied by Andy in a lost email message, but I leave it here as part of the mythology. Another narrative, recounted by Balfe in Liverpool Eric's, is that Alan had broken his guitar in a gig, so Balfe went out with friends to "obtain" a new one. Breaking into a music shop they found only keyboards, so took those instead.

Part Two: Dalek I Love You

"Everything I do, everything I say"

The first incarnation of Dalek I Love You began in December 1977. The name was a combination of two suggestions. Balfe wished to reference science-fiction with The Daleks while Gill paid homage to old films with Darling I Love You. The new line-up became the first local group to use drum machine and synthesizers. Dave Hughes, then only 17, was drafted in on keyboards, which he had never played. How he joined the group is a bit of a mystery, but he had been a fan of Radio Blank, which couldn't hurt his chances.

Dalek I Love You (December 1977)
Alan Gill: guitar, vocals
Dave Balfe: bass, vocals, synthesizer
Dave Hughes: keyboards
Chris Teepee: drum machine, tapes

In July 1978, Balfe left Dalek I Love You for Big In Japan, and later The Teardrop Explodes. Neither Hughes nor Gill wished to be a front man but knew a guy called Andy with charisma. So all of the members of The Id, a group formed from the ashes of Equinox, were invited in to be a part of the Dalek I Love You collective.

The Id (July 1978)
Andy McCluskey (bass, vocals)
Julia Kneale (vocals)
Malcolm Holmes (drums)

Only McCluskey accepted the invitation, creating the following rolling lineup. Not everyone was ever on stage at one time, but different combinations of members would exist as needed.

Dalek I Love You (August 1978)
Alan Gill: guitar, vocals
Dave Hughes: keyboards
Chris Teepee: drum machine, tapes
Martin Cooper: saxophone
Andy McCluskey: vocals, bass
Ken Peers: drums
Gordon Hon (aka The Worm): poems
Max: poems

Some sources have McCluskey in the group at the same time as Balfe. This was recently confirmed by the existence of the following live recording.


Dalek I Love You: Live at Eric's (August? 1978)

1. intro 0:58
2. Freeze [AKA Changes, AKA Heat] 5:09
3. Surrealistic Life [AKA Missing 15 Minutes] 3:41
4. Freedom Fighters 2:36
5. Wreckless Surgeon 4:29
6. Two Chameleons 5:20
7. Two Chameleons [reprise] 2:39
8. In the Future 2:40
9. Conveyor Belt 3:05
10. Electronic Brain [intro tape] 3:19

Balfe sings on 2, 8, and 9. Poetry on 7 by Gordon Hon.

This live tape of the band is a revelation. The sound quality is far better than one might expect, and it captures the rather chaotic wonder of an early live DILY gig. By integrating tapes, and poetry, and costumes, DILY carried on the theatrical Liverpool tradition that had previously found expression in Deaf School and Big in Japan. The music was raw but with complex development, sort of like Pink Floyd played by impatient punks. (Listen to "Money" and then the album version of "Missing 15 Minutes" to understand the connection.) Sometimes DILY had a record player on stage, so people could put on other music. Or they would have someone painting in the back. As Gill describes:

We had bin bags filled with helium on bits of string, a sort of anti-gravity thing going on... we had trees and lots of smoke, and people in bizarre costumes. We supported ourselves dressed in mummy costumes, covered head-to-toe in bandages, and did weird kinds of industrial stuff.

Recently, user Red Union on YouTube has provided this detail:

The intro tape is a poem by John Wain - "Poem Feigned To Have Been Written By An Electronic Brain" narrated by Max Cowell together with some Eno ambient music.

One curiosity is the fact that "Electronic Brain" is also appended at the end of the material, in a different version from the opening. This version must then be from a different gig, which implies that more than one live set was recorded. This contention is proved below.

It has been claimed that McCluskey was not at this gig, but he is referred to in spoken comments. It's also apparent that the style of bass here is his. So I wager those commentators are incorrect. This is Dalek I Love You with McCluskey. Though he was only in the group for a month, he is known to have played several gigs. McCluskey:

I loved Dalek's strange pop songs, but ultimately I was frustrated at not being involved with my own songs.

Andy soon formed Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark with Paul Humphreys and Winston, a reel-to-reel tape deck named after the character in Orwell's 1984. McCluskey had learned from Dalek I Love You that it was possible to play with pre-recorded tapes, even if he favoured a less shambolic aesthetic.

Martin Cooper also left Dalek I Love You, and was soon to guest on OMD's debut album. Indeed, by the time DILY were ready to record some demos, they had been reduced to a mere two members:

Dalek I Love You (late 1978)
Alan Gill: guitar, vocals
Dave Hughes: keyboards

Noddy Knowler was an audio engineer who had worked for Radio Doom since 1972, this being a sort of community arts project that turned into a DJ night at Eric's. In 1978 he joined the Merseyside Visual Communications Unit (MVCU), managing a four-track audio studio. As Open Eye Studios it incorporated an art gallery, Liverpool Children's Theatre, video equipment, and other social activities.

Several bands, including The Id, recorded demos at MVCU, since it cost only four quid an hour. Echo and the Bunnymen debuted there with an early version of "Monkeys". This was released on the compilation Street to Street, a showcase for new talent. (Trivia: I bought the last ever copy of this record direct from MVCU. It turned out to be one they had put aside as defective!) Open Eye / MVCU were a powerful force in enabling musicians to get their first music on tape, and it was no different for Dalek I Love You.


Dalek i: MVCU demos (1978)

1. Two Chameleons 3:59
2. Changes (AKA Freeze, AKA Heat) 4:09
3. Freedom Fighters 2:26

This demo shows the limitations of only four tracks, but the songwriting is already well-developed. Note how distinct Balfe's lyrics to "Changes" are from the final version of "Heat".

One observer of Dalek i at the time was Julian Cope, then busy being terminally embarrassed as singer of The Teardrop Explodes. In his brilliant reminiscence Head On he wrote of 1978:

The middle of June we saw a group called Dalek I Love You. They played Eric's one night, with sofas and lamps on stage, and their set was a weird mixture of uncool and brilliant. Like the guitarist had a moustache. Uncool. And the bass player was a total sissy, with a lisp and cutesy fringe. But they had organ lines like the Seeds and Doorsy bass lines. The bullshit on stage didn't work, but along with the psychedelic guitar and Suicide drum machine, it all helped to create their own thing.

Dalek i: Amazon Studio demos (1978)

1. Freeze (AKA Changes, AKA Heat) 4:05
2. Freedom Fighters 2:26

This second demo set was recorded on 8-track at Amazon Studios, funded by Roger Eagle, who was a huge supporter of their madcap antics. "Freeze" now has a drummer (reputedly Budgie from Souxsie and the Banshees), some dub effects, lead guitar, and an organ arrangement similar to the album version.

Originally Gill and Hughes were slated to appear on the Inevitable label, formed by Pete Fulwell (manager of Eric's) and Jerry Lewis (owner of Amazon Studios). But one of the previous demos had been sent to Phonogram, who immediately wanted to sign them. So, Inevitable lost the group to "the majors" before ever releasing a song. Nonetheless, they were included on the following compilation.

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Small Hits and Near Misses (1984)
LP Inevitable/RCA [INEVLP 1]

Dalek i: Freedom Fighters [demo version] 2:18

This version of "Freedom Fighters" is not the same as any previous take, so where it comes from... who knows. One thing for sure: they loved recording this song!

There were also rumours of Eric's putting out a Dalek I Love You record on their own label. This was even advertised with a release date of December 1978!


Dalek i: Phonogram demos (1978/9)

1. Heat 3:15
2. Trapped 3:22

Finally, here's another session that's commonly labelled "album demos" when found online. I've called this the "Phonogram demos", since they were either recorded for Phonogram, or just after being signed. Chronologically, it's clear that they follow the others listed, since "Heat" is now sung by Gill, with new lyrics, as on the album. We also get a take of "Trapped" for the first time.

Part Three: The Blitz Brothers

"Hoping you'll remember me"

The Blitz Brothers was a moniker used by Chris Hughes and Dave Bates. Chris was formerly of Virgin Records and was venturing out as a musician, producer, and graphic designer, roles we will see him assume, for the first time, in relation to Dalek I Love You. Dave was A&R manager for Phonogram, and set up the subsidiary Back Door for new signings, of which Dalek i was the very first act.

The Blitz Brothers
Dave Bates: bass?, vocals?
Steve Lovell: guitar
Chris Hughes: drums

As a group in their own right, The Blitz Brothers released two singles. In the band was guitarist Steve Lovell, also of Tontrix and Hambi & The Dance. Perhaps he's best known in Cope communities as a sometime contributor to Julian's records.

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The Blitz Brothers: Gloria (1979)
7" Vertigo/Phonogram [BLITZ 001]

A1. Gloria 3:44
B1. Songs/Records 2:31

Produced by The Blitz Brothers.

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The Blitz Brothers: The Rose Tattoo (1980)
7" Vertigo/Phonogram [BLITZ 002]

A1. The Rose Tattoo (Deerfrance) 3:19
B1. Walking All Alone 3:25

Produced by The Blitz Brothers.

By 1980 Chris Hughes was to become famous both as "Merrick", the drummer for Adam and the Ants, and as the producer for the number one hit record Kings of the Wild Frontier. From 1982 to '89 he was also an associate member of Tears for Fears, after producing their first album. In 1994 he released the album Shift, repurposing material from Steve Reich. His website might have more recent info.

David Bates stayed active in A&R, until about 2012, running db records in Bath with Hughes.

Part Four: Dalek i

"We're going to change your world"

Dalek i (July 1979)
Alan Gill: guitar, vocals
Dave Hughes: keyboards

Alan Gill was going to turn down the Phonogram contract, since the band had imploded down to a duo. It wasn't the same fun with only the two of them. But Dave Hughes convinced him, in a cafe in Crewe, that it was worthwhile. So, early in 1979, Gill and Hughes went into Rockfield Studios to begin recording. But all was not smooth sailing in the world of corporate music, as Hughes notes:

They had really strong ideas for us -- they were going to turn us into something different. Some of the early sessions were great, arguments and everything. They'd probably have dropped us straight away, but they'd already spent the money on us and were concerned about finishing something! The actual sessions which produced the single were supposed to be demo sessions -- we were supposed to get about eight numbers done, but because of all the arguments we didn't. They even tried to change the chords on "Freedom Fighters" 'cos they're not "standard".

When their first single was released, it bore an abbreviated name. Hughes again:

It got shortened to Dalek i by Phonogram, without them telling us. I remember them suggesting it in the studio, while we were recording the single and next thing we know, we get letters back saying "Dalek i", y'know? We had to put our names down so we could cash the cheque!
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Dalek i: Freedom Fighters (16 July 1979)
7" Vertigo/Phonogram [DALEK 1]

A1. Freedom Fighters [single version] 2:18
B1. Two Chameleons [single version] 3:40

7" Vertigo/Phonogram [DALEK 1 DJ]

A1. Freedom Fighters [censored version] 2:34
B1. Two Chameleons [single version] 3:40

Sleeve by Ian Wright. Produced by the Blitz Brothers. Recorded at Amazon.

On the back sleeve "Freedom Fighters" is subtitled "A song for people not politics". The cover uses torn-out paper roughly the shape of Japan, revealing the image displayed in full on the reverse side, a caricature of a butcher.

Compared to the album version, "Freedom Fighters" has an extra two bar drum intro and about three extra bars at the end, missing on the LP since it's cut into "You Really Got Me". "Two Chameleons" has a rougher take of the guitar compared with the album. Both mixes seem to be less polished.

The DJ version censors the line about "fascist pigs", but is actually longer than all the other takes, since has more repetitions on the fade.

Andy Gill, writing in New Musical Express, penned this review:

A prime example of living-room music construction, it features catchy, interlinking little riffs over a plodding beat formed by combining elements of both drums and drum-machines and Gill's calmly urgent vocals. Ingeniously simple but infuriatingly infectious — rather like an adult Human League on speed — "Freedom Fighters" is one of the year's best singles so far, and from what I heard of their other material, there's plenty more where that came from.
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Dalek i: The World (2 October 1979)
7" Vertigo/Phonogram [DALEK 2]

A1. The World [single version] 2:58
B1. We're All Actors [single version] 3:18

Sleeve by Ian Wright. Produced by the Blitz Brothers

These are again slightly longer versions than those on the album. "We're All Actors" contains some extra vocal effects. The cover collage includes a torn map of the area around Tokyo, the same shape as on the previous and subsequent releases.

On 28 December 1979 Dalek i opened for OMD at the Farewell To Winston tribute concert at Eric's. OMD had replaced the reel-to-reel deck with a real drummer, so it was surplus to requirements. But Winston, actually owned by Paul Collister, was soon to perform similar duties for Dalek I Love You, and then Godot.

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Dalek i: Dalek I Love You (Destiny) (1 May 1980)
7" Back Door/Phonogram [DOOR 005]

A1. Dalek I Love You (Destiny) [single edit] 3:27
B1. Happy / This Is My Uniform 6:00

Sleeve by C.M.H. Produced by the Blitz Brothers.

The b-sides are listed as above on the label, but separated by a space (as though two different tracks) on the back sleeve. In fact they are two different songs, segued.

The a-side is a slightly shorter edit of the album version and is noted for having the title and subtitle reversed. This form of the name was to be used quite consistently whenever the single version was released.

The monochrome cover is the least interesting of the early singles, using a musical staff as a starting point. The designer C.M.H. would be none other than producer Chris Hughes.

This was the first of the Dalek i records to be released on the Back Door subsidiary.

The back sleeve bears this cute notation:

Dalek I Love You is taken from the 4thcoming album 'Compass Kumpas'. Happy, This Is My Uniform are not taken from the 4thcoming album 'Compass Kumpas'.
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Dalek i: Compass Kumpas (24 May 1980)
LP Back Door/Phonogram [OPEN 1]

A1. The World 2:27
A2. 8 Track 2:21
A3. Destiny (Dalek I Love You) 3:37
A4. A Suicide 2:53
A5. The Kiss 2:00
A6. Trapped 4:00
A7. Two Chameleons 3:18

B1. Freedom Fighters 2:08
B2. You Really Got Me 1:56
B3. Mad 1:48
B4. Good Times 2:07
B5. We're All Actors 2:52
B6. Heat 3:11
B7. Missing 15 Minutes 5:36

Recorded at Rockfield, Monmouth, and Amazon Studios, Liverpool by Hugh Jones and Frazer Henry. Produced by The Blitz Brothers except "Mad" and "Missing 15 Minutes" by Dalek i for God Productions.

Dave Bates: additional backing vocals
Chris Hughes: additional drums, percussion, and FX
Hugh Jones: bass on "Heat"
Ken Peers: drums on "You Really Got Me"

The Topsy side says "compass" on the label; the "Turvy" side says "kum'pes,".

All songs by Alan Gill and Dave Hughes except "Missing 15 Minutes", credited to Hughes alone. "You Really Got Me" is by Ray Davies.

Initial copies were to have included two singles as incentive (so said an advert), but I have yet to hear any confirmation of this being the case.

The cover design, also by Chris Hughes, combines disparate elements into something like an architect's sketch pad. Though the original was printed in black on red with a touch of white, many copies exist in simple monochrome. Another notable graphic element is the timing scale for each side of the record. The song titles are positioned against this scale in order to graphically represent their durations. This same idea is repeated on the labels.

The name of the album has confused some, but a glance at a dictionary (or the back sleeve) reveals that "kum'pes" is one way of representing the phonetic pronunciation of "compass". So both words in the title are pronounced identically.

Reviews in the British press were uniformly positive. NME thought it "refreshingly wry and friendly", Sounds described it as "a mad rush of desperately good songs."

However, critical reception in North America was almost completely absent. The one major review, published well after the fact in the New Trouser Press Record Guide, failed to give Compass Kumpas its due. Dave Schulps notes that:

any group that can segue the dirgelike 'A Suicide' into a bouncy, poppy ditty like 'The Kiss' is quirky enough to warrant investigation; also, as an exercise in stereo recording, Compass Kum'pas is a gem.

However, the record is ultimately written off as a clone of Brian Eno's Another Green World, a lazy and inaccurate critique. With the fourth edition of the book, the entry for Dalek i was dropped entirely. For year, decades in fact, this album languished in near-obscurity.

Part of the reason for this lack of interest was Gill's antipathy towards any promotion. Dalek i had been invited to do a Peel session, but Gill didn't bother. They had been invited to play in the USA, but didn't follow up on the opportunity. It's not difficult to imagine an alternative universe in which things went very differently. But then, how could it? Part of the joy in Compass Kumpas is how personal it sounds, like you've just intruded on someone's prviate bedroom music session. Outgoing musicians could not have created this perfect hermetic world.

Part Five: The Teardrop Explodes

"Until I learn to accept my reward"

By the time the Dalek i releases saw the light of day, Dave Hughes had left the ever-diminishing group (see Part Seven for his later activities). Alan Gill's next project was also with an outside band. In July 1980 Julian Cope kicked guitarist Mick Finkler out of Teardrop Explodes. Gill joined to play some live dates, his main incentive being a trip to perform in New York City. he also entered the studio, re-recording the guitar parts for the debut album Kilimanjaro in a more psychedelic style. In this band he was reunited with his old friend Dave Balfe, who was playing keyboards.

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The Teardrop Explodes: Kilimanjaro (October 1980)
LP Phonogram [6359 035]

A1. Ha, Ha, I'm Drowning 2:53
A2. Sleeping Gas 3:45
A3. Treason 3:05
A4. Second Head 3:10
A5. Poppies in the Field 5:03
B1. Went Crazy 2:38
B2. Brave Boys Keep Their Promises 2:30
B3. Bouncing Babies 2:28
B4. Books 2:37
B5. Thief of Baghdad 3:09
B6. When I Dream 5:10

Produced by The Chameleons (Dave Balfe and Bill Drummond) except "Treason" by Clive Langer & Allan Winstanley, "Books" and "When I Dream" by Mike Howlett.

Even more significant than his guitar work on the album, Gill co-wrote the next Teardrop Explodes single, "Reward". This was the first to crack the Top 10 and make the band an undisputed success.

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The Teardrop Explodes: Reward (January 1981)
7" Phonogram [Tear 2]

A1. Reward 2:53
B1. Strange House in the Snow 4:41

A-side produced by Clive Langer & Allan Winstanley, b-side by The Teardrop Explodes and Hugh Jones.

The Teardrop Explodes were becoming a great success story and there was a lot of push from the record company, producers etc. about the next move, the next record, the next tour... To Alan Gill this was the kiss of death. He was not interested in success on record company terms, and didn't want to turn music into his day job. So he just withdrew from the scene and politely left the group.

Much later, Cope would release Zoology, a collection of assorted demos and out-takes. Included on track 4 is Alan Gill on guitar. It's one of the better tracks on this compilation and sounds, as you would expect, like a Kilimanjaro out-take.

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The Teardrop Explodes: Zoology (2004)
Head Heritage [HH 16]

1. From Five Miles Up 2:18
2. Camera Camera 2:57
3. Brave Boys Keep Their Promises 2:11
4. Nobody Knows This Is Everywhere 4:04
5. When I Dream 4:10
6. Screaming Secrets 4:06
7. Books [A Shallow Madness] 2:10
8. The Culture Bunker 7:52
9. I'm Not The Loving Kind 2:47
10. Log Cabin 3:07
11. Tiny Children 3:10
12. You Disappear From View 3:03
13. ...And The Fighting Takes Over 4:04
14. Sleeping Gas 4:25
15. The Tunnel 3:09
16. Ritchie Blofeld 3:50
17. Untitled [Columbia Hotel] 13:35

Part Six: Dalek I Love You (again)

"Look good, get smart, smell nice, work hard"

A month after "Reward" was issued came the first release under the full Dalek I Love You banner. In essence, this was a solo release for Gill, but the full credits are as follows:

Dalek I Love You (February 1981)
Alan Gill: vocals, synthesizer, bass
Chuca Russo: vocal harmonies
Hugh Jones: vocal harmonies
Chris Hughes: drums
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Dalek I Love You: Heartbeat (28 February 1981)
7" Back Door/Phonogram [DOOR 10]

A1. Heartbeat 3:20
B1. Astronauts (Have Landed On The Moon) 3:21

12" Back Door/Phonogram [DOOR 1012]

A1. Heartbeat [extended version] 4:23
B1. Astronauts (Have Landed On The Moon) 3:21

Recorded at Rockfield by Alan Jones; mixed at Matrix by Chris Hughes, David Bates, and Nick Bradford (engineered by Nick Bradford); produced by Chris Hughes and Alan Gill. Chris Hughes credited as "Merrick" for his drumming.

A-side run-out groove reads: "Energetico Blitz 81".

This single marks a turning point for the group. For the first time a pulsing beat, not a million miles from the Lori & the Chameleons song "Touch", is used as the bedrock. The overall arrangement is more lush that the first album material. It was the first DILY single to be issued in 12" form.

In 1982, Dalek I Love You expanded to a full quartet:

Dalek I Love You (mid 1982)
Alan Gill: instruments, vocals
Gordon Hon: instruments, vocals
Kenny Peers: instruments, vocals
Keith Hartley: instruments, vocals

The new band was a reunion of sorts. Peers had been in an early incarnation of Dalek I Love You and had drummed on "You Really Got Me." Keith Hartley had been the vocalist for Radio Blank. Gordon Hon was also a member of the old Dalek I Love You group, where he was known as "The Worm".

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SFX No. 15 (12-24 June 1982)

Dalek I Love You: The Legend Of Wild Jim (edit) 5:31

SFX was an audio periodical in cassette form which documented the UK music scene over 19 issues (1981 to 1982). Each C60 was produced in the manner of a radio programme. That's why there's a voice over the first part of this track, announcing "part one in a never-ending saga".

What to make of it? I think they were all stoned. Nonetheless, I'd love to hear the rest of the saga!

...or so I wrote at the time. What started as a joke became reality...


Dalek I Love You: Wild Jim (4th Mix) 3:23

In 2009 this version of the song was made available on the Dalek I Love You site. And it's still there as of 2019. This sounds like the group actually tried to find a structured song in the sprawling mess of the first version. A strange idea to be sure!

This group played a few live dates in preparation for recording. Penny Kiley reviewed a gig at the Pyramid Club in Liverpool for Melody Maker (6 February 1982) and wrote:

Dalek i have come back with a laugh. Once in the vanguard of Wirral-favoured synthesized pop (lightweight but solemn), never quite reaching the acclaim that once seemed close, they're now re-emerging with a stronger character (and more characters) and plenty of plans... On stage they're human, and not too disciplined -- the best way to be. The combination of variety and good humour made an evening of unexpected enjoyment.

Her review mentioned two old songs and four cover versions, but new material was soon forthcoming.

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Dalek I Love You: Holiday in Disneyland (15 July 1982)
7" Korova/WEA [KOW 25]

A1. Holiday in Disneyland [single version] 2:50
B1. Masks & Licenses 2:52

12" Korova/WEA [KOW 25T] (August 1982)

A1. Holiday in Disneyland [extended version] 5:27
B1. Masks & Licenses 2:52
B2. Heaven Was Bought For Me 4:04
B3. Holiday in Disneyland [single version] 2:50

Cover by Ian Wright.

"Holiday in Disneyland" is hardly comparable to the earlier Dalek i material. It is a rambunctious dancefest, particularly in the 12" version, with interlocking waves of percussion riding a funky bass groove. Gill's distinctive vocals are nowhere to be found. (Hold on! Is that him in the background?) The female backing vocals are much more prominent than on "Heartbeat." Really, this is a different band.

Well, not entirely. "Masks & Licenses" is a quirky, complex little charmer with that trademark Gill vocal style. Few can write such intricately-structured songs. Rounding out the 12" is "Heaven Was Bought For Me," a third distinct direction in as many songs. The sardonic lyrics continue in the Dalek i tradition. As I said at the time: "An essential purchase".

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Dalek I Love You: Ambition (18 September 1983)
7" Korova/WEA [KOW 29]

A1. Ambition 3:43
B1. (I Am) Hot Person 3:18

12" Korova/WEA [KOW 29T]

A1. Ambition (long) 7:37
B1. (I Am) Hot Person (long) 5:06
B2. Would You Still Love Me 4:01

Cover by Ian Wright.

After the previous excellence, "Ambition" is perhaps too simply "a dance song". Nonetheless, the remix rings every possible change on the basic tune, and stands as an excellent example of what was possible with the technology of the time. "(I Am) Hot Person" is a dub version, so really we have 13 minutes of one song. The bonus track is a formidable lament to lost love.

Both the singles were to be included in different versions on the forthcoming album. In this way, they are excellent value, especially considering the extra b-sides. These are equally as strong as the album tracks, and were obviously not simply tossed off as filler. Alongside their other strengths, Dalek I Love You are exemplars of the glory days of the 12 inch single!

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Dalek I Love You: Dalek I Love You (4 November 1983)
LP Korova/WEA [KODE 7]

A1. Holiday in Disneyland [album version] 4:40
A2. Horrorscope [album version] 4:03
A3. Health and Happiness 3:14
A4. The Mouse That Roared 2:49
A5. Dad On Fire 3:39
B1. Ambition [album version] 3:43
B2. Lust 4:22
B3. 12 Hours of Blues 5:32
B4. Sons of Sahara 5:27
B5. Africa Express 7:14

Released as WE361 in France, 24-0258-1 in Europe and Canada.

Rhythm tracks recorded at Trident (Greg Milliner, Flood, and Steve Short) except 2, 6, 8. Track 2 recorded at the Farm Yard (Chris Hughes, Ross Cullum), Marcus Music UK (Rafe McKenna, Bob Kraushaar, Tim Hunt) and Jam (Colin Fairley). Track 6 and 8 recorded at Marcus Music UK. All tracks mixed at Marcus Music UK except 2 and 6 mixed at Jam. Produced by Dalek I Love You.

Chuka Russo [sic]: backing vocals (6, 8)
Chris Hughes: drums (2, 10)
Drummie Zeb: drums (8)
Gary Barnacle: electric sax (7), sax (8)
Randy Taylor: bass (1, 6)

Note: Chuca Russo (a Brazilian name) is misspelled "Chuka" on the sleeve. It is correct only on the "Heartbeat" single. (She has confirmed this fact.)

Lead vocal duties are as follows:
Gordon Hon on 1, 3, 5
Keith Hartley on 2, 6
Kenny Peers on 4, 6, 9
Alan Gill on 7, 8, 10

The cover by Geoff Halpin looks like a still from a fifties sci-fi flick (or maybe Dr. Who). The tinted photograph is of a woman, dress torn, reacting to a horrific presence. The lush colours and campy subject matter play off each other -- much as they do in the music itself. It's a brilliant cover.

Both previous singles were included on this magnificent, ignored album, albeit in different versions. "Holiday" is even more energetic; "Ambition" benefits from a tighter edit and surprise ending. Almost every track is an inventive tour-de-force with witty lyrics. One of my favourites is "Dad On Fire," which appears to be about a child's nightmare. A strong sense of irony is prevalent thoughout. "Horrorscope" takes the mickey out of predictions of the future. "Health and Happiness" highlights the dark underbelly of the rich (or at least the middle class). "The Mouse That Roared" makes even more sense in post-Brexit UK.

The flip side is a different affair, consisting of longer, more laid-back tunes that have a strong Gill presence. These highlight a special ability to merge synths into textured fields of percussion.

Keith Hartley had already left Dalek I Love You by the time this album was released. For the record (ahem), here are the six songs he wrote with the group: "Holiday in Disneyland", "Would You Still Love Me", "Health and Happiness", "The Mouse That Roared", "Lust" and "These Walls We Build".

The seventh version of the group looked like this:

Dalek I Love You (late 1983)
Alan Gill: instruments, vocals
Gordon Hon: instruments, vocals
Kenny Peers: instruments, vocals

This rich musical partnership was to yield one last single.

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Dalek I Love You: Horrorscope (1983)
7" Korova/WEA [KOW 31]

A1. Horrorscope [album edit] 4:03
B1. These Walls We Build 5:05

12" Korova/WEA [KOW 31T]

A1. Horrorscope [extended remix] 4:20
A2. Heap Big Pow Wow 4:38
B1. Horrorscope (instrumental) 5:57
B2. The Angel and the Clown 3:35

Cover by Ian Wright.

"Heap Big Pow Wow" might be Dalek I Love You's worst song, but the other tracks make up for it. The instrumental version of "Horrorscope" is not just the original less a vocal track; it is a completely novel remix with new saxophone line. "The Angel and the Clown" is a lovely instrumental. "These Walls We Build" even references Howard Jones!

Though on the surface it looked like the group had only released one album, Dalek I Love You already had an extensive body of material: 18 unique songs and five radical remixes. It's no wonder that burn-out took over. In a 2007 interview with Paul Lester, Gill speaks of this period:

It was a more pressured time than the first album, though. To a large extent, the fun had gone out of it. We were a bigger group at that point, there were more people in the band, and it was our attempt to achieve pop success, even if ultimately we never did well financially.

Part Seven: OMD, Hughes, and Godot

"What more to be done today?"

Andy McCluskey's affection for the Dalek I Love You material has already been mentioned. OMD covered "Two Chameleons" live, and as late as the sessions for Sugar Tax in 1991 were thinking of recording their own version. The following are the extant versions I have sourced over the past twenty years.


OMD covers

1. Two Chameleons [1979] 3:40
2. Two Chameleons [1980 board] 4:01
3. Two Chameleons [1980 audience] 3:50

The first recording is from a French radio broadcast, the announcer talking over the song intro. Andy introduces the song as "Two Chameleons by the Dalek I band". The second version is a live performance from early 1980, taken from the mixing board. The third take is, I am quite sure, the same performance but from an audience recording. Tons of echo is evident that was not in the board mix.

In January 1980 Dave Hughes left Dalek i and began rehearsals with OMD for their first headline tour of the UK. "I hadn't really left Dalek when I joined the Orchs, but I'd known both Paul and Andy since The Id — I went to watch them a few times, because we were checking out their equipment!" The 22 dates on the tour kicked off 15 February at Eric's.

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OMD: Souvenir (4 August 1981)

7" Dindisc [DIN 24]
A1. Souvenir 3:37
B1. Motion and Heart (Amazon version) 3:02
B2. Sacred Heart 3:23

10" Dindisc [DIN 24-10]
A1. Souvenir [extended] 3:59
B1. Motion and Heart (Amazon version) 3:02
B2. Sacred Heart 3:23

A-side produced by Mike Howlett at Wessex Studios. B-sides produced by OMD at Amazon Studios, Liverpool.

The cover is by Peter Saville & Brett Wickens and shows a Dusseldorf street scene. The 7" cover is die-cut to reveal the label.

Hughes created the backing tracks for this single from layered tapes of a choir tuning up. Play "Heartbeat" side-by-side to hear the similarities. The record was a big success, hitting number 3 in the UK charts.

But before its release he had already left the band. Being in OMD was an entirely different affair, involving constant gigging, two appearances on Top of the Pops, and a more professional aura. Like Gill, Hughes preferred to putter around in his home studio. Stardom was not his goal. He recommended his replacement, Martin Cooper, who joined OMD in November 1980. Both were to appear soon in the short-lived Godot, a duo with Dalek I Love You member Keith Hartley.

Godot (early 1981)
Dave Hughes: instruments
Keith Hartley: voice, instruments

Godot released only seven songs on two records. The first of these bore no label or matrix, only a phone number for the management company.

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Godot: Extended Player (1981)
EP [no label]

A1. Wait for... 3:22
A2. Teeth 3:22
B1. Love? 4:30
B2. Theme for Bureaucrats 2:39

Engineered by Frazer Henry at Amazon Studios, Liverpool. Produced by Frazer Henry and Godot. With Martin Cooper, sax on "Teeth", and Caroline Barker, cello on "Love?"

On this EP the music is spare and witty, the production minimal. Guitar, synth, and drums interlock in intriguing ways. This record sounds more like Compass Kumpas than any other, and makes apparent how important Hughes was to the Dalek i sound.

At about this time Alan Gill, having decided to relaunch Dalek I Love You, pulled in Keith Hartley to help him. Left without a partner, Dave Hughes recruited new musicians to form the following Godot lineup:

Godot (late 1981)
Dave Hughes: instruments
Ronnie Stone: guitar
Steve Byrne: vocals
Martin Cooper: sax

Steve Byrne and Ronnie Stone had played in Freeze Frame with keyboardist Mick Douglas of OMD fame.

With the addition of a drummer, this new line-up of Godot toured with Dalek I Love You in the winter of 1981. But Ronnie Stone soon left to be a side-man in China Crisis and eventual producer. The band split up, leaving only one other recording.

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Godot: Something's Missing (August 1982)
7" Pinnacle Records [PIN513]

A1. Something's Missing 3:22
B1. The Priory 2:54

10" Pinnacle Records [PIN514-10]

A1. Something's Missing [extended] 4:46
B1. The Priory 2:54
B2. Voices 3:17

Recorded at Amazon Studios, Liverpool.

Dave Hughes and Martin Cooper then joined up with Freeze Frame for live work. Subsequently, Dave Hughes played live with the Lotus Eaters. Recording work followed as part of Thomas Lang's band from 1987 to 1993. In particular, Hughes formed the company Dry Communications with Lang, releasing an album (The Lost Letter Z) and a single ("Feels So Right").

In the 1990's Dave Hughes switched his focus to film soundtracks, though he maintained a working partnership with Martin Cooper for his first two projects, Hearts And Armour (1983) and CHUD (1984). For these they are credited as Cooper Hughes.

Since then, he has used the name David A. Hughes for most of his soundtrack work. He has ocassionally partnered with John Murphy, for example on the Thomas Lang album Versions and the song "Zorba's Dance" from Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Check out his career at IMDB.

Part Eight: The Retiring Alan Gill

"I pick the pieces up"

The Dalek I Love You album had soured Gill to the business of music.

Afterwards, I didn't want to be involved in commercial music again. There was a lot of stress and unhappiness with the business side of things. Put it this way: there was more pressure to be successful than to make a good record. Problem was, we were artists whereas it had become about selling records. We were a bunch of recluses who didn't really want to deal with the world.

Gill's first outing in post-Dalek I Love you was two tracks on the soundtrack of Letter to Brezhnev (1985). This film, directed by Chris Bernard, was set in Liverpool and starred Margi Clarke.

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Letter to Brezhnev OST (1985)
LP London/MCA [MCA-6162]

1. Letter to Brezhnev Theme 3:35
2. Lockets & Stars 3:06

1 produced by Wolfgang Kafer and Alan Gill, arranged by Wolfgang Kafer, credited to Alan Gill, composed by Alan Gill. 2 produced by Kenny Woodman, credited to Margi Clarke, composed by Margi Clarke/Alan Gill.

Though both songs bear a certain trademark Gill stamp, they are confusingly arranged and hesitant. Gill himself is not happy with the outcome. The remainder of the soundtrack is composed of dance pop songs of the day (Fine Young Cannibals, Vince Clarke).

In 1985, he formed his own label, Bopadub, to release cassette compilations, two of which are Birkenhead Blues (January 1986) and Blues Vol. 2 (October 1986). Then followed the third album to bear the Dalek name. At just over 93 minutes in length, it seems that Gill did his best to fill a C90 tape!

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Dalek i: Naive (1985)
MC Bopadub [BOP 04]

A1. Dawn 5:38
A2. Wake Up 2:23
A3. Into The Lion's Cage 5:25
A4. Dig For Treasure 3:47
A5. Shoe Song 3:45
A6. This Perfect Life 2:32
A7. All Lose Blues 2:14
A8. Joe The Turtle Boy 2:50
A9. Before The Gong 2:43
A10. Soldier of Love 4:40
A11. Dulcetta 0:57
A12. Osaki Pearls 2:43
A13. Ridiculous Day 3:43
A14. The Retailer's Dream 3:22
B1. Bad Science 5:09
B2. Little Green Monsters 3:20
B3. Prince of Clowns 3:07
B4. There is a Destiny 3:10
B5. African Kings 4:39
B6. Ad Men 5:45
B7. Dandelion 6:21
B8. The Vultures of Cordoba 3:29
B9. I Could Fall 3:11
B10. Joy 5:47
B11. Sunset 2:34

How can one criticise this record after it has languished so long in obscurity? Gill knew what he was doing titling it Naive, and has done us a favour releasing it despite any inadequacies. These home demos might have been wonderful if augmented by proper production.

It is difficult to say what involvement other musicians had on this record, though "Little Green Monsters" does not sound like Gill vocals, and some of the percussion here is very similar to the second album.

Although the cover uses the typographic affectation "DALEK I", the band name "Dalek i" more correctly follows previous tradition and that of the next obscure CD compilation track.

Since July 2008 this cassette-only release has been available on the DILY website.

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Liverpool: All This and Heaven Too (1990)
LP Homar [HOMCD 6605]

Dalek i: Everything I Do 5:12

This delicate little ditty is quite nice. It's certainly my favourite song on this rather poor album. I notice that the song-writing credits for the track "Pure Blue Day" by Box 13 includes the name "Gill", so perhaps he was active in that band also.

Alan Gill continues to live a reclusive life of music-making. There is also this typically bizarre anecdote from Julian Cope's "Drudical Q&A: Cope Musicians & Cohorts", found webwise. Cope mentions that Gill "was jailed for 18 months for dealing drugs, though his defence was cute and very Alan: he said he gave most of it away." Apparently, the term was commuted to nine months. And the drug was not the LSD he so famously turned Cope onto during the Kilimanjaro sessions, but rather pot.

In 1991, Gill scored the soundtrack to another film starring Margi Clarke, this time Blonde Fist, directed by Frank Clarke, Margi's brother, who had written Letter to Brezhnev. However, the only references I can find to music for this film are all KLF tracks!

In 2011 a site for The Most High appeared on MySpace, with a photo of Balfe and Gill receiving a MOJO Inspiration To Music award from Alex James, for their work in The Teardrop Explodes. This augured new music from an improvising quartet.

The Most High (2011)
Alan Gill: vocals, guitar
Simon Walthew: bass and stylophone
Ikem Washner: drums
Phil Channell: keyboards

Over the next three years, six streaming tracks appeared, though these recently vanished when MySpace trashed its history. A presence was also established on Soundcloud, with eight tracks available (three duplicating MySpace). The style is meandering and blue-inflected, nothing like his previous work.


The Most High: MySpace (2011-2015)

Heart of the Moment 7:31
Command & Control 12:54
Kickin' a Can 4:15
Juba 5:29
If Love Is Not the Answer 5:39
My Head Exploded and I Became the Sky 5:16


The Most High: Soundcloud (2011-2015)

Heart of the Moment 7:32
I am the Author of this Dream 13:04
My Head Exploded and I Became the Sky 7:48
Juba 5:15
Mountain Man 2:48
Saxaphono (part 1) 32:19
Get Crackin' 8:42
Spoonful 9:15

Part Nine: Compilation Appearances Etc.

"Just to join the dots"

As a pivotal "synth-pop" group of their time, Dalek i found themselves on several emblematic compilations, despite their relative obscurity. This section won't attempt to list all of these, only the titles that were the most important at the time.

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Machines (1980)
LP Virgin [V2177]

A1. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Messages
A2. Silicon Teens: Memphis Tennessee
A3. Tubeway Army: Down in the Park
A4. The Human League: Being Boiled
A5. Thomas Leer: Private Plane
A6. Dalek I: Dalek I Love You (Destiny)
B1. John Foxx: Underpass
B2. Henry Badowski: Making Love With My Wife
B3. Fad Gadget: Ricky's Hand
B4. Public Image Limited: Pied Piper
B5. Karel Fialka: The Eyes Have It
B6. Gary Numan: Aircrash Bureau
B7. XTC: The Somnambulist

This is an idiosyncratic gathering of electronic-based punk and new wave, really quite excellent.

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Thru' The Back Door (1980)
LP Polygram/Mercury [SRM-1-3849]

A1. The Donkeys: No Way 2:49
A2. Dalek i: Dalek I Love You (Destiny) 3:26
A3. Mark Moesgaard Kjeldsen: Are You Ready 2:50
A4. Tearjerkers: Fingers 2:57
A5. Dalek i: The World [single version] 3:05
A6. The Blitz Brothers: Rose Tattoo 3:19
B1. The Donkeys: You Jane 2:20
B2. Tearjerkers: Comic Book Hero 3:30
B3. Mark Moesgaard Kjeldsen: Something's Happening 2:59
B4. Dalek i: Freedom Fighters 2:08
B5. Tearjerkers: Murder Mystery 2:53
B6. Agony Column: Love in the Head 3:38

American compilation of artists on Back Door, a label formed by The Blitz Brothers. Notably, the first two Dalek i tracks are the single versions, the only time these were issued in the USA. This album has a horrid cover and a rockist bent. Dalek i seem truly out of place.

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Notes from the Underground 6 (1981)
MC (private pressing)

1. Conveyor Belt (live at Eric's, 1978) 3:08
2. You Make Me Feel Like a Fly (Alan Gill home demo) 5:51
3. Dad on Fire (original mix) 6:30
4. Heartbeat (original monitor mix) 4:14

This unofficial fanzine was compiled by Kevin Leyand. The Gill home demo fits nicely with material from Naive, but pre-dates it by many years. "Dad on Fire" has vocals by Gordon Hon.

But the most interesting track, in terms of band archeology, is "Conveyor Belt" (vocals by Balfe), since this is not the same version as on the Eric's bootleg. It is clear from this version, and the two takes of "Electronic Brain", that at least two Eric's appearances were taped. Which means that another set might see the light of day... eventually.

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To the Shores of Lake Placid (28 Jan 1982)
LP Zoo [ZOO 4]

A1. Big In Japan: Society For Cutting Up Men
A2. Those Naughty Lumps: Iggy Pop's Jacket
A3. The Teardrop Explodes: When I Dream
A4. Echo And The Bunnymen: Pictures On My Wall
A5. Echo And The Bunnymen: Read It In Books
A6. Lori And The Chameleons: Lonely Spy
A7. The Turqoise Swimming Pools: The Winds
B1. Whopper: Kwalo Klobinsky's Lullaby
B2. Dalek (I Love You): A Suicide 2:53
B3. The Turquoise Swimming Pools: Burst Balloons
B4. The Teardrop Explodes: Camera, Camera
B5. Big In Japan: Suicide A Go Go
B6. Echo And The Bunnymen: Villiers Terrace
B7. The Teardrop Explodes: Take A Chance

This compilation of artists on Zoo Records was presented as the soundtrack to the fictitious play "To the Shores of Lake Placid". The handsome fold-out packaging and many rare songs from the likes of The Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Big in Japan make this an indispensable guide to the scene. Dalek I Love You were never signed to the Zoo label, but that same argument didn't stop them from appearing on the Inevitable compilation either!

The two tracks from The Turqoise Swimming Pools are beautiful, and only "Burst Balloons" has been released again. This group was a collaboration between David Balfe, Hugh Jones, and Troy Tate. A single that never happened...

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Liverpool Cult Classics Unearthed Volume 3 (26 July 2004)
CD Viper [VIPER 023CD]

Dalek i: Freedom Fighters [demo version]

Alongside such classics as The ID's original version of "Electricity" and the very first Wah! Heat recording of "Hey Disco Joe" comes the Inevitable demo version of "Freedom Fighters", on CD for the first time.

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North By North West - Departure 1976 Arrival 1984 (2006)
2x CD Korova [KODE1001]

Dalek I Love You: Holiday In Disneyland [single version] 2:54

A compilation by Paul Morley with one disk reserved for Manchester, another for Liverpool. This is the only official release of this single version on CD.

Part Ten: The Reissues

"You've never seen me this way"

With no great fanfare Fontana re-issued the debut album in 1989, appending both of the non-album b-sides and the "Heartbeat" single.

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Dalek i: Compass Kumpas (1989)

CD Fontana [836 894-2]
LP Fontana [836 894-1]
MC Fontana [836 894-4]

1. The World 2:27
2. 8 Track 2:21
3. Destiny (Dalek I Love You) 3:37
4. A Suicide 2:53
5. The Kiss 2:00
6. Trapped 4:00
7. Two Chameleons 3:18
8. Freedom Fighters 2:08
9. You Really Got Me 1:56
10. Mad 1:48
11. Good Times 2:07
12. We're All Actors 2:52
13. Heat 3:11
14. Missing 15 Minutes 5:36
15. Astronauts (Have Landed On The Moon) 3:26
16. Happy 2:33
17. This Is My Uniform 3:13
18. Heartbeat 4:01

The LP has a die-cut sleeve.

"Heartbeat" is an edit of the extended version.

The original artwork was replaced by a severe grey design somewhat reminiscent of the cover to OMD's Architecture and Morality, and obviously influenced by Peter Saville in any case. Though quite handsome in its own right, it is a shame the original cover was not maintained.

The remainder of the graphics are also disappointing. Gone is the neat graphical time scale. Gone too the dictionary definition of "Compass", rendering the title of the disk somewhat opaque. It would have been nice if Fontana had taken the opportunity to include lyrics, the original art from all of the sleeves, and/or an appreciation.

Still, the label did listeners a service by issuing the bulk of Dalek i's music in one place. Unfortunately the CD disappeared immediately into obscurity, with copies now exchanging hands at high rates.

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Dalek i: Compass Kumpas (8 December 2011)
Medical Records LLC [MR-010]

A1. The World 2:27
A2. 8 Track 2:21
A3. Destiny (Dalek I Love You) 3:37
A4. A Suicide 2:53
A5. The Kiss 2:00
A6. Trapped 4:00
A7. Two Chameleons 3:18
B1. Freedom Fighters 2:08
B2. You Really Got Me 1:56
B3. Mad 1:48
B4. Good Times 2:07
B5. We're All Actors 2:52
B6. Heat 3:11
B7. Missing 15 Minutes 5:36
C1. Happy 2:33
D1. This Is My Uniform 3:13

The vinyl LP is on pink vinyl. The flexidisc of the two b-sides is on clear vinyl.

Medical Records are known for re-issues of obscure "cold wave" music, so it was only a matter of time before they warmed up enough to release Dalek I Love You. Unfortunately this release partakes of the current fad for vinyl and was only issued in enough copies for 1000 lucky punters. Will someone ever release a complete two CD set with all the single sides? Perhaps not.

The artwork is even worse than what came before, looking like a very bad version of Saville's design for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

More recently, this album has been made available as digital files, so the music is accessible at low cost. Though the digital track listing has no bonus tracks.

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Dalek I Love You: Dalek I Love You (2 April 2007)
CD Korova/WB [KODE1016]

1. Holiday in Disneyland [album version] 4:40
2. Horrorscope [album version] 4:03
3. Health and Happiness 3:14
4. The Mouse That Roared 2:49
5. Dad On Fire 3:39
6. Ambition [album version] 3:43
7. Lust 4:22
8. 12 Hours of Blues 5:32
9. Sons of Sahara 5:27
10. Africa Express 7:14
11. Would You Still Love Me 4:22
12. These Walls We Build 5:05
13. Horrorscope [Instrumental Version] 6:04
14. Masks & Licenses 3:05
15. The Angel and the Clown 3:40
16. Heaven Was Bought For Me 4:08
17. 12 Hours Of Blues [Dub Version] 5:54

This re-issue of the second album does a good job of collecting up the b-side material, although not every track is included. Specifically we are missing "Heap Big Pow Wow", the long version of "Ambition" plus its dub version, and the extended mix of "Horrorscope". Besides this, the amazing extended version and alternative single version of "Holiday In Disneyland" didn't find a place.

As a bonus we get a previously unreleased dub version of "12 Hours Of Blues". A whole new generation of music lovers now have access to some of the best synth-inflected pop ever recorded. But if only it had been a two CD set.

Dalek I Love You: Dalek I Love You (2017)

Man in the Moon [unknown code] Tracks as above.

The Korova CD became rare following its initial printing, but was re-issued again by Man in the Moon. It is currently also available as digital audio files.

And so on to the Godot re-issue project?

cover imagescover images

Dalek i: Rarities (20??)
bootleg [SLAD CD001]

1. Freedom Fighters (demo) 2:22
2. Freedom Fighters (7' extended) 2:25
3. Two Chameleons (alternative mix) 3:44
4. The World (7' extended) 3:16
5. We're All Actors (7' extended) 3:36
6. Dalek I Love You (single edit) 3:33
7. Heartbeat (extended mix) 4:31
8. Holiday In Disneyland (single edit) 2:54
9. Masks & Licenses 2:58
10. Holiday In Disneyland (extended mix) 4:01
11. Heaven Was Bought For Me 5:27
12. Ambition (long version) 7:36
13. (I Am) Hot Person (long version) 5:15
14. Would You Still Love Me? 4:03
15. These Walls We Build 4:26
16. Horrorscope (extended mix) 4:49
17. Heap Big Pow Wow 5:02
18. Horrorscope (instrumental) 6:05
19. The Angel & The Clown 3:34

The cover re-uses the single sleeve for "Freedom Fighters".

This bootleg includes the Inevitable demo plus five early single sides, though omitting the b-sides "Happy" and "This is My Uniform". The extended version of "Heartbeat" is present but not the b-side "Astronauts (Have Landed On The Moon)". This is odd, unless the author assumed that the listener already owned the rare Fontana CD that included these songs.

Moving to the second album we have both versions of "Holiday In Disneyland" not included on the Korova re-issue, plus "Heap Big Pow Wow", the long version of "Ambition" plus its dub version, and the extended mix of "Horrorscope". This does a great job of filling in the blanks. But it rather begs the question of why six single sides already available on the Korova disk are repeated. If this was made for someone lacking that CD, then the unique dub version of "12 Hours of Blues" is missing in action.

All rather curious. Not how I would compile a bootleg.


"satisfy my every need"

August 1978 M01 Live at Eric's DILY
1978 M02 MVCU demos Dalek i
1978 M03 Amazon Studio demos Dalek i
1978/9 M04 Phonogram demos Dalek i
16 July 1979 S01 Freedom Fighters Dalek i
2 Oct 1979 S02 The World Dalek i
1979/80 M05 covers OMD
1979 S20 Gloria Blitz Brothers
1980 S21 The Rose Tattoo Blitz Brothers
1 May 1980 S03 Dalek I Love You (Destiny) Dalek i
24 May 1980 L01 Compass Kumpas Dalek i
Oct 1980 L02 Kilimanjaro Teardrop Explodes
1980 C01 Machines various
1980 C02 Thru' The Back Door various
Jan 1981 S04 Reward Teardrop Explodes
28 Feb 1981 S05 Heartbeat DILY
4 Aug 1981 S06 Souvenir OMD
1981 S07 Extended Player Godot
1981 M06 Notes from the Underground 6 various
28 Jan 1982 C03 To the Shores of Lake Placid various
12-24 June 1982 C04 SFX Issue 15 various
1982? M07 Wild Jim (4th Mix) various
15 July 1982 S08 Holiday in Disneyland DILY
Aug 1982 S09 Something's Missing Godot
18 Sept 1983 S10 Ambition DILY
4 Nov 1983 L05 Dalek I Love You DILY
1983 S11 Horrorscope DILY
1984 C05 Small Hits and Near Misses various
1985 C06 Letter to Brezhnev OST various
1985 L06 Naive DILY
1989 L07 Compass Kumpas [Fontana] Dalek i
1990 C07 Liverpool: All This and Heaven Toovarious
26 July 2004 C09 Liverpool Cult Classics Unearthed Volume 3various
2004 L08 Zoology Teardrop Explodes
2006 C10 North By North West various
2 April 2007 L09 Dalek I Love You [Korova CD] DILY
2011 L10 Compass Kumpas [Medical Records] Dalek i
201? L11 Rarities DILY
2011 M08 MySpace The Most High
2011 M09 Soundcloud The Most High

Further Information

"Another piece of an infinite puzzle"

Hugh Jones continued a successful career as engineer and producer, with notable Liverpool groups such as Echo & The Bunnymen, The Icicle Works and The Sound.

Gordon Hon worked with Dave Balfe on the film club Cinema Xanadu until 2017. He has edited a book on Palestinian art and helped set up an art school in Ramalla.

Martin Cooper is an accomplished still life painter.

Paul Collister still owns Winston.

Information on the current activities of Ian Wright, Keith Hartley, Kenny Peers, or any of the other actors in this ongoing saga would be most appreciated.


"Don't you wonder why?"

All of the research for version one of this discography was original, based on my own record collection and extensive readings of the three British music weeklies that existed in those far-off days. Many of the exact sources for the quotes from Melody Maker, Sounds, New Musical Express, and other publications are lost in the depths of time. Info was also taken from Mark Cooper's Liverpool Explodes and the diagrams Pete Frame eventually collected as Rock Family Trees. This research was done before the world wide web changed everything.

For version two, facts were confirmed against the official OMD Discography, personal correspondence with Dave Hughes and Paul Collister, and the Lester interview from the sleeve notes to the Dalek I Love You CD... which in turn was derived from my writings here. Everything moves in circles! Thanks to Tim Chacksfield of Korova. Jim Holmes and Kevin West provided information on records I didn't have at the time, but have since confirmed in person. Some of the cover images come from Discogs. Images for Naive and Notes from the Underground taken from The Millennium Effect.

A big thanks to Jim Dolan for recently providing some rarities and rejuvenating my interest in writing this version 3. Back in the day I helped out with information for Florek and Whelan's huge tome Liverpool Eric's (2009). I have returned the favour by quoting from this most excellent source.

All quotes used with great respect for the brave music journalists of the day. Imagine: going all the way to Liverpool to see a band wrapped in sheets?


"...they go their separate ways."

This document was started over three decades ago, in preparation for a radio show. That programme evolved into Missing 15 Minutes, which ran for over four-hundred episodes and provided me with an education into music, art, literature, politics, and life itself. Thanks to all who helped, then and now.

You know who you are.