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Artist: The Vapors

Date Released: 1981

Label: United Artists / Liberty

Produced By: David Tickle

Tracklisting:

  1. Jimmie Jones
  2. Spiders
  3. Isolated Case
  4. Civic Hall
  5. Live At The Marquee
  6. Daylight Titans
  7. Johnny's In Love Again
  8. Can't Talk Anymore
  9. Lenina
  10. Silver Machines
  11. Magnets
  12. Galleries For Guns
  13. Jimmie Jones (Single Version)
  14. Daylight Titans (Single Version)

(Tracks 12-14 only on CD reissue)

ReviewEdit

The second and, unfortunately last, Vapors album. After the success of New Clear Days, United Artists was hoping they'd have another hit on their hands—and to that end, Magnets was actually a modest success. It sold decently—it didn't have any international smash hits like "Turning Japanese", but the record didn't tank either. And, hey, Duran Duran liked "Spiders" enough to cop the riff for "Hungry Like The Wolf", so, you know, how about that? Of the two Vapors albums, New Clear Days is the better one, but this is a strong album as well—and there's always the sophomore jinx, which means that a hypothetical third record would have been much better, perhaps even better than the first. Still, some really great songs on here. "Jimmie Jones", the lead-off single, took a crystallized look at cult-leader Jim Jones. "Spiders" starts off the vague conspiracy/spying/etc. theme running through this record, continuing with "Lenina" (a side-reference to MI5), "Magnets" (about the Kennedy assasinations), "Civic Hall" (this one's kinda a stretch, being about policeman stopping the narrator from selling jam. Perhaps it's an evil jam-hating conspiracy?) and "Johnny's In Love Again" (which is probably closer in theme to "Jimmie Jones", as it's about a guy sniping people...). I'd say it's a darker album, but New Clear Days was pretty dark too. ("Sixty Second Interval" being about waiting for the bombs to fall after it's been announced they've been launched, and all.)

After this album, the Vapors recorded demos for a third album (including a song, never released, called "Red Flag"), which, after hearing it, the A&R guy said he liked, then immediately cancelled the sessions. David Fenton had had enough with the two-faced-ness of the music industry, and disbanded the band. Which is really too bad, as they could have put out more great records—had they not disbanded, I'm sure they would have eventually had another hit or two, and at the least been considered one of those "respected" bands (like XTC's career path), though as it is now, they're a fabulous forgotten footnote of the early 1980s. - Rev. Syung Myung Me


Further readingEdit

(links to websites, additional reviews, fansites, books, periodicals or any additional information on the album)

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