I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling

Won’t get spooled again

If you bought the NME during the 1980s, you’ll no doubt remember some of the compilation tapes given away free with the paper throughout the decade. I’ve got a tall and wobbly stack of NME tapes sitting on a shelf somewhere, but I haven’t heard any of them for yonks – not least because I don’t own a tape player these days. So I am very pleased to have discovered Press Play And Record, a website with digital rips of many of these superb compilations.

“C86” is perhaps the best known NME tape, its title briefly giving a new name to the jangly guitar music it featured (The Wedding Present, The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Shop Assistants, to name just a few), but my favourite has long been the wildly eclectic “C81”. The highlights include Cabaret Voltaire, The Specials and Robert Wyatt. It’s brilliant to hear the NME‘s jazz, blues and R&B collections again too, especially “Stompin’ At The Savoy”, a neck-jerking assortment of belters and honkers which first appeared on Savoy Records back in the 1940s.

The NME tapes were compiled by journalist Roy Carr, who’s never really got the credit he deserves for these spooled delights. Roy began writing for NME in the late 1960s and put together tapes and later CDs for all the IPC Media music magazines – Melody MakerMuzikVox and Uncut as well as the NME – for around 30 years.

8 Comments on “Won’t get spooled again”

  1. What a great site! I am currently reading The History of the NME, so this is timely! Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Yes, I had those tapes – thanks for the reminder and background

  3. Nick says:

    Since this is the only place I can find to contact you, just to thank you for reprinting your classic review of UK:UK in 1989 on Pushstuff. As a shortlived guitarist (until my complete lack of musical ability became too much of a handicap even for us) and erstwhile manager – with David Bury – of the band, it bought back many happy memories of the chaos, attitude and talent-free zone that was US:UK. The Wendy poster was mine, by the way. Touching 50 now and living in Barcelona for over 20 years, but still proud to have formed part of one of the crappiest bands in the history of music.

  4. Push says:

    Thanks for your comments. Glad that US:UK piece brought back good memories, Nick. You know, I loved that band. You were dreadful and brilliant at the same time! I’m still in touch with David Bury via Facebook, so it’s good to hear from you too. I have a US:UK interview I must get round to transcribing and putting up on the site at some point. All the best to you.

    • Nick says:

      I’ve only just seen your reply – many thanks. I remember reading the review, we used to pick up the music press at the kiosk outside Tottenham Court Road tube stop, it was the first place they were delivered to. We couldn’t work out what to be prouder of, that we were “one of the crappiest bands in the history of music” or that we were one of the few you’d “crawl through flames to gawp at”. Still can’t, to be honest. All the best.

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