Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where Has This Record Been All My Life?

Not trying to tell you how to live but I think you should write something about The Vapors' New Clear Days record, or at the very least, give it a listen if you haven't heard it in a while. Steering from hyperbole, I think it's one of the most underrated powerpop albums of all time. People need to know that there isn't one song on that record that isn't equally as catchy (or more catchy) as "Turning Japanese." Not one. In fact, that particular track might even be the weakest one out.
 "News at Ten." "Spring Collection." "Waiting For The Weekend."
Outstanding. Outstanding. Outstanding.
When I hear this record, I don't even think of it as followers of The Jam; I hold it on the same pedestal as "All Mod Cons" or "This is The Modern World."
 So yeah. People need to know and I think you're the man for the job.
 All the best,

Clearly, Dave Feldman, the wild man from Wyldlife, is the man for the job.

Thanks, Dave. Can't say I had ever heard a note of this record other than "Turning Japanese," which I don't mind, but damn! You are right. It IS the the weakest track here.

And I'll say this, too. I love The Jam. But no Jam record plays as consistently as "New Clear Days." There! I've said it. Now do yourselves a favor and go listen to The Vapors' "New Clear Days." And if you see Dave...he looks like this...

...thank him for me. Maybe buy his record, while you're at it.

And now...The Vapors.


Robin said...

Wow, I had no idea...terrific. Thanks Dave!

Anonymous said...


I highly recommend their second (and last) lp too - 'Magnets.' The would-be single 'Jimmie Jones' tanked,
maybe because of the grim subject matter (Jonestown), but it's a one-song study in hooks. The rest of the album is pretty great too.


Anonymous said...

"Cyclone Ranger" or "Psych Lone Ranger"? /Turning Japanese lyric

The fact that it seems like every major label band in the world got to make at least 2 albums in the late 70's (Urban Verbs anybody?) indicates just how much money was sloshing through the industry back then. Not taking anything away from the Vapors. It's great stuff. Of course, they probably all ended up deeply in debt to the record companies.

buzzbabyjesus said...

My room mate worked in a record store and brought it home. I remember thinking it was pretty good until KROQ started playing "Turning Japanese" every 15 minutes.
Then my room mate's sister dumped me for a former NY Doll. I can't even think about this music without being reminded of morbid heartbreak and hangovers. I can't listen to "Drums And Wires" for the same reason.

ASH On The Beat said...

I think you should hang your head in shame Sal!

ASH has been blabbing on about The Vapors since it's inception and you haven't taken note.

In the corner boy, now!!!

Letter From Hiro is sublime btw.

Oh and there's a follow up album to enjoy, not as good as this, but still great.

Sal Nunziato said...

Sorry ASH. Must have missed The Vapors while perusing the Mick Ronson, Brazilian E.P. section.

Yes, I am all over Magnets, too.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Vapors at some club in Washington DC in 1980, but they came on incredibly late and I fell asleep at a table.

Sorry, that was sort of a pointless anecdote.

Bruce H

Aaron said...

Bought New Clear Days at Schoolkids Records in Columbus Ohio as a 14 year old visiting my brother at college. Played the shit out of it until I loaned it to someone and never got it back. Must have it all again.

Anonymous said...

I saw The Vapors in Tampa Florida at The Agora Ballroom (a short-lived chain of clubs that started in Ohio) and they were great. This is one of my "Desert Island Discs" without a doubt. Even though I've heard it a couple of hundred times (on cassette!) I never thought of The Jam, but you're right, they're similar. Great blog!