Monday, February 8, 2016

"A Million Miles Away" by The Plimsouls

Song#:  1545
Date:  07/30/1983
Debut:  88
Peak:  82
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  This California band became a solid draw on L.A.'s power pop music scene around the turn of the decade. An indie EP got the attention of Richard Perry's Planet Records and they signed on for a full self-titled album that was issued in 1981. It was a blip on the album chart, which didn't do a whole lot to further their career. Back on their own, they worked up songs for a new album including this one that was released independently as a single in 1982. Not much seemed to come from it, but the song and their local popularity got them a spot in an upcoming movie. Portions of the teen rom-com Valley Girl were filmed in an L.A. club and The Plimsouls were asked to play during the scenes. This song was highly featured while bits of two other songs were heard as well. The gig landed them a deal with Geffen Records and the band quickly re-recorded this song and others for their second LP Everywhere At Once. This first single got a bit of a push thanks to Valley Girl and it hit #11 at Rock. The song was then able to cross over to Pop for a minor few weeks. Unfortunately, by the time Valley Girl and their album were making headway, the band had broken up. However, this song would remain a popular 80s track that would keep The Plimsouls name alive for years to come.

ReduxReview:  I saw Valley Girl, but the band's appearance apparently didn't stick with me because I ended up discovering them through my obsession with The Go-Go's. The Plimsoul's lead singer/songwriter Peter Case used to date Go-Go Charlotte Caffey and they co-wrote (with Jane Wiedlin) "Tonite" for Beauty & the Beat (in turn Caffey helped co-write a tune for The Plimsouls). The connection led me to the band's album. While I wasn't a big fan of the LP, there were some great songs on it including the title track and this one. I'm not sure why this did not do better at Pop. Maybe it was a little too gritty? Whatever the case, it's a shame as this is a great 80s track. It has remained popular over the years, which is cool, but it never really got its due in its day.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) The band's name comes from a UK term for a specific type of shoe. Known as a plimsoll or plimsole, the shoe was basically rubber bottomed and canvas topped and were typically used in phys-ed classes. The US equivalent would be the style of Converse shoes or Vans. The band used the shoe reference and just adjusted the spelling.  2) The Plimsouls' lead singer, Peter Case, began a solo career after the break-up and issued his self-titled debut LP in 1986 on Geffen. The critically lauded album began a streak of solidly reviewed albums that has continued through 2015's Hwy 62. His only charting song came in 1992 when "Dream About You" hit #16 on the Alternative chart.


No comments:

Post a Comment