Tuesday, June 14, 2022

"Come Out Fighting" by Easterhouse

Song#:  3851
Date:  04/01/1989
Debut:  91
Peak:  82
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This British indie rock band that featured brothers Andy and Ivor Perry first began to perform sometime in '83. Their jangly guitar rock combined with leftist political lyrics got them a deal with London Records and an EP, In Our Own Hands, was issued out in '85. It did well on the indie chart, but it seems London lost interest in the band and so they switched over to the indie label Rough Trade. A debut album Contenders was recorded and two songs from the LP would reach the Top 10 on the UK Indie chart. The LP would make it to #3 Indie/#91 UK Pop. While the band seemed to be doing well and on the brink of something bigger, there were internal struggles that led to Ivor Perry leaving the band. Other members would follow suit and that left Andy Perry the only original member to carry on Easterhouse. He got a second album, Waiting for the Redbird, recorded and this first single was issued out. In the UK, the band's updated, slicker sound wasn't received as well with the song stopping at #18 Indie. The single was able to get a US release and it did much better getting to #5 Modern Rock. That attention helped the song cross over to the Pop chart, but only for a short month. It wasn't quite enough to draw attention to the album, which failed to chart. The band would break up not long after.

ReduxReview:  The band's edgy, guitar-driven political rock found on their EP and first full length album were going to be a bit of a hard sell in the US, but it is what gained them a fan base in the UK. Then with Andy Perry on his own, the band eased into a slicker arena rock sound, which didn't excite critics or fans at home. However, the new approach for the second album was a better fit for the US and so this single garnered some attention and airplay. It had a heartland rock feel with a little Billy Idol sneer. The production was well crafted and made the song radio-ready. I liked the song, but I can see how older fans were not thrilled as it was nowhere near the gritter work of the original incarnation of the band.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  When Easterhouse was starting out, they ended up gaining a fan that would give them a boost. Morrissey of The Smiths liked their sound and politically charged lyrics. The band would end up opening shows for The Smiths and Morrissey would also play a role in getting the band signed to The Smiths' label Rough Trade. By 1987, Ivor Perry had left Easterhouse and began another band. With a connection to Morrissey still existing, Perry was asked to be the The Smiths' guitarist after co-founder Johnny Marr departed. He gave it a go and the band began to record tracks for a new album. However, it seems Morrissey wasn't happy with the whole situation and the band collapsed before any post-Marr tracks could be fully completed and released. Marr's departure and the break up of the band came at an unfortunate time. While The Smiths had solid success in their UK homeland, it didn't necessarily translate well to the US. They mainly remained an indie cult band, but their following grew over the course of four albums. While they would never put a single on the Pop or Rock chart, each of their studio albums sold more than the previous one and in 1987 they had their best showing yet when their fourth effort Strangeways, Here We Come topped out at #29. That might have been the tipping point that could have pushed them more into the US mainstream with their next release, but alas Marr left and the band split. Morrissey would go on to a successful solo career and was able to get one single on the US Pop chart, 1994's "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get" (#46), while achieving nine Top 10 songs on the Modern/Alt Rock chart including two #1s. Two of his albums would nearly make the Top 10 stopping short at #11. He would also earn two gold albums.


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