By the time an album was released from the British duo Care, the group had been defunct for more than a decade. Care formed in Liverpool, England, in 1983. Featuring singer Paul Simpson (ex-keyboardist for the Teardrop Explodes) and guitarist Ian Broudie (of Big in Japan and Original Mirrors), Care blended Simpson's enchanting, heartbroken vocals and pensive lyrics with Broudie's shimmery riffs and gleaming synthesizers. Care's first single, "My Boyish Days," introduced the band's new wave style: sparkling keyboards, chiming guitars, and Simpson's dreamy, depressed croon. Care's next release, the lovelorn "Whatever Possessed You," sounded like the missing link between Echo & the Bunnymen and Joy Division. "Flaming Sword" landed on the British Top 50 in 1983; however, Simpson departed from Care before they could complete their Love Crowns and Crucifies LP. At the time, Simpson was involved in a self-destructive relationship with a female musician who was contributing to the album. Furthermore, Broudie's taste for gleeful commercial pop scraped against Simpson's need for darker, more serious fare. Consequently, the recorded tracks for Love Crowns and Crucifies were shelved. Simpson then re-formed the Wild Swans, while Broudie created the Lightning Seeds.
In 1990, Simpson and Broudie collaborated again on the Wild Swans' second full-length, Space Flower, but it was a short-lived reunion. Broudie immediately began recording another Lightning Seeds LP, while Simpson disappeared from the music scene until his Skyray project in the mid-'90s. Care were on the brink of fading into obscurity; however, a cult following in Japan and the Philippines, where Care's songs were more popular than they were in England, kept the group's memory afloat. Noticing the demand for Care records on the Internet, Camden released Diamonds and Emeralds in 1997, a compilation of the duo's singles, B-sides, and tracks intended for Love Crowns and Crucifies. Collected without permission from either Simpson or Broudie, Diamonds and Emeralds nevertheless finally presented Care's majestic work on CD. ~ Michael Sutton