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The Photos

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Album Review

The Photos were a young punk band from Evesham, Worcestershire, originally called Satan's Rats featuring Steve Eagles on guitar, Dave Sparrow on bass, and Olly Harrison on drums, but when they recruited a good-looking female vocalist going by the name of Wendy Wu in 1979, they changed their name to the media-friendly Photos and recorded and released just one album of new wave pop that unfortunately, despite the band's denial, sounded almost identical to the music of Blondie from the era of their first two albums, Blondie and Plastic Letters. Prior to the debut album, a four-track EP was released featuring the tracks "Irene," which was later to become the band's only hit single, albeit peaking at a miserable number 56, and "Barbarellas," about the closing of a local nightclub. The original vinyl and cassette album was just 12 tracks, but when finally transferred to CD in the late '90s, they added an additional 11 tracks from the Blackmail Tapes sessions that were never originally released. The Photos included the single "Irene" and "Do You Have Fun," which they were due to perform on Top of the Pops before an industrial dispute took the show off the air. Most of the tracks were bouncy new wave pop, although the pace slowed down on the track "Friends," which, unusually, was over four minutes long, and they attempt a reggae beat similar to many Police tracks on "Loss of Contact" and "She's Artistic." The album ended with the soulful Dusty Springfield classic "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself." The album hit number four in 1980, and for a brief while, Wu's face was regularly in the music press, but Blondie had already moved on, away from the new wave scene, having conquered the world with Parallel Lines, while the Photos' second album, Crystal Tips and Mighty Mice, was recorded but never released. Incidentally, this Wendy Wu had absolutely nothing to do with the actress Brenda Song playing a character of the same name in the Disney TV movie Homecoming Warrior.

Customer Reviews

crystal tips

just 4 the record crystal tips and the mighty mice did eventually see the light of day on cherry red records in 2008 and as i write this i am listening to said cd.
it has 11 songs plus 7 bonus songs all of them even better than the photos first album which by the way when it first came out if you got to the shops quick enough you got the blackmail tapes as a bonus lp i know cause i have a copy of said lp.
also on the cd version of the photos first cd you get 23 songs not the 20 you are offering

The photos

Instantly transported back to 1980! Fantastic fun stuff... Yes, it has a Blondie sound, but nothing wrong with that. What happened to Wendy wu? Great voice.

Could Not Believe They Didn't Make it Big...

This album was great and I thought they were going to be BIG … still some great tunes that maybe don't stand up brilliantly production-wise today BUT with some neat new production could do very well … DO YOU HAVE FUN, IRENE, BARBARELLAS all good stuff .. love LOOK AT THE BAND .. and some really good covers … well worth taking a listen .. or wallowing in those days..


Formed: Evesham, Worcestershire, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s

Best remembered for the U.K. Top 60 hit "Irene" and an eponymous Top Five album, the Photos evolved out of the short-lived and ill-fated punk band Satan's Rats. Guitarist Steve Eagles, bassist Dave Sparrow, and drummer Olly Harrison remained together when the band broke up in 1978 and, casting around for a new vocalist, were initially hoping to link with Jayne Casey from the recently sundered Big in Japan. However, she had already launched her own new band, Pink Military, and the trio returned home...
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The Photos, The Photos
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Customer Ratings