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Gifts and Telegrams

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Reseña de álbum

Early in his career, Patrik Fitzgerald was so often compared to the better-known John Cooper Clarke that to this day, some people think that Fitzgerald's best-known song, the 1977 punk novelty single "Safety Pin Stuck in My Heart," was actually one of Cooper Clarke's hits. But after he was dropped by Polydor Records following the commercial failure of 1979's Grubby Storys, and the subsequent breakup of his backing band, Fitzgerald signed to the experimental U.K. indie Red Flame Records and made 1982's compellingly odd Gifts & Telegrams. Completely abandoning the "punk poet" delivery of his early singles in favor of either deadpan spoken word recitations or (more often) straightforward singing of somewhat uncertain pitch, and playing all the instruments (mostly synthesizers and cheap rhythm boxes) himself, Fitzgerald reinvents himself on Gifts & Telegrams. A dour, depressive post-punk record somewhere between the D.I.Y. minimalism of synth pop pioneers like the pre-fame Human League and the artsy gloom of the Factory Records brigade, Gifts & Telegrams is so insular as to be impenetrable lyrically, and the deadpan cover of Jacques Brel's "My Death" ties into Fitzgerald's early attempts to be signed by David Bowie's first manager, Ken Pitts: there's a strange but undeniable similarity in Fitzgerald's vocal delivery to Bowie in his earliest and most Scott Walker-influenced incarnations. Similarly, though it's doubtful Dan Bejar has ever heard this album, fans of Destroyer will find a definite sonic kinship in terms of style and themes, if not arrangements. Though mostly of interest to post-punk genre historians and collector geeks, Gifts & Telegrams is just interesting and unique enough to be worthwhile listening.


Nacido(a): 19 de marzo de 1956 en London, England

Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '70s, '80s

Born in London in 1958, singer/songwriter Patrik Fitzgerald ranked among the most memorable of the so-called "punk poets." He debuted in 1977 with the EP Safety Pin Stuck in My Heart, a collection combining the outrage of punk with a streak of optimism rare for its time and place; indeed, Fitzgerald's sincere attitude and eccentric appearance — commonly, a badge-cluttered blazer, red drainpipe trousers and sandals...
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