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Album Review

The Bluebells had a superb run of delicious singles in 1982 to 1984. Their brief but brilliant career also included a very good album called Sisters, which was chiefly made up of the singles and a handful of new songs. Although the band broke up in 1984 shortly after their post-album single "All I Am (Is Loving You)," there were rumors of more than a dozen unreleased completed tracks left in the vaults. Oddly enough, in 1992 Vinyl Japan released Second, a collection of unreleased Bluebells tracks, leading fans to believe that this CD consisted of those long-lost finished tracks. Yes, this is a collection of unreleased Bluebells tracks, but they don't sound like finished tracks. The Bluebells were known for the brilliant production (by Colin Fairley among others), multi-layered vocals, and the brilliance of Robert Hodgens' perfect pop songs. Large bits of those elements are present here, but these songs seem like skeletal recordings, demos, and unfinished backing tracks (the final few minutes of "Hey Is It True" leaves the listener waiting for a build-up or "something" that never arrives). Of course, there are some great tracks here. "Mr. Joyce," "Scared," "God Forgives You," and "A Thousand Times" rank high on the Bluebells chart but still sound unfinished and waiting for "something else." This is by no means a waste of time, nor is it an embarrassing chapter in the Bluebells' career. It's just that the band never released anything less than exciting, and there are a few less-than-exciting moments on display here. So, are there more songs in the vaults? If so, hope you one day get to hear them. Even an OK Bluebells track can still send chills up the spine! ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee, Rovi


Formed: 1981 in Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

During their brief time together in the early '80s, the Bluebells (songwriter Robert "Bobby Bluebell" Hodgens [born on June 6, 1959] [guitar], Kenneth McClusky [born on February 8, 1962] [vocals/harmonica], Dave McCluskey [born on January 13, 1964] [drums], Russell Irvin [guitar] [replaced by Craig Gannon (born on July 30, 1966)], and Lawrence Donegan [bass] [replaced by Neil Baldwin]) made a small amount of music — several singles, most of which showed up on one EP — but that is not...
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Second, The Bluebells
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