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Happy Birthday

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Editors’ Notes

There’s a gritty innocence to this 1981 debut album, which blends frenetic pop with droning postpunk. The latter’s a product, perhaps, of the band’s early association with Siouxsie & The Banshees (this album was mostly produced by Banshees guitarist Steven Severin). The little-girl tic and jagged quirks of singer Clair Grogan’s voice are a blessing, as they create alluring juxtapositions to the music, like on the darker “Midnight,” “A Days Wait,” and “Love and Kisses.” It’s also weirdly hypnotic (listen to the nursery-rhyme simple “Idols”). It’s no surprise that the heart-rending title tune became an enduring birthday wish to anyone.

Customer Reviews

Debut Schlock

Actually, I think this was their sophomore effort, but it was their first attempt at a commercially successful album. Happy Birthday is their signature tune and it is a light-hearted hook-filled pop gem. Clare Grogan is at her pretty school-girlish best on the video for this song. She was also starring in Gregory's Girl, an hysterical Bill Forsythe flick and appearing on TOTPs every week it seemed with a new song on the radio. Quite an icon in her day. The band put out quite an opus of work, but only a few big hits like See Those Eyes and I Could Be Happy, and my fav Don't Talk About Love. Good times!

Wish iTunes could get some of their old videos.



Formed: 1979 in Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Scottish new wavers Altered Images formed in early 1979, consisting of vocalist Clare Grogan, guitarist Tony McDaid, drummer Tich Anderson, and bassist Johnny McElhone. The teenagers cut a demo and sent it to Siouxsie and the Banshees, who were impressed enough to have the band open for them for several dates in support of their Kaleidoscope record. Two impressive BBC Peel Sessions helped the band land a contract with Epic. The Banshees' Steve Severin took them under his wing, producing their first...
Full Bio
Happy Birthday, Altered Images
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