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Face In the Crowd / Gi's It

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Editors’ Notes

The second wave of mod spawned from the Who’s 1979 film Quadrophenia yielded a handful of good bands. Where the Purple Hearts rocked hard enough to transcend the genre and Secret Affair built power-pop anthems that called for changing the name of mods to “glory boys,” South London’s Merton Parkas took themselves less seriously and as a result, recorded some of the era’s most infectious songs since the Jam. Face In the Crowd/Gi’s It opens with the jangly guitar pop of “Put Me In the Picture.” And while the quirky “Face In the Crowd” sounds like Madness sans ska influences, catchier numbers like “Plastic Smile” and the band’s only hit “You Need Wheels” foreshadowed the kind of catchy pop that keyboardist/co-songwriter Mick Talbot would later bring to Dexys Midnight Runners and the Style Council, where he joined mod- revivalist pioneer Paul Weller. The band’s cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown” wasn’t as attractive as that of the English Beat, but their take on “Steppin’ Stone” and Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” are both groovy and fun.

Customer Reviews

merton parkas

I don't care what most of the critics say. this is a great cd. very fun

Little Known Gem

What a joy to finally find this on iTunes, just awesome. I got a few songs from this from a friend when I was about 13, and I wore out the casette. Awesome stuff.

Gi's It

This is just as fresh as it was when I discovered the band via ther "Face In The Crowd" LP on Christmas morning 1980 c/o my favorite aunt. Much maligned by mods "then" I'd still take the goofy, electric piano driven fun over pseudo Jam aping punks in parkas anyday!

Biography

Formed: 1978 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The Merton Parkas, taking their name from their home in South London (Merton) and the classic mod-wear (the parka), are another footnote in the British mod revival of the late '70s (which itself was merely a footnote in music history). Formed by brothers Mick Talbot (keyboards) and Danny Talbot (vocals) along with Neil Hurrell (bass) and Simon Smith (drums) in 1978, they became one of the first third wave mod-revivalists to release an album, Face in the Crowd, which featured the hit single "You Need...
Full Bio
Face In the Crowd / Gi's It, The Merton Parkas
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