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Shop Assistants Anthology (1985-1986)

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iTunes Review

Years after Shop Assistants disbanded, acts such as Slumber Party, the Aislers Set and the Concretes would borrow quite a bit from their melodic and fuzzy sound, but even in their Scottish homeland this delightful four-piece seems to have fallen into indie-pop obscurity. Combining their self-titled 1986 debut album with tracks from earlier seven-inches, this portrait of their first year and a half in existence is almost everything you need by the beguiling one-time NME cover stars (the absence of the awesome lullaby moment "It's Up To You" is puzzling, but not a big deal). This is the band for you if you like Phil Spector's girl- group productions from the ‘60s but wish they had a lot more distortion in the mix, or if you'd prefer to hear Nico's songs on the first Velvet Underground album backed by the Jesus and Mary Chain instead.

Customer Reviews

itunes somewhat redeems itself...

Its nice to see that itunes doesn't pander soleley to the dreadful artists that grace their home page! This anthology has most everything the Assistants recorded in their brief career. Buzzing guitars, pre-riot grrl vocals and too much attitude for their Doc Martens, they had it all. God, do I miss bands like this when I hear some of the music of today...I must be getting old. Download this young hipster! You'll thank this cranky old college music geek.


This is one of those lost gems for those who didn't catch it the first time around. Fans of Black Tambourine, and Vivian Girls will defintately play this one loudly. Good job iTunes!

This takes me back!

I never thought I'd find this album digitally. It's nice to replace my old vinyl with mp3s. Light, airy post-new wave alt pop with a slightly rough edge but angelic vocals. I would call this music edgy but cute; none of the bump and grind that a lot of modern artists feel is necessary to gain attention, just earnest pop at it's beat. This album makes me happy!


Formed: Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Formed in Edinburgh, Scotland, during 1984, this pop band used guitar inflections enthusiastically borrowed from the Buzzcocks. They were originally titled Buba And The Shop Assistants and released a solitary single, ‘Something To Do’, under that name. With only 500 pressings on the obscure Villa 21 independent, it has gained a reputation among record collectors for its monetary value as well as the spirited songwriting. Mainman David Keegan (guitar) was joined by Alex Taylor (vocals), Sarah Kneale...
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