The Comsat Angels

The Comsat Angels were an English ethereal-rock/psych band from Sheffield that debuted with a single on self-press Junta Records in 1979, followed by three albums and assorted shortplayers on Polydor between 1980 and 1982. A switch to upstart Jive Records yielded two albums between 1983 and 1985, followed by a sixth studio longplayer on Island in 1986.

Members: Stephen Fellows (guitar, vocals), Kevin Bacon (bass), Mik Glaisher (drums), Andy Peake (keyboards, vocals), Simon Anderson (guitar, 1993-95), Terry Todd (bass, 1993-95)


Background

The Comsat Angels formed in 1978 Sheffield as Radio Earth, comprised of guitarist/singer Stephen Fellows, bassist Kevin Bacon, drummer Mik Glaisher, and keyboardist Andy Peake, all newcomers to the scene. They changed their name after a stylistic rethink, prompted by an early gig where they opened for dada-punks Pere Ubu.

In 1979, they debuted with the red-vinyl maxi-single “Red Planet” (b/w “I Get Excited” / “Specimen No. 2”), released on self-press Junta Records. It lists the band as Com-Sat Angels with the members identified as Stephen Even (Fellows), Dresden (Bacon), Michael Spencer-Farquahar (Glaisher), and The Jazz Orange (Peake).

A1: “Red Planet” ()
B1: “I Get Excited” ()
B2: “Specimen No. 2” ()

On September 25, 1979, they did their first session for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, performing the songs “Ju Ju Money” and “Independence Day.” This caught the attention of Polydor A&R man Frank Neilson, who signed them to a three-album deal.


Waiting for a Miracle

The Comsat Angels released their debut album, Waiting for a Miracle, September 5, 1980, on Polydor.

1. “Missing in Action” – 4:01
2. “Baby” – 2:58
3. “Independence Day” – 3:46
4. “Waiting for a Miracle” – 2:57
5. “Total War” – 3:47
6. “On the Beach” – 3:41
7. “Monkey Pilot” – 4:24
8. “Real Story” – 3:44
9. “Map of the World” – 3:50
10. “Postcard” – 4:08)

Total War (EP, 1980)16 May 1980
A1: Total War
B1: Waiting For a Miracle
B2: “Home Is the Range” ()

On July 11, 1980, “Independence Day” backed with “We Were”

B. “We Were” (4:12)

Recorded January 1980
Producer Peter Wilson, the Comsat Angels

Stephen Fellows – vocals, guitar
Andy Peake – synthesizer, vocals
Kevin Bacon – bass guitar
Mik Glaisher – drums

cover photograph was taken by Martyn Goddard at Sheffield Parkway, Sheffield.


Sleep No More

The Comsat Angels released their second album, Sleep No More, on August 21, 1981, on Polydor.

1. “The Eye Dance” (3:42)
2. “Sleep No More” (2:51)
3. “Be Brave” (3:49)
4. “Gone” (3:27)
5. “Dark Parade” (5:08)
6. “Diagram” (3:53)
7. “Restless” (3:14)
8. “Goat of the West” (3:23)
9. “Light Years” (4:24)
10. “Our Secret” (4:10)

11. “Eye of the Lens” (4:04)
12. “Another World” (4:40)
13. “At Sea” (4:26)
14. “Mass” (3:47)

Recorded March 1981
Studio Polydor Studios, London; Stratford Place
Producer Peter Wilson, the Comsat Angels

Stephen Fellows – vocals, guitar, artwork
Andy Peake – synthesizer, vocals
Kevin Bacon – bass guitar
Mik Glaisher – drums

20 Mar 1981
A: Eye of the Lens
B: At Sea

30 Oct 1981
A: “Do the Empty House” ()
B: “Now I Know” ()
C: “Red Planet Revisited” ()


Fiction

The Comsat Angels released their third album, Fiction, in August 1982 on Polydor.

1. “After the Rain” (3:58)
2. “Zinger” (3:29)
3. “Now I Know” (3:58)
4. “Not a Word” (3:44)
5. “Ju-Ju Money” (3:28)
6. “More” (3:33)
7. “Pictures” (4:26)
8. “Birdman” (5:01)
9. “Don’t Look Now” (4:47)
10. “What Else!?” (4:32)

Recorded May–June 1982
Studio Strawberry 1 & 2, Stockport; Polydor Workshop Studios
Producer Peter Wilson, the Comsat Angels

7 May 1982
A: It’s History
B: Zinger

29 Oct 1982
A: After The Rain (Remix)
B: Private Party

11. “It’s History” (3:40)
12. “After the Rain (Remix)” (4:00)
13. “Private Party” (3:48)
14. “Mass” (3:47)

Enz (comp, 1982)


Land

The Comsat Angels released their fourth album, Land, in September 1983 on Jive.

1. “Will You Stay Tonight?” (4:18)
2. “Alicia (Can You Hear Me)” (3:56)
3. “A World Away” (5:17)
4. “Independence Day” (3:51)
5. “Nature Trails” (4:54)
6. “Mister Memory” (5:15)
7. “Island Heart” (3:56)
8. “I Know That Feeling” (5:16)
9. “As Above, So Below” (5:39)

Recorded June 1983
Studio Battery Studios, London
Producer Mike Howlett

Aug 1983
A: Will You Stay Tonight
B: Shining Hour

Oct 1983
A: Island Heart
B: Scissors And The Stone


7 Day Weekend

The Comsat Angels released their fifth album, 7 Day Weekend, in 1985 on Jive.

1. “Believe It” (4:20)
2. “Forever Young” (4:04)
3. “You Move Me” (4:27)
4. “I’m Falling” (4:05)
5. “Close Your Eyes” (4:38)
6. “Day One” (4:03)
7. “You’re the Heroine” (4:12)
8. “High Tide” (4:46)
9. “New Heart and Hand” (4:30)
10. “Still It’s Not Enough” (4:48)

Recorded Battery Studios, London
Producer Mike Howlett, Engineer – Bryan “Chuck” New, Phil Vinall (3, 5-8, 10)
Producer – James Mtume (2, 4) Engineer – David Dachinger (2, 4)
Producer – Chris Tsangarides and The Comsat Angels (1, 9)

with
Pete Q. Harris – Fairlight synthesizer
Peter Beckett – vocals on “Believe It”, “Forever Young” and “I’m Falling”
Stevie Lange – vocals on “Day One”

May 1984
A: You Move Me (One Good Reason)
B: Land

Sep 1984
A: Day One
B: Will You Stay Tonight

A: I’m Falling
B: New Heart and Hand

A: Forever Young
B: Still It’s Not Enough

2001 reissue
11. “Land” 4:13
12. “Citadel” Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 3:10


Chasing Shadows

The Comsat Angels released their sixth album, Chasing Shadows, in 1986 on Island.

1. “The Thought That Counts” (6:03)
2. “The Cutting Edge” (5:09)
3. “Under the Influence” (4:22)
4. “Carried Away” (5:09)
5. “You’ll Never Know” (4:57)
6. “Lost Continent” (5:05)
7. “Flying Dreams” (5:45)
8. “Pray for Rain” (5:02)

Producer The Comsat Angels, Kevin Moloney, Rob Fraboni
Robert Palmer – executive producer; vocals on “You’ll Never Know”
Rob Fraboni – post-production, mixing

Stephen Fellows – vocals, guitar
Andy Peake – synthesizer, vocals
Kevin Bacon – bass guitar
Mik Glaisher – drums

A: The Cutting Edge
B: Something’s Got To Give


Discography:

  • “Red Planet” / “I Get Excited” / “Specimen No. 2” (1979)
  • Waiting for a Miracle (1980)
  • Total War (EP, 1980)
  • Eye of the Lens (EP, 1981)
  • Sleep No More (1981)
  • Fiction (1982)
  • Enz (comp, 1982)
  • Land (1983)
  • 7 Day Weekend (1985)
  • Chasing Shadows (1986)

Sources:

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