I believe Utopia was first and foremost a studio - they must, as with the Richard Myhill, have gone into production/management as well. They had both recording and mastering facilities, and were a high-end (ie expensive) choice for mastering in London. The lyre symbol in the deadwax simply denotes mastering at Utopia. Their equivalent of "A Porky Prime Cut".
The odd thing for me about my general dislike of 80's stuff is that it was the very period that I spent the most time working with musicians. I ought to have had a better affinity with it - but somehow it all seemed either very cold and soulless, or just a bland reworking of stuff that had been done better before. I did have my favourites despite this though (Soft Cell, Adam & The Ants and the Pet Shop Boys), but for me it was never the same buzz and thrill I got from my 70's heroes. For me the 80's was a decade that never really knew where it was going or what it was doing - a decade muddled by the intensity of those that truly defined pop music in the 50s, 60s and 70s; apart from the occasional ray of brilliance - like this Dream Academy single - most stuff since then has been derivative.
That's my opinion on the subject anyway! *gets coat*
The 80s marked a real sabbatical for me from music telegram sam - though I spent some of the early part of it messing about in a studio and with synths (all analogue), learning saxophone and playing music live a handful of times. Then other priorities took over...
Nice to hear of a musician friend getting some success: I loved some of the the synth-pop of the early 80s (c/o the Human League youtube I've just posted a link to ), but I think it really killed things off for some musicians of the time with all-round talent (or at least made it more difficult for them).
I'm with you there Scratchy - most 80's stuff leaves me cold. This is a rare shaft of light in an otherwise rather naff decade. Nick Laird-Clowes is an old mate of mine I worked with before this came out. He's a really nice guy and I was really chuffed when this excellent tune did so well. Good on yer Nick!!
Found the 12" version of this yesterday - and was reminded what a superb single this is. Unfortunately, it passed me by at the time - but then much music did in the mid-to-late-80s, a fallow period for me as far as music was concerned.
A perfect piece of 7" vinyl. Beautiful song, perfectly performed and recorded.
I know that the song is about song writer Nick Drake, but it takes me back to the time when a lot of north england was going through hard times and the reference to industry dissapearing is still relavent today in 2011.
This was around at the same time that Erasure's "Circus" was playing on my turntable and it seems that song writing was reflecting reality without losing melody and song crafting.
Even though there is a world wide recession going on at the moment, there doesn't seem to be any songs that are marking this phase of history.