Back to the Future Playlist
Saturday, 4 October, 2003
David Bowie – “DJ”
Fred Schneider – “Monster”
Guadalcanal Diary – “Always Saturday”
Kate Bush – “Babooshka”
Peter Murphy – “Line Between the Devil’s Teeth”
Camper Van Beethoven – “The History of Utah”
X-Ray Spex – “Oh Bondage Up Yours”
Was (Not Was) – “I Feel Better Than James Brown”
Urban Dance Squad – “Deeper Shade of Soul”
PiL – “The Body”
M – “Pop Muzik”
Depeche Mode – “Shake the Disease”
Jerry Harrison – “Rev It Up”
The Ramones – “We’re a Happy Family”
(left blank for request)
Elvis Costello – “Everyday I Write the Book”
Laurie Anderson – “Language is a Virus”
Let’s Active – “Fell”
Talking Heads – “Television Man”
Young Fresh Fellows – “Amy Grant”
The Pretenders – “Precious”
Charlatans – “White Shirt”
Soul Asylum – “Cartoon”
Firehose – “Sometimes”
Wolfgang Press – “A Girl Like You”
Jesus Jones – “Move Mountains”
The Fall – “Cruiser’s Creek”
The Police – “Driven to Tears”
The Buzzcocks – “Ever Fallen In Love?”
Sinead O’Connor – “Jerusalem”
Echo & the Bunnymen – “The Cutter”
The Cult – “Revolution”
Ministry – “Work for Love”
XTC – “No Thugs in Our House”
Winter Hours – “Roadside Flowers”
U2 – “Gloria”
Tom Tom Club – “The Man With the 4-way Hips”
Special AKA – “Free Nelson Mandela”
The Clash – “White Riot”
The Replacements – “Here Comes a Regular”
No other band deserved to make the “big time” more than Winter Hours, but like so many others during the heyday of college radio, they got gobbled up and spit out by one of the majors.
Winter Hours originally formed in the early 1980’s and paid their dues playing in clubs up and down the east coast while trying to scrape together the money for demos. They first came across my radar sometime around ’85-‘86 when I stumbled across the Churches EP while flipping through the racks at Renaissance Music. I knew nothing about the band but was willing to take a chance on them based on their song titles and album sleeve artwork. I was blown away from the first listen, and actively sought out everything that came out afterwards.
The band released a couple of EPs and one LP for Link Records – not the U.K. punk label but the American one, which also released albums by The Godfathers, Full Fathom Five and O Positive. When I began working at WWSU I remember how excited I was the day the Wait Til the Morning EP landed on our doorstep. With the sublime “Hyacinth Girl,” I just knew the band would be huge. How could they not, with a song like that?
Their first full-length LP (released on Link), Leaving Time, remains one of my all-time favorites, and that is really saying something – coming from someone who has quite an extensive collection. With each listen I fall in love all over again.
The band signed with Chrysalis and released the self-titled Winter Hours, an album I felt wasn’t a patch on Leaving Time but was still very good. The single “Roadside Flowers” carried the album and could have taken the band to the next level, but Chrysalis had recently been made a public company and was still trying to adjust to a new playing field – they just didn’t have a clue. The label had no idea of how to market the band, they didn’t they recognize the band’s potential, and they looked upon college radio as a “fad” rather than a viable way to get the band’s music heard. Link had done what they could and knew college radio, but they didn’t have the money to really push the band. Chrysalis had the money but disdained college radio and the entire “alternative/modern rock” phenomenon. They were too busy pushing the likes of Pat Benetar, Slaughter and Huey Lewis & the News. That same mindset hurt them when Geffen unleashed Nirvana on the unsuspecting public a few years later and Chrysalis, like most of the majors, scrambled to play catch-up.
If there is one event that I look back on with abject regret, it is that I had the chance to see Winter Hours live at Bogarts (playing with Christmas) and I didn’t go. I had tickets but the weather was really bad and I figured that the show would be cancelled so I didn’t attempt the long drive in the snow and ice. I cannot count the number of times I have looked back on that decision and kicked myself for not going. I thought there would be other chances. How wrong could I have been?
This video of Winter Hours performing "Wait til the Morning" isn't the best of quality, but the song is stellar. Check it out. Likewise for more information on the band visit their tribute page.
Lead singer Joseph Marques died 28 June, 2003 at the age of 40. The beauty of his voice and lyrics will never be forgotten by those of us who loved the band.