• Jay

"THE TREES ARE SINGING YOUR NAME...

Updated: Apr 26

...so when you gonna come back?"


With its melancholy midnight setting and references to trees and a window, the Primitives song Where the Wind Blows is another of those numbers that powered the writing of Neverland in Shadow.


Found on the flip of the 1986 12-inch single Really Stupid (Lazy Records), that a cut of such distinction was deemed a b-side characterises the quality of early Primitives material.

What a sleeve: Really Stupid's cover was designed by Flat Earth.


GATECRASHING THE POP CHARTS

The haunting (We’ve) Found a Way (to the Sun), located on both the 7 & 12-inch releases, was of equal merit. This high standard would continue across '86 and '87, culminating in the excellent debut LP Lovely. It appeared in 1988 and was preceded by the deserved smash-hit of the Crash single that same year.


There they went, way too fast. The Crash sleeve retained elements of earlier Primitives covers, albeit via a more commercial direction. The Lazy Recordings badge was retained - but the release was on the major label RCA. Indie bands who'd signed with majors often employed this device.


Although the band would have surely spotted the commercial potential of Crash, I bet they were still surprised at its UK top ten (top five, more accurately) success. The single did a turn for its parent LP too; Lovely hit the number-six spot in the album charts.


A demure and pensive pose. But the Lovely LP would have been a happy milestone for The Primitives: a great record and one deserving of its success.


THEY FOUND A WAY TO THE SUN

For a short while around this time it seemed as if The Primitives were popping up everywhere (everywhere being on TV, in the music press and on the radio). Switching, from their own independent Lazy Records label to the muscular major RCA would have helped of course. And in the often reductive field of rock media, fronting up with the uncommonly photogenic singer, Tracy Tracy, would also have done no harm.


But it was talent and great songs that did the trick. And only the most mean-spirited indie fan – at a time when making the move to a major was keenly frowned upon – would have begrudged them their time in the limelight.

The flipside of Really Stupid: Tracy Tracy and the single's two 12-inch b-sides. Interesting (to pedants) is the styling of the sublime We Found a Way to the Sun, eschewing the subtly different and bracketed alternative (We've) Found a Way (to the Sun) as listed on the Lazy 86-88 compilation.


WHERE THE WIND BLOWS

Rewinding to Where the Wind Blows, let’s end with that song itself, and its windswept words from PJ Court, also the band's guitarist. (Mis)interpretation is everything, of course, but the track seems to be concerned with longing for the return of a missing person. The line everything is still the same, so when you gonna come back? may suggest some past, now-forgiven, infraction is responsible for this person’s flight. Whatever the story, it’s a terrific lyric.

Midnight, and there's no one else around

Street lights all across this empty town

Everything is still the same

So when you gonna come back?

The trees are singing your name

So when you gonna come back?


Slip by my window

Go where the wind blows

Moonlight, just the shadows everywhere

Dark midnight and it always ends this way

Everything is still the same

So when you gonna come back?

The trees are singing your name

So when you gonna come back?


Slip by my window

Go where the wind blows

Morning, and I know there's something wrong

And I realise that you're lost instead

Lost instead and gone


LOST? OR JUST DEAD?

As an aside, consensus on a number of online lyrics sites claim those last two lines as stated above. Maybe I need to acquire a cotton bud, but I’d always heard them as:

And I realise that you’re long-since dead

Long-since dead and gone


THE PRIMITIVES ON THIS SONG WERE...

(As detailed in the Lazy 86-88 compilation):


Tracy, vocals & tambourine

Paul, guitars

Steve, bass

Tweedie, drums


CATCH UP WITH THE BAND ON...

After breaking up in 1992, the Primitives reformed in 2009 and are back making music and touring. Keep pace via Facebook and Twitter...


...and you can buy stuff here







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