THE SKIDS – “Working For The Yankee Dollar” / “Vanguard’s Crusade” (Virgin VS 306) November 1979
The Skids ‘Working For The Yankee Dollar’ – enjoyed a further year of chart success as “Masquerade” and “Working for the Yankee Dollar” reached the Top 20 in the UK chart. The latter came from their second album, also released in 1979, Days in Europa, with the record’s production and keyboards by Bill Nelson.
Just before recording of the album commenced, Kellichan left the band and was temporarily replaced on drums by Rusty Egan (ex-Rich Kids, then with the band Visage and a New Romantic 1980s dance DJ at the Blitz club). Egan played on the album and later on the live concert tour of the record. Keyboard player Alistair Moore also temporarily joined the band to perform live with them.
He had been recruited to play Bill Nelson’s keyboard parts from the record. In November 1979, Mike Baillie, ex-Insect Bites, was recruited as a permanent band member, taking care of the drums, backing vocals and percussion). He slowly took over from Egan, while the band was still touring Days in Europa.
Some of Jobson’s lyrics as well as the album cover caused controversy. It showed an Olympian being crowned with laurels by an Aryan-looking woman, and the lettering was in Gothic script. Some, including DJ John Peel, felt that this glorified Nazi ideology and it was indeed similar to posters from the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Germany.
After the original version of the album had already been released, Canadian record producer Bruce Fairbairn was brought into the project. The original cover and the track “Pros and the Cons” were removed. The sleeve was completely re-designed and the song “Masquerade” added. The album was also remixed and the tracks re-sequenced. This second version was released in 1980. (wiki)
The big one and how can you resist it? A remixed track from the ‘Days In Europa’ album whereon one can hear every word thanks to Jobson’s new found enunciation.
The band’s biggest hit to date or else something is drastically wrong. Backed by unreleased track ‘Vanguard’s Crusade’, the story of an old man relating the tale of how the struggle was won and lost.
Another step away musically, you’ll like it. Move fast and secure a free single. Bowie and Mott’s ‘All The Young Dudes’ languishes in the fine philatelic sleeve and though the vocals are strained to the extreme, the guitar is superb. A great version of the song.
Also from another Peel session is ‘Hymns From A Haunted Ballroom’, this, a story in the traditions of Roald Dahl features a rolling repetition and keyboards from Midge Ure, who despite last week’s live report does not play ivories live with the band.
It is too early to single single of the year? Buy fellow fans. (Record Mirror)