Album #505 – Pelican West

Album #505

Haircut One Hundred were one of many groups who got a boost from MTV. While their lone hit Love Plus One, barely cracked the top 40 in the US, they are symbolic of the sound of many new wave groups of the early 8o’s. As you can see from the album cover, their style was very preppy in contrast to the punks, goth rockers and new romantics. Lead singer and the band’s main songwriter, Nick Heyward, wrote bright, poppy songs. The groups sound is a mixture of jazz (Love Plus One), funk (Favorite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)) and new wave influences. Haircut One Hundred is as much a showcase of the musicians as it is of Heyward’s songwriting. The group would eventually go their separate ways, with Heyward leaving shortly after Pelican West’s release. Nick Heyward would have a solo career and drummer Blair Cunningham would replace Martin Chambers in the Pretenders in 1986. But, the band would eventually reunite and they continue to play the occasional gig. Their sound represents pop music at its finest: bright, cheerful and non-threatening. It’s too bad that behind the scenes, egos got the best of Heyward. Who knows? The group could have had more success than just one album. Other highlights include: Fantastic Day, Surprise Me Again and Calling Captain Autumn. Overall, I give Pelican West, 4 out of 5.

Next: The Dreaming by Kate Bush

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