All that Glitters is the Cardiacs

July 28, 2006 at 9:37 am 3 comments

Probably my greatest Zolo discovery whilst doing the Newave Zolocoaster was the Cardiacs. I am not sure who suggested the band to me, but it was over the phone during the radio show. I bought the two cheapest singles I could find, Susannah’s Still Alive and Is This The Life. The b-side of the latter single (I’m Eating in Bed) turned out to be a great Zolo track and the a-side of the former was a quirky Kinks cover with some zany touches. Their Zolo connection confirmed, I picked up Archive Cardiacs which was so good it sent me on a giggling fit. Piffol Four Times (with its Zappa-esque Xylo bits) and Rock Around the Clock were my faves.

The Cardiacs are a great example of the Prog + New Wave combination that gave birth to so many Zolo groups in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Archive Cardiacs is about half Punk and half Prog and it astonished me to think of this young band performing Prog tunes in clubs in 1977 when kids were burning their Yes albums.

The next material available in the Cardiacs chronology is The Seaside. It is brilliantly Zolo throughout. I’ll paste in the video for my favorite song from The Seaside, RES:

Another of my favorites comes from the collection of material called Songs for Ships and Irons. This super Zolo track is called Tarred and Feathered:

(I’ll have to just give you the link to this one, as I am not allowed to embed it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlfWoWHHRNA)

After The Seaside the Cardiacs Zolo output became a bit thinner. There are still zany moments here and there but they are typically couched in heavier (slightly) more serious Prog. Here is squiggly number from their late 80’s release On Land and In the Sea: The Duck and Roger the Horse.

The Cardiacs are still performing and releasing albums to this day. Their most recent output consists of live recordings from 2003 of some of the first Cardiacs songs. Cardiacs are surely the longest lived Zolo band still performing Zolo music. It has been about 30 years, now.

Cardiacs homepage.

Cardiacs on Wikipedia.

Cardiacs illustrated discography.

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Entry filed under: ZoLo Music.

My introduction to ZoLo music. Just When You Think You’ve Seen It All

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer  |  July 28, 2006 at 11:42 am

    I like what you did here. :)

  • 2. Matthew Nicholson  |  August 9, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Yes…the morbidly zolo zombo-combo. False di stress signal!

  • 3. Roger Aristotle  |  August 11, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    Best blog ever!!! I also absolutely love that “Tarred and Feathered” track!

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