New Clear Days

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New Clear Days
Studio album by The Vapors
Released July 1980
Recorded 1979-1980, Basing Street Studios, The Town House
Genre Punk rock, new wave
Length 40:33
Label United Artists
Producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
The Vapors chronology
New Clear Days
(1980)
Magnets
(1981)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Smash Hits 8/10[2]

New Clear Days was The Vapors' 1980 debut album containing the UK single "Turning Japanese", which reached No. 3 in the chart in February 1980. A remix of "News at Ten" (named after the well-known ITV news programme), went to No. 45 in July of that year. A third single, a re-recording of "Waiting for the Weekend" that included a horn section, failed to chart.

The title is a pun on Nuclear - nuclear weapons and power stations being major issues at that time. The album cover shows a rather grimy television screen displaying a BBC TV weather forecast. Among the symbols for clouds is one located over London that is, on closer examination, a mushroom cloud. In addition, one of the temperature symbols has been replaced with one warning of radiation and the weatherman glows.

"News at Ten", a cynical examination of the generation gap and the fear of ending up as complacent as the parent he despises for his conformism, was expected to be a hit on the back of the success of "Turning Japanese"; its poorer performance was blamed in part by the long-running strike at the BBC's Top of the Pops, which meant it received very little media exposure. There was also a marked reluctance by BBC Radio 1 - then the nation's premier radio station - to play a song named after an ITV programme.

Apart from the three singles, the best known other track is "Sixty Second Interval". Its ambiguous lyrics have been interpreted alternately as concerning the short cease-fires agreed between armies during wars to allow each to attend to their wounded in the no-man's land between them. The song was the inspiration behind the long-running "Sixty Second Interview" feature of the UK's Metro (Associated Metro Limited) free newspaper given away at public transport stations.

"Letter from Hiro", the album's lengthy melancholy finale, concerns the sense of powerlessness a boy feels as events push towards World War II, and towards the inevitable ending of his friendship with his more patriotic Japanese penpal ("And when the sun was rising somewhere in the East, and when a flag meant more to Hiro than to me"). The song concludes with the playing of a traditional Japanese tune on a cymbalum.

The American and Canadian releases omitted both "Cold War" and "America" in favor of the single "Prisoners". The CD reissue by Captain Oi! consisted of the original UK track listing, with eight bonus tracks: "Prisoners", "Sunstroke", "Here Comes the Judge" (live), "News at Ten" (single version), "Wasted", "Talk Talk", "Waiting for the Weekend" (single version), and "Billy".

Track listing[edit]

  • All songs written by David Fenton and Edward Bazalgette (EMI Music Publishing).
  1. "Spring Collection" – 2:52
  2. "Turning Japanese" – 3:44
  3. "Cold War" – 3:57
  4. "America" – 2:22
  5. "Trains" – 3:26
  6. "Bunkers" – 3:54
  7. "News at Ten" – 3:18
  8. "Somehow" – 3:33
  9. "Sixty Second Interval" – 3:52
  10. "Waiting for the Weekend" – 3:07
  11. "Letter from Hiro" – 6:23

Track listing 1980 LP U.S./ Canada Release - Liberty/United Records[edit]

  1. "Turning Japanese"
  2. "Sixty Second Interval"
  3. "Waiting for the Weekend"
  4. "Spring Collection"
  5. "Letter from Hiro"
  6. "News at Ten"
  7. "Somehow"
  8. "Prisoners"
  9. "Trains"
  10. "Bunkers"

2000 Expanded CD- Captain Mod Records[edit]

In 2000 Captain Mod Records a label specializing in Punk and New Wave bands reissued the band's two albums including all the single mixes and b-sides the band recorded. The CD reissue was remastered by Tim Turan and, while some of the bonus tracks had previously been issued on the first Best of CD release, many of the tracks made their debut on CD for the first time. The Captain Mod reissue also featured the original LP track listing for the first time on CD.

The booklet included a brief essay on the band's history as well as the lyrics for all the songs on the album.

Track Listing 2000 Expanded CD- Captain Mod Records[edit]

  • All songs written by David Fenton and Edward Bazalgette (EMI Music Publishing).
  1. "Spring Collection" – 2:52
  2. "Turning Japanese" – 3:44
  3. "Cold War" – 3:57
  4. "America" – 2:22
  5. "Trains" – 3:26
  6. "Bunkers" – 3:54
  7. "News at Ten" – 3:18
  8. "Somehow" – 3:33
  9. "Sixty Second Interval" – 3:52
  10. "Waiting for the Weekend" – 3:07
  11. "Letter from Hiro" – 6:23

Bonus Tracks

  1. "Prisoners" - 2:55
  2. "Sunstroke" - 1:57
  3. "Here Comes The Judge" (Live-single b-side) - 6:34
  4. "News at Ten" (Remixed single version) - 3:21
  5. "Wasted" (Single b-side) - 2:48
  6. "Talk Talk" (Single b-side) - 3:55
  7. "Waiting for the Weekend" (Single version) - 3:03
  8. "Billy" (Single b-side) - 5:58

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Clear Days - The Vapors". Allmusic. 
  2. ^ Starr, Red. "Albums". Smash Hits (June 12–25, 1980): 31. 

Personnel[edit]

  • David Fenton: Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
  • Edward Bazalgette: Lead Guitar
  • Steve Smith: Bass, Backing Vocals
  • Howard Smith: Drums, Percussion