Magnets (album)

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Magnets (The Vapors album) coverart.jpg
Studio album by The Vapors
Released December 15, 1981
Recorded June 19, 1981
Genre New wave, power pop
Label United Artists
Producer David Tickle
The Vapors chronology
New Clear Days
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Magnets was The Vapors' second album, released in 1981.


The album continued The Vapors' dark themes, taking them to a slightly darker level, with "Jimmie Jones" being about Jim Jones, "Isolated Case" about state oppression and disillusionment with politics, "Civic Hall" about the assault Dave suffered at the hands of overzealous Metropolitan Policemen, "Spiders" and "Can't Talk Anymore" about mental illness, and the title track being about the assassinations of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Even those songs about relations - "Daylight Titans", "Johnny's In Love (Again)" and "Lenina" are tinged with an edge of being in a suffocating society and a malevolent state apparatus.

The cover was designed by Martin Handford, later famous for his Where's Wally? books, depicting an assassination scene close up, but from a distance, looks like a man's eye. If you look on the roof at the top right of the album cover, the assassin can be seen putting away his sniper rifle.

Despite positive reviews (particularly for the second single "Jimmie Jones" and the epic final track "Magnets"), the album spent far fewer weeks in the UK chart than the previous New Clear Days, possibly as a result of the lack of promotion on the part of their record label. The United Artists record company had been bought out by EMI in 1980 and later renamed Liberty; many of the bands who came across as part of the deal complained of poor treatment by their disinterested new owner.

Shortly after this album, the failure of Liberty to commit to a seventh single resulted in The Vapors disbanding. The only other Vapors-related release, aside from many greatest hits albums, was a solo single by David Fenton.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by David Fenton and Edward Bazalgette, except where noted.

  1. "Jimmie Jones" - 3:25
  2. "Spiders" - 5:00
  3. "Isolated Case" (Edward Bazalgette, Steve Smith) - 3:31
  4. "Civic Hall" - 3:40
  5. "Live at the Marquee" - 4:06
  6. "Daylight Titans" - 3:24
  7. "Johnny's in Love Again" - 3:47
  8. "Can't Talk Anymore" - 3:20
  9. "Lenina" - 2:47
  10. "Silver Machines" - 3:52
  11. "Magnets" - 6:15

Track listing (2000 CD Re-Release)[edit]

  1. "Jimmie Jones"
  2. "Spiders" (US Single Edit)
  3. "Isolated Case"
  4. "Civic Hall"
  5. "Live at the Marquee"
  6. "Daylight Titans"
  7. "Johnny's in Love Again"
  8. "Can't Talk Anymore"
  9. "Lenina"
  10. "Silver Machines"
  11. "Magnets"
  12. "Galleries for Guns" (B-Side of "Spiders") - 4:45
  13. "Jimmie Jones" (Single Version) - 3:23
  14. "Daylight Titans" (Single Version - B-Side of "Jimmie Jones") - 3:23


  • David Fenton: rhythm guitar, lead vocals
  • Edward Bazalgette: lead guitar
  • Steve Smith: bass, backing vocals
  • Howard Smith: drums, percussion