My freshly curated playlist on Monday 2nd January had a song by Australian band, Flash And The Pan as its second tune.
For the UK reader with a long enough memory, Flash And The Pan are only really remembered for their 1983 #7 hit, Waiting For A Train. This was an annoyingly catchy tune that I bought early on in its rise up the Charts and was heartily fed up with it by the time it departed. I think thereafter it sat on the shelf, unplayed, for the best part of a decade. Absence made the heart grow fonder and I do now allow myself occasional listens, smiling all the while at the erratic music-buying patterns I had as a 17 year-old. At the ripe old age of 56, they haven’t really moved on all that much if I’m honest.
Anyway. That’s not the tune on my playlist. Nor is the featured tune their other UK Chart entry (yes it’s true, they’re not quite a one hit wonder). That tune is Down Among The Dead Men, from their 1978 debut album, which got to the giddy heights of #54 that year, although for some reason it was called And The Band Played On with the other title in brackets when released as a single in the UK.
The featured track is also from the debut album and was the b-side to their first single a couple of years earlier. At first glance when I looked at the list I thought it said Waiting For A Train. Then I cleaned my glasses and realised it was actually Walking In The Rain. Playing it, it seemed very deadpan and downbeat and also vaguely familiar. Was it a Waiting For A Train prototype? Well, possibly, but, no, there was something else. That’s it – Grace Jones! She did a cover of it on her 1981 Nightclubbing album (it’s the lead track).
Familiarity leads me to preferring Ms Jones’ version, but in all fairness I’d find some entertainment value in Grace Jones menacingly reciting a telephone directory to music.
So this Flash And The Pan track is unlikely to make it onto any of my existing playlists, largely because one of my “rules” is not to have two versions of the same song on any of them. But it’s here with an unofficial video as it was just a tad too early for MTV to be a consideration.
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