Platinum Blonde - Alien Shores

Label / Cat. No: Columbia PCC-80105

First Released: 1985


What The Album Blurb Says...

None. Boo! But, but.... when reading through the lyric sheet, I came across this gem...

"Are we alone? Erich Von Daniken asked us to believe the temples and pyramids are proof that earth was visited in its embryonic stage by an ancient intelligence.

In writing the lyrics for the interconnecting songs on 'Alien Shores', I was inspired by the thoughts of unexplained mysteries of our past, which may never be answered. But 
Hungry Eyes will perpetually seek the truth.

What I Say

This album has purged me of my guilt. You see, in 1993 I bought a pair of slacks from a gentlemen's outfitters in Albert Road, Morecambe. I believe the colour was described as 'stone', and I wore those stone slacks. Often.

With hindsight, I had tortured myself in the knowledge that they were the worst pair of trousers I had ever bought, and probably the worst pair of trousers in the world ever. Yes, they reall were that bad. But then, oh happy day, I slipped the inner sleeve out of this album, and what did I find? This...











Those really are the worst slacks ever to have been created. And not just one pair of bad slacks, but FOUR! That's a 100% hit rate for the Platinum Blondes. Combined with those four nasty white jackets, we have the perfect snapshot of 1985. I believe this photo should be kept in an archive somewhere as an important historical document. And of course to serve as a warning to future generations. 

And try as I might, I can't not speak about the hair. Back-combed, sprayed, bleached, coiffed, and... wonder of wonders, the bloke on the right has one of the best expressions of the mullet that I have ever seen. This is a man at the top of his hair game, and yet he looks the most uncomfortable of the four. Somehow his face just wasn't made for those times. Oh..... and is there a hint of black eye-liner there.... Marvellous.

As far as I can tell, with no research whatsoever, Canada has produced only 3 notable musical talents that have become known outside their country. And considering that two of those are Bryan Adams and Celine Dion, you'd think they'd learn to keep their music to themselves. (For information, the third is Barenaked Ladies, for whom I maintain a soft spot). But in the mid-eighties, it seems that Canada was at the forefront of pop music. Platinum Blonde have got everything needed to be a pop sensation in 1985. They've got the clothes and the hair, they have the ability to pose and to brood under their floppy fringes. They even have perfectly competent 80s style pop songs, so why oh why weren't they massive.

Well, they were. Really. This album went quintuple platinum in Canada. For a brief, glorious moment, Platinum Blonde were major stars on the Canadian scene. Which illustrates again how subjective I am in choosing these albums. I would consider this record to be obscure and unknown, but that's just in my experience. Given a different time and place, this was monstrously successful. Only goes to show how much I have to learn....

But the other reason I believe they weren't more successful outside of Canada lies in a description given to the band of 'The Canadian Duran Duran'. On reading this I'd assumed that it was because of the look, and maybe the style, but no. Most of the songs on this album could easily have been written by the Durannies. The blokes voice (I really can't be bothered now to go and check his name. Oh, that's a bit rude isn't it. Hold on.... It's Mark Holmes) even sounds like Simon Le Bon. And there's the rub. Did the world really need two Duran Durans? I think not. So outside of Canada (where I assume their homegrown status helped enormously), they were pretty much redundant.

It seems that they keep plodding on, and there are interesting photos showing the band playing on a small stage outside the Hard Rock Cafe in Ottawa to about 12 people and a dog in 1999. And not a mullet in sight.

Oh, and I forgot Alanis Morissette, though I think that probably only adds to my argument.


Sound Clips

2017 Edit - And here's the 80s in a four-and-a-half minute nutshell.

2017 Edit 2 - Shhhhhh..... Don't tell anyone, but.....



Side 1

1. Situation Critical
2. Crying Over You
3. Red Light
4. It Ain't Love Anyway
5. Somebody Somewhere

Side 2

1. Lost In Space
2. Temple Of the New Born
3. Holy Water
4. Animal
5. Hungry Eyes

Final score:

5 out of 10 - not bad, not good, not original, not my cup of tea

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