HAPPY REFUGEES - Return To Last Chance Saloon

U.Ks Happy Refugees never fit in with the scene of early 80s British pop music and they knew it. They knew it when they wrote as far as music is concerned it is almost an overwhelming embarrassment to be associated with it in any way"_جø¬_ on the back sleeve of their first record. They knew it when they said "we play with a total disregard to a record buying public"_جø¬_ in one of their rare appearances in the press. In the liner notes to this compilation they acknowledge their self-fulfilling prophecy, "We received little recognition and we were reticent to try and find it. Enthusiasm was vulgar to some extent, the band seemed to sit outside everything else that was going on, which of course is a good thing." The music they wrote and self-released can only be described as rock-and-roll. They liked Iggy and the Stooges and John Cale. They liked Richard Hell and the Fall. It was acceptable to like Joy Division, "but slavish enthusiasm was considered spooky and weird." What they hated was heavy metal, goths, "long songs played in strange time signatures by fey bands with long hair" and all the bland music as the post-punk scene gave way to fashion bands aiming for the charts. That first record sleeve made their intentions clear; "I hope Happy Refugees can breathe a breath of fresh air with this record, not just because of the songs but also because it is no way produced with the infatuation of becoming a pop-star."_جø¬_ They wrote songs that were personal and honest. Production and musical chops were rough around the edges, but with 6 members at times, they had a full and layered sound. Scratchy guitars and incessant bass buoyed by a pounding piano created a post-punk jangle meets wall of sound bed for intensely raw songs about lost relationships and lost loved-ones. No matter how abrasive the sound gets, every song is filled with catchy and heartfelt hooks.\r\nIts hard to understand why a band this good didnt find a home on Rough Trade or the like. A few years earlier perhaps theyd fit in better with the great DIY bands like Desperate Bicycles and Swell Maps (not exactly rock stars themselves). A few years later they mightve been C86 superstars. As it was, they slipped through the new pop era with only a self-released 7"_جø¬_ and a mini LP to their name, and into cult legend.\r\nReturn to Last Chance Saloon contains both the Last Chance Saloon mini-LP and the Warehouse Sound single as well as 3 unreleased demo recordings. This compilation also features a 16 page booklet and a download card including the LP and 7 alternate versions." - Acute.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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