Saturday, 10 May 2014

SINGLE: Scars - All About You (1981)

 UK: PRE 014 (1981)

Modern musical history is littered with great singles which have underperformed commercially, somehow failing to become the megahits they should have been, and finding a place bubbling outside the top 20, 30, even 40. Greatness is often not rewarded, at least not in the short term.

Then, there are those fantastic records which inexplicably fail to chart altogether, despite sounding in retrospect like solid gold smashes. This is one such record.

Hailing from Edinburgh, Scars formed originally in 1977 and had already released three singles before All About You appeared on Charisma's PRE imprint in 1981. A scorching guitar intro, repeated throughout the track, plus a hypnotic pace and ghostly harmonies interrupting the verses... all of this should have been a surefire hit.

Alas, despite an appearance on BBC2's The Old Grey Whistle Test to promote the single, it was not to be, and the record buying public unfathomably failed to buy it.

A longer version appeared on their sole long player Author! Author! the same year before line-up changes signaled the beginning of the end. A support slot in Australia with The Church, as well as a double-page spread in Smash Hits magazine couldn't save the day, and Scars finally split in 1982. Well, let's face it - if you released a single as good as All About You, only to see it sink without trace, wouldn't you wonder if it was all worth the bother?

Thankfully, a reissue of their only album prompted a brief Scars reunion, and the track's inclusion on Cherry Red's seminal Scared To Get Happy collection has given it some long overdue attention. Somewhere in a parallel universe, this was a number one.

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