Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls


Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls released one album on Factory Records in the early 80s, which I’ve been listening to a lot lately.

In the first video above, Martin Hannet is on bass and Vini Reilly is on guitar, at least according to the comments. Even with crap sound quality it still sounds amazing to me, Hannet’s brilliant dub influenced production makes a charismatic and twisted pop song seem even more vitall. His production had so many layers to it. It wasn’t just bleak or brooding, though he invokes those feelings so easily in so much of his work.

But it’s the ethereal, otherworldly nature of Hannett’s production that really grabs me. The records still sound like they’re hacking away the sonic cobwebs that clog up so much bad music. All of Hannet’s records are lean. And almost 30 years after their release they still remove you from the moment you’re in and drag you into this vast ice box of sounds. A lot of Hannet’s work with John Cooper Clarke and Pauline Murray seems to have the optimism of the 80s pop music that came afterwards, albeit tempered by a more frugal sonic edge.

Sometimes it just sounds literally frugal, like the instruments used in the early 80s cost less or weren’t as “good”! It’s also a marvel that Hannett brings elements of electronic disco, dub, and funk to these records yet they remain so quintessentially British sounding. It’s like the sound of a British future that never happened, almost more European.

Both tracks above, “Mr X” and “Dream Sequence 1”, are from this album which I’ve been listening to a lot lately. Perhaps whatever it costs on Amazon is exorbitant. It was for me, so I downloaded the record. Shame on me! If you want to hear it, and share the shame, I suggest using P2P or failing that drop me an email. Or if you want to do the right thing, pay the 35 pounds for a very rare CD and a slightly clearer conscience!

5 Responses to “Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls”

  1. cw says:

    Cheers for that, fantastic tracks.

    I’ve always loved Hannett’s work, obviously including the early U2 stuff, although you may not agree.

    I agree about the ethereal qualities, especially on the first video and love that even in the poppiest of the tunes he’s worked on, there is almost a forboding, dooming layer, rooting the whole thing down and driving it.

    In a way, the Pauline Murray stuff is like a bridge between Joy Division and the poppier, more commercial tracks of the mid-80s.

    Wouldn’t mind getting my hands on that album either.

  2. cash says:

    The performers would be very unlikely to see any of that 35 quid, so with that in mind i think downloading/filesharing can be done guilt free.

  3. Ronan2 says:

    that’s true Cash.

    CW, glad you like them. I’ll burn you a copy of the album for the next time I see you.

  4. cw says:

    Excellent, that would be very much appreciated.

  5. Stuart says:

    I first heard Dream Sequence 1 on the Zero: A Martin Hannett Story compilation. Would love to hear the rest of the album, but Amazon doesn’t have it anymore and I can’t find it on the internet. By the way, have you heard the stuff John Cooper Clarke did with the Invisible Girls? That’s ace too.

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