Purchasers of the extended Extra Goodies version of my new mini-album Greetings from Adventure Bay will receive a series of demos called The Adam Whittby Suite. These were songs written and recorded when I was living in Nantes, France, in 2014, and are now being released properly for the first time.
- The Cool Kids
- Fact Checker Blues
- Falling Away
The conceit of these tracks came from a sort of writing-prompt exercise. I decided to write and record some songs that might have been written by a tortured artist type character, an English musician making records in the early 1980s. And so I did so.
This effort was partly inspired by the fact that I had once created such a figure. Back in 2005, in Hobart, Tasmania, I was invited to a fancy dress party. I visited a charity shop to find something to wear, and came out with a tight (almost too tight) black jump suit as a basic costume. A British pop star from the early 1980s seemed like an appropriate character to inhabit such a costume. So, indulging in my music-geekiness, that very afternoon I gave him a name and constructed a feasible brief biography and discography.
In the interests of completeness, I offer it herewith below.
- Early 80s figure fitting somewhere between the New Romantics and the more intellectual punks.
- First noticed: Thin Trees, Laugh at me, 1981, from the album Timeshaft. Minor hit, loved by critics, but no follow up.
- Launched solo careeer in 1983 with In the Name of Nothing. The single Scissor Cut reached UK Top 10, charted in Australia.
- In 1984 had his biggest success with the album Blueness, with the hits Hilary Said and Loveshiver.
- Played Live Aid in a purple jumpsuit (thought to be his downfall)
- Blueness (1984) was listed at number 27 in all time best British pop albums in Q Magazine in 1998.
- Timeshaft (1981) was listed at number 33 in the British Rock Critics list of the most influential albums of the 1980s.
- He was successful in Britain, New Zealand (where Blueness was number 1 album for 3 weeks in 1984) and Australia, but never made a dent in the US.
- Reformed Thin Trees in 1997, toured Europe.
- Loveshiver (1984)
- Scissor Cut (1983)
- Hilary Said (1984)
- Laugh at me (1981) (Thin Trees)
- Timeshaft (1981) (Thin Trees)
- In the Name of Nothing (1983)
- Blueness (1984)
- Dimly lit (1985)
- Ape Eel Appeal (1988)
- Loveshiver: The Adam Whittby Collection (1990)
- Parson’s nose (1993)
- Live in Munich (1998) (Thin Trees)
- The Essential Adam Whittby: Millenium Edition (2000)
Note: the demos (The Cool Kids, Fact Checker Blues and Falling Away) appear to be deep album cuts that didn’t appear as singles. Or possibly they were B-sides.
So now you know.