Archive for the ‘New Wave’ Category


September 7, 2015


One of the joys of early MTV were all the great New Wave bands they stuffed their early airtime with. Many of these bands briefly broke in the US, before everyone in America caught up on the concept of music videos and bad hair metal drove New Wave into the ‘120 Minutes.’ Some of these bands were here and gone in the US, regardless of their success abroad.

One of the early ones was Altered Images, from Scotland.

A New Wave Pixie Dream Girl singer, catchy guitar jangle pop… and a catchy video or two were more than enough to lodge them into your memory. Besides MTV, they could be heard on New Wave radio like the long lost WLIR. They didn’t make much of an impact in the US, but did much better at home. The band also shot off at least two members towards different fame of their own.  Claire Grogan, said lead singer and Pixie Dream Gril, branched out into acting, tv presenting and writing while still singing, both in and out of different versions of Altered Images. The bassist, Johnny McElhone, went onto another New Wave band – Hipsway- before founding Texas in 1988. Ironically, Texas has been huge in the UK and Europe, but like Altered Images, not so much in the US. We’ll hit them later in the Tour.

Want more? Happy to help. Here’s the band in their video taped and green screened glory.

I’m adding one last video, just to give you a better sense of their range. Plus, the hair man. THE HAIR!!!

The fact, or at least my opinion stated as fact, is that Altered Images were a fun if not ground breaking band. They fit in well with their contemporaries like Siouxsie & the Banshees and The Cocteau Twins. Their stand out singles, “Happy Birthday” and “I Could Be Happy” really catch them at their best.. poppy, quirky, and energetic. Their music is very much of the 80’s. Do you need their individual albums in your collection? To be honest, I’m happy with the compilation. For a complete New Wave or 80’s section, you want the Best Of in your collection. And hey, if you dig the albums, go forth.

As for the facts, check out ( as a starting point.

Artist: Altered Images

Album: I Could Be Happy- The Best Of Altered Images
Year: 1997
Date Listened in Tour: 5/19/14
Rating: ***
Best Songs: “Happy Birthday”, “I Could Be Happy”. “Love To Stay”