• freshies Early Singles (6 x 7" boxed set, £59.95)

    label: 1977 Records

    Six 7-inch singles/EPs from the late '70s. These are the s/t EP, 'Straight In At Number 2' EP, 'The Men From Banana Island' EP, 'My Tapes Gone', 'We Are Like You', and 'Yellow Spot'. This release also includes free postcards, a badge and a poster. Chris Sievey had recorded music since the early 1970s, and released two cassettes under his own name before starting The Freshies in the late 1970s. According to Sievey, when the band was looking for a guitarist, a fourteen-year-old Johnny Marr appeared at his house wanting to join the band but was told that he was too young. The 'Freshies' EP was released in 1978 on Sievey's own Razz record label, and was followed later that year by the optimistically titled 'Straight In at No. 2' EP. Others who played with Sievey included, in the early lineup, Martin Jackson (later with Magazine and Swing Out Sister) and Billy Duffy (later with The Cult). In 1978 the band included Barry Spencer (guitar), Eddie Carter (guitar), and Bob Dixon (drums). By 1979 the band was Sievey, Spencer, Rick Sarko (bass, ex-The Nosebleeds) and Mike Doherty (drums, ex-The Smirks). Others who played in the band include Lyn Oakey (guitar), Steve Hopkins (keyboards), Paul Burgess (drums), and Rick Maunder (bass). Their biggest selling single and best known song is 1980's 'I'm In Love With The Girl On The Manchester Virgin Megastore Checkout Desk' renamed as 'I'm In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk' on request from Radio 1 (a version with "Virgin" bleeped out to allow it to be played on the radio without being considered advertising was also released), which reached number 54 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1981, after being picked up by MCA, eventually selling over 40,000 copies. At the time, the girl who was the subject of the song was frequently asked by fans to autograph copies of the single. The single's success prompted Richard Branson to undertake a search for the former checkout girl in question in 2006, wishing to invite her to the opening of the new Virgin Megastore in Manchester, in recognition of the role she played in the history of the original store.

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