Sorry I've been away for so long. I'll get back to more frequent postings soon. Meantime, here's an oddity for you.
Blessed with a distinctive, pure captivating singing voice, Rose McDowall first made records with Glasgow Punk band The Poems, releasing a couple of indie singles in the early 80s. A brief pop stardom beckoned with her next band, the duo Strawberry Switchblade. I run their foremost fan site - do check out its downloads page for the version of the Velvet Underground's Sunday Morning. It's quite simply one of the most beautiful things ever recorded.
Strawberry Switchblade split after just one album, and Rose had an album's worth of bright Switchbladey songs which she demoed. These only saw the light of day a couple of years ago as the limited edition Cut With The Cake Knife CD (available here).
I believe this single was culled from those sessions. There's a story that Rose really didn't want it released but failed to stop it. Certainly, while the A-side's an interesting take on the Blue Oyster Cult classic with rolling bass and some wonderful flamenco guitar, it does sound a bit thin, weedy and, well, like a demo.
The B-side, the Rose-penned Crystal Days, is another matter. Bright, shining pop with a big chorus, a darker melancholic undertow somewhere in there, festooned with Rose's trademark harmonies, it's a delight of a track.
A re-recording was issued as Crystal Nights under the name Ornamental.
Rose has continued to make beautiful pagan music ever since. Check out her site for more info.
[Sorry! MP3s deleted to make room for new ones]