Great Rock Albums of 1988: All About Eve

Here’s a prime example of how a mishap on a mainstream channel can have a permanent negative effect on an artist. In 1988, British gothic rock band All About Eve appeared on the British television show, “Top of the Pops,” to perform their song, “Martha’s Harbour,” which was number seven in the charts at the time. As my British readers can confirm, most “live” performances on the show were mimed. All About Eve was introduced and the song started playing. However, the feed didn’t reach singer Julianne Regan and guitarist Tim Bricheno. As a result, the two sat there with Julianne looking more fidgety waiting for the song to start. Fortunately, the technical difficulty was sorted halfway through the song and Julianne and Tim were able to mime to the finish. Unfortunately, All About Eve will be more remembered for this technical blunder not of their doing as opposed to their great debut album.

The problem with this album is that it came out at the wrong time. If it had come out five years earlier, it would have been much more successful. All About Eve takes progressive rock in the form of Marillion with and adds elements of hippy rock and more dark alternative elements and makes their own sound, a sound which I really like. The opener, “Flowers in Our Hair,” has a hard edge to it but the next two tracks are more progressive before slipping in the haunting ballad which is “Martha’s Harbour.” I love an album which can’t be pigeonholed and this one is definitely that. The great thing is that in spite of all the different elements, the album flows very nicely.

In the case of my favourite track, “Every Angel,” they take all of these elements and put it all into one song. There’s a hippy sounding acoustic intro before Tim Bricheno’s guitar licks really gets cooking. With the rhythm section in tow, it all sets the stage for the vocals of Julianne. Haven’t having listened to this album for such a long time, I had forgotten what a great singer she is. Additionally, she and the band deliver on “Shelter From the Rain” which has a haunting melody backed up by more great playing. The bassline is clear and Tim cranks out a really nice guitar solo. This is definitely a hippy song for the 80s.

All About Eve completely nail down the sound on the remaining tracks. The dark, trippy, melodic tracks weave their magic all through the remainder of the songs. Even when Julianne is singing “Never promise anyone forever,” over and over again, it doesn’t get boring. Then the closer, “In the Meadow,” with the haunting vocals and guitar licks, stamps the final mark on what is a great album.

Track Listing:

  1. Flowers in Our Hair
  2. Gypsy Dance
  3. In the Clouds
  4. Martha’s Harbour
  5. Every Angel
  6. Shelter From the Rain
  7. She Moves Through the Fair
  8. Wild Hearted Woman
  9. Never Promise (Everyone Forever)
  10. What Kind of Fool
  11. In the Meadow
All About Eve

Julianne Regan- vocals

Tim Bricheno- guitar

Andy Cousin- bass

Mark Price- drums

Additional Musicians:

Mick Brown- drums (I don’t think it’s the same Mick Brown of Dokken fame)

Greg Brimstone- drums

Simon Hinkler- keyboards

Wayne Hussey- backing vocals on “Shelter From the Rain”

Paul Samwell-Smith- drone, horns, piano on “Wild Hearted Woman,” recorder, strings

Ric Sanders- violin

Peter John Vettesse- keyboards

Like I said, if this album had come out five years earlier, I think it would have been huge. More people would have remembered it instead of a technical hiccup. Still, I wish I hadn’t forgotten what a great album this really is. All About Eve should have gone further.

Next post: Traveling Wilburys- Volume 1

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17 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1988: All About Eve”

  1. How awful for them. But funny story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not an act I’m familiar with. Pretty nice sound they have. That is a pretty terrible story though, but also hilarious. Sad that it affected them despite not being their issue, but watching them just sit there while the song is playing is pretty surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know, it was surreal. They did return to the programme a week later and perform the song live. Unfortunately, it didn’t totally reverse the negativity from the previous week.


  3. Never heard of them, but that’s not surprising, really, lots of bands I never heard of, especially pre-internet. As for miming songs, I hate it. I get why they do it, but I don’t think they should. It ought to be real.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really liked this LP at the time, In The Meadow particularly. Tim Bricheno is an excellent guitarist, I saw him years later play with Sisters of Mercy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never heard of them either, but ‘Every Angel’ was nice. I like how Paul Samwell-Smith appears on both Wild Hearted Woman and on Cat Stevens’ ‘Hard-Headed Woman’. Was he a misogynist?

    Liked by 1 person

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