I spent the majority of last year re-ripping a lot of my 7” collection and delicately cleaning up the sound (you can find more evidence of this here), so to tide you over until I finish putting the finishing touches on a new VA compilation, I figured I’d post a few of these here and there. I’ll have that VA comp up in the next week or two, so stay tuned!
This has always been one of my favorite semi-obscure 7”s, clocking tons of plays and spins over the years. This single was originally released on Situation Two in 1981 under the name Orbidöig, and this particular version was released in 1985 on Beggars Banquet with an identical track listing (though Down Periscopes has become Down Pericomoscopes for whatever reason. though likely a misprint). I’m not sure why the band changed their name in general, but Sensational Creed is certainly a little easier to type… There’s a third Orbidöig/Sensational Creed song on the 12” version of this reissue, a killer instrumental track that clocks in at 10 minutes, but I don’t own a physical copy of the 12”, so I won’t include it here for the time being.
Otherwise, this single has strong Associates connections, with Billy Mackenzie often calling Orbidöig his favorite band, despite their relative obscurity at the time. The a-side features heavenly vocals from Christine Beveridge, who sang backup on several tracks (and Big Country’s breakthrough!) and also wiggled another “side project” out of the affair under the name 39 Lyon Street, created by Mackensie and Alan Rankine to release a single outside of their contract, with Ms. Beveridge on lead vocals and a properly credited Associates cut on the flip. Steve Reid was also the second guitarist of the Associates, playing on 1985’s Perhaps after Rankine and Michael Dempsey’s departure three years prior. It was likely this lineup change that dug this single out of obscurity and prompted a re-release. Reid also played synths in Nu Shooz and bass on two tracks for Jih. As if that wasn’t enough, Mackenzie also played tubular bells on the a-side here (though he is incorrectly credited as doing so on the b-side on the sleeve), while he and Mike Hedges (The Cure/Fiction Records) manned the mixing board with Reid. The result is a killer single that while very Associates-esque in execution, stands on its own as a classic.
There’s another Orbidöig single, released in 1982 under the name Mackenzie sings Orbidöig, which features Billy on vocals and Reid on instruments. I believe this one is considered an Associates release, taking the lineup changes and timing into consideration, and the track appears on a recent Associates singles collection.
Sensational Creed- Nocturnal Operations 7”
1. Nocturnal Operations
2. Down Pericomoscopes