A while back I went through a box of old cassettes and came across three albums by a group called Transvision Vamp. So I put them through the cassette player and found myself quite mesmerised.
Tranvision Vamp comprised Nick Christian Sayer, Dave Parsons, Tex Axile, Pol Burton and, as lead singer, Wendy James.
The sound post punk/rock and Wendy James had the right punk, rebellious voice that their music needed - yet could gentle down to the ballad like songs 'Sister Moon'.
Wendy James just had this voice that made people sit up and listen.
The group signed to MCA in 1986 and released a debut single 'Revolution Baby' in 1987. But 1988 saw the group break into the charts with 'I Want Your Love'. However, they would have to wait until 1989 for things to really hot up with hits like 'Baby, I Don't Care', 'The Only One' and 'Landslide Of Love'.
While single success seemed more of a swings and roundabout affairs the Tranvision Vamp albums fared better with 'Pop Art' peaking at No.3 and twenty odd weeks in the charts while the far more successful 'Velveteen' went in straight at the top spot and spent thirty odd weeks in the chart.
Unfortunately, MCA were not keen on the third album 'Little Magnets vs The Bubble Of Babble'
and delayed the release and by the time it hit the shops in 1991 Transvision Vamp had disbanded.
Despite this Wendy James stayed signed to MCA and had a solo album 'Now Ain't The Time For Tears' from which the singles 'The Nameless One', ' London's Brilliant' and 'Do You Know What I'm Saying?' were released with disappointing results.
A shame as Wendy James was trying to make her own way - sure there were shades of Transvision Vamp there but a hint of a new direction. Something that is illustrated by the Transvision Vamp albums as though they knew the difference between what is commercial (ie the chart hits) and goes to show that sometimes record companies don't - 'Sister Moon' being an example - and the beauty of 'Velveteen' that, in my opinion, made the album a success.
Reading between the lines Wendy James knew what she wanted - she wasn't 'Born To Be Sold' but determined to write her own history.
In 2004 she attempted a comeback with a band called 'Racine' which came to a halt.
In my view Wendy James did write her piece into music history with Transvision Vamp.