Title - Songs of the Spires [Expanded Edition]
Artist - Gleaming Spires
For those not in the know, Leslie Bohem and David Kendrick met in the late ‘70s when David saw Les’ band Bates Motel. Kendrick joined as the band’s drummer.
They soon entered the studio with musician/producer, Andrew Gold, to capture their repertoire on tape. They garnered a regional following and played gigs up and down the West Coast, but a record contract eluded them.
They met Ron and Russel Mael of Sparks in 1980 and invited them to come see the band. But, instead of the brothers producing them, they asked Leslie and David to join Sparks.
While on tour with Sparks in Germany, Leslie and David continued writing songs, and upon their return, demoed them with Jules & The Polar Bears member, Stephen Hague.
The demo found its way to KROQ in Los Angeles, and the radio exposure led Posh Boy Records to sign the band, now named Gleaming Spires.
Songs Of The Spires was released in 1981 and this new, expanded edition of Songs Of The Spires (out September 17th, 2021 via Omnivore Recordings) is produced for release by David Kendrick, Chaim O’Brien-Blumenthal, and Grammy®-winner Cheryl Pawelski.
It features the original album tracks, a rare B-side, the Life Out On The Lawn EP, and 6 previously unissued Bates Motel tracks from their sessions with Andrew Gold.
1. GOING HEY HEY
2. ARE YOU READY FOR THE SEX GIRLS?
3. WHILE WE CAN
4. WHEN LOVE GOES UNDER GLASS
5. THE END OF ALL GOOD THINGS
6. WATCH YOUR BLOOD BEAT
7. HOW TO GET GIRLS THRU HYPNOTISM
8. TALKING IN THE DARK
9. BIG HOTELS
10. THE WAY MARLENA MOVES – Bates Motel* [Bonus Track]
11. REAL TIME – Bates Motel* [Bonus Track]
12. ONLY THE YOUNG DIE YOUNG – Bates Motel* [Bonus Track]
13. DEDICATION – Bates Motel* [Bonus Track]
14. UNEXPECTED OVERNIGHTERS – Bates Motel* [Bonus Track]
15. REAL LOVE – Bates Motel* [Bonus Track]
16. WALK RIGHT [Bonus Track]
17. LIFE OUT ON THE LAWN [Bonus Track]
18. SOMEWHERE [Bonus Track]
19. PASSION PIT [Bonus Track]
* Previously unissued
This wondrously eclectic debut album opens on the early ’80s synth funk of GOING HEY HEY and the vivacious pop beats of ARE YOU READY FOR THE SEX GIRLS? and follows them up seamlessly with the glossy WHILE WE CAN, the synth pop art of WHEN LOVE GOES UNDER GLASS and then the balladry of THE END OF ALL GOOD THINGS is brought forth.
Next up is the gently frenetic WATCH YOUR BLOOD BEAT and the foot-tapping HOW TO GET GIRLS THRU HYPNOTISM, which are in turn followed by the pop-tastic, OMD-esque TALKING IN THE DARK, the original album closing out on the opaque stance of BIG HOTELS.
The rash of bonus tracks here is a joyous delight, and for the most part featuring previously unissued cuts, such as the rockier Bates Motel tracks THE WAY MARLENA MOVES and the pop-punk of ONLY THE YOUNG DIE YOUNG, along with the brilliant AOR of UNEXPECTED OVERNIGHTERS.
Gleaming Spires’ debut album, Songs of the Spires, was issued in 1981 and the follow-up, Walk on Well Lighted Streets, in 1983. Both were produced by Stephen Hauge (New Order, Pet Shop Boys, OMD).
Prior to recording their second album, the Spires grew to a quartet with the addition of Bob Haag (Bates Motel, Sparks) and Jim Goodwin (John Cale, Sparks).
The band enlisted Greg Penny (k.d. lang, Elton John) to produce their well-received 1984 Party EP and their 1985 album Welcoming a New Ice Age.
They even had time to write songs for — and appear in — the film School Spirit (made for Roger Corman’s production company).
Post-Spires, Bohem and Kendrick continued to work together, adding Paul Cutler (45 Grave, The Dream Syndicate) on guitar.
Calling themselves Eleven Blue Men, they only recorded two tracks; a band wasn’t meant to be as Bohem became a screenwriter (Dante’s Peak, The Alamo) and Kendrick went to work with Bob and Mark Mothersbaugh — eventually joining Devo as their drummer.
These new, expanded editions are produced for release by Kendrick, Chaim O’Brien-Blumenthal, and Grammy®-winner Cheryl Pawelski.
Packaging for all features expanded artwork, lyrics, photos, an essay from producer O’Brien-Blumenthal, plus interviews and track-by-track commentary by Bohem and Kendrick.
Official Purchase Link
Omnivore Gleaming Spires - Reissues Trailer