Get this crazy baby off my head!


China Crisis

China Crisis - Acoustically Yours - 1995 - Telegraph

Liverpool-based China Crisis formed in 1979 and in 1982 their first single "African And White" was distributed by Virgin who then signed the band. They had several Top 50 hits in the 1980s. This rare live album from China Crisis features all their greatest songs, as well as a few newer tracks from the late 90s. Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly's unique blend of songs make this an album of the highest standards. The recording is from an exclusive live concert. " Acoustically Yours" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. There is info on the band's "Diary of a Hollow Horse" album @ CCRISIS/DOAHH However, if you want to hear a work of pure genius, then buy their 1985 masterpiece, "Flaunt The Imperfection" which is one of the greatest and most underrated albums ever recorded. Every track is a jewel. The beautiful cryptic lyrics are backed by magnificent melodies.The musicianship is stunning. Production by Walter Becker is perfect, and if you haven't heard it, then do yourself a favour and give this perfect album a listen. The following text written by M. Sean Fosmire, and published October 03, 2004 on http://blogcritics.org/music describes "Flaunt The Imperfection" very well - "I hate to even call this simply a pop album from mid 80's from an obscure group;It's anything but. It's a mixture of rich experimental global rhythms that not only bring to mind Steely Dan (like other reviewers noted) but also contains faint doses of General Public and Tears For Fears; you hear the music,try to pinpoint where you've heard something like this before, but just can't. This is the kind of admirable musical artistry that a lot of new groups lack today and that I miss. China Crisis is not calculated or contrived in any of their tracks;They seem to go with their gut instinct which works every time.


1 African and White - Eddie Lundon, Gary Daly
2 No More Blue Horizons - China Crisis, Eddie Lundon, Gary Daly
3 Wishful Thinking - China Crisis, Eddie Lundon, Gary Daly
4 Everyday the Same - China Crisis, Gary Daly
5 It's Everything - China Crisis, Gary "Gazza" Johnson, Eddie Lundon, K.E. Wilkinson, Gary Daly
6 Christian - China Crisis, Eddie Lundon, Gary Daly
7 Good Again - China Crisis, Gary Daly
8 Hands on the Wheel - China Crisis, Eddie Lundon
9 Black Many Ray - China Crisis, Gary "Gazza" Johnson, Eddie Lundon, Gary Daly
10 King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up) - China Crisis, Gary Johnson, Eddie Lundon, Gary Daly
11 Thank You - China Crisis, Eddie Lundon
12 Singing the Praises of Finer Things - China Crisis, Gary "Gazza" Johnson, Eddie Lundon, K.E. Wilkinson, Gary Daly
13 Working With Fire and Steel - China Crisis, Eddie Lundon, Brian McNeill, Gary Daly
14 Diary of a Hollow Horse - China Crisis, Gary "Gazza" Johnson, Eddie Lundon, Brian McNeill, K.E. Wilkinson, Gary Daly


Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Backing Vocals - John Lewis
Bass, Guitar - Gary "Gazza" Johnson
Cello - Joanne Graham
Drums, Percussion - Kevin Wilkinson , Tony Soave
Keyboards, Backing Vocals - Brian McNeill
Saxophone, Flute - Martin Green
Viola - Faye Hosty
Violin - Rachel Lewis
Vocals, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar - Eddie Lundon
Vocals, Guitar, Melodica - Gary Daly


Since Liverpool, England's China Crisis are already a quiet band to begin with, having them record an unplugged live album could've been a bad idea. After all, what's the appeal in hearing a stripped-down performance from a group that's always been mellow? Surprisingly, China Crisis answer that question with one of the most absorbing and lovingly constructed albums of their career. By removing the dated synthesizers, China Crisis' songs sound timeless; morever, the emotion in Gary Daly's voice isn't suppressed by keyboards. The track selection is superb; nearly all of China Crisis' best songs, including "Wishful Thinking," "African and White," and "Black Man Ray," are reworked for this set. The band doesn't shed the tracks of their initial strengths. For example, the drums on "African and White" are almost as forceful as those on the original. "Wishful Thinking," a song about a man who discovers that he's the father of an ex-lover's child, becomes even more heartbreaking as violins weave in and out of the mix. The guitar work in "Christian" and "Black Man Ray" is stunningly beautiful. Acoustically Yours exudes the warmth of a summer day; its laid-back grooves and sunny disposition are fitting for drives in the coutryside. © Michael Sutton, All Music Guide


A bit fiery for most in the new romantic camp during the early '80s, China Crisis was inspired by similar sources but injected their pop songs with occasional political commentary and bluesy, reggae rhythms. Mostly a duo of vocalist/keyboard player Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon, the group formed in 1979 near Liverpool. The first China Crisis single, "African and White," didn't appear until 1982, but it was quickly picked up by Virgin and made the British charts. Realizing they needed a proper band, Daly and Lundon recruited bassist Gazza Johnson and drummer Kevin Wilkinson, and recorded their debut album Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms. Another single, "Christian," hit number 12, followed by two singles from second album, Working with Fire and Steel Possible Pop Songs, Vol. 2. China Crisis spent 1984-85 making their biggest chart run, beginning with their first Top Ten hit, "Wishful Thinking." Third album Flaunt the Imperfection was produced by the sympathetic Walter Becker (from Steely Dan), and resulted in the hit singles "Black Man Ray" and "King in a Catholic Style." A critical mistep followed in 1986, What Price Paradise?, though China Crisis worked with Becker once more on 1989's Diary of a Hollow Horse, which earned critical raves though not much commercial movement. © John Bush, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

China Crisis are an English pop/rock band. They formed in 1979 in Kirkby, near Liverpool, Merseyside with a core of vocalist/keyboardist Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon. Their output was pop music similar in style to that of New Wave but with strong similarities to the post-punk movement of the early 1980s, namely inclusion of a broader range of musical influences and occasional flirtation with political commentary. Throughout their career, China Crisis has seen moderate success in the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Australia and the Americas. Sharing an affection for Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, David Bowie, and Brian Eno, Daly and Lundon played with various Knowsley post-punk groups. Daly then spent time tinkering with synthesizers and a drum machine. Along with Lundon, Daly began writing songs. The pair eventually asked drummer and percussionist Dave Reilly to join them, and in 1982 they released their debut single "African and White" as China Crisis on the independent record label, Inevitable. In June 1982 they supported the former Television guitarist, Tom Verlaine, at London's Venue. The band was signed to Virgin Records and recorded their debut album, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms: Some People Think It's Fun To Entertain, which was released in December 1982. A re-release of "African & White" became China Crisis' first hit in the UK, reaching #45 in the UK Singles Chart. When the follow-up single, "Christian" made UK #12 in early 1983, this brought them to national prominence. By this time, Reilly had left the band, but was still credited on the record sleeve as a guest on the single, along with new member Steve Levy (oboe/saxophone). The album peaked at #21 in the UK Albums Chart. During this period the band toured supporting Simple Minds (as discussed in interviews on the DVD Live in Concert at the Paul McCartney Auditorium Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts). Adding Gazza Johnson (bass) and Kevin Wilkinson (drums) to the line-up, a second album, Working With Fire & Steel : Possible Pop Songs - Volume 2 was released in November 1983. This was regarded as a more consistent effort, with tracks including "Tragedy and Mystery" (released as a single six months earlier), "Hanna Hanna" and the title track, "Working With Fire & Steel", which became a hit single in Australia. The album was a Top 20 success in the UK, and China Crisis spent 1984 and 1985 making their biggest chart run, beginning with their only UK Top 10 hit single, "Wishful Thinking", which peaked at #9. Their third album, Flaunt the Imperfection, was produced by Walter Becker (of Steely Dan fame) and reached #9 in the UK Albums Chart in May 1985. According to the album credits, China Crisis was now officially a quintet consisting of Daly, Lundon, Johnson, Wilkinson, and Becker. However, Becker never appeared with the band, and the subsequent tour featured new keyboardist Brian McNeil. Johnson was now credited as co-writer with Daly and Lundon. The album was previewed by the #14 UK hit single "Black Man Ray", which also enjoyed international success. The follow-up, "King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up)" was a Top 20 UK single (#19), but it would prove to be the band's last substantial hit. A third release from the album, "You Did Cut Me", stalled at UK #54. They simultaneously released a video compilation, Showbiz Absurd. In 1986, the band returned with the low key What Price Paradise, including "Arizona Sky" (the album's first single release and another Australian hit), "June Bride", "The Understudy" and "A Day's Work For the Dayo's Done". All the band were now credited as songwriters. A second single from the album, "Best Kept Secret", made UK #36 in early 1987. It was to be the band's final Top 40 hit single. The five-piece band worked with Becker once more on 1989's Diary Of A Hollow Horse, which earned critical acclaim though little commercial success. It spawned the singles "St Saviour Square" and "Red Letter Day", both reaching the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart. Becker acted as the producer of most of the album's tracks, but this time was not credited as an official band member. The band's last studio album, Warped By Success, was released in 1994, following the band's parting of ways with the Virgin label and produced their final UK hit, "Everyday The Same". Although Johnson and Wilkinson both made small contributions, the band was now listed as comprising Daly, Lundon, producer Terry Adams and audio engineer Mark Phythian. In 1995 they released a live unplugged album and video entitled Acoustically Yours, which proved to be their recording swansong. This featured one last single, a live version of "Black Man Ray" and also saw a return for Johnson, Wilkinson and McNeil. Sometimes misunderstood by critics, China Crisis distinguished themselves from their Liverpudlian contemporaries such as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, The Teardrop Explodes, and Echo & The Bunnymen by digesting a cornucopia of musical genres, everything from jazz to progressive rock. Despite the stylistic deviations, China Crisis maintained their distinctive sound through a number of albums in the 1980s and 1990s. Since 1992 there have been four compilation albums of their work for the UK and U.S. markets and three live DVDs. On 17 July 1999 drummer Kevin Wilkinson committed suicide by hanging himself at the age of 41. Wilkinson had played with a wide variety of bands including The Waterboys, Fish, The Proclaimers, Squeeze and Howard Jones. In 2000 Daly contributed a track to a tribute compilation to Wilkinson, Green Indians. China Crisis toured the UK during January and February 2007 as part of their 25th anniversary. In June 2008 it was announced they would be the support act for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's UK October tour.