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The Toys | Complete Studio Recordings 1979-1980

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Pop: Jangle Pop Pop: British Pop Moods: Mood: Fun
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Complete Studio Recordings 1979-1980

by The Toys

Jangly pop, more postcard than rough trade. Sharp cute and wimp cute - from St Albans some essential pop songs. Recorded between 1979 and 1980, praised by Danny Baker in the NME and Tracey Thorn in Bedsit Disco Queen, all the studio recordings on one cd.
Genre: Pop: Jangle Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. My Mind Wanders
2:44 $0.99
2. The Girl On My Wall
2:37 $0.99
3. Toytime
4:17 $0.99
4. Deux Minutes (I'd Do Anything for You)
1:51 $0.99
5. Things I Say
3:09 $0.99
6. Blanket to Blanket
2:07 $0.99
7. Pretty Girl
3:00 $0.99
8. Johnny Head in Air
3:16 $0.99
9. Out in Your Heart
2:26 $0.99
10. Passion
3:42 $0.99
11. Suzzanah
3:17 $0.99
12. Still Dancing
3:02 $0.99
13. Mend My Heart
2:31 $0.99
14. My Titanic
3:54 $0.99
15. Falling Apart At the Seams
4:06 $0.99
16. It's Not Funny
2:45 $0.99
17. 100 Miles an Hour
2:19 $0.99
18. Chocolates Are Bad for You
2:44 $0.99
19. Not the Only Ones
2:48 $0.99
20. Don't Let the Sun
2:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Recorded in the late 70s and early 80s this is the complete studio recordings of the Toys.

Reviewed in the NME by Danny Baker writing 'Please, please check for The Toys, they sound open and eager with some neat restraint in their songs, don't mind chancing acoustics nor treading the path between sharp cute and wimp cute ... they can stuff Joe Jackson I'll wager. From St Albans, some essential pop songs'.

In Tracey Thorn's new book Bedsit Disco Queen she writes of the Toys - 'The first local band I had any real contact with was The Toys. Top dogs at the time ... Their main strength lay in Gez Sagar's vocals ... I would later practise at home trying to sound like him. They made me want to be in a band.'

For the first EP 'My Mind Wanders' (April 79) the Toys were Pete Abbott (guitars & bass) from Park Street, Gez Sagar (vocals) from High Barnet and Mick Russell (drums) from Hatfield.

They were then joined for gigs and for the second EP 'Still Dancing' (May 1980) by Kev Buckler (guitar) from Brickett Wood and Simon Belshaw (sax) from St Albans.

The Toys started when Pete Abbott asked Gez Sagar and Mick Russell to record an EP with him at Quest studios in Luton.
Pete and Mick were 17 and Gez was 16. The EP 'My Mind Wanders' was released in April 79. 1,000 copies were pressed and sold to friends through St Albans record shops such as the Record Room. After an affectionate Danny Baker review in the NME as indie record of the week, the EP was stocked by Rough Trade and Small Wonder who made some mail order sales to collectors of the extremely obscure.

The Toys started playing local gigs in the summer of 79 at St Albans Art College, the FE College, St Albans City Hall (at the bottom of the bill on a Waldo's night), the Pioneer club and Luton FE College. The set was 12 to 15 original songs, no covers, and took just over 40 minutes. The Toys sound was two-and-a-half minute jangly no-production guitar songs, always with simple but melodic verse / chorus structures and lyrics about difficulties with girls caused by inarticulacy, ennui and an inability to commit. With a bit more production and compressed guitar it might have been power pop, but the tunes were more like speeded up Carpenters than the Jam.

The Toys met at the St Albans School and formed out of bedroom / garage / youth club bands including The Bedworthies (Gez & Mick), Tepid Halibut (Pete & Simon) and The Pissed (Mick, Kevin & Simon). They fizzled out by the end of 1980 when the songwriters in the group started refusing to play each other's material and the possibility of a defined sound and style faded away.

In 2001 a 12 track vinyl LP 'Still Dancing' (2001) was released by Low Down Kids Records.
In 2012 the original eps were rereleased on vinyl by 1977 records in Japan.

Album Tracks
1. My Mind Wanders (Abbott) *
2. The Girl On My Wall (Sagar) *
3. Toytime (Abbott) *
4. Deux Minutes (Abbot/Buckler) *
5. Things I Say (Abbott) #
6. Blanket to Blanket(Buckler) #
7. Pretty Girl(Abbott) #
8. Johnny Head in Air (Bucker) #
9. Out in Your Heart (Abbott) †
10. Passion (Abbott) †
11. Suzzanah (Abbott) †
12. Still Dancing (Abbott) †
13. Mend My Heart (Sagar) †
14. My Titanic (Abbott) §
15. Falling Apart At The Seams (Abbott) §
16. Itʼs Not Funny (Sagar) §
17. Chocolates Are Bad For You (Sagar) §
18. 100 Miles an Hour (Sagar) §
19. Not The Only Ones (Sagar) §
20. Don't let the Sun (Sagar) §

* Recorded at Quest Studios, 1979.
Engineered and produced by D.Cook.
Peter Abbott - guitars, bass
Mick Russell - drums
Gez Sagar - vocals

# Recorded at Quest Studios, 1979.
Engineered by D.Cook, produced by Peter Abbott and Simon Belshaw.
Peter Abbott - guitars, bass
Simon Belshaw - saxophone
Kevin Buckler - electric guitar
Mick Russell - drums
Gez Sagar - vocals

† Recorded at The Crypt, 1980.
Engineered by S.Jones, produced by Peter Abbott and Simon Belshaw.
Peter Abbott - guitars, bass
Simon Belshaw - saxophone, piano (Suzzanah)
Mick Russell - drums, guitar solo (Still Dancing)
Gez Sagar - vocals, accoustic guitar (Mend My Heart)

§ Recorded at The Big Lemon, 1981-82.
Engineered and produced by Peter Abbott.
Peter Abbott - guitars, bass, keyboard
Simon Belshaw - saxophone
Gez Sagar - vocals, guitar



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