Where are all the nice girls?
Media Condition: NM
Sleeve Condition: VG
Genre: Rock, Pop, New wave, Power pop
Notes: Solid copy, plays incredibly clean. Ring and edge wear on cover. Right corner cut.
If you like: the sound of Elvis Costello or the power pop of The Records or The Rubinoos, you’ll be quick to fall for Any Trouble.
About: Any Trouble were an underappreciated bright spot on Stiff Records, a label that had no shortage of talented artists. Bandleader Clive Gregson’s appearance, hardened love songs, and vocal style may have led to comparisons to Elvis Costello, but they were no second-rate ripoff–each of their four albums revealed a songwriter of unique talent and a more than capable band to execute the songs.
Manchester native Gregson formed the original band in 1975 while attending teaching school in Crewe, taking the group’s name from a misquote from the Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles. After a brief moment as a folky trio, by 1976 Any Trouble changed to a four-piece rock group, speeding up their repertoire in response to the punk movement–by this point the lineup was Gregson (vocals/guitar), Chris Parks (guitar), Phil Barnes (bass), and Mel Harley (drums). They built a strong following playing the pub circuit and released their own single, catching the attention of Radio 1’s John Peel, who quickly took to the band and played the song on his show. This exposure started a small-scale bidding war from several labels. By 1980, the group signed with Stiff Records.
Stiff enlisted John Wood, a renowned producer (Nick Drake, John Martyn, Richard Thompson) who had recently produced Squeeze, to produce Any Trouble’s first album. Where Are All the Nice Girls?, which had all the makings of a new wave classic, was met with some rave reviews but failed to rack up the big sales that were expected of it. *Chris Woodstra
A favorite track: Playing Bogart