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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Darling - 1979 Put It Down To Experience
Darling - 1979 Put It Down To Experience

ARTIST: Darling
ALBUM: Put It Down To Experience
LABEL: Charisma
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Alice Spring - vocals * Hal Lindes - guitars * Mick Howard - bass * Paul Varley - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Storm Warning * 02 Tip Of My Tongue * 03 Do You Wanna * 04 Voice On The Radio * 05 Stuck On You * 06 Precious Cargo * 07 The Word Is Out * 08 Dream Street * 09 Save Me * 10 Slot Machine

From the same label that brought you the progressive rock meanderings of Genesis, Lindisfarne and Van Der Graaf Generator, Charisma Records dipped their collective toes in the new wave/power pop waters with the one and only album from the London based Darling. The roots of the band can be traced to powerhouse vocalist Alice Spring aka Sandra Alfred, Mandy Mason and Sandra Barry. Are you with me so far? Going all the way back to the late 1950's Alice appeared in a number of films and released several singles under different names all with varying degrees of success. With the pop songstress angle not working out and yet another name change, Spring decided to rock it up a bit with Slack Alice, a glam slam pub rock band which I gather made some strides in the West German market with their self-titled debut, but never really found their niche elsewhere. Fast forward to 1979 and Alice Spring made over with dyed red hair and pouting lips with Paul Varley formerly of The Arrows, future Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes and bassist Mick Howard released 'Put It Down To Experience', a forgotten power pop treasure.

The Songs
I will go as far as to say that this is one of the better power pop albums to come out of the UK. Many bands of this period flying the Union Jack always seemed to have one foot in punk rock like The Yachts, Headboys and The Vapors. Remember too, this was the year of 'Quadrophenia' and the influence of the 'Mod' revival had its effect on The Jam, Secret Affair and others which is fine, but it didn't always make for clever, fun and tuneful power pop. Darling sound more American and in some ways predates the direction The Go-Go's would take on just a couple short years later. This slab-o-plastic is filled with prime time pop rock with top honors going to the frantic 'Do You Wanna' and 'Precious Cargo' which bares a striking similarity to the first Spider album and nothing here can be considered filler really, just a good set of tunes and great fun to listen to.

In Summary
Not sure what Alice Spring did after this record, where she is now, or what she calls herself for that matter. She was a terrific talent and it would be a shame to think she gave up singing after this album. 'Put It Down To Experience' isn't all that difficult to find and I am still surprised how contemporary the cover photo of the band looks. A classic inside and out!

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#1 | super80boy on November 22 2015 00:07:13
The lead off 'Storm Warning' gets off to a rousing start with a high tempo cadence and Alice Spring's throaty vocal delivery. 'Do You Wanna' and 'Stuck On You' also move at a vigorous pace and have slight punk pop intentions. New wave/power pop rock takes center stage in 'Precious Cargo' and 'The Word Is Out', both excellent cuts. One of the best songs on this platter is closer 'Slot Machine', with its quirky sound effects and new wave chorus, it's quite enjoyable!
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