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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Spoons - 1982 Arias And Symphonies
Spoons - 1982 Arias And Symphonies

ARTIST: Spoons
ALBUM: Arias And Symphonies
LABEL: A&M, Ready Records
SERIAL: SP 4920, LR-027
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2012, Universal (Canada), SK-2043


LINEUP: Sandy Horne - bass, vocals * Gordon Deppe - guitar, vocals * Rob Preuss - keyboards * Derrick Ross - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Trade Winds * 02 Smiling In Winter * 03 One In Ten Words * 04 No Electrons * 05 No More Growing Up * 06 Arias And Symphonies * 07 Nova Heart * 08 South American Vacation * 09 A Girl In Two Pieces * 10 Walk The Plank * 11 Blow Away


Nestled on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario between the cities of Hamilton and Toronto is the town of Burlington - a quiet bedroom community and not exactly the kind of place you expect a group like Spoons to call home, especially in the late 70's when Canadian hard rock was the norm. Formed by high school friends Sandy Horne and Gordon Depp and working through a handful of line-up changes, Spoons released a single in 1980 followed by their debut album 'Stick Figure Neighborhood' in 1981. Support slots with OMD and Simple Minds followed and the record received some air play on the college charts, although none of this prepared anyone for the follow-up 'Arias & Symphonies' which would become one of the biggest Canadian albums of 1982.

The Songs
Owing much of their sound and image to the new romantics, but more importantly Ultravox a band they were often compared to at the time, Spoons sound more British than Canadian. Shades of the ever influential 'Vienna' come to light with the opening instrumental 'Trade Winds' and the following 'Smiling in Winter' which was one of three hit singles the album produced. The other two, the classically influenced title track which again reveals a debt to Ultravox and the quirky, but catchy 'Nova Heart' shows a band of uber talent despite lacking originality. Despite it's faults and the hits aside, the album works exceptionally well and will leave most synth pop fans drooling with tracks like the upbeat 'No More Growing Up', 'South American Vacation' and the dreamy 'A Girl In Two Pieces'.

In Summary
Spoons would go on to release a few more albums of varied quality before breaking up with Rob Preuss moving on to Honeymoon Suite. Incredibly 'Arias & Symphonies', like so many Canadian classics is out of print on CD although the best of 'Collectable Spoons' is a bit easier to find. A CD of unreleased material 'Unexpected Guest At A Cancelled Party' was released in 2007 and can be ordered along with other Spoons releases from the band's extensive and informative web site.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on June 24 2008 02:31:57
Wow! Imagine seeing this here! When I first saw this album I thought it was a british band too. It came out shortly after I got out of high school. And at that time I was listening to anything I could get my hands on. ( yea, even Kissing the Pink) .The song Nova Heart caught my attention back then and eventually they were a band that I kept tabs on and bought their releases. The singer Gordon Deppe was heavily influenced by the progressive rock scene of the 70's like most of us was. The song Red Light is a good example. Arias and Symphonies was produced by John Punter who went on to produce Native Sons for Strangeways. I swear there is a song by the Verve (not Bittersweet Symphony) that sounds like a Spoons swipe to me. A&S was released on cd but it is a hard find but worth getting if your a snyth fan. Thanks for the review, Eric.
#2 | Eric on June 24 2008 13:49:30
Ex- Spoons Brett Wickens who left Spoons in 1980 formed Ceramic Hello and released one album (1,000 copies only) 'The Absence Of A Canary' which reputedly is very good synth pop in the OMD style. I just saw it go for $150 on eBay.
#3 | jefflynnefan on June 25 2008 02:13:47
Thanks for that info as I wasn't aware that Brett Wickens had another band. You know back then in the early 80's finding any information on a Canadian band wasn't easy. Do you or anybody else have any background information on Scott MacDonald (keyboards) or Steve Kendry (Drums/and a great drummer!) who joined with the Bridges Over Borders lp? 'Vertigo Tango' spotlights both their work. It was also produced by John Punter.
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