“Blast” – Tim’s Twitter Listening Party

Yesterday I took part in the #TimsTwitterListeningParty for “Blast” by Holly Johnson. Back in May I had taken part in the one for “Welcome to the PleasureDome” and had been looking forward to the “Blast” one since it was first added to the schedule. For a long time it was just “date tbc” and I was worried that it might not even happen, but a couple of weeks ago, the date was confirmed.

If you’re not familiar with these parties, they’re all set up by Tim Burgess and you can find out more about him on Twitter and the parties on the website. Usually artists involved with the original album also get involved, and Holly Johnson added some tweets this time.

Rear cover of “Blast”

Like the “PleasureDome” one, it was a lot of fun – but it also seemed to go by so quickly. This is probably as much a reflection of the epic length of that album as it is anything to do with “Blast” itself.

The timing of the party was perfect as I’d recently fixed ideas about writing a book related to Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Looking at comments on Twitter as we listened to “Blast”, the clear message was that many, like myself, think that “Blast” doesn’t get enough exposure when people discuss 1980s albums. There are some cracking tracks on there and the singles were fabulous. “Atomic City” was probably ahead of its time in its views on environmental issues and still sounds amazing, “Heaven’s Here” is a lovely track, “Americanos” is probably one of the best songs that critiques American culture and society, and “Love Train” is one of the best pop songs of the 1980s. For me, it brought back some great memories of my final year at high school and my first ever trip to Japan.

Sporting my “Blast” T-shirt during a trip to Japan in 1989

It’s such a shame that Holly Johnson and “Blast” don’t get more credit. Did the controversial Frankie history do this or was it something to do with media bias? I don’t know. Whatever the answer, I really recommend that you give “Blast” a listen and replay the Twitter party so you can see some of the tweets that went out.

All we need now is for Tim Burgess and Holly Johnson to arrange a Listening Party for the Frankie Goes To Hollywood album “Liverpool” which, like “Blast” is too often over looked in discussions about 1980s albums.

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