Sunday, 8 August 2010

Just Cant Say Goodbye

It was Summer 1990. Glasgow was European City of Culture. In May Luciano Pavarotti had performed his hit single “Nessun Dorma” to 12,000 ticket holders at the SECC. A month later on the 3rd of June, somewhere between a quarter and half a million music fans ground Scotland to a halt, attempted to drink Glasgow dry and later that evening bottled Sheena Easton off the stage at Glasgow Green. Yup I’m talking about The Big Day - Glasgow’s Year of Culture nod to the masses. A free concert featuring everyone from Maria McKee, Texas, Aswad and The Associates to Big Country, Deacon Blue and – briefly - Sheena Easton
The Big Day was massive. There were stages dotted all around the city. The Associates played the George Square stage in the afternoon. It was packed and Billy and his 1990 band of Associates performed a great wee four-song set featuring Fever, Give, Club Country and Just Cant Say Goodbye. The sound was great. A Scottish television channel was broadcasting it and I had my very first video recorder running back at my flat taping it. I had taken out a rental package for this very purpose from Glen’s, Robertson’s, Hutchison and Stepek.

Later that night, after Big Country and Deacon Blue had blown the stage away on Glasgow Green, myself and my cronies staggered back to the flat only to find that my footage of the Associates set had been cruelly cut short by an advertising break. One of the adverts was for Glen’s, Robertson’s Hutchison and Stepek. The irony was not lost on me.
When the station had gone to an advertising break the stage cameras were just put down and left running. Luckily the live audio feed was saved so twenty years on we can see most of and hear all it. The Associates play what later (in Jan 1991) would be their last ever single at their last ever gig. As far as I am aware this was Billy MacKenzie's last public stage performance too.

The song had been a live favourite since 1985 and is on a few mid eighties bootlegs. When the single appeared it arrived on cassette single, 7", CD and two 12" ers. Aside from the regular 7" mix and b-sides like 1,2,3 and I'm Gonna Run Away From You (which were collected on the Wild And Lonely CD re-issue) we had exclusive mixes. And yes, once more it was those Teutonic techno knob-twiddlers Thomas Fehlman and those Marathon chaps AKA Time Unlimited AKA Moritz Von Oswald and Ralf Hertwig. All three (Fehlman, Von Oswald and Hertwig) were members of Palais Schaumburg alongside Holger Hiller (who recorded the "Whippets" single with Billy) . Those Krautrock connections and Germanic leanings just keep turning up.

On the first 12"
1. Time Unlimited Mix (7.23) Remixed by Marathon/Thomas Fehlman
2. Time Unlimited Piano Mix (6.57) Remixed by Marathon/Thomas Fehlman
3. US Mix (4.59) Remixed by Julian Meddlesome
On the second 12"
1. Time Unlimited Instrumental Mix (7.09) Remixed by Marathon/Thomas Fehlman
2. Karma Mix (6.04) Remixed by Marathon/Thomas Fehlman
On the CD single
1. Time Unlimited Piano Mix (6.42) Remixed by Marathon/Thomas Fehlman
2. US Mix Remixed by Julian Meddlesome
Despite being a very respectable sounding single and having the slew of dance remixes and formats, the single stiffed. It was played in the background during an argument in the Queen Vic on Eastenders one dark night in January 1991.
It was an ironic yet fitting title for the Associates to bow out on. Then that was it. Goodbye. No more Associates.

All the best

Sid Law


  1. Thanks so much for posting these great songs! I've discovered lots of amazing Associates music I wasn't even aware of because of your blog.
    Just wanted to say that track "3. US Mix (4.59)" is corrupt.

  2. Re-zipped, checked, re-upped. Should be fine now. Thanks for letting me know. Rapidshare is proving "problematic" just now!

  3. some of your files are missing x

  4. @Adam... If you drop me a mail regarding what files you would like re-upped I shall do that for you. The people at the filehosting place delete files which haven't been downloaded in a long while. Just let me know and I'll re-up them and stick on a new link!


    Sid Law

  5. Sid (or whatever your real name is), you are a Heavenly Creature indeed. For years I had dreamed of a version of Just Can't Say Goodbye (a particular favourite of mine) unfettered by irritating female backing singers. Now at last, thanks to you, I have a version with Billy backing himself. I have listened to it over and over since downloading it from your link, and love it so much. Thank you so, so much.

  6. Glowlight
    Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad you are gladdened by the really fine performance Billy puts in on that version. So much looser and more spirited. It is a pity so little leaked out from this bleak period in Billy's Warners "career".

    All the best

    Sid Law

  7. Sorry Sid, time for a re-re-re-upload? Pleeeease. Just found this site and it's wonderful. I always arrive late :(
    I'm desperately trying to find Stranger In Your Voice Instrumental and also Thirteen Feelings Instrumental. Any idea where to start looking? Cheers xxx