It’s now been over three-and-a-half years of quite regular weekly posting since I launched this particular Friday feature, a span that has, by my rough tally, led to just over 180 songs being shared in this space thus far (including the week that I proudly ceded to others). It would seem, given that number and my propensity for featuring tracks from my first year of college, that I would have exhausted every out of print college radio hit bearing a copyright date of 1988 or 1989. Indeed, there are times when a song shuffles up on my trusty iPod and I think, well, surely I’ve written about that already. Given the number of times that I played “Come Out Fighting” by Easterhouse during ’89, how did it take me until this morning to share it in One for Friday?
Easterhouse had a surprisingly tangled history by the time their sophomore album, Waiting for the Redbird, was released. Maybe that should be phrased a little differently: it was the second album released under the name Easterhouse, but the band on the album had almost no connection to the group that had debuted with Contenders three years earlier. The Manchester-area band was formed by brothers Andy and Ivor Perry, along with compatriots Peter Vanden, Gary Rostock and Michael Murray. After the debut album, the Perrys had a falling-out and Ivor left the band, coming close to replacing Johnny Marr in the Smiths before it was decided that the signature guitarist’s departure made it wiser to scrap the Smiths altogether. Soon, all the other members of Easterhouse defected as well, leaving only Andy Perry to soldier on. He cobbled together new collaborators for Waiting for the Redbird, but that proved short-lived. Despite having their greatest success with lead single “Come Out Fighting,” which charted in the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100, the band came to an end shortly after the album’s release.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t know about any of that at the time. I maybe I did and it plainly didn’t stick, finding no room in the part of my head that stores such information, presumably because it was already filled up with files tracing the enmities of the Velvet Underground and the Clash. Before putting in a little more research to patch these words together, the only thing I remembered about Easterhouse was that they once, to borrow the parlance I probably used in my brash teenage stupor, put out a great fuckin’ single.
(Disclaimer: It appears to me that Waiting for the Redbird is totally out of print, even as a digital download. The earlier album is attainable, but if anyone wants to purchase this song in a manner that provides due compensation to the band, songwriters and label while also helping pay the rent at a favorite local, independently-owned record store, the answer is simple: no dice. Still, I’m not looking to cause an uproar here. If I’m contacted by an individual, group or spooky corporate entity with due authority to request its removal and such a request is made, I will gladly and promptly comply.)