The summer of 1989 was a glorious one for alternative music fans in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. A fantastic new radio station appeared on our dials: 94.5 The Edge.
The Edge was the area’s first alternative music radio station, and it was a welcome change from the stale classic rock format that Dallas listeners had been inundated with since the late ’70s. The Edge mixed new music with deep cuts from classic new-wave bands– what other station in the world could have possibly played “Be My Girl- Sally” by The Police in 1989?
The Edge was led by program director George Gimarc, already a Dallas radio legend for his classic “Rock And Roll Alternative” show on 98.7 KZEW throughout the ’80s. George wasn’t interested in playing the hits– he wanted to take up-and-coming artists and make the hits.
Gimarc’s run at The Edge only lasted four years (sadly, he was an ironic victim of the Nirvana grunge machine), but in that time he introduced me to countless bands that I would have never even heard of had I only been listening to AOR radio or watching MTV. George supposedly still lives in the Dallas area, and I hope to meet him one day just so that I can say thanks.
In the meantime, the Analog Kid is happy to give you a taste of the songs from The Edge…
Songs From The Edge: 1989
The Lightning Seeds: “Pure” (Ian Broudie)
From the album Cloudcuckooland
MCA Records, 1989
Ian Broudie was already quite well-known as a producer (Echo & The Bunnymen, The Icicle Works) when he formed the Lightning Seeds in the late ’80s. The Lightning Seeds weren’t really a true band– Ian played most of the instruments, wrote all of the songs, and produced the records himself. “Pure” was the lead single from their debut album Cloudcuckooland, and actually charted as high as #32 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Call: “Let The Day Begin” (Michael Been)
From the album Let The Day Begin
MCA Records, 1989
It seemed like The Edge played “Let The Day Begin” at least once an hour during that glorious summer of 1989, but I never tired of it. Michael Been and The Call had been making great records since 1982 (“I Still Believe (Great Design)”, “The Walls Came Down”), but they never seemed to achieve the level of success that their dynamic music deserved. Been died of a heart attack a few years ago while touring with his son Robert, a member of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Max Q: “Way Of The World” (Michael Hutchence/Ollie Olsen)
From the album Max Q
Atlantic Records, 1989
Talk about an under-the-radar side project! Not many people seem to know about Max Q, despite the presence of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence on vocals. Supposedly, even Michael’s INXS bandmates didn’t know about the project until after the album was released. Despite its relative anonymity, “Way Of The World” was all over The Edge and probably could have been a large-scale hit it had been promoted properly.
Mary’s Danish: “Don’t Crash The Car Tonight” (Matt Colleran/Gretchen Seager)
From the album There Goes The Wondertruck…
Chameleon Records, 1989
The story of Mary’s Danish is, sadly, a familiar one in the record business. After “Don’t Crash The Car Tonight” became a minor college radio hit, Mary’s Danish signed with a major label (Morgan Creek) and got lost in the shuffle of big-label politics. The band did manage to record three great albums before their split, although supposedly they never received one cent of royalties. My band Zen Pirates was going to open for Mary’s Danish at a Dallas show on Halloween in 1992, but we ended up playing at CMJ in New York City instead. I was thrilled to go to New York and play at the famous Danceteria, but was sad to miss out on the chance to open for one of my favorite bands of the era.
The Ocean Blue: “Between Something And Nothing” (The Ocean Blue)
From the album The Ocean Blue
Sire Records, 1989
The Edge loved the music of The Ocean Blue, a superb alternative pop band from Pennsylvania. I never had a chance to see the band live in its heyday, but they are once again releasing music and playing shows. “Between Something And Nothing” reached #2 on the U.S. Modern Rock chart in late 1989.
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
The Police: “Be My Girl-Sally” (Andy Summers/Sting)
From the album Outlandos d’Amour
A&M Records, 1979
The Call: “I Still Believe (Great Design)” (Michael Been/Jim Goodwin)
From the album Reconciled
Elektra Records, 1986
The Call: “The Walls Came Down” (Michael Been)
From the album Modern Romans
Mercury Records, 1983