THE TOURISTS ("Aargh! Sixties pop trash!" scream Sounds writers as they leap from high windows) were perhaps the most misunderstood, misinterpreted group in living memory.

The attraction of their jangly guitar tones, Annie Lennox's cool voice soaring through the intelligent pop songs of Pete Coombes' was critically disregarded when the covering of 'I Only Want To Be With You' became a monster hit. For this shocking, unforgivable indulgence they were to pay a severe penalty. The inevitable split finally occurred last November in the steamy city of Bangkok.

Guitarist Dave Stewart and Annie had already been hatching plans for a project of their own to run concurrently with the Tourists. Old chum Conny Planck graciously offered the pair free studio time to "try out" some demos.

Dave: "With the Tourists we were slogging along on our way to Australia and were getting pissed off with being labelled as the world's worst offenders for dragging up Sixties pop. Bangkok was the first time we'd been in an entirely different culture and as soon as we decided to split Annie and I started making loads of recordings on a tiny Sony recorder, things like Bangkok street noises and things off the TV. By the time we got to Conny's we had racks and racks of cassettes. This experiment eventually turned into the album."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


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