BRAM TCHAIKOVSKY Strange Man, Changed Man (1979) – With 10 Bonus Tracks

Strange Man, Changed Man (1979)
Muscular New Wave Power Rockers

UPGRADED: One of my favorite LPs from the giddy, what-might-happen-next years of the late 70s new wave. Bram Tchaikovsky (the band) rocked with a simple efficiency – all 4/4 strumming and recycled Mod technique. Bram Tchaikovsky (the man) formed the band after leaving The Motors. He lacked a definable vocal presence (note the curiously muted vocals, which tend to undercut the pop’s potential), so the band never made it beyond aficionados, despite an LP full of memorable material, like “Girl Of My Dreams.” But Bram (the band) had a muscular way with a pop arrangement, and their existence probably should have paid more dividends. They made three albums before calling it quits, but this 1979 debut album is the one that clicked. Big thanks to Zuiop for sending our way this [apparent approximation] of the 2011, online-only reissue, featuring 10 bonus EP and single tracks. Researching it isn’t easy, as the disc appears to only be available from an ex-band member’s website. The sound is good, though not noticeably different (from the 2007 version), but bonus details are scarce [now in comments]. The original CD is at Amazon, HERE.

Strange Man, Changed Man (4:01)
Lonely Dancer (4:01)
Robber (3:09)
Bloodline (3:48)
I’m The One That’s Leaving (3:28)
Girl Of My Dreams (4:09)
Nobody Knows (4:32)
Lady From The U.S.A. (3:30)
I’m A Believer (3:45)
Sarah Smiles (3:38)
Turn On The Light (2:49)

Bonus Tracks
Amelia (4:06)
Lullaby Of Broadway (3:18)
(Who Wants To Be A) Criminal (2:23)
Robber (3:19) – Live
Whiskey & Wine (3:32) – Live
Come Back (2:10)
Rock And Roll Cabaret (2:52)
Sarah Smiles (3:47)
Bloodline (4:58)
Turn On The Light (3:08)

35 Comments

  • Capt. Willard
    June 17, 2009 - 16:16 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Dr. Prophecy
    June 18, 2009 - 22:17 | Permalink

    Willard: Thanks for shaking out some musical cobwebs for this one. Any chance you have the first Motors to post? I'd love to hear "Love and Loneliness" again…

  • Capt. Willard
    June 18, 2009 - 23:59 | Permalink

    Talk about cobwebs… my Motors stuff is all vinyl and unplayed since last century – like old moldy 78s. But "Love And Loneliness" would sound good about now. Thanks Doc… you do know what I like.

  • Anonymous
    June 19, 2009 - 00:14 | Permalink

    Isn't this the group that did the FIRST version of "Video Killed the Radio Star", made popular by Buggles?

    • Matt
      August 1, 2012 - 16:24 | Permalink

      “Video Killed the Radio Star” was first recorded by Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club, Horn and Downes were members of the band as well as an unknown named Thomas Dolby. Fantastic record.

  • m3x
    June 19, 2009 - 05:46 | Permalink

    Wow. Talk about zinging one out of left field. I haven't heard this album for probably 25 years. But I remember liking it, so it's time to revisit…

    Thanks.

  • Anonymous
    June 19, 2009 - 07:28 | Permalink

    The Motors really had a problem after Airport which really was a rather crass song so the new band and motors powerhouse seemed a grand idea on paper at the time and I saw them as a support act a couple of times and yes Willard we were seeing a backroom boy looking rather odd at the front of the stage it was never really going to happen……..let's face it Eddie and the Hot rods had the meat on the stick along with the Feelgoods for getting the place going…..and they had the brave new world of New Wave bands to drown them out ……right place wrong time!

  • Craig
    June 19, 2009 - 14:09 | Permalink

    Another great post, my friend. I saw Bram T open for The Cars on their Candy-O tour at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. They were so bad they were booed offstage. The Cars were no better – total lack of stage presence. It was like watching a record play. After about half an hour, a chant went up "We Want Bram Tchaikovsky!!!"

    • Dave
      December 23, 2015 - 19:44 | Permalink

      Somewhere (maybe Adam Carolla) I’ve heard a joke about The Cars getting arrested for loitering at their own gig…. I saw them in ’84 on the Heartbeat City tour and it was pretty much just like that.

  • Capt. Willard
    June 19, 2009 - 14:17 | Permalink

    Tough crowd. Thanks for all the comments.

  • Anonymous
    June 19, 2009 - 16:00 | Permalink

    My Bad. Woolley & the Camera Club (with Thomas Dolby on keyboards) for the album English Garden did the first version of Video Killed the Radio Star – for whatever reason I get that group and Bram confused in my head.

  • CBCD
    March 8, 2010 - 00:02 | Permalink

    Thank you – I loved this album.

  • Greg
    April 2, 2010 - 19:42 | Permalink

    Thanks for this, a band we were desperately hoping would be the new Badfinger, but alas, no…great single though…

  • Anonymous 2
    October 14, 2011 - 15:59 | Permalink

    Great power pop, why is my original vinyl worth so much less than the CD? Sigh….

    • Willard
      October 14, 2011 - 16:42 | Permalink

      Cause Amazon’s the new Ebay?

  • October 15, 2011 - 08:34 | Permalink

    Thanks! I had Sarah Smiles as a 12 inch & played it a lot…

  • Woof
    October 15, 2011 - 11:54 | Permalink

    Now that’s what I call music (75) – thanks!

  • Doger
    November 3, 2011 - 10:47 | Permalink

    The song Video Killed The Radio Star, I think had 3 writers the 3rd being Bruce Woolly. His version I thought was better than the Buggles but I don’t recall there being a video for it. Bruce toured with band and was pretty good live from my memory. Bruce has since worked with Horn on other projects (Grace Jones I believe).

  • Rhod
    September 22, 2012 - 21:34 | Permalink

    Thanks for the chance to hear Bram Tchaikovsky. Ihear some early English rock influences (60’s) in this album

    Great share

    Regards

    Rhod

  • Anonymous
    December 23, 2015 - 13:16 | Permalink

    Thanks Cap’n, happy and healthy holidays to yours! I grabbed “The Motors [2006 Captain Oi! Remaster] – Tenement Steps” from your chatbox around 11/23. Really fun to hear that album again. Cheers!

  • furrball
    December 24, 2015 - 06:18 | Permalink

    In order to save everybody else the trouble of looking up the sources of the bonus tracks, here goes:

    “Sarah Smiles,” “Turn On The Light” (featuring Mike Hailwood — Motorbike Solo) and “Bloodline” are from Bram Tchaikovsky’s BattleAxe 12″ EP (Criminal D-SWAG 3 [Bram 1], 1978)
    “Lullaby Of Broadway” (feat. Nick Garvey on vocals and bass), “Rock ‘n’ Roll Cabaret” and “(Who Wants To Be A) Criminal” are from Lullaby Of Broadway (Criminal D SWAG 8 [Bram 5], 1979)
    “Come Back,” “Robber (Live)” and “Whiskey And Wine (Live)” are from the Girl Of My Dreams double single pack (Radar ADA 28 [Bram 2], 1979)
    “Amelia” is the B-side of I’m The One That’s Leaving (Radar ADA 37, 1979).

    Oh, and “Love And Loneliness” was from “Tenement Steps” (the 3rd Motors album) :)

    • Willard
      December 24, 2015 - 08:17 | Permalink

      Cool, thanks for the info.

      • furrball
        December 25, 2015 - 06:58 | Permalink

        You’re welcome! :)

  • Christopher
    December 24, 2015 - 10:04 | Permalink

    BRAM TCHAIKOVSKY? Wow, that’s a name I haven’t uttered since my college days! What an unremembered blast from the past! Thanks, Cap’n! Merry Christmas!

  • Indiana Scott
    December 24, 2015 - 11:38 | Permalink

    Thanks Willard for the best Christmas gift. I have loved this album since its release in 1979. And now, to get some bonus material is nearly glorious! Merry Christmas to you Willard and the rest of you Wormhole regulars!

  • December 24, 2015 - 16:04 | Permalink

    I bought this album on vinyl when it was first out and still have it. “Girl of My Dreams” is one of those songs that just sticks in my head and won’t leave – very catchy so I don’t mind! (I didn’t figure out until much later that it was a love song to an inflatable doll.) Good rocking cover of “I’m a Believer” too. I’m very happy to have it now in digits, with bonus tracks. Thanks so much!

  • angelo
    December 25, 2015 - 02:42 | Permalink

    Hi Willard,

    someone headed me to this page ’cause he knows i’m a big fan of BT and i was trying hard to find that 2011 reissue, so i downloaded it with the ZS link

    but after listening and checking the tags – i’m sorry to say that at 99,9% i’m pretty sure this is not the 2011 edition sold thru the Heavy Metal Kids site then

    the first 11 songs are encoded lame 3.98 – this is the 2007 cd reissue

    all the bonus tracks are encoded lame 3.92 – those are the ones i posted some years ago (2007) on PPC (all vinyl sourced) – http://powerpopcriminals.blogspot.fr/2007/05/bram-tchaikovsky-singles-1978-1979.html

    finally, who would rip the first part of a cd with a codec and suddenly change it to a different one for the second part

    so i guess the long search for the 2011 reissue continues

    merry christmas

    angelo

    • Willard
      December 25, 2015 - 08:36 | Permalink

      Thanks Angelo. I guess someone’s gonna eventually have to break down and buy the damned thing.

      • jonder
        December 28, 2015 - 11:38 | Permalink

        I bought the 2011 reissue from the HMK website, and it’s very possible that these are the same files, since the reissue isn’t really a professional job, and the bonus tracks are also sourced from the vinyl singles and EP’s. But I got to exchange a few emails with Keith Boyce, so it was worth it! (He has no idea where Bram is these days.) I will post it here, since Angelo has shared so many great things over the years, and you can compare the files. Willard, this is one of my all-time favorites too. I think you and I have similar tastes (we both love the Dancing Hoods and P.Hux Deluxe).

        • Willard
          December 28, 2015 - 12:12 | Permalink

          Cool, if you’ve got the actual reissue, we’d love to hear it. Many thanks.

      • jonder
        December 28, 2015 - 12:20 | Permalink

        Here is my rip of the HMK website version at 320. One way to tell this 2011 reissue is from all the misspellings (which I have left unchanged). The band name itself is spelled “Brahm Tchakovsky”! Track 2 is “Lonley Dancer”, track 10 is “Srash Smiles”, and “Lullaby” is missing an L. The album title has “man” in lower case. Song titles are in all caps. There are no liner notes, no record label name, and no UPC code. The first 11 tracks of Zuiop’s share may have been ripped from the higher fidelity CD that Hip-O Select released in 2007 (now OOP, which is why it’s worth more than the original LP). Enjoy the album and the singles (all of which were released by the original trio before the second Bram LP)! “Come Back” is especially good. “Whiskey and Wine” is a Motors song.
        http://www50.zippyshare.com/v/gD6ORp7B/file.html

        • Willard
          December 28, 2015 - 12:34 | Permalink

          MANY thanks, Jonder. I haven’t listened yet, but the misspellings ARE really unprofessional. It’s funny that Zuilop’s and Angelo’s version(s) paid more attention to the band than a band member. Was the front and back artwork the same, too? Appreciate the rip. I’ll add it to the post in the next week and will post some info about the sound and details.

          • jonder
            December 28, 2015 - 13:01 | Permalink

            You’re welcome! Front and back artwork are same except for the addition of the complete CD tracklist (spelled correctly) on the back. The backside of the front insert has the original LP inner sleeve (pink/blue faces in profile) superimposed with small images of the four 7″ and 12″ releases that are listed above by furrball. I dunno if Keith Boyce made the CD himself, but I’m glad that SOMEONE put it together, regardless of its minor flaws. I listed them in order to help Angelo distinguish the tracks as they appear on the disc.

  • Anonymous
    December 25, 2015 - 17:56 | Permalink

    I’ve heard before that this is good. Thanks for the chance to find out!

  • Leave a Reply