Jane Aire and the Belvederes

  • Jane Aire and the Belvederes
  • Jane Aire and the Belvederes (UK Virgin) 1979 
  • Edge
  • Square One (UK Hurricane) 1980 
  • Complete Works of the Edge (UK Preset) 1987 

Stiff Records grabbed most of the talent its scouts found in Akron, Ohio; Jane Aire instead signed with Virgin. Accompanied here by a sharp four-piece English band otherwise known as the Edge, Aire works confidently through a solid set of tunes that includes the ’60s soul classic “Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache” (also covered around the same time by Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Bram Tchaikovsky), Pearl Harbor’s “Driving,” Holland-Dozier-Holland’s “Come See About Me” and some of producer Liam Sternberg’s better original compositions. Although competent enough, the album lacks the vision or personality to offer any oiginal statement of purpose.

The Edge (the group) came about when guitarist Lu Edmonds and drummer Jon Moss (formerly of punk slouches London) left a brief and unrecorded incarnation of the Damned in 1978. With the addition of keyboardist Gavin Povey (who had played with Lew Lewis) and bassist Glyn Havard (whose long career has included stints with the Yachts and, er, Jade Warrior), the Edge fell together. In addition to backing Jane Aire as the Belvederes, they appeared, nearly intact, on Kirsty MacColl’s first album. Edmonds subsequently worked in a number of bands, including Shriekback, the Spizzles and Public Image Ltd., while Jon Moss went on to fame and fortune in Culture Club. Povey did additional recording with MacColl.

Oh yeah — about the music on Square One. Never quite blending into any particular style, the Edge’s eclectic, melodic rock has flashes of the Jam, Boomtown Rats, Deep Purple, Police and Stranglers — all united by the satirical outlook of amusing lyrics.

[Ira Robbins]