Our ten-track debut album, Landscape (1979), features tracks the band were playing live at the time, such as ‘Gotham City’, Lost in the Small Ads’, ‘Sonja Henie’ and ‘Japan’, Landscape’s first ever single. The producer was engineer Greg Walsh, and other engineers on the sessions included Richard Manwaring (who later co-produced Human League and OMD) and Peter Walsh (who later produced Simple Minds and Scott Walker) with assistance from Marlis Duncklau and Simon Hurrell. The vinyl LP was cut by Utopia’s Ian Cooper.
Recording and mixing sessions – at Utopia, in London’s Primrose Hill, and at the Manor in Oxfordshire – were slotted in between tour dates, by then an eccentric but welcoming mix of punk/new wave venues, arts centres, student unions, jazz clubs and festivals.
By this time we had roadies, lights and a PA. The Landscape repertoire, more than 60 tunes from which we selected ten to twenty numbers just before the gig, was all memorised and super-tight. But no voices back then, apart from detailed announcements and some prerecorded radio samples on John’s tune ‘Tony Blackburn’ and the odd shout.
Our rider specified five pint glasses of tap water – it was thirsty work. Our main roadies, Peter Lorimer and John (J.J.) Jeczalik, were credited on the album with ‘continuity supervision’.
The LP’s striking collage, scraperboard artwork and logotype were designed by designer John Warwicker-le Breton (whom we’d met through doing a gig at Camberwell art school, where he had recently studied), incorporating tiny photos of the band in action. It was his first LP cover, and heralded the beginning of an impressive graphic design career: John W-leB later worked at A&M and co-founded DaGama, Vivid and (most famously) Tomato.