Jacqui BrookesSob Stories

Label:MCA Records – MCA-5467
Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre:Electronic, Rock
Style:New Wave, Pop Rock, Synth-pop


A1Lost Without Your Love
Backing VocalsJimme O'Neill
A2The One That Got Away4:27
A3The Cold Light Of Day3:44
A4Another Place For A Dreamer3:45
A5Trains And Boats And Planes
Written-ByB. Bacharach - H. David*
B1Haunted Cocktails
AccordionKrystoff Kavka
B2Just Another5:05
B3I'm Not Ashamed4:07
B4Thin Air4:48

Companies, etc.



Another pressing using same catalog # (US release) exists Sob Stories with a slight difference in print on labels.

Recorded & Mixed at The Workhouse, London
Produced for Lol Productions
Management for MAM, London
Recorded in England

Sleeve: © 1984 MCA Records, Inc.
Labels: ℗ 1984 MCA Records, Inc., © 1980 MCA Records, Inc. Mfd. by MCA Records, Inc., Universal City, Calif.

Thanks to Charlie and all at MCA.

Some releases may contain custom sticker on sleeve, sticker reads "Contains the hits: Lost Without Your Love, Haunted Cocktails, Trains and Boats and Planes MCA-5467".

Promotional copies issued with gold "For Promotion Only" stamped on sleeve.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Scanned): 076732546710
  • Barcode (Text): 0 76732-5467-1
  • Matrix / Runout (Label, Side 1): MCA 3697
  • Matrix / Runout (Label, Side 2): MCA 3698
  • Other (Rights Society): ASCAP
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout): MCA-3697-ASR-2 [Artisan logo] ⧈-G-⧈ 1
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout): MCA-3698-ASR-1 [Artisan logo] ⧈-G-⧈ 2

Other Versions (1)

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Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
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Sob Stories (LP, Album)MCA RecordsMCA-5467US1984


  • postpunkmonk's avatar
    This album represented the end of the line for Jacqui Brookes worthy and interesting career in pop, yet it also stood as the point of entry for me to her charms as a frontwoman. She had been in a few other situations before her sole solo album was released in 1983 by MCA. Her recorded debut was with the band Shox in 1980 at the dawn of the 4AD label, but their electronic pop was soon to fall out of favor there as the label found their gothic legs. Next, she recorded a trio of singles for A+M with the band Siam [with John Pethers from Shox in tow as well] in 1981 but these never coalesced into an album situation. I have yet to obtain these but rest assured; they are duly on the ever stretching-out-to-infinity want list. Sadly, they are only available from abroad with commensurate shipping costs. The day I find someone selling all three, I bite the bullet and order. And there’s still the matter of the posthumous live album…

    She eventually found herself teamed up with Jimme O’Neill, ex-Fingerprintz with steadfast drummer Bogdan Wiczling. O’Neill had already proven himself a writer of hits for Lene Lovich [”Say When,” “Never Never Land,” “Sister Video”] and found in Brookes, a singer to team with on a set of high-tech, electro torch songs that were dynamic, yet coldly elegant. In the UK, the band were known as “Intro” and the first two singles released there [”Lost Without Your Love,” “Haunted Cocktails”] failed to chart significantly. These were produced between O’Neill and Laurie Latham of The Royal Family; Paul Young’s backing band. Much of the rest of The Royal Family were the backing band where O’Neill, Brookes, or Wiczling weren’t playing.

    In other territories, such as America, the two singles were released under Jacqui Brookes name, and a full album, “Sob Stories,” followed with Latham producing. There was also a magnificent third single with the lush electro cover of Bacharach + David’s classic “Trains And Boats And Planes” as credited to Ms. Brookes even in the UK. Catching the video for “Lost Without Your Love” on MTV led me to this album, which to date I’ve only seen in gold-stamped promo copies. I have bought this album each time I’ve seen it in the bins; that is to say, twice. What’s it like? glad you asked.

    “Lost Without Your Love” kicked off the album like some sort of Arabic lightning bolt. The Venomettes [Marc + The Mambas] supplied the high-drama strings on this, and the second single from the album. Pino Palladino played the very-Karn-like fretless basslines here, and frankly, he was matched by other musicians that lent this song more than a patina of Post-Punk goodness. Jimme O’Neill’s high-tension guitar here was nothing short of fantastic! I don’t remember his playing on the Fingerprintz music as being anywhere near this stylish, but then again, it’s been a loooooong time. His playing here wants me to lump him in with Robin Simon or John McGeoch. Yes, he’s that good. His snarling leads formed kinetic bonds with Wiczling’s tense martial drums and beatbox. The middle eight where O’Neill took over on backing vocals almost sounds as good as JAPAN [the band].

    The use of foley effects to paint a wide, cinematic picture for this album began in earnest on the following “The One That Got Away,” with its seagull sounds painting a bleakly gray winter seaside portrait. Wiczling’s bongos were neatly offset by Palladino’s lurching, queasy bass lines. Ms. Brookes really let it rip hereon the outro with some fabulous belting and ad libs. “The Cold Light Of Day” was carried by the jovial sampled calliope contrasting with Graham Preskett’s spirited gypsy violin. Again, thunderstorm foley effects figured mid-song to lend this all a cinematic air. The atmosphere of decay as the calliope broke down at the song’s end prefigured the miasma of doomed romance that was the album’s stock-in-trade.

    Finally, “Another Place For A Dreamer” dares to hold out some glimmer of hope here, though the fantastic violin solo from Preskett for the middle eight offers no triumph; only heightened drama as per usual for this album. The segue between it and the final song on side one was nothing less than masterful. More foley effects joined the tubular bells on the outro with steamship effects as the magnificent cover of “Trains And Boats And Planes” offered the nearest thing to hope on this darkly fatalistic album. When the looming bass synth broke into the mix it was a spine tingling moment. The lilting backing harmonies of The Fabulous Wealthy Tarts were truly heartbreaking here as once again the overwrought violin of Preskett and the fragility of Ms. Brookes performance took this classic song to the emotional brink. This was a magnificent New Wave Cover Version that I can never tire of hearing.

    Then the centerpiece of the album began side two. “Haunted Cocktails” began with the moody violins and cellos of The Venomettes. Then the accordion of Krystoff Kavka [not an alias, I fervently hope] added the heaping helpings of French Chanson that were present throughout the album, but culminated most effectively on this song which was heavily pregnant with Gallic melodrama. The gentle Eurothrob of the bass synths and the staccato drum track then set the stage for Ms. Brookes to take the center stage on this simply amazing piece of work. Lowing cellos have never sounded so good next to pulsating synthesizers as they do here. The extended coda is perhaps more French than any actual French music [and there’s quite a bit] in my Record Cell.

    “Just Another” was another fretless bass-led song that strongly recalled Bowie’s classic “Always Crashing In The Same Car.” The verses here really make me think of the verse structure of the latter. Then the second side got an injection of energy with the one upbeat tune here. “I’m Not Ashamed” was a bold riposte to a would-be emotional blackmailer and the one song here where Ms. Brookes didn’t have to play the emotionally crushed victim role. Foley effects of breaking glass once more added a visual flair to the storytelling here. Remember, this album was called “Sob Stories” for the best of reasons. This was effectively a concept album of an emotionally bruised protagonist twisting in the loveless, existential wind.

    The album reached it’s dark emotional peak with “Thin Air.” Languid guitar danced with the slurred fretless bass here while the synths offered only enervated, skittering energy that become almost intolerable as the song progressed. The slamming drums echoed the gunshots that were foreshadowed throughout the song. O’Neill’s solo on this one was scorcher and the drum breakdown in the coda actually delivered the gunshots that were always just below the surface of this incredibly tense song. It actually sounded like something that might have belonged on Peter Gabriel’s third album.

    The final song, “Departures,” was the descent into madness after the emotional storm of the preceding number. Given the heightened melodrama of Preskett’s pizzicato violin and the plodding, crashing synth percussion, Ms. Brookes was barely there as she offered only nervous laughter and fragmentary, emotionally battered vocals. This was a bleak ending for an album of advancing states of emotional decay and despair.



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