So: maybe you’ve never heard of The Cleaners from Venus. They were an obscure lo-fi jangle pop band in Britain in the ’80s and never really had anything approaching a hit. They were essentially the brainchild of a guy named Martin Newell, who swapped out bandmates while making cassette recordings of songs he wrote; in the ’80s, there was a bit of a cassette-swapping underground in the UK, of whom the best-known band by far is Chumbawumba. Newell went solo with an album called The Greatest Living Englishman that received some attention because it was produced by XTC’s Andy Partridge; other than that, Newell has retreated to being musically obscure but moderately well known in his native land as a poet.
Anyhoo, he has been making solo albums pretty regularly for the last two decades, but he recently brushed off the Cleaners moniker, made a new album as The Cleaners from Venus, and started rereleasing the old cassette albums. Volume 1 came out last year; Vol. 2 came out today. I’m not plugging you to buy it; hell, I don’t even remember my old Amazon Associates link. But you at least ought to know about them. Here’s one of my favorite songs from the collection released today: