Canadian new wave/synth pop band Blue Peter created an elegant keyboard-based sound during the early '80s that also benefited from well-timed injections of guitar. Led by composer/guitarist Chris Wardman and fronted by lead singer Paul Humphrey, the group didn't stay together long enough to become an outright fixture on the pop music scene. Nevertheless, Blue Peter earned a place among '80s Canadian artists with its melodic intensity. The band's versatility also allowed for impressive slots opening for punk rock and new wave legends The Jam and The Police.
The band released the excellent, driving "Chinese Graffiti" on its own independent label in 1981, and then the single appeared on 1982's EP Up to You. Humphrey's vocal delivery here and elsewhere certainly recalls the passionate sophistication of Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry, but there's also something downright muscular to Blue Peter's sound that helps this song stand apart. Credit Hardman's songwriting and instrumental heft for that breadth of impact, but Humphrey is also clearly one of the finest pop singers of the era. Despite not coming to mind immediately as one of the premier Canadian artists of the '80s, Blue Peter certainly registers as a band to remember.
- Listen to "Chinese Graffiti" in its entirety here.
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