1. Boomtown (1986), David & David
David Baerwald and David Ricketts were a sort of rock Climie Fisher: session musicians who came together to produce at least one memorable single. The Americans' Welcome to the Boomtown was a plangent warning on the attraction of excess: 'I say welcome to the boomtown/ Pick a habit, we got plenty to go around'. Other post-Springsteen tracks Swallowed by the Cracks and All Alone in the Big City conjured urban decay as viewed from the studios of LA.
2. A Dark Enchantment (1987), Secession
With a name like that, the result was never going to be anything other than slightly pretentious synth pop, accentuated by layered vocals. The Scottish fourpiece signed to Siren Records - home to other such art-pop mavericks as It's Immaterial - for this sole long-playing outing, which includes Where Love Lies Bleeding, The Magician (a single) and Sneakyville.
3. Food, Sex and Paranoia (1989), Furniture
The West London band's debut album The Wrong People saw the light again in 2010, so what chance for its Arista follow-up? On the back of successful single Brilliant Minds, the group toured with the British Council an area that reads like the setting of one of Alan Furst's excellent World War II thrillers: Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Romania, Yugoslavia... The band incorporated many of the instruments they'd heard on their travels in Food, Sex and Paranoia. (Band members Tim Whelan and Hamilton Lee went on to form world music standard bearers Transglobal Underground in 1992.) Single One Step Behind You was a link to its forebear, while other stand-outs include Slow Motion Kisses and Song for a Doberman.