Short Spins: Stan Ridgway - the big heat (I.R.S.): Nobody writes better pulp novels for B-movie rock accompaniment than this one-time front man of Wall of Voodoo. There's not a stranger, more distinctive voice around. Reading material you can dance to.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds - Tuff Enuff (CBS): Thanks to producer Dave Edmunds, the world's second-best bar band gets the album it deserves. Call it Blasters without the social significance, and party hearty.
John Martyn - Piece By Piece (Island): You either love his boozy-woozy voice and grab-bag tunes, or you hate them. Me, I can't live properly without either, and this is as close to healthy as the melancholy Scot may ever get. Could Lonely Love be a hit? Stay tuned.
Jackson Browne - Lives In The Balance (Asylum) He was politically aware long before it became the rage, but made his living writing harrowing songs of introspection. Why stop now? This sort-of strident polemic is mostly embarrassing.
The Del-Lords - Johnny Comes Marching Home (EMI-America): I know it's only rock roll, but I like it.
This Canadian snippet from Montreal is the Short Spin of Thursday 27 March 1986. Short eh.