Hazel O'Connor "Breaking Glass" LP (1980)
Hazel O'Connor "Breaking Glass" LP (1980)
Hazel O'Connor "Breaking Glass" LP (1980)
Hazel O'Connor "Breaking Glass" LP (1980)
A&M Records

Hazel O'Connor "Breaking Glass" LP (1980)

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Details: There are a couple of variations on this album, you will note them as 'x' then 'y' then 'z' on the label sticker. This press is an 'X' variant, promo. This is the 1980 album "Breaking Glass," both sung and written by British musician Hazel O'Connor. The songs from this were written for the fictional movie of the same name which also starred Phil Daniels of Quadrophenia. This year will mark the 40th year since "Breaking Glass" was originally released. The movie and soundtrack focus on a 'punk musician' (O'Connor) who starts small (with punk ideals) makes it big (gets hosed by the  'music industry') and then loses it all amidst a backdrop of cultural and racial clashes in Britain of this time (still relevant, the undercurrent of which is still happening). The film itself is based on an original fiction book written by UK music writer Susan Hill "a writer for [both] Melody Maker and Honey music magazines. ... The story recalls ...violence, racism, fuel shortages, unemployment, and power cuts." - Tea & Cake For The Soul Blog A lot of the people in the 'punk' audience from the movie were actually bourgeoning members of the New Romantic scene known as the Blitz Kids in the U.K. (made up of pop stars, models, soulboys, members of the LGBT community, club kids, as well as musicians and DJs: Duran Duran, Boy George, Steve Strange, Marilyn, etc). Honestly, you could take such a deep dive on this album as well as Hazel's career that continues, and the time period that this soundtrack came out of, in the UK. Slit cut in top-right corner of cover for promo cut.

Description: "Hazel O'Connor shot to fame in 1980 for her starring role as Kate in the cult film Breaking Glass. Hazel was the first female in history to act a lead role in a film and write and perform the film's soundtrack, which went double platinum reaching No. 5 in the UK Charts. Hazel has gone on to have an extensive catalog of 25 albums and impressive filmography.

This 'Access All Areas' release captures Hazel O'Connor fronting her touring band, recorded in August 1980, at the Nottingham Theatre Royal. Her band were opening for the Stranglers, and performed many of the best-known tracks from the Breaking Glass era."

New York Times ultra judgemental review of the character Kate in the movie Breaking Glass, this was back in 1980 for the film's US release, is below (I'm pretty sure it's okay to theoretically ethically source 'macrame, second-hand antiques, bric-a-brac, hats, and plants' and still be a punk--?):

"Kate (Hazel O'Connor) is the heroine of ''Breaking Glass,'' and before we get to anything else about her, let's talk about Kate's London apartment. It has some plants, some macrame, some antique mirrors, and oak furniture and hats hung folksily on the wall. There are lots of books and bric-a-brac, and the place is cozy and tidy. Very serene. Very Woodstock. Very familiar.

The only thing wrong with this apartment is that it's not easy to believe Kate lives here. Kate is all black lipstick and whiteface makeup and frizzed hair, and she is supposed to be a punk poet and performer. She is supposed to be angry and alienated, macrame notwithstanding. ''Breaking Glass'' has no trouble leaving her in this relatively refined setting, though, because it means to be slick - the first slick movie about punk characters. If that sounds contradictory, it is.

''Breaking Glass,'' which opens today at the Eighth Street Playhouse, is a smooth, often skillful presentation of a character and her hopelessly incongruous story. The plotline is the stuff of standard music-business success stories - gifted, unspoiled singer struggles her way to the top of the heap, then sells out. When Kate first meets Danny (Phil Daniels), who will become her manager, she is in an alley, saying things like: ''I don't like the way life is for the majority of us. I don't say I can change it, but I can sing about it.'' Many, many angry songs later, Kate is at the top of the charts, looking less like a freak and more like David Bowie. There's a lesson there somewhere, but other, better movies taught it long ago.

Still, ''Breaking Glass'' is entertaining, thanks to several strong performances and professionalism that often outweighs the fraudulence. Phil Daniels, who starred in the much better rock film ''Quadrophenia,'' is such a raw and receptive actor that he registers everything he witnesses with an intensity the audience can't help but share. Jonathan Pryce does an outstanding brief turn as Kate's saxophone player, turning an almost comic figure into the film's most touching one.

Miss O'Connor herself is energetic and surprising, and she makes Kate a character who's vulnerable side the audience is glad to see. Her Kate is shrewd enough to make the viewer wonder how much calculation goes into Kate's punk poses, though the movie takes them entirely at face value. Also, the latter ''I'm a Big Star'' portion of the movie suffers considerably from the fact that Miss O'Connor, who wrote and performs her own songs, isn't plausible in this part of the story. There's nothing about her music, which has been more than abundant throughout the film, to suggest she could rise to such dizzying eminence.

As written and directed by Brian Gibson, who is following very much in the tradition of ''Stardust'' and other rock versions of the ''A Star Is Born'' story, ''Breaking Glass'' is skillful and handsome in ways it doesn't entirely need to be. However, it's also lively and involving - even if it doesn't ring true.

''Breaking Glass'' is rated PG (''Parental Guidance Suggested''). It contains some strong language. Janet Maslin

BREAKING GLASS, written and directed by Brian Gibson; director of photography, Stephen Goldblatt; edited by Michael Bradsell; music by Hazel O'Connor; produced by Davina Belling and Clive Parsons; released by Paramount Pictures. At the Eighth Street Playhouse, at the Avenue of the Americas. Running time: 94 minutes. This film is rated PG."

Grade: VG+ (Cover) / NM (record)


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