The San Francisco group Translator
were not one-hit wonders. True, the bar band sing-along "Everywhere That I'm Not" was Translator
's only appearance on U.S. commercial radio, but the group had enough talent to score a number of platinum records. Everywhere That I'm Not: A Retrospective
compiles their one hit and numerous misses. Radio programmers in the '80s must've been deaf for not hearing the urgent hooks of "I Need You to Love," "When I Am With You," and "Gravity." The ringing guitars of '60s icons like the Byrds
and the Beatles
collide with the new wave energy of early R.E.M.
and Wire Train
throughout the LP. Vocalists Steve Barton
and Robert Darlington
sound British, which was common among American new wave bands in the '80s. The breathless desperation in Barton
's voice in "Everywhere That I'm Not" doesn't lose its potency after constant spins; the song is a true classic, a tale of lost love that gains intensity as it steadily progresses. When Barton repeatedly yells, "You're everywhere that I'm not," at the song's climax, the anger in his voice is palpable. Sadly missing from Everywhere That I'm Not: A Retrospective
is the frenetic "Necessary Spinning," but the rave-up "Sleeping Snakes" sufficiently displays Translator
's edgier side. Everywhere That I'm Not: A Retrospective
should be an eye-opener to anyone who mistakenly believed Translator
only had one good track.