Monday, March 12, 2007


Electronic, Rock
New Wave, Synth-pop

Lesley Woods - guitar/vocals
Paul Foad - guitar/vocals
Jane Munro - bass
Pete Hammond - drums


Bass - Jane Munro/ Drums - Pete Hammond/ Engineer - Ken Thomas/ Guitar, Backing Vocals - Paul Foad/ Producer - Au Pairs , Ken Thomas , Martin Culverwell/ Vocals, Guitar - Lesley Wood

The Cd released in 1992
1-10 from the Playing With A Different Sex LP.11-13 from the You 12".14-15 from the Diet 7".16-18 from the Inconvenience 12".

Tracklist :

01 We're So Cool
02 Love Song
03 Set-Up
04 Repetition
05 Headache (For Michelle)
06 Come Again
07 Armagh
08 Unfinished Business
09 Dear John
10 It's Obvious
11 You
12 Domestic Departure
13 Kerb Crawler
14 Diet
15 It's Obvious (Single Version)
16 Inconvenience (12" Version)
17 Pretty Boys
18 Headache (For Michelle) (Remix)

Link to download :

Product Description
A Pospunk Classic from the Band that was in the Same Class with the Mekons and Gang of Four. Their Feistiness Came Thru Every Groove with Lyrics Dealing with the Conservative Times in the UK'S Thatcher Era and a Liberated Sexuality. The CD Issue Add Eight Tracks that Never Appeared on the Original Issue of the Album.

" first heard the album(vinyl) back in '85 and thought they were quite clever. I've been looking for the vinyl version since '95 and am glad to see it is on CD. The additional tracks are of course a bonus but the seet strains of "Headache for Michelle" and "Armaggh" stand the test of time. Forget about their obvious political sensibilities, the music alone is worth a listen."

"When I heard Au Pairs in the early eighties, I knew they was what I was looking for: Intelligent music. They brought us a new concept in making and playing music. It's simply a masterpiece, and an advance for the music we've heard during the next decade. Buy it! Please!"

"Playing with a Different Sex, the Au Pairs debut is a stunning, numbing album. Tight beyond belief, the bass and drums hit a mile deep groove. On top, the guitars lay down soulful, screechy textures and the hyper-political, feminist lyrics cut deep. Run, don't walk to your stereo with this album, and listen close."

"Remarkable to think that something from 1981 could sound like it came out yesterday. Although their music was undoubtedly female sounding, there were actually only two women in the band, bassist Jane, and vocalist Lesley (who was one of the only visible lesbians in the scene at the time). The music manages to maintain a balance between feminist power, and easygoing melodies. Their songs are well written, clever and empowering. They were comparable to Delta 5 in that they share a tight rhythm section, but have minimal guitar, the biggest difference being that Au Pairs are less angular sounding. Their follow-up album is more experimental, but I think they sound the best here where they seem to have a better grasp on their sound. "It's Obvious", and "You" seem to be the singles, but the album works better as a cohesive unit. Au Pairs were very necessary for their time, and are still completely relevant today. Especially when you look at how they must have influenced the riot grrl movement, and feminism in music"


Bass - Jane Munro/ Cello, Guitar, Vocals - Paul Foad/ Co-producer - Martin Culverwell/ Drums - Pete Hammond/Engineer - Ken Thomas , Terry Barham/ Guitar, Vocals - Lesley Woods/ Producer - Au Pairs

Notes :
The Cd released in 1993.

Tracklist :

01 Instant Touch
02 America
03 Sex Without Stress
04 Intact
05 Stepping Out Of Line
06 Shakedown
07 Don't Lie Back
08 (That's When) It's Worth It
09 Tongue In Cheek
10 Fiasco
11 She Runs With Honey
12 No More Secret Lives
13 Beat Of A Machine
14 Lion Love
15 Hokka He Ha
16 Taking Care Of Him

Link to download: 192 kbs

Product Description
With their edgy blend of post-punk, politics & funk, the Au Pairs were critics' favorites & cult heroes at the dawn of the 80s. This remixed reissue of their second & final album (originally released in 1982), accentuating their dance floor potential, features sleeve-notes from guitarist Paul Foad. Especially remixed and digitally remastered from the original master tapes by the band. 2002.

" I still have this recording on its original pristine vinyl. I was hooked in by the "remixed remastered" claim on the cover. I have heard plenty of recordings that made such claims but where the difference was negligible. This is not one of those, however.
This recording sounds at times considerably different than the original mix. For one thing, the original recording was mastered at the wrong speed--too fast. This remastered (at the right speed) version is noticably slower. At first it sounded strange to my ears, as I have played that old vinyl many times. But, I do think the new mix is improved. The saxophones are much more in the forefront, the drum sounds are better, and the guitars are more audible. This is one instance where even if you have the original vinyl as I do, it is worth picking up the cd version that has been remixed and remastered. The difference is noteworthy and significant. Time will tell which mix I like better in the long run, but I suspect once I get used to this one I will prefer it.
If you are not familiar with the Au Pairs, they sound similar to Gang of Four and deserve to be as famous. If you like the Raincoats, the Slits, the Delta 5, post-punk feminism, gender equality, or riot grrrl, then I suggest you check this band. "Playing with a Different Sex" is probably a better recording than this, but both are excellent."

"Odd title for an album that is seemingly lacking either. It's far more experimental than the superior Playing With a Different Sex taking risks by incorporating saxophone, employing jazz technics, and even mixing in a little disco. What is nice about this is that sometimes it results in a sexier sound, but it backfires at times and sounds phony. It's also heavily textured which again works in some spots but not others. The ultimate result is an album that's a bit all over the place, but still interesting enough to sit through. As far as their sexual politics go, they've coated it on an extra thick helping here which didn't make the medicine taste any better. I imagine they had a lot of pressure at this point (in fact I believe Jane went AWOL a year or so after recording this), and it does seem as though they've tried really hard. They even sound like they are forcing the laid back style they are trying to employ. Really I shouldn't be so picky, but after being spoiled with Playing With a Different Sex, this is nothing short of disappointing"


Written-By - Bewlay Bros. (tracks: 8) , Jane Munro (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 20) , Lesley Woods (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 20) , Paul Foad (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 20) , Pete Hammond (tracks: 1 to 7, 9 to 20)

Tracklist :

01 Monogamy
02 Pretty Boys
03 Come Again
04 Ideal Woman
05 Dear John
06 The Love Song
07 It’s Obvious
08 Repetition
09 Unfinished Business
10 Diet
11 We’re So Cool
12 Armagh
13 The Set-Up
14 Headache
15 Intact
16 Shakedown
17 Slider (Instant Touch)
18 America
19 Steppin’ Out Of Line
20 Sex Without Stress

Link to download: 320 kbs

" This collection of BBC Sessions is absolutely essential! Songs from both albums and the singles are portrayed here along with two non-LP tracks, "Monogamy" and "Ideal Woman", two of their best songs hands down.
Don't miss out on a chance to hear the band which defined the equality of the sexes and poked fun at the foolishness of modern day romance."


Artwork By - Brian Burrows , Chris Hamlin , Pete Hammond/Bass - Jane Munro/Drums - Pete Hammond/Guitar, Vocals - Paul Foad/ Producer - Au Pairs/Vocals, Guitar - Lesley Woods/ Written-By - Munro* (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 10) , Woods* (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 10) , Foad* (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 10) , Hammond* (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 10)

Recorded live during the Women's Festival Berlin 1981.

Tracklist :

01 Diet
02 Headache For Michelle
03 Dear John
04 Love Song
05 Set Up
06 Inconvenience
07 Armargh
08 Repetition Written-By - David Bowie
09 We're So Cool
10 Cum Again
11 Piece Of My Heart
Written By - Ragovoy

Link to download :

" If you have never heard the au pairs before get this for as it captures the raw energy of the au pairs, and if you listen to their lyrics you will realise they are not a group scared to speak their minds. Recorded at the women festival in berlin it includes piece of my heart made famous by janis joplin. Well worth a listen."


CD 1.

01 We're So Cool
02 Love Song
03 Set Up
04 Repetition
05 Headache For Michelle
06 Come Again
07 Armagh
08 Unfinished Business
09 Dear John
10 It's Obvious
11 Pretty Boys (BBC Session)
12 Monogamy (BBC Session)
13 Ideal Woman (BBC Session)
14 You (E.P. Track)
15 Domestic Departure (E.P. Track)
16 Kerb Crawler (E.P. Track)
17 Diet (Single B-side)
18 It's Obvious (Single A-side)
19 Inconvenience (12" Version)
20 Pretty Boys (12" Version)


01 Stepping Out Of Line
02 Sex Without Stress
03 Instant Touch
04 That's When It's Worth It
05 Shakedown
06 Tongue In Cheek
07 Intact
08 Don't Lie Back
09 America
10 Fiasco
11 No More Secret Lives (1983 Demo)
12 Runs With Honey (1983 Demo)
13 Hakka He Ha (1983 Demo)
14 Taking Care Of Him (1983 Demo)
15 What Kind Of Girl (Previoulsy Unreleased)
16 Piece Of My Heart (Live : Berlin Tempodrome 6/20/81)
17 Headache For Michelle (12" Version)
Remix - Martin C

Links to download (192 kbs) CD 1 CD 2

Product Description
Import only two-disc set. 25 years ago, the Au Pairs were post-punk pioneers, pushing at the boundaries of feminism, anti-Thatcher campaigning and angular guitar music. Today, they’re acknowledged by the likes of Frank Ferdinand and the Killers as one of the most influential bands in British rock history. This definitive collection of their albums, BBC sessions and other rarities explains why. 42-tracks in all. Castle. 2006.

"Anyone interested in Au Pairs or the late 1970s/early 1980s British music scene could do a lot worse than checking out this tremendous RPM disc which collects just about all of their BBC sessions. Like many of the great bands who were exploding on the British scene, Au Pairs were given the chance to record these live in the studio sessions by John Peel, David Jensen, and Richard Skinner. Some of these recordings were recorded even before they had released their first single, and many of the recordings were intended to spotlight their amazing live sound. Au Pairs live sound coupled with the un-orthodox lyrical approach (which had a female empowerment element to it, but really stemmed from an equal but different mentality, something you don't find everyday really) comes across loud and clear on this disc. Often these versions beat out the album versions of the same songs, and thanks to the BBC engineers, they sound amazing.
Things get off the an incredible one-two punch with songs like Monogamy and Ideal Woman. These two songs were never even released on album or single. In fact the song Monogamy is the biggest reason to own this disc, because not only is this song a thrilling example of the Au Pairs live and lyrical power, it is also an amazing song. Apparently, it was a show stopper because they played it in their shows until 1982. It sounds amazing to hear this unreleased gem finally. Another awesome and unreleased gem is Ideal Woman which includes a powerful riff and makes fun of what we all think of as the ideal woman with lyrics like "She Loves the smell of her Body Mist....she's got a razor for her hairy legs" and "Oh God, she's so beautiful, she smells so nice...."
Other highlights for me include the pulsing It's Obvious, with it's scratching guitars and memorizing bass and vocals. This is also a great example of the bands views. One of my favorite Au Pairs' songs has been Headache for Michelle, and I loved hearing this very different but still amazing version here, where it sounds like they are feeling out the song in this hazy dubby version. You can't go wrong with the song Come Again which is about faking female orgasm (imagine a song like that on radio today?). I love the female/male countered vocals. I always thought it was a coup that Au Pairs covered Repetition by David B
owie (from his Lodger album), a song about a wife beater named Johnny. The Au Pairs' version sounds much more vicious than Bowie's, fitting for the Au Pairs' sound.
I've always wanted to hear more by Au Pairs, having only one of their RPM discs in my own collection. I definitely think the BBC Sessions disc is an amazing overview of them, and was glad that it lived up to what I had heard so far.

"I just want everyone who orders this CD to understand that the version you get sent here is NOT the one with 42 tracks. You only get 37 tracks and the tracklisting is not the same. Basically, you only get one song from the Live Berlin CD ("Piece Of My Heart") as opposed to the many that are listed here. Also, you do get some songs that are not listed here, such as "Taking Care of Him", "What Kind of Girl" and a few others. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up."

More review:

The Au Pairs were a post-punk band who formed in Birmingham in 1979. Musically they were very similar to bands such as Ludus, Gang of Four and the Delta 5. That is, the rhythm section was tight and funky (obvious influences were James Brown and Funkadelic), but the guitars were light and "scratchy" (like Subway Sect). All these bands shared a strongly left wing social outlook, but the Au Pairs stood out due to their frontwoman, Lesley Woods, being an ardent feminist and lesbian: the band were greatly influential in this respect on the riot grrl movement a decade later. Their first album Playing with a Different Sex is something of a post-punk classic with strong, sarcastic songs like "It's Obvious" and "We're so cool" taking a dry look at gender relations. Other songs, such as "Armagh", took a pro-republican look at the then ongoing "Troubles" in Northern Ireland, which caused some controversy at the time.
The band's second album, Sense and Sensuality, showed an even greater influence of jazz, soul, funk and disco on the band's sound, but was less well received. The band broke up in 1983 just before they were about to go into the studio to record an album with producer Steve Lillywhite. Woods formed an all woman band called the Darlings in the late '80s, but then left the music industry. She now works as a lawyer. Guitarist, Paul Foad remains an active musician, playing with Andy Hamilton and the Blue Notes, a Jamaican Jazz band and teaching guitar in and around Birmingham. He has also published a guitar technique book, co-written with Stuart Ritchie, titled The Caged Guitarist (2000). Bass player Jane Munro works as an alternative therapist in Birmingham. Pete Hammond also remains an active musician and teaches percussion in Birmingham

AU PAIRS often cited as a prime influence on Debbie Smith of Echobelly among many others, the Au Pairs formed in the late 70s as one of the foremost second-wave punk bands. In a subculture that rarely accepted women as musicians and opinionated lyricists, the Au Pairs were unique in the fact that half of the band was female. With Lesley Woods on vocals and guitar, Jane Munro on bass, and fellow feminists Paul Foad (guitars/vocals) and Peter Hammond (drums), their sound capitalized on the highly-charged political atmosphere of England in the 70s. Taking cues from Jamaican ska, reggae, and garage rock, the double guitars and lack of testosterone-driven histrionics made them a danceable punk band with political conscience. But for all their timeliness, punctuality was not their strong point -- after Woods failed to show up for a gig, the band broke up in 1983. (


Playing with a different sex (1981)
Sense and sensuality (1982)
Live in Berlin (1983)
BBC sessions 1979 - 1983 (1983)
Shock to the system-the very best of the Au Pairs (2000)
Stepping out of line (2006)

More info:


Blogger Spotted Eagle said...

Amazing work... thanks so much.


3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a long time i thought that i was the only one who knows this group.Now i discover that i am not alone.Thank you very much.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Wonderfull to get hold of the Au Pairs again.
Thank you!

1:04 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

Thanks for Au Pairs! Your Blog is really awesome!
Can u repost the BABBLE's cds you posted last year?

7:39 PM  
Blogger artnipples said...

Thanks for all the Au Pairs. This is really great stuff!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Re-upload on these albums would be love.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Any chance of reloading these albums . . . especially the BBC and the Berlin ones?

Wanted to hear these albums for ages.

Brilliant blog. Love your taste in music.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please reload albums. Only Live in Berlin works.

Please, please, please

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the Au Pairs, but unfortumately only the rapidshare link is working. Is there a possibillity to repost them?

thanx dirk

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just come across this way way after the links are gone - From birmingham when The Au pairs played at places like the fighting cocks in Moseley and Aston Uni - Long way from Bham now and would love to hear this stuff again especially the Berlin Live and BBC Sessions - Please re-upload and post a link

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the links for the fans:

Sense Sensuality

Playing With A Different Sex

Sense & Sensuality

Live In Berlin

BBC Sessions



11:14 PM  
Anonymous Sjaak said...

Thank you so much!!!!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Shaun said...

hey, thanks for this great discography. would you please be able to upload Stepping Out of Line again? thanks so much if you can.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Θειος said...

Fantastic post
Great band

6:42 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I was just about to post a memory of Au Pairs in the upstairs room at The Fighting Cocks in Moseley, crassly thinking I would be the only one - but someone else remembers them from there! They were our band - us wot lived in Moseley. We had some good bands in Brum (The Beat were another) but Au Pairs knocked spots off all of them.

My only regret is that nothing they recorded ever captured the energy of those live performances at The Cocks and elsewhere. Live they were fearsome. Lesley and Paul pulling sexual stereotypes to shreds while Jane and Pete set a rhythmic background that was unequalled.

The reason I found this blog? Right now I'm ripping my cassette tapes of their Peel Sessions (recorded directly off the shows) into mp3 files. I thought I'd do an "Au Pairs" search while I was about it.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salty, as usual, does an amazingly thorough job in documenting a particular band, in this case, one of my favourites. To save people troubling him (which I have just done), here is the missing link for the second half of the excellent Au Pairs' BBC sessions:

Cheers, Salty! Dave Sez.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please upload "Stepping Out of Line"?

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bought The Anthology years ago - its all you really need from this great band since it contains every studio recording they ever made. Stepping Out of Line contains the two albums, 1981's Playing with a Different Sex and the following year's Sense and Sensuality, as well as all the non-album material, three tracks from a BBC session, a live version of "Piece of My Heart," one previously unreleased track, and a handful of demos for a third album that never materialized. The Anthology proves that The Au Pairs were one of the sharpest bands of the post-punk era

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ke bien hace mucho q buscaba este disco , me trae recuerdos de los 80

fantastico trabajo el de subir los discos de Au pairs

Saludos desde Sudamerica

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi! ...if anyone should read this, since it's over 3 years ago that saltyka & his friends posted these beautiful recordings of the au pairs... i just found this site on the internet during my search for unreleased stuff of the au pairs (sadly, i found NOTHiNG!) while doing a discography of the band i realised that obviously no one seems to know about a tape i've got from a gig at the paradiso in amsterdam in 1983 (where i got it from at the time when traveling with my bicycle from bremen to amsterdam, and traded some tapes...) it's really beautiful with 3 unreleased tracks played live, No More Secret Lives, Beast Of A Machine (2 versions), and She Runs With Honey... did anyone know about the tape? best wishes from michael

8:57 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

Au Pairs was one of my first bands I listened to, did you know that this band was formed in 1979 in Birmingham???'

9:13 AM  
Anonymous blow up doll said...

This was an excellent article. It has some valuable content on this topic. Thank you for compiling it into an easy to read and well written post.

12:08 AM  

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