Keys – I Don’t Wanna Cry…. Power Pop Friday

This fantastic English band was active between 1979 through 1983. The Keys attracted a lot of attention. They had a producer who I would have never guessed. Joe Jackson…I just never thought of him producing a power pop record.

The band included main songwriter and bassist Drew Barfield, guitarists
Steve Tatler and Ben Grove, and former Paul McCartney and Wing’s drummer Geoff Britton.

They were signed to A&M records and released the U.K. their only LP “The Keys Album”. The album drew rave reviews, but unfortunately it didn’t sell very well. Besides the album, the label released six singles. Due to a lack of interest The Keys split in 1983.

I listen to the album and I see why they got great reviews…I just can’t figure why they didn’t sell. I Don’t Wanna Cry was the A side and the B side was a song called Listening In. I have the video below…both songs are good power pop.

David Silvia from Allmusic: One of powerpop cornerstones ever. A hidden classic and a real masterpiece. Pop at it’s best

The Keys – The Keys Album (1981, Vinyl) - Discogs

I Don’t Wanna Cry

Was it really just our last good night
when I saw the light and I know
that you’ve been telling lies
Oh, no, not me, I don’t wanna cry
You could talk about it all night long
but the feeling’s gone and
I don’t need you to tell me why
Oh no, not me, I don’t wanna cry

‘Cos you know, I’ve got you figured out
and you have got, nothing to shout about
if this is love, I don’t really wanna play
I wanna know why you want to stay

I know all about your little plan
find a fool and check up the thing you can
well, it seems is never gonna be that way
I wanna know what you want to stay

Oh no, not me, I don’t wanna cry
Oh no, not me, I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry
I don’t wanna cry
I want to know what you want to stay


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “Keys – I Don’t Wanna Cry…. Power Pop Friday”

  1. I will never understand why people think that a record spinning around makes a good video, as it is only a short step above an audio. This was the MTV era and people were watching music more than listening, so it makes sense to me why they didn’t sell all that well. With that said, I liked the sound of this group.


  2. heard of them, but I don’t think I have heard their stuff. The single sounds good – nice jangle pop… perhaps a few years ahead of itself , although it put me vaguely in mind of Dave Edmunds “Girls Talk” which did well over there, but was sadly ignored here. Joe Jackson would be a good choice of producer back then, in all likelihood, as he was pretty talented at a range of instruments and put out some power pop then on his first record and “I’m the Man”. But he was also A&M so that might be the rationale the label had.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always…and it’s wrong…think of Joe as more of a jazzy guy…which he could be also. I just never thought of him like this. When I saw his name I had you in mind…that is a lot of singles with most of them coming off of this album.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. he was a chameleon back then – from what was termed “punk” to post-punk power pop to “jumpin jive” 40s retro sounds to smooth late-night pop all in about four years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s not fair but when I think of him I think Stepping Out… that is far removed from jangle pop… but he has much more than that.


  3. Definitely a lost classic – love it. I hear Big Star and the Hollies among other groups. I can see Joe Jackson hands on this – makes sense that he produced it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I only know some things by Jackson…and not this side so it took me by surprise. The album was good. I could have flipped a coin on which one I took.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you know his early stuff – if not you have to listen to Look Sharp! One of my favorite albums! Jackson reminds me a bit of Elvis Costello – never satisfied with one musical genre and talented enough to be good at playing different ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember him for his hits mostly….thats about it. Steppin Out is the one I know the most. I like what I’ve heard I just never explored

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These songs are really great and have a cool ’60s vibe, Max. I think the problem is they came out at the wrong time. The music doesn’t sound very ’80s.

    As for Jackson being the producer, that is interesting, though he does strike me as a versatile artist who has explored different genres ranging from rock to jazz to pop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought of you when I posted it…the Rick…. but yes it doesn’t sound like the 80s…and that is the reason I liked it so much I believe.

      I know him more by the jazzy stuff but I shouldn’t have been surprised….I just wasn’t expecting it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you haven’t already done so, check out Jackson’s early albums “Look Sharp!” and my favorite “I’m the Man.” As Paul noted, there are similarities to Elvis Costello.

        On a side note, Jackson’s longtime bass player Graham Maby is great!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I never really think of the UK as having a power-pop scene in the late 1970s, but this is a similar era to The Records and sounds similar. Reminds me a bit of 1964-ish Beatles or even The Hollies – it’s not very heavy. Early Joe Jackson is pretty close to power-pop I reckon – ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him’.

    Liked by 1 person

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