Stiff really struck a rich seam of creative talent when they voyaged out of Camden Town to Akron, Ohio at the start of the 80s. There they picked up Devo, Rachel Sweet and - for just two singles which sent her on a trajectory towards Virgin Records - Jane Aire.
Yankee Wheels (BUY 26) was her first, on which she was backed by The Belvederes. Also known as The Edge, the band included guitarist Lu Edmonds (who had just been on Stiff during a brief stint with The Damned) and drummer Jon Moss. He too had ventured into the world of The Damned and played in various London punk groups, before spending the rest of the decade as Boy George’s right hand man in Culture Club.
Another Belevedere was Liam Steinberg, who produced Stiff’s scratch-n-sniff Akron compilation, and would later go on to write The Bangles’ million-seller Walk Like An Egyptian.
A follow-up to Yankee Wheels appeared in 1982, I Close My Eyes And Count to Ten (BUY 147) but it failed to make any impact. So when Jane moved on to Virgin Records, The Belvederes hung around Stiff and eventually recorded much of the backing on Kirsty MacColl’s debut album.