In June 1985, Rough Trade records signed The Apartments on the basis of the demos recorded earlier in the year. Walsh then moved to London and released The Apartments’ first album, the evening visits...and stays for years in 1985. The Apartments were joined by guest musicians Clare Kenny (formerly of Orange Juice, bass, vocals), Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl and Graham Lee of The Triffids. Reviewing the evening visits… for the NME, critic Jane Wilkes wrote "after whetting our appetites with last year's classic import single 'All You Wanted' The Apartments have stunned us to a reverential silence. This album is a pure heart-wrencher, and should only be listened to after dark."
French music critic and biographer of Serge Gainsbourg, Bayon, writing in Libération drew favourable comparisons to a diverse range of musicians, both contemporary (Cocteau Twins, Felt, Nick Cave) and preceding (Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Alex Chilton.) "the evening visits…" subsequently appeared in the NME’s 1985 Albums Of The Year End Of Year Critic List and became a cult hit in France. A track from it, “mr somewhere” was later covered in 1991 by This Mortal Coil on the Blood album.
Following an English tour with Everything but the Girl, a new line-up emerged that included Jurgen Hobbs (bass), Judy Anderson (piano, organ) and Nick Allum (drums). This incarnation of the band played shows in the UK and Europe and released a single, "The Shyest Time", in 1988. The Shyest Time was featured on the soundtrack for John Hughes’ movie Some Kind of Wonderful Subsequent litigation between The Apartments and Hughes’ production company over recording prevented The Apartments from releasing new material for nearly 18 months.
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“What a long strange trip its been.”
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