Saturday, January 3, 2009


Continuing our brief musical tour of Baltimore in the 1980s, here is the sole major-label release of Vigil, previously known as Here Today. Here is the capsule history of the band from the Vigil MySpace page:
Vigil was a modern rock band that recorded and performed in the mid to late 1980's. Once upon a time in the "Land of Pleasant Living" aka Baltimore there was a group of musicians known as Here Today: Jo Connor, Andy R, X Factor and Gregg Maizel. They recorded a classic song called "Whistle in the Yard" and soon signed to CBS records, changed their name to Vigil and were promptly dropped. Vigil was quickly signed by Chrysalis Records and recorded their debut lp in glorious digital. It was released in 1987 and sold enough copies to allow them to record another lp but only one track, "Therapist", was released by Chrysalis, appearing on the Nightmare on Elm Street 4 soundtrack. Eventually the second album was released on cassette only as Onto Beggar and Bitter Things.
Vigil was influenced by UK bands, particularly those of the Gothic persuasion, and as a result their expansive, dreamy sound was quite different from most of the other Maryland bands of the era. "I Am Waiting" was released as a 12-inch single, but it was the wah-wah-guitar-fuelled B-side, "I Love You Equinox", that garnered all the airplay on WHFS:

I have never found a copy of the self-released, cassette-only second album, but I presume that the first three songs on Vigil's MySpace player come from it, since they are not on the first album. The full track list of the first album is:
  1. Until the Seasons
  2. I Am Waiting
  3. White Magic Spell
  4. Gargoyles
  5. I Love You Equinox
  6. Whistle in the Yard
  7. The Celiba Sea
  8. The Garden
  9. Born Again
  10. The Benefit of the Doubt
  11. Enclosures (I have added this as a bonus track, it is the second track on the "I Am Waiting" B-side and did not appear on the album.)

The CD version of this album is a bit of a collector's item as it is one of the first (possibly the first) rock albums to be recorded, mixed, and mastered digitally ("DDD"). I don't have the CD, though, so I can only offer a vinyl rip for now; get it here or here. (I goofed a little on the track numbers in the tags and filenames, but everything still plays in the correct order.)

Update: I got the CD and have posted a FLAC rip here.

Vigil singer Jo Connor now fronts the Jo Connor Band, which "performs classic Vigil songs along with new faves."


Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this, I've looked a long time for this. Nice.

Fantod said...

You are welcome. I am surprised this album disappeared so completely.

Anonymous said...

Fantod - I continue to be astounded at all the great old music you and other bloggers are reviving. Its a real treasure hunt sometimes, but most enjoyable.

I was a WHFS/WRNR and 9:30 Club fan for whom this brings back memories.

If you ever turn up more from Beyond Words, they may have been middle of the road, but I miss Anything Real and some other tracks. Would welcome that.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful to know that there are others out there that also still enjoy this. Didn't realize I was lucky enough to have found a CD copy of the album. Thanks for the blog post!

Jenny said...

Very cool, but both of the links have expired...any chance you could repost this one please???

Thank you!!

Fantod said...

Refreshed the links, they both work now.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!

john said...

I also want to say THANK YOU for this. I've also been looking for a LONG time.


Fantod said...

You're welcome, I am happy to keep the flame burning.


purepop said...

I have the Here Today tracks (pre vigil)if anyone is interested