Clearance Rack Classics Retro 80s and 90s Dance Mix by DJ Tintin
80s and 90s retro dance adventures of a boy and a cheap mixer
CRC Retro Mix #42
May 30, 2016 09:09 PM PDT
1. Ever So Lonely (Razormaid! Mix) - Monsoon
March 06, 2016 12:00 PM PST
1. Strangelove (Bomb The Bass) - Depeche Mode
Notes and other random things:
I hope this time around I will get to do some notes on some of the tracks in this episode. I'm guessing most would rather hear the music than read a bunch of ramblings from a guy stuck in the 80s, but I'll do my best to keep the total package intact. I do want to quickly point out to readers/listeners that this episode did manage to earn an "Explicit" tag due to some thematic issues in a couple of the songs. While the language is generally fine, there is one "slut" outburst in the Berlin tune and some sketchy noises in a couple of the songs typically associated with carnal activities. Just wanted any parents out there to be aware should you feel like playing this mix in the car or somewhere where inquisitve and/or impressionable kids might be within earshot. Berlin and Beloved are the problematic songs, so just fast-forward through those if you're concerned. On to the songs ...
Leading off things is a Bomb The Bass remix of the DM classic, "Strangelove". It's an appropriate first track, I suppose, as the song was the first single off the Music for the Masses album, which was released in 1987. While eminently successful at that point in their career, it's probably the album that nudged DM toward super-stardom, an interesting turn of events considering the band chose the album name as a lark, a snide dismissal of the suggestion that they create more commercially successful music. While the compositions on the album were more sparsely arranged than previous albums and darker in tonality, the album was a critical and commercial success, effectively making DM a musical fixture among the masses, something they jokingly embraced in selecting the title. As for the song itself, it was originally a high-energy pop song, but Mute founder and producer Daniel Miller thought the overall feel of the track wasn't a good fit for the album. Miller's remixed version is the one that shows up on Music for the Masses. Bomb The Bass, by the way, is the one-man audio production team, Tim Simenon. Simenon found early success in the mid-80s as a musician creating drum tracks and basslines, then "bombing" them with a variety of samples and noises. His first single, "Beat Dis", which contained 72 samples including bits and pieces from Public Enemy to Ennio Morricone to anything in between, was one of the first tracks to introduce sampling into the musical vernacular.
"World in Motion" was a song written by New Order in support of England's 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign. Believe it or not, the tune still stands as New Order's only #1 hit on the UK singles charts, holding the top spot for 2 consecutive weeks. The song is credited to ENGLAND New Order, most likely because members of that era's football (soccer) team, including left-winger and future hall-of-famer, John Barnes, contributed vocals and rapping to the song. Last year, a blog entry in NME magazine celebrated the 25th anniversary of perhaps the greatest sports-themed anthem of all time with a look at ten "geeky" facts about the song. I've reposted them below.
2. In fact, he and instrumentalist Gillian Gilbert initially thought the offer of making the song was a joke. They had another offer of work on the table – with director Michael Powell – but eventually chose to delay that until the following year. Later, on the day they started recording 'World in Motion', they received a phone call saying Powell had died. "We made the right decision," they said. "We'd have looked like proper charlies working with a dead director."
3. Gilbert and Morris were actually pretty crucial to the song – the track was adapted from one of their compositions as The Other Two, which was originally written for BBC's 'Reportage'.
4. At the time, when NME asked footballer John Barnes how excited he was to be collaborating on a football song, he responded: "If I thought it was going to be the same as the usual crap, why bother? But this is alright." Barnes' rap was written by the man himself and performed - legend has it - in one take.
5. When the FA heard "love's got the world in motion", they asked the band to replace "love's" with "we've". The band refused. "It's an anti-hooligan song", they said. Too right.
6. Morris, in a crisis of ambiguity, called coming up with the lyrics a "nightmare", because he wanted to avoid any association with football violence while being cheeky enough that "if it all went pear-shaped, at least we could say it was a joke." He later said, "I couldn't imagine it being anything other than 'World Cup Willy', but Keith Allen got involved and made it funny."
7. Keith Allen, who co-wrote 'World In Motion', wanted it to be called 'E for England', with lyrics that ran: "E is for England, England starts with E / We'll all be smiling when we're in Italy." The FA vetoed the decision. Looking back at it in 1993, he was diplomatic: "I think at the time there were certain drug-related overtones that didn't appeal to either Top of the Pops or the record company." Allen was later involved in 1998 unofficial England song 'Vindaloo'.
8. At the time the song was released, lead singer Bernard Sumner told NME, "This should be the last straw for
9. Reflecting on the song years later, Morris said that it may have changed football. "It did come at a bit of a turning point for football. Until that point it was all very laddish. After 'World in Motion' everybody got a bit loved-up with it."
10. Barnes recently revealed that he had to do a rap-off with Paul Gascoigne, Steve McMahon, Peter Beardsley and Des Walker before he was picked to perform the rap. The question is - did Gazza cry when he lost out that time too?
By the way, the song that would knock "World in Motion" from it's lofty perch at #1? "Sacrifice" by Elton John. For shame!
Produced by the great Trevor Horn and appearing on the album Introspective, as well as being one of the longest tracks in their musical repertoire, "Left to My Own Devices" by the Pet Shop Boys was intended to be an "experiment in seeing how mundane a pop song could be, before setting it against extravagant music," according to lead singer Neil Tennant. No doubt, the song adds touches of classical music, specifically orchestral phrases culled from Claude Debussy's "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune" ("Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun"), to the proceedings. However, this mundane song is rife with supposedly biographical or semi-biographical information from Tennant's youth that he ambiguously puts on display topped off with an idiomatic title. Whether lyrics about "roundheads" (a reference to Pro-Parliamentary forces in the English civil war) the sun and brochures and Che Guevara are self-referential terms about the Boys' "alternative" lifestyles is a matter of conjecture and I'll leave it to smarter people than myself to pour over the details. Frankly, I don't care what the meaning. I prefer just to listen and enjoy.
In a previous episode, I mentioned the numerous contributions of Nick Rhodes to the success of Duran Duran. Perhaps his biggest was that of a visionary as he quickly seized on the potential of the music video. He was the one who pushed the band toward more elaborate productions, a somewhat questionable decision at the dawn of the 80s as the phenomenon that would come to be known as MTV was still months away from its eventual August 1, 1981 launch date. Not to mention, at that time, nobody could have actually predicted the overwhelming success of the network and the lasting impact it would have on the music industry. Released in July of 1981, "Girls On Film" was the third single from Double D's self-titled album. Interestingly, it was the band that chose the song to be their third single after a dismal showing by the second single, "Careless Memories", a song that had been selected by their label, EMI. Though "Careless Memories" reached #37 in the UK, it was perceived as a failure because the first single, "Planet Earth", had been a Top 20 hit. "Careless Memories" was also the song chosen to herald the soon-to-be released full-length album. That the band chose "Girls On Film", a staple at live performances, as the group's third single was fortuitous. It helped album sales overseas, though it did not initially chart in the US. After the follow-up success of the Rio album in 1982, their first album was re-issued in the states in 1983 and became certified platinum in 1985. While the song is no doubt a great one, it was the video, which was originally filmed in 1981 a few weeks prior to the launch of MTV, that made serious waves and caused serious consternation among parents and network censors. The uncut version circulated regularly on the Playboy Channel as it was deemed too pornographic for MTV. It was also banned on the BBC. A heavily-edited "day" version was created for regular airplay and is the one with which most of us are familiar. And though the song had already achieved chart success, it was that video, directed by Godley & Creme, that kept people talking and kept the band firmly in the public eye. Simon Le Bon would later lament that the scandalous nature of the video obscured the message of the song, which was about the exploitation of models in the fashion industry.
To end this episode, I figured I'd include the most reviled song in the Depeche Mode catalog. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but both Martin Gore and Alan Wilder have, on numerous occasions, described "It's Called A Heart" as their least favorite single ever recorded by DM. Wilder admitted he was "anti even recording, let alone releasing it". So, why the high level of disdain for the song? Seems the band, especially Wilder, thought that the b-side, "Fly On The Windscreen" was a stronger song and should have been released as the band's next single at the time. Apparently, the record label didn't like the fact the first word of the song was "death". Yet Wilder argues:
"I fought tooth-and-nail on behalf of the B-side Fly on the Windscreen which was far superior. To me, the whole thing was a serious backward step. I felt we'd worked diligently to build up recognition for a harder sound, with more depth and maturity, and here was this ultra poppy number that did nothing for our reputation."
When asked in an interview if he could turn back time and do something over again, Wilder responded:
"I don't think I'd change much, apart from some of the hair styles and those daft boots I wore in 101. Oh, and I'd also make sure that I missed my wake-up call on the day we made the video for It's Called a Heart." Wilder says of the video concept, "Quite how [Peter Care, the director] equated 'calling something a heart' with twirling cameras around on the end of a string in a field of corn in Reading dressed in a skirt, I'll never be able to tell you."
Wilder hated the song so much that he answered the question "In your opinion, what makes up a true DM fan?" with "Anyone who still gives us the time of day after having heard It's Called a Heart".
Remixes didn't fare much better in Wilder's eyes. He once commented on the "Slow Mix" version of the song, "...you do need to be particularly devout to endure it - slowing it down to half speed made it twice as long - probably not a very good idea - twice the agony."
Okay, so Alan Wilder doesn't particularly care for the song, but I LOVE IT! And since I'm curating this podcast, I included all 7+ minutes of the Extended Mix for your listening enjoyment.
That's it for this episode. I've got another podcast all figured out and I'll post it as soon I can find time to record it.
Thanks for tuning in/listening/reading!
CRC Retro Mix #40
November 01, 2015 07:39 PM PST
1. Secrets - Fiat Lux
Notes and other random things:
Sorry to everyone for the three-month vanishing act. Without boring you all to tears or making excuses, lets just say that raising a family doesn't leave one with much spare time to devote to things like podcasting. Nonetheless, I got another one done. Lots to like in this one, including some stuff I'm hoping even die-hard retro junkies may not be all that familiar with. Some notes will be forthcoming as I find time to clack out deets. In the meantime, enjoy the new tunes!
Update 3-6-16: I didn't find time to write up anything on this episode, though I will say that I included Kraftwerk to coincide with my getting to cross off a bucket list item. On October 9 of last year, I saw Kraftwerk live for the first time ever. Simply put, the show was amazing. Sure, only Ralf Hutter remains as one of the original members, but the visuals, the sound and the experience were as immersive as one could hope for. The videos were all 3-D as well adding to the sensory overload. The 2 1/2-hour extravaganza bridged the early classics with newer material and it was quite extraordinary sitting down the entire time with generally polite applause in between songs, at least until the clamor began, culminating in a triple encore. It was a show I won't soon forget. If the band should make it to your area, it is well worth the price of admission.CRC Retro Mix #39
July 24, 2015 08:00 AM PDT
1. Souvenir (DMC Postcards From The Edge) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
***SPECIAL NOTE FROM CRC AND DJ TINTIN***: Apologies to everyone who has attempted to download and/or listen recently, but gets a pre-recorded bandwidth notification. For awhile I had a pro account with much more bandwidth, but I couldn't justify the cost with my time limitations over the past three years. That said, I also don't like fans and followers to be cock-blocked for weeks on end by bandwidth overages. Right now, I have to be satisfied with a free account, but I didn't anticipate using up my bandwidth three days after the reset date each month. It's a good problem to have, but still a problem. Anyway, I'll keep you all in the loop should things change. For now, I guess, circle the 24th of each month on your calendar to remind yourself to grab these episodes when you can before my 15 gigs of bandwidth per month evaporates! Thanks to each and every one of you for tuning in. It really makes a guy feel good.
Notes and other random things:
Alright! It's 3 hours to dawn, I've got a full bowl of cereal, half a glass of water, it's dark and I'm making a podcast. Hit it!
Okay, so like any normal testosterone-fueled male member of the species I'm a competitive guy, my own worst critic and I can't stand giving a less-than-competent effort in whatever it is I choose to undertake. That said, I do read comments and check reviews with regard to my 'casts to make sure I'm living up to some realistic level of excellence. For the most part, I've been thrilled that this insignificant little program I assemble in my basement has brought so much joy to so many of you. I try to be honest and forthright in my write-ups for my sake, for your sake, for band's sake, for God's sake. Most of what I write is knowledge I've gleaned over the years from being a fan, from reading music mags, from collecting umpteen thousands of records and reading umpteen thousands of liner notes on the bands I feature here. Often, however, I look up artists to confirm or deny stuff I thought I'd read, thought I'd heard, figured I'd seen or otherwise dreamed. Most importantly, I try to get it right.
But I don't always.
...Which brings me to the first band I'd like to mention here: Counterfeit. In episode #23, I included Lee McFadden and Co.'s song "The Good Samaritan" At the time, it was a new find for me, one I discovered on a compilation I had just purchased. Until that point I knew nothing of the band and had a difficult time finding much information on them. I jumped to the conclusion that the song I possessed was probably their only release. Thankfully, a kind listener made a comment to the contrary. He wrote:
"In fact there is a three-track EP of "The Good Samaritan" that was released a couple of years ago. Myself and the other two members are still in contact and work together occasionally on music." - Lee McFadden.
Holy S#!+, Lee McFadden just wrote to tell me I'm full of crap. That's so COOL! Anyway, thanks to Mr. McFadden for correcting my error. I thought it appropriate to let you all know there is more to the band than just one song. I also figured that by using Lee's comment as part of my write-up it would give me another chance to feature the excellent track here.
So, back to the "my own worst critic" comment a moment ago. One of the things about this podcast that is endearing/aggravating is that it's a live mix. That is, I hit record and go for an hour or more - typically 15 songs. As you can imagine, things can sometimes go wrong when performing live, especially at 3 in the morning when I recorded this one. Some errors are bad enough I scrap the whole thing and start over. Sometimes, I just accept things like variances in recording levels or slightly mismatched beats because it's too time-consuming to spend an hour or more redoing an entire 'cast for small inconsistencies, especially when you're using cheap, finicky mixing equipment as I do. In the case of this podcast it turns out two of the tracks here had questionable endings. The first, Book Of Love's "I Touch Roses" mix had a repeated phrase for the last 30 seconds that sounded as if the track were skipping. Of course, I remembered that at the last possible moment and quickly began mixing it out. So, if it sounds like an unnatural point at which to fade in/fade out, it is. And now you know why. I'd say Daniel Miller should be flogged for ending the track in that way, but how can I possibly stay angry at the fellow who founded Mute Records? I forgive you Daniel. Just don't do it again! In case you were wondering about the other track with the weird ending it was 900 Hours by Boxcar. Thankfully, the first gaffe reminded me to avoid a second.
I'd like to spend a moment to write about Belouis Some. Frankly, I could spend a day debating the correct pronunciation of Neville Keighley's alter-ego ... but I won't. Just know that all the variants I've encountered rank right up there with bands like INXS, Cetu Javu, EBN-OZN and others whose names were all butchered during their infancy. (C'mon ... admit it. You called them "Inks" the first time you saw their record in the storefront window. You know you did!) Anyway, the track "Animal Magic" was released in 1987 on Belouis Some's self-titled album, two years after the band found chart success UK and stateside with the songs "Imagination" and "Some People". Those songs led to opening gigs for Nik Kershaw and Frankie Goes To Hollywood during their heyday in 1985 and a track called "Round Round" which appeared on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. The soundtrack is notable for two things: it's association with a John Hughes film and for being killer back when soundtracks were mostly filler. (That rhymes!) As an interesting side note: Nik Kershaw's song "Wouldn't It Be Good" also appeared on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack as a cover version by Danny Hutton Hitters. Belouis Some's "Some People" would also surface on a Swatch commercial circa 1986.
Australia had its share of good rock music in the 80s. Men At Work, INXS (however you pronounce them) and Midnight Oil represent just a few of the names. But as club culture began to consume record racks in the mid-80s, fledgling bands began to dabble in electronics, shifting their focus from guitar-infused pub rock to synth-based dance music. Brisbane's Boxcar were one of those bands that gained prominence world-wide. But old pub-rock habits die-hard and the band had a difficult time of things even in their home country where they were often met by a chorus of boo-birds during live performances. The group was also ridiculed for being too derivative of established artists like New Order (whom they toured with at the turn of the 90s.) Thanks in part to producer Robert Racic, who had worked with Severed Heads (also an Aussie electronic band) and Single Gun Theory among others, Boxcar's first full-length release "Vertigo", issued in 1990, was praised by critics for it's sophisticated electronic sound. Tracks like "Freemason", which charted at #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart and "Gas Stop" brought the group some recognition outside Australia. But despite support gigs for Depeche Mode, Erasure, The Pet Shop Boys and the aforementioned New Order, the band was never really able to gain much traction and after two more albums, "Revision" in 1992 and "Algorhythm" in 1994, the band's output and live dates began to ebb even though they never officially called it quits.
ABC were like the cool kids in high school that everyone wanted to be like. They had the swankiest clothes, the hippest hair cuts, listened to the coolest music and seemed to always have their finger on the pulse of whatever the "it" thing was to do at the time ... at least until the 20-year reunion rolled around and you saw them wearing the same clothes and sporting the same haircuts, albeit with much less hair and carrying around 50 extra pounds and you realized there had been little personal growth there. The band's roots grew from a band called Vice Versa. Both guitarist and synthesizer player, Mark White, and saxophonist, Stephen Singleton, were members of that group and are notable for their first ever gig being the opening act for Wire. (Not a bad way to kick off a career). After the release of an EP called "Music 4", future ABC singer Martin Fry, at the time editor of his own fanzine called Modern Drugs, interviewed the band. Shortly thereafter, they asked him to join. From the start, the band were pretty set on making 100% machine-made music. Having mega-producer Trevor Horn of The Buggles Fame, a guy affectionately nicknamed, "The Man Who Invented The Eighties" in your corner can certainly help chart a solid course for success. And did it ever. The first album, "Lexicon Of Love", went #1 in the UK, spawned innumerable imitators, featured great songs like "Look Of Love", "Poison Arrow", "Tears Are Not Enough", "Date Stamp" and others, and should be on a short list of the best albums from start to finish to come out of the 80s. From there, however, the band never ventured far from their original song-writing formula and were unable, despite some hits here and there, to duplicate the immense success of "Lexicon". In ABCs defense, not many bands could. Further, the group continued to splinter, losing members as the years went on. Drummer David Palmer left to join Yellow Magic Orchestra shortly after "Lexicon" was released. Stephen Singleton left in 1984. Remaining members Fry and White then recruited Fiona Russell-Powell (known as Eden) and David Yarritu to mitigate the departures of Palmer and Singleton. That line-up produced their biggest hit stateside with "Be Near Me". Mid-1987, ABC's album Alphabet City spawned the Top 10 hit "When Smokey Sings", a tribute to the great Motown singer, Smokey Robinson. Interestingly, Smokey was in the midst of a career resurgence for a new generation of fans and was himself firmly ensconced on the pop charts with his single "One Heartbeat" at the same time as ABC's tribute. It marked one of the only times in chart history a singer had a Top 40 hit while simultaneously being the focus of another.
Not many bands can say they were responsible for coining a term that would become part of the vernacular. In an earlier CRC, I mentioned that Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P. Orridge is widely recognized to have created the "industrial" tag with the advent of his label, Industrial Music, in the mid-70s. March 27, 1982 - that's the date Vicious Pink described their music as "techno" in a feature published in Sounds magazine - almost 4 years before the term gained wider acceptance in the Detroit DJ subculture. Band members Josephine Warden and Brian Moss formed the group in 1981 in Leeds, England, getting their start as backup singers for Marc Almond and Soft Cell. Originally called Vicious Pink Phenomena, Brian describes how the name came to be: "I met [Josephine] when I was DJ at an alternative night, I put on with friends, at a pub called “The Adephi” in Leeds. I also met Dave Ball and Mark Almond there through Jose, as she went to the same College as them, Leeds Polytechnic. We decided to start a band together for a bit of fun. Jose, Dave Ball and I wrote our favourite words down on pieces of paper, turned them upside down and shuffled them about. Then we each chose one of the pieces of paper, after that we rearranged them into the name Vicious Pink Phenomena, Jose’s word was Vicious, Dave’s was Pink and mine was, well, Phenomena. It was a kind of lottery I guess, but it worked. We thought it also sounded like it could be the title for a 50’s / 60’s Science Fiction B Movie." In all, the duo would release 5 dance singles, many produced by Dave Ball of Soft Cell. Despite zero promotion and garnering next-to-no mainstream support Vicious Pink managed to chart all five of those singles in the UK. The particular track here, "Cccan't You See" was their third single and was produced by the great Tony Mansfield of New Musik fame. It was the highest charting single of the bunch, reaching #67.
That's it for this episode. I'll be back soon with another. Thanks everyone and Happy Listening!
June 05, 2015 12:45 PM PDT
1. Visions Of You - Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart
Notes and other random things:
Somebody slap me if I try to take several years off from podcasting ever again. I had to pretty much relearn everything I had known about my cheap mixer and recording software from scratch. Not only that, new updates to software means new interfaces and having to learn where all the navigation features are all over again. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but at least he can relearn old tricks since forgotten. Anyway, on to the music.
Starting everything off is sort of a forgotten gem by John Joseph Wardle, also known as the inimitable Jah Wobble. The track peaked at #10 on the US Modern Rock charts back in 1992. Featuring the unmistakable backing vocals of a young Sinead O' Connor, the song was a staple on college radio back in the day. But it almost never happened. Following his stint as the original bassist for Public Image Ltd.,
Talk Talk hasn't appeared a lot in CRC, but that's mainly due to the freeform nature of their later music and their lack of "hits" if you will. That's not at all a slam on the group or their style. In my honest opinion they were one of the more original groups coming out of the 80s. And that's not to say they didn't have their share of chart success, but like some other well-respected bands, as their popularity ebbs, their critical acclaim skyrockets. Mixed by producer extraordinaire Tim Friese-Greene, who co-produced Thomas Dolby's "Golden Age Of Wireless" album and has done work with another of my favorite bands, Catherine Wheel, this Extended Mix appeared in February of 1986. According to the band, there was also another 12" mix of this track, by Dennis Weinrich, that was omitted from the "Asides Besides" compilation where this track was taken to "stop the listener from being driven crazy". Seems like I'm going to have to find that one now ...
Although the original version of "Birthday" by The Sugarcubes is one of my favorite Sugarcubes tunes, and although I got to see them live back in 1989 opening for Public Image Ltd. and New Order, and although Bjork has attained a level of success whereby she needs only one name, I think the more interesting persona involved with the remix is Justin Robertson. It's unprecedented for me to write about remixers in CRC, but to any music lover at the turn of the 90s Justin's name has probably surfaced many, many times in record collections everywhere. Turned on to music by the burgeoning acid house scene while a student in Manchester, Robertson quickly jumped headlong into the club scene, taking the record store to DJ to club owner route. Erasure, Bjork, Happy Mondays, New Order, Talk Talk, Stereo MCs and Gary Clail are just a few of the more recognizable names Justin has worked with. You may have noticed that four of those artists/bands are featured in this podcast. Coincidence? Well, yes, it was just coincidence. To read more about Justin Robertson's odyssey, you can check him out at http://thedeadstock33s-justinrobertson.com/
Four albums and twelve singles. That's the total output of Renegade Soundwave's eight-year run as dance/east-end hip-hop/dub/sampling/electro-industrialist noise-makers. The song here, Transition, is from their "In Dub" album, which was a quick follow-up to the success of their first long-play album, "Soundclash". Released in 1989, "Soundclash" followed up several popular singles: "The Kray Twins", "Biting My Nails", and "Probably A Robbery", which charted at #38 in the UK during the year 1990. "Probably A Robbery", though gained chart legs mostly due to the b-side, "Ozone Breakdown", a favorite in dance clubs somewhat due to the prominent sample from the cult film, "The Warriors". RSW have been cited by The Chemical Brothers as a major influence.
Red Flag, in my opinion as far as electronic dance music goes, was very under-appreciated. Buried beneath their hearty dance beats are beautiful pop songs with lush melodies and harmonies and catchy hooks, at least that was the case with their earlier material, including the track here, "Machines". Originally called Shades Of May, the band was conceived in 1982 and consisted of brothers Mark and Chris Reynolds. Both classically trained musicians, by 1984 the two took seriously to studying music and computer technology. A 1988 gig for a Southern California record pool got them noticed by producer Jon St. James. Shortly thereafter, their first single "Broken Heart" (an amazing song, no less) made its debut. Stacey Q, of "Two Of Hearts" fame, co-produced the single with St. James. Their album "Naive Art", a fantastic album from start to finish that included dance hits such as "Russian Radio" and "If I Ever", appeared in 1989. If timing is everything, the brothers' was impeccable as "Naive Art" hit the streets just as Depeche Mode were riding high at what was perhaps the peak of their songwriting prowess. As such, Red Flag's sound struck a chord, literally and figuratively with the synthpop crowds who, ahem, just couldn't get enough of DM at the time. Regulars to CRC will notice a rather robust selection of Razormaid! remixes throughout these podcasts and "Naive Art" remains the only album Joseph Watt and Co. from Razormaid! ever produced in its entirety. Paul Robb of Information Society also helped with the production. Red Flag were victims of label doldrums twice: the first was the dissolution of Enigma Records in 1991, which led to their signing to IRS, the label on which "Machines" appeared. The second was the following year when they were dropped from IRS, an event which, considering the label's impending financial troubles, may have been rather fortuitous. The brothers also had the foresight to use their advance to build their own studio, which would be home of their own label, Plan B Records. It would be the imprint of all future releases. While the band is still actively recording, Mark Reynolds sadly committed suicide in 2003. May he rest in peace and may his music live on forever.
CRC Retro Reboot (originally broadcast 2-18-11)
April 17, 2015 08:38 AM PDT
1. Messages (Razormaid! Mix) - Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark
Notes: Hi, again! This is my second installment of the Retro Reboot series. It's kind of a way to revisit some of my better, older podcasts while I get everything ready to do some new podcasts in the near future. For some of you these episodes will be familiar, but for some of my newer friends and listeners they will sound completely new. Regardless, it's all great music that should be heard. This particular episode was originally published in February of 2011. Happy listening!CRC Retro Reboot (originally broadcast 4-23-10)
March 04, 2015 08:07 AM PST
1. The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight (Dominant Mix) - Dominatrix
Notes: I'm back! Well, kind of. It's been a long three years away, but a career change, a cross-country move, starting a family and all the obligations that go along with it quickly push podcasting down the ol' priority list. It also didn't help that all of my music has been in packing boxes since the move. Well, that has recently changed and I'm starting to get it all organized again, meaning I'm hoping to start doing podcasts again. They probably won't be as frequent as I'd like, but it will be something, which is more than the nothing I've given you, my listeners, for the past long while.
During the process of unearthing my music collection, I came across some of my earlier podcasts. Because I ditched my Pro account for the free one in light of my time constraints, most of my old podcasts were removed from this site as my storage capacity was severely depleted. While I try to get organized, I thought it might be cool to re-post some of my better, earlier efforts. For new listeners, it will give you some new material to listen to. For those who have been with me from the start, it will at least replace the podcasts that have been up for an eternity. The one here is the one that started it all: my first ever podcast.
I'll post the track list in the next day or so for those who do not have it. In the meantime, it's good to be back (well, kind of).
CRC Retro Mix 37
February 27, 2012 10:26 PM PST
1. Meant to Be - The Listening Pool
2. Silent Cry - Chris & Cosey
3. Sometimes (Extended Mix) - Erasure
4. Beethoven (I Love to Listen To) (Razormaid! Mix) - Eurythmics
5. She Drives Me Crazy (David Z 12" Version) - Fine Young Cannibals
6. I Don't Want Your Love (Dub Mix) - Duran Duran
7. Secret (Original 12" Mix) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
8. The Blue Sky - a-ha
9. Don't You Want Me (Special Extended Dance Mix) - The Human League
10. True Faith (Shep Pettibone Remix) - New Order
11. Breakaway (Popper Mix) - Big Pig
12. Date Stamp - ABC
13. Dangerous (Hazchemix) - Depeche Mode
14. Possible Worlds - The Shamen
15. Fanatic (Razormaid! Mix) - Claudia Brucken
Notes and other random things: How I'm going to do this write-up when I haven't even finished the last one is a complete mystery. Stay tuned to see whether or not I solve it!
CRC Retro Mix #36
December 24, 2011 12:24 AM PST
1. The Chase - Propaganda
2. Follow the Rainbow (Razormaid! Mix) - Joe Machine
3. X-Rated (Moonitor Version) - Psyche
4. 19 (Destruction Mix) - Paul Hardcastle
5. Humatic (Razormaid! Mix) - League of Gentlemen
6. World in my Eyes (Oil Tank Mix) - Depeche Mode
7. Situations (Razormaid! Mix) - Cetu Javu
8. Thinking of You - Seven Red Seven
9. Handsome (Psycho-Ray Mix) - Camouflage
10. Komputer Pop - Komputer
11. Heaven (Extended Version) - Until December
12. Spooky (Magimix) - New Order
13. Render - Lassigue Bendthaus
14. W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. - Front 242
15. One World - Ajax
Notes and other random things:
Update as of (02-01-12): God golly ... is it already February?!?!
Just realized I forgot to do my notes and random things for this podcast, which was already over a month ago! Jeez. Well, it's on the way, plus a new podcast once I find time to record. New job, new family member, new year and a cross-country move on the horizon are taking up all my time at the moment. Did you notice all the "newness" in that last sentence? Yet here I am dishing out what Bryan Ferry would call "The Same Old Scene" when it comes to reasons why I can't seem to get podcasts up in a reasonable amount of time anymore. Or, like ABC's Martin Frye crooned, "Excuses have their uses, but they're all used up." Seriously, though, I can't recall being any busier in my entire life and I beg your indulgence with my slow updates of late.
Update as of (02-04-12): Let's look at a few of the bands in this particular episode (finally, right!?) I want to start with League of Gentlemen. Funny I want to start with a band I know almost nothing about, but it's really the concept of this song that intrigues me so much. Back in the 80s, there were a lot of industrial-sounding bands that were fascinated with the synthesis between man and machine and what it might entail for the survival of the human race. Mysterious Art, for instance, if you recall from an eariler episode, touched on the theme with Men of Glass. There were plenty of others. This excellent number from 1987 does the same.
On a side note, I have always been fascinated how Eastern Bloc industrial artists could always seem to write cool songs even though they barely knew English. Somehow they take sentence fragments and comma splices, add the letter "z" wherever there is supposed to be an "s", pluralize words like "informationz" and still manage to give me chills. That's talent! Of course, this band only had enough talent to do one song because I haven't, to date, found anything else by these guys ... at least in this incarnation. As we have learned with producers like Morton, Sherman and Belucci they can "seed" an entire genre by doing hundreds of one-off bands to create a scene as those guys did with the Belgian New Beat dance scene years ago. So, maybe the guys in LOG reformed under another moniker. I'll have to look into it sometime.
But there's more to this "Humatic" phenomenon than meets the eye. As with other electronic groups who explored man's servitude to the rise of machines there is an inherent lack of logic there that makes me chuckle. I've played it out for you below, though names have been changed to protect the innocent. (Note: this is a completely fictional account)
Klaus: Hi, Gert.
Gert: Howdy, Klaus.
Klaus: Say, Gert, how would you like to be in a band with me?
Gert: Sounds great, Klaus. But is this another one of your band concepts that requires I wear lederhosen on stage while dumping a stein full of Krautspatzle over my head?
Klaus: No, Gert. This one is much better. I want to explore the relationship between man and machine and how eventually, due to elementary chaos theory, all machines will morph and rise up against their masters and enslave them, breed with them and create a hybrid race of automatons that will exterminate all humanity.
Gert: Count me in!
Klaus: Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get the drum machines, sequencing keyboards, electronic samplers and Commodore computers that we'll be using.
Gert: Sounds great, Klaus. I can't see anything that can go wrong with this utterly ironic plan of yours. By the way, do you have a band name yet?
Klaus: I sure do, Gert. I wanted something memorable and easy to recall, so it's come down to either Braunschweiger Umweltverschmutzung or League of Gentlemen.
Update as of (02-17-12): I don't have anymore fantastic re-enactments for the next band in the arsenal. In fact, like League of Gentlemen, I have little to no information at all about Joe Machine either, though I think I came across his social networking page on MySpace ... or at least some guy who goes by the name Joe Machine. Anyway, we have ZYX records in Germany to thank for this release and divinity to thank for the voice that is eerily reminiscent of Daniel Ash from Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets fame.
As is the case so often with electronic music of this era, "Kraftwerk creep" rears its head a couple of times in this episode. Seeing as how they are one of the most influential collectives in electronic music history it's not surprising that so many others to follow were touched by their genius. From tempo to timbre to replicating the "Musique non-stop" mantra found in the Kraftwerk tune of the same name from the Electric Cafe album, Psyche's X-rated is a delectable morsel of synthetic cyber-porn sleaze that captures the Kraftwerk-ian spirit perfectly and garners this episode an "explicit" tag in the process. Sebastian Komor of Icon of Coil remixed the track. Then, there is the awesome, sub-splitting frequencies of the track Komputer Pop by the band Komputer. If you recall, I mentioned this band when discussing the group I Start Counting several episodes ago as they, Fortran 5 and Komputer are all brain children of David Baker and Simon Leonard. If you haven't done so and you are a Kraftwerk fan, I highly recommend Komputer's first album called World of Tomorrow. It's a fantastic concept album and is about as close to replicating the Kraftwerk sound as you're going to find. There are a bunch of great tracks to boot. And in case you missed it, Baker and Leonard recently released a compilation of tracks spanning all three iterations of their long-time collaboration. Called Konnecting, it contains 15 tracks. For die-hards, they also released a companion 60-track digital deluxe set of b-sides and rarities with tons of remixes. If you have never owned anything by these guys, the new set is a fantastic place to begin and perhaps end if you're not a completist when it comes to music collecting.
More to come ...
CRC Retro Mix #35
October 24, 2011 01:57 PM PDT
Note as of 12-18-11:
Hello, once again! I'm sending out these notes as a way to fill in the long gap left by my lack of posting a recent episode and as a way to keep you up-to-date on my status. For all the gory details of my recent podcasting travails, read the previous two entries in red below. Despite all the seemingly unfortunate news, this note is to let everyone know I have recorded a new podcast and it's ready to post once my bandwidth resets again in just a few days! (For all the gory details about bandwidth, you can also read below.) Anyway, hang tough, gang - the light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly approaching and I think you're going to find the new podcast was worth the wait. In it there are a LOT of great tunes that you probably have not heard before, plus some very different versions of a couple of old classics. Again, thanks for your patience!
Note as of 12-05-11:
Hi, all. Well, what a long, strange hard drive breaking down, no computer for two weeks trip it has been. I am happy to report that I have my computer back and it appears to be functioning just fine. The good news is I can get back to podcasting. The bad news is I have gone over my bandwidth for December already! The good news is I have tracks all selected for my next episode and will record it this week. The bad news I probably won't be able to post it right away. The good news is I will begin work on subsequent podcasts so that when my bandwidth resets once again I can hopefully post several episodes at once. The bad news is I'm hungry so I need to go get something to eat. The good news is you won't have to read anymore of this drivel!
You all are the best audience anywhere and I fully appreciate the support and your saint-like patience. Hell, if I were you I probably would have quit listening to me by now. But then I would have changed my mind and would have started listening to me more than ever! Gee, what a swell guy I'd be if I were you.
Note as of 11-28-11:
I meant to post a new episode this past weekend. I really did. Unfortunately, the hard drive on my computer gave out and I'm currently in the process of getting it replaced. Installing a new hard drive is no big deal, but it's trying to save all the data on the old one that is taking some time. The good news is I hope to have my computer back today or maybe tomorrow. The bad news is that I'm already halfway to my bandwidth limit for the month and we're only 4 days in. I just have to hope I can find time to record before I reach my ceiling. Again, I apologize to everyone for the lack of a new episode over the past month. Thanksgiving holidays + no bandwidth + broken hard drive = not good. Hang with me just a little longer! Everything should be back to normal shortly.
1. Sea-Missile Motel - Moev
2. New Decisions - Manufacture
3. See How it Cuts (Extended Club Dub Dance Remix Version) - I Start Counting
4. Slave (Extended Mix) - Revenge
5. Das Omen (Razormaid! Mix) - Mysterious Art
6. Opportunities (Ron Dean Miller and the Latin Rascals Mix) - Pet Shop Boys
7. Who Needs Love Like That (The Love That Mix Version) - Erasure
8. Locomotion (Razormaid! Mix) - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
9. Our Lips are Sealed (12" Mix) - Fun Boy Three
10. Love Reaction (12" Mix) - Divine
11. Our Love / Lucky (Razormaid! Mix) - Donna Summer
12. Everything's Gone Green - New Order
13. When Smokey Sings (The Miami Mix) - ABC
14. Send Me an Angel '89 (Dance Mix) - Real Life
15. Pretty in Pink (Berlin Mix) - The Psychedelic Furs
Notes and other random things: A couple weeks back I left a note at the top of my podcast explaining my current bandwidth situation. In short, I pretty much use up my monthly allotment within the first couple days of each month anymore ... and I blame you all! No, really. I do. But, as I said then, it's a great problem to have and I'm so very thankful that you guys tune in like you do to hear these classic retro dance tunes on a frequent basis. The only drawback is that PodOMatic has become pretty strict about allowing DJs to post new episodes if they have gone beyond their bandwidth limitations. What does that mean exactly?
Well, first it means I had to change the sub-title of my Podcast. Since its inception I have used the subhead: "An (almost) weekly retro dance experiment." With my current busy schedule, "almost weekly" was a stretch even using a qualifier such as "almost". Now, my window of opportunity is even smaller than before. As such, I altered the subhead to: "80s and 90s retro dance adventures of a boy and a cheap mixer." It's probably a better descriptor anyway as I'm a boy and I own a cheap mixer.
Second, it means unless I can scrounge up the roughly $250 per year PodOMatic charges for the next tier of bandwidth, I'm going to be saddled with this problem for the foreseeable future.
Third, it means you'll probably be seeing a PayPal donation button appearing on my page very soon. I had the option to remove it in the beginning, which I did, but I'll probably put it back up there in case any of you would like to chip in towards an account upgrade. I don't make any money doing this, nor did I intend to, but I also didn't anticipate the amazing response I've received thus far either.
Fourth, I'm also looking into placing some Google AdSense ads onto my page. I know, I think it cheapens everything and makes me look desperate, but if I can convince you guys to click on them when you visit my page, it might go far in helping me upgrade my account, which means I can provide retro goodness to you on a more frequent basis. I should point out that neither begging for donations nor begging for clicks are desirable options, but doing only one new Podcast per month isn't really an attractive option either.
All in all, I haven't yet decided how I'm going to handle my current situation, but I'm sure it will become clear as we move closer to 2012. I just wanted you all to be aware of what's transpiring right now. I can say from reading the forum posts that many other podcasters share my predicament and are none too happy because ultimately it's the listeners, the lifeblood of our shows, who end up getting shortshrifted. So, my apologies to everyone on that front.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, I can catch you up on some of the artists in this episode. In the meantime, I hope to have another new episode up very soon. Hang tight!
Let's start with Harris Glenn Milstead, better known as Divine. This is Divine's first appearance on CRC. I've shied away from his work over the past year and a half so far because I just couldn't find a good segueway for it. Well, that and his stuff is pretty crappy. It's highly derivative schlock that anyone other than a flamboyant drag queen wouldn't be able to get away with. I mean, this is the same guy who somehow got industrial record label Wax Trax! to release his version of The Name Game song (you know: Tintin, Tintin, bo-bintin, Banana fana fo Fintin, Fe fi mo-minton, Tintin!) But this is Divine we're talking about and you'd expect nothing less from a member of John Waters' "Dreamlanders" troupe ... and he delivered every time! I guess that sounds a little harsh if it weren't really the point. Heck, it was Waters, the guy who aspired to make the "trashiest motion pictures in cinema history", who gave Divine his name and enlisted him as the lead in several of his soon-to-be cult films. Those appearances piqued Divine's lust for more fame and fortune, which he would find at the start of the 80s when he delved into the club scene. His "act" consisted of yelling "f*ck you!" at the audience and getting into fisticuffs with a fellow drag queen. In a way, Jerry Springer owes his entire television career to Divine!
Pairing up with composer and record producer Bobby Orlando, Divine's live spectacles began to include disco numbers including the song Love Reaction, which appears here. His growing popularity on the club circuit spawned world tours even though Divine admitted at the time not being able to sing a lick as you'll witness first-hand. Orlando had gone about producing an entire album and touring before Divine had even mastered the lyrics. But that didn't stop him as Divine thought that if porn stars could have successful stints in the studio (I'm guessing he meant The Andrea True Connection and that ilk) why couldn't he? Really, though, the music was secondary to the trash, which is perhaps why Divine has been a secondary thought so far on CRC compared to other artists whose focus was the music. Still Love Reaction was the third single to chart on the Dutch Singles Chart and peaked at #25. It also spent 7 weeks on the German Singles Chart peaking at #55. And if you can't quite get enough of New Order's Blue Monday, this is basically the version Divine would have recorded had he been the lead singer, so there's that.
Next up is Donna Summer. Though I don't like to discount the possibility of any artist showing up on CRC at any point, I can tell you now, with almost complete certitude, that this will probably be her only appearance. It has nothing to do with her persona or a patent dislike for her music, except for the fact the bulk of her career occurred in the 70s and her hardcore disco sound doesn't exactly fit with what I'm trying to do here. Technically though, Our Love was released in '79, but didn't find massive success until the 12" version was released in 1980. From there it sold over a million copies. The track appeared on Summer's seventh album called Bad Girls, which became her best-selling album of all time as it spawned six different singles including the title track and Hot Stuff. One of the key contributors to Our Love and the Bad Girls album as a whole? Giorgio Moroder (of course!)
Moving from Summer to Sumner, New Order's Everything's Gone Green would seem an odd choice to mix into Our Love until you hear the similar electronic undertones. At that point it becomes more of a logical (and rather nifty, if I may say so) choice. In fact (or factus for you New order junkies), New Order have cited Donna Summer as an inspiration for their own work. According to lead singer Bernard Sumner, Blue Monday was heavily influenced by four tracks in particular: Dirty Talk, by Klein + M.B.O.; You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) by Sylvester; Our Love, by Donna Summer; and Uranium by Kraftwerk. As for Everything's Gone Green, it was released originally in 1981, peaking at #3 on the UK Independent Singles Chart and #34 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart. It is supposedly the first New Order track to contain computer-generated sounds and the last of the band's tracks to be produced by Martin Hannett. The song is also responsible for a major labeling gaffe. That's because the b-sides, Cries and Whispers and Mesh, were listed correctly on the record, but in reverse order on the record sleeve. The mistake led to several misidentifications on subsequent New Order album releases. For instance, the song Mesh appears as the third track on disc 2 of the Substance compilation, but should be credited as Cries and Whispers. Strangely, the real Mesh does appear on the cassette version of the album. Pretty dorky, stuff, eh? But where else are you going to find this kind of juicy information ... except maybe on the internet.
The lead track, Sea-Missile Motel, by Moev was the first track on their Dusk and Desire album, which was released in 1985. Originally formed in 1981 by keyboardist/percussionist Tom Ferris and keyboardist/vocalist Cal Stephenson, the band released their debut album, Zimmerkampf, in 1982, but was forced to find a new label after San Francisco-based Go! Records went under the following year. Interestingly, in 1984, band member Mark Jowett and manager Terry McBride formed Nettwerk Records in McBride's apartment as a way to release new Moev material. As many of you know, Nettwerk has attained worldwide success in the years since and is home to a musically diverse line-up of artists from Sarah McLachlan to Skinny Puppy. The band went through several personnel changes in the early going, but settled on Michela Arrichiello as lead vocalist during the years surrounding Dusk and Desire and she is the voice you'll hear on this track. Bassist/drummer Kelly Cook, vocalist Dean Russell and keyboardist/percussionist Anthony Valcic would eventually replace many of the early members and would form what is considered to be the classic Moev line-up. In 1988, their highly successful Yeah Whatever album spawned their best-known track, Crucify Me, which, unlike Donna Summer, I can assure you will appear in CRC at some point down the road.
Label mates Manufacture further exemplify the eccentricity that graced the Nettwerk Records musical stable. Formed in 1984 by Brian Bothwell and Perry Geyer, the group was originally created as a soundtrack company, making experimental music and video. After performing in front of live audiences, the duo eventually became a band. In 1987, they were signed to Nettwerk and were commissioned to make two full-length albums as well as a variety of 12" dance singles. The song here, New Decisions, comes from the second album, World Control. It was a bit more pop-friendly than their debut, Terrorvision, though Sarah McLachlan did perform vocal honors on the great track, As the End Draws Near. Believe it or not, that song eventually was awarded a platinum single in Canada when it appeared on her album, B Sides, Rarities, and other Stuff. For the record, Brian Bothwell continues to work in the film and video field and also works as a Photographer in New York City. Meanwhile, Perry Geyer continues to produce music and owns and operates CyberSound Studios in Boston and New York City.
That's all for this episode. Thanks for listening!
Think you know all there is to know about new wave, pop, synthpop, and early electronica from the 80s and 90s? Think again. Groove to a continuous mix of some of the great retro dance club classics, forgotten gems and rarities from one of music's greatest eras. Pop your collar, strap on a Swatch or five and enjoy!
I guess you could say I've been a fully-fledged DJ for about eleven years, having had the good fortune to perform opening sets at a local 80s dance establishment called the Breakfast Club in Charlotte, NC for nearly four of those years. It was a chance opportunity and one that I relished until the night ran its course and came to an end. I started Clearance Rack Classics as a way to continue doing live mixes and to share great music with anyone willing to listen. Gone are the crowds and the funky fashions in this format, but gone also are the music mandates from club owners. Here, I get to play what I really want my audience to hear and not have to devote all my time to the "hits", so to speak. It's not that I have anything against the hits, but there is so much good music out there that begs to be heard. It seems that, as the years go by, more and more genres have been compartmentalized into about 75-100 songs that get repeated over and over in various media. The rest gets squeezed out or gets forgotten entirely. It is my hope that I can keep the dimming embers burning bright right here. Happy listening!
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