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CRC Retro Mix #38
June 05, 2015 12:45 PM PDT

1. Visions Of You - Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart
2. Life's What You Make It (Extended Mix) - Talk Talk
3. Birthday (Justin Robertson 12" Mix) - The Sugarcubes
4. Feel Every Beat (DNA Remix) - Electronic
5. Hallelujah (Club Mix) - Happy Mondays
6. Big In Japan (Remix '88) - Alphaville
7. Transition - Renegade Soundwave
8. Notorious (Extended Mix) - Duran Duran
9. Prisoner To Desire (Razormaid! Mix) - Psyche
10. Love Comes Quickly (Dance Mix) - Pet Shop Boys
11. Policy Of Truth (Beat Box Mix) - Depeche Mode
12. Walking Away (Space Age Mix) - Information Society
13. True Faith (Shep Pettibone Remix) - New Order
14. Subversion (Razormaid! Mix) - Tanz Waffen
15. Machines (LP Edit) - Red Flag

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.,
Wobble formed Invaders of the Heart in 1983, but sometime in the mid-80s became disillusioned with the commercialism prevalent in the music industry. That and his penchant for drunken brawls let to a hiatus from music. Thankfully, a friend and former bandmate convinced him to return. A live recording he made led to a new contract with a small European label, which propelled him to further success with subsequent Invaders albums. Since the early 90s, Wobble's world music leanings and unique dub-style bass playing has shown up in numerous collaborations with a wide range of musicians of all musical backgrounds.

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 #2 (originally broadcast 2-18-11)
April 17, 2015 08:38 AM PDT

1. Messages (Razormaid! Mix) - Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark
2. Computer World - Kraftwerk
3. Perfect Kiss - New Order
4. Unveiling the Secret (Remix) - Psyche
5. Desperate But Not Serious - Adam Ant
6. Atomic - Blondie
7. It's Called a Heart (Razormaid! Mix) - Depeche Mode
8. Talk Talk (Extended Version) - Talk Talk
9. Space Age Love Song - A Flock Of Seagulls
10. Train of Thought (Extended Mix) - a-ha
11. The Sound of the Crowd (12" Version) (Complete) - The Human League
12. Uncertain Smile (12" Mix) - The The
13. Nowhere Girl - B-Movie
14. Cool Blue - Eurythmics
15. Tainted Love '91 - Soft Cell


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 #1 (originally broadcast 4-23-10)
March 04, 2015 08:07 AM PST

1. The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight (Dominant Mix) - Dominatrix 2. Touched By The Hand Of God (Razormaid! Mix) - New Order 3. West End Girls (Razormaid! Mix) - Pet Shop Boys 4. Kiss You (When It's Dangerous) (Extended Remix) - Eight Seconds 5. The Promise - When In Rome 6. A Letter From Afar (Big Mix) - B-Movie 7. Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) - A Flock Of Seagulls 8. Brave New World (Razormaid! Mix) - Moskwa TV 9. Situations - Cetu Javu 10. LFO - LFO 11. Change Your Mind (Razormaid! Mix) - Gary Numan 12. Shellshock - New Order 13. Don't Go (Razormaid! Mix) - Yaz 14. Getting Away With It (Razormaid! Mix) - Electronic 15. Love U More (A Version) - Sunscreem 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). Happy Listening!

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.

Gert: Rad.


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

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!



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!

DJ Tintin 


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.


DJ Tintin   




CRC Retro Mix #34
September 27, 2011 12:21 AM PDT
itunes pic

1. The Politics of Dancing - Re-Flex

2. Here Comes the Rain Again - Eurythmics

3. Fools (Bigger) - Depeche Mode

4. People are Still Having Sex - LaTour

5. Thinking of You (Warzone Mix) - Seven Red Seven

6. Ebeneezer Goode (Beatmasters Mix) - The Shamen

7. Doved Up - Sunscreem

8. Round & Round (The Club Mix) - New Order

9. Two Tribes (Annihilation Mix) - Frankie Goes To Hollywood

10. Living on Video - Trans-X

11. Deeper Shade of Blue (Extended) - Red Flag

12. Dust - Boxcar

13. Together in Electric Dreams (Extended) - The Human League

14. Smalltown Boy (Razormaid! Mix) - Bronski Beat

15. Leaving on a Midnight Plane (Razormaid! Mix) - Nick Straker


Notes and other random things: Well, if the new episode hadn't already tipped you off ... I'm back! Please, no applause (surely none of you applauded). It was great to get out of town for a week even though about a third of the trip was spent in the car. Yup. About 2200 miles in total. But if you've been keeping up with these podcasts you've probably come across several posts that discuss road trips. Personally, I enjoy them. There's nothing quite like watching unfamiliar scenery float by in parallax while skirting past 18-wheelers in a downpour. In all seriousness, it's nice to witness different topography, different natural wonders, different roadkill and take in the subtle differences of a McDonald's cheeseburger that was constructed in backwoods America versus that of the big city. In case you were wondering, it tastes like it has better family values ... and a dash more possum. 

But the real point of taking a vacation is to come back re-energized which, if you look at the music selection in this episode, you can clearly see that I have (unless you don't know any of these songs in which case you'll have to take my word for it and then listen for yourself!) This set is positively high energy through and through with a delicate balance of 80s and 90s; major and minor keys; some meat and in one or two cases a lot of cheese (I'm looking at you, Nick Straker ... but don't think I haven't glanced more than once in your direction too, Phil Oakey). But I like cheese, which is why songs like Together in Electric Dreams and Leaving on a Midnight Plane surface in this podcast. And just so you know, Nick and Phil, I'm going to discuss you guys first to show there are no hard feelings.

Nick Straker was originally the keyboardist for a band called New Musik. Formed in 1977, the band was initially called The End of the World and was conceived mainly as a casual jam session outfit for four London-based school mates: singer Tony Mansfield, bassist Tony Hibbert, drummer Phil Towner (who drummed on the Buggles MTV-launching track Video Killed the Radio Star) and Straker. The band was one of the first to blend electronic instruments with traditional ones, creating an irresistible pop sound with superb melodies and unrelenting hooks. Why they were never able to make bigger waves on the commercial scene still baffles many music critics and historians. Mansfield, however, went on to become a big-time producer working with early 80s bands like a-ha, Vicious Pink, B-52's and After the Fire among others. Straker departed New Musik before the release of their first single choosing to pursue a solo career. He scored several hits, including A Little Bit of Jazz, which reached #1 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1981 and A Walk in the Park, which hit #20 on the UK Singles Chart in 1980. The track here is the excellent (and cheesy!) Razormaid! mix of Leaving on a Midnight Plane. It originally appeared on the A Walk in the Park album and peaked at #61 on the UK Singles Chart in 1980. 

Together in Electric Dreams is an interesting case study in musical perception. Often associated with The Human League, the track is really a Giorgio Moroder creation with lead singer of THL, Phil Oakey, contributing vocals. It's no surprise that THL often gets most of the credit because they were still near the apex of their popularity in 1984 when the song was initially released. The track was written for the film Electric Dreams, the first full-length feature film by Steve Barron. Barron made his mark directing some pretty high-profile music videos during the early 80s, including THL's international smash hit Don't You Want Me. The funny thing is, he intended Electric Dreams as a way of capturing the massive success of Flashdance from the year before. Yes ... Flashdance! Because that film used music from Moroder, Barron decided to employ Moroder as the music director for his new film. He wanted something heart-stirring to run during the final credits and a classic 80s track was born. The song would surface on a collaborative album by Moroder and Oakey the following year. This extended version is taken from an album of THL rarities and remixes, which certainly won't help the perception that this song is not a THL original. The fact that I credited it as THL (since it was taken from a THL album) won't help either. But I'm going to do something about that Giorgio Moroder for the remainder of the write-up Giorgio Moroder. I just hope it will set the record straight Giorgio Moroder about where some of the credit should go. 

I'm still planning to cover one or two more of the bands in this podcast. However, I thought I'd pass this on: it's information about the new Erasure album I hinted at in an eariler episode. The album already dropped in the UK, but for those of us stateside, the release date is Tuesday, October 11. I can't wait!


The standard single CD edition is packaged in a single fold digipac with a light pink background and includes a booklet with lyrics to all the songs that also folds out into a poster.
TRACKLISTING - Be With You / Fill Us With Fire / What Will I Say When You're Gone? / You've Got To Save Me Right Now / A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot / When I Start To (Break It All Down) / I Lose Myself / Then I Go Twisting / Just When I Thought It Was Ending


The deluxe 2-CD edition comes in a double-fold digipac with a light purple/blue background and different artwork to the standard edition, but includes the same poster booklet. The second CD on the deluxe edition contains 8 bonus tracks; extended mixes of 'I Lose Myself' and 'Fill Us With Fire' by longtime Erasure collaborator Gareth Jones; an extra track entitled 'Give Me Life'; demo versions of the songs that eventually became 'I Lose Myself', 'Fill Us With Fire', 'Be With You' and 'You've Got To Save Me Right Now'; and producer Frankmusik's own remix of the current Erasure single 'When I Start To (Break It All Down)'
CD1 - Be With You / Fill Us With Fire / What Will I Say When You're Gone? / You've Got To Save Me Right Now / A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot / When I Start To (Break It All Down) / I Lose Myself / Then I Go Twisting / Just When I Thought It Was Ending
CD2 - I Lose Myself [Extended 'No Self Control' Mix by Gareth Jones] / Give Me Life [bonus track not available elsewhere] / Fill Us With Fire [Extended 'Fired Up' Mix by Gareth Jones] / When I Start To (Break It All Down) [Frankmusik Remix] / Clash (demo version of 'I Lose Myself') / Big Song (demo version of 'Fill Us With Fire') / Major 7th (demo version of 'Be With You') / Save Me (demo version of 'You've Got To Save Me Right Now')


Note as of 10-08-11: Okay, I had planned to write a bit more about some of these bands, but I just flat don't have the time. I guess if it comes down to the writing or the music, I'll err on the side of the music because that's what this podcast is really about. So, I'm going to begin work on a new podcast with the bit of free time I have and end this one here. I'm sure these bands will return in the future and I can write about them at that time. Now, I realize the irony of writing a paragraph to tell you I don't have time to write anymore on this episode, so you don't have to bother pointing that out. Tongue out Hold tight for another episode coming soon!



On the Road Again 2011! Retro Mixtape #6
September 08, 2011 07:24 PM PDT
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1. Rise - Sugar Plant

2. Chromium - The Church

3. Blue - Bark Psychosis

4. Archway People - Saint Etienne

5. Judas - The Charlatans UK

6. Lowdown - Electrafixion

7. Life's an Ocean - The Verve

8. Hooligan - The Heartthrobs

9. Satellites - Doves

10. Out of Hand (Extended Version) - The Mighty Lemon Drops

11. Squeeze-Wax - Cocteau Twins

12. Within the Daze of Passion - Kitchens Of Distinction

13. Sideways Forest - Love Spirals Downwards

14. Paradise - Bel Canto

15. Portrait in Atlanta - The House of Love

16. Ox4 - Ride

17. I Know - Bark Psychosis


Notes and other random things: Okay, gang. I'm getting out of dodge for a few days and I didn't have time to do another dj mix before I leave. So, I'm doing the sixth installment of the mixtape series. As most of you know, these episodes are designed to be more like the mixtapes I used to make for friends way back when. They are a great way for me to relive my past, but also for me to showcase great 80s and 90s bands that don't really fit the dance format.

This particular compilation was an actual "mixtape" I put together five or so years ago, I believe. I'll have to look it up again to make certain. Anyway, I'll possibly put together a little write-up for this when I return. For now, just enjoy the music. There's some great stuff here for sure and plenty to fall in love with if you're not familiar with these artists. Which reminds me ... be sure to support the ones you hear in this podcast.

Cheers, and thanks for supporting me as well! I'll be back with another episode again soon.

Image courtesy of: relamz.deviantart.com

CRC Retro Mix #33
August 25, 2011 10:57 PM PDT
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1. American Dream - L.A. Style

2. X, Y & Zee (Sensory Amplification Mix) - Pop Will Eat Itself

3. W.F.L. (Think About the Future Mix) - Happy Mondays

4. Never Let Me Down (Aggro Mix) - Depeche Mode

5. It's Over Now - Cause & Effect

6. Again ('90 Remix) - Do Piano

7. Prisoner to Desire - Psyche

8. Don't Argue (Dance) - Cabaret Voltaire

9. Hyperreal (Remix) - The Shamen

10. Life on Your Own (Extended) - The Human League

11. Hip Hop Be Bop (12" Mix) - Man Parrish

12. State of the Nation - New Order

13. Around My Heart (Razormaid! Mix) - Sandra

14. It's Alright Now (Back to Basics) - Beloved

15. State of Shock (L'Pool Edit) - Revenge


Notes and other random things: Greetings from Charlotte, NC. I'm DJ Tintin and this is my retro podcast. Glad you've found it. Feel free to stay as long as you like.

Sorry for the re-introduction, but I've been away for so many weeks between my last podcast and this one that I almost feel like stranger to many of you. If you're tuning in for the first time, I am. And if you are, in fact, a newbie, I recommend going back and re-reading the first sentence, making sure to apply a tone of sincerity to the voice in your head instead of a sarcastic one. Before you do, however, I need to add a few more adjectives. That first sentence should read: Greetings from bread-less, milk-less, power generator-less Charlotte, NC.

What the hell am I talking about?

Well, for those listeners in the U.S., (and possibly abroad) you are probably well aware of the recent hurricane that hit the eastern seaboard over the past week. (If you're not, may I suggest the internet?) As such, there is neither bread, nor milk, nor power generator to be found anywhere as these are the desirable items for which panic-stricken residents spend hours in check-out lines hoping to buy the week leading up to the event. 

Now, as a mid-west transplant living in the Carolinas for 14 years, I get the fear associated with hurricanes. I do. They are analagous to the fear we mid-westerners have in regards to tornadoes. The difference is you have about 10-15 minutes maximum to prepare for a tornado as opposed to a week or so for a hurricane. What that means is after a tornado passes, I can at least emerge from the twisted pile of tinder that used to be my house, go down to the local market (if it’s still standing) and celebrate my continuing to live with a bowl of cereal. In the Carolinas, that’s an impossibility because the shelves have been completely wiped out.  

If I were a guy who actually bothered to prepare for catastrophe instead of worrying about posting his next podcast, I'd actually scoop up all the lunch meat, cereal and lightbulbs from the nearby food emporium at the first word of impending doom. Surely, someone with bread, milk and a power generator would be willing to barter for shelter should I be left homeless. Methinks the guy with the cache of mustard or mayo would probably be sitting pretty as well.

On to the music …

L.A. Style make their first appearance on CRC. They were a rave group that toured extensively between 1991 and 1995, when they eventually split up. The group was founded by radio host Wessel van Diepen, also the most successful dance-pop producer in Dutch history having assembled the groups Nakatomi and the Vengaboys as well. The band was fronted by Frans Zid Merkx, a multi-tool artist going by the moniker FX. Best known for their huge club hit James Brown is Dead, L.A. Style were the first group to land a rave track on Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay chart. The song here, American Dream, is the last track on L.A. Style’s self-titled album from 1993. The sample contained within comes from the first inaugural speech of President Richard M. Nixon, delivered Monday, January 20, 1969. See the excerpt below:

“The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep. But we are approaching the limits of what government alone can do. Our greatest need now is to reach beyond government, and to enlist the legions of the concerned and the committed. What has to be done, has to be done by government and people together or it will not be done at all. The lesson of past agony is that without the people we can do nothing; with the people we can do everything.”

Pop Will Eat Itself have appeared a couple times in earlier CRC episodes (#13 and #20) and both times the tracks used were taken from their Cure For Sanity album circa 1990. If you believe the past is a good indicator of the future, you won’t at all be surprised to learn that X, Y & Zee, the track here, also appeared on that amazing album. I say amazing because I have vivid memories associated with it, trucking home from Texas to Kansas over fall break my sophomore year in college. I took my roommate to see the Kansas/Kansas State football game and then we stayed in Manhattan (also called "The Little Apple", which is home to the KSU campus) with friends drinking and carousing well into the night after a KSU victory (though truth be told I’m a KU fan). This album received heavy rotation on that 1200-mile round trip and deservedly so, though you won’t find much agreement among those haters of what was called the “grebo” movement. Mostly a product of the music media who have an unfailing compulsion to label clusters of similar-sounding music, grebo started in the late 80s and continued on into the early 90s before “Brit Pop” took over. PWEI were forerunners of the subculture, which encompassed bands whose sound blended garage rock, hip hop, pop and electronica. Dreads, partially shaved heads and high ponytails, torn jeans, boots, lumberjack shirts, army surplus clothing, and eclectic hats defined the fashion (if you can call it that), a look dubbed by the Trouser Press as “slimy-looking lowlifes playing retrograde raunch”. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Jesus Jones, The Wonder Stuff and others were all part of that short-lived movement. The remix appearing here, though taken from the single, also appears as a hidden track at the end of the Cure for Sanity CD. A little PWEI trivia: the band was headed by Clint Mansell, a fine musician who has gone on to score many Hollywood films including the Darren Aronofsky films Pi and Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler and Black Swan. Music writing credits on PWEI albums are all listed as Vestan Pance, a pseudonym for the entire band. At one time, after the addition of drummer Robert “Fuzz” Townshend to their line-up, they proposed the name Vestan Pance and Socks, which was summarily rejected by their label RCA.

Speaking of heading up an artistic movement, The Happy Mondays would most certainly qualify. Lead by one-time smack user Sean Ryder, the Mondays charged headlong into what would become the Ecstasy-fueled club scene in Manchester, England. Dubbed “Madchester” by those who were there, the Mondays became poster boys for the “haves” of the sonic landscape, diving into excess so severely that they nearly drove their label, Factory Records, into financial oblivion. The whole thing is pretty well-chronicled in the excellent film 24-Hour Party People, directed by Michael Winterbottom, which is sort of a dramatized account of Factory Records head man, Tony Wilson, and the rise of Joy Division, with some attention given to other Factory bands including: New Order, A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column and, of course, the Mondays. The track here, W.F.L. (which stands for Wrote For Luck) was remixed by Paul Oakenfold and appears on the mini-album Hallelujah. Hallelujah was originally a four-song EP called the Madchester Rave On EP, but was renamed after three bonus dance mixes were added before its release in the U.S. For Erasure buffs, a Vince Clarke remix of W.F.L. also appears on the CD version of the Mondays’ second full-length album called Bummed.

When close-knit bands lose a member to tragic circumstances there exists a time of deep reflection followed by a re-evaluation period where remaining members make the critical decision to fold up the tent or to carry on. After losing singer Ian Curtis to suicide on the eve of their first U.S. tour, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris of Joy Division decided to continue on, though they decided a name change was in order to escape the long shadow left by Curtis. Out of the ashes came New Order. For Rob Rowe of Cause & Effect, the untimely death of friend and co-founder Sean Rowley too put his hopes for the future in serious doubt. The tragic loss in many ways eclipsed the success of their self-titled debut album on Exile Records (which was later re-issued as Another Minute by BMG). That album spawned two top ten dance singles, including You Think You Know Her, which stands as the group’s pop chart high point. Unlike Joy Division, Rob made the decision to move forward under the C&E banner. He enlisted Keith Milo, a California-based electronic musician and, along with drummer Richard Shepherd, the band released their second full-length album, Trip, in 1994.            

“Performing the tribute to Sean at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas Show in LA was a turning point,” explains Rowe in the band’s Offical bio, “The overwhelming support from the fans and audience made me realize that giving up just wasn’t an option.”

“Coming in to Cause and Effect after Sean’s death was a scary thing to do,” adds Milo. “There was so much uncertainty. Sean was a genius with melody, he was irreplaceable. I think there was solace in the fact that we became a very different band at that point and we all felt that we were doing the right thing by continuing on.”

Produced by the great Martyn Phillips, Trip contains the brilliant track appearing here, It’s Over Now. It ultimately climbed to #7 on Billboard’s modern rock charts, and was the band’s fourth release to appear on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

The last artist I want to touch upon this go-round is Man Parrish. An Andy Warhol, Club 54 “freakazoid”, Man Parrish is responsible for a couple of the most enduring, innovative and influential tracks in the history of electronic music. I say a couple because as quickly as he arrived he vanished once again into relative obscurity. Arriving right at the juncture of the evolutionary electronic music tree where legendary producers like Arthur Baker and John Robie split from the Kraftwerk-infused trunk to create a portion of the hip-hop foundation with Soul Sonic Force’s track Planet Rock, Manny Parrish would split the other way, building upon the notes of Kraftwerk’s Autobahn that were no doubt trapped somewhere in his brain. Using a Roland TR-808 drum machine and two keyboards, he crafted Hip Hop Be Bop in his bedroom. In doing so, he became one of the early producers-turned-artists on the electronic music scene.

In an interview, Man said of the track, “It was played in a really wide spectrum: in black hip-hop clubs, in white underground places like Danceteria, in after-hours clubs. The radio station pumped it like crazy because I did vocoder spots for them and in exchange for payment, they put my stuff into heavy rotation. When you first hear it, you think, ‘Huh, weird instrumental track.’ But the more you listen to it, it's like, 'This is really interesting.' It even happened to me: I used to hate it at first."

Hip Hop Be Bop went on to sell over two million copies, but Parrish received almost nothing for his groundbreaking efforts. Much like innovation, ripping off artists was commonplace back then. As Parrish explains, “When I first started out I was so broke I made this song called Heatstroke as a soundtrack for a porno movie. Some DJ had sampled it off the movie, made an acetate, and somebody told me, ‘Hey they're playing your music at this club.’ I ran down to the club and all of a sudden my song came on. I asked the DJ, ‘Wait a minute, where'd you get that record? It's my music.’ He told me, ‘That's your music? Come down to the record company, they'll sign you on the spot.’"

He goes on to say, “I got nothing--it was the classic first record rip-off deal. I would go to the label and literally beg for rent. The guy who owned it bought a plane, a house in Vermont, and a Porsche with a hand-carved dashboard. It was how everyone did it back then.”

After suffering so many disappointments and massive burn-out, Parrish ended up a male prostitute for a spell to pay the bills. As many musicians as were influenced by him, Man Parrish inadvertently may have influenced thousands of lawyers as well as his story reads like a textbook case of copyright infringement, an issue which would come to the forefront of music as technology and sampling began to take hold during the 80s.

That’s it for this episode. Thanks to everyone for tuning in and be sure to support the artists as they make this all possible. Barring any more hurricanes, I’ll be back soon with another episode.





CRC Retro Mix #32
July 31, 2011 09:56 AM PDT
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1. Tempted - Waterlillies

2. World in My Eyes (Safar Mix) - Depeche Mode

3. Neighbors (Extended Version) - Camouflage

4. So in Love (Brand New Extended Mix) - Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark

5. In Love with Love (Razormaid! Mix) - Debbie Harry

6. Always on My Mind / In My House - Pet Shop Boys

7. You Spin Me Round (Murder Mix) - Dead Or Alive

8. Witchcraft (Extended Mix) - Book Of Love

9. Don't Stop (Razormaid! Mix) - The Mood

10. Anvil (Night Club School) - Visage

11. Let's Go to Bed - The Cure

12. The Beach - New Order

13. Chorus (Fishes in the Sea) (Aggressive Trance Mix by Youth) - Erasure

14. Cry Wolf (Extended Mix) - a-ha

15. Hold It (Extended Mix) - Tin Tin


Notes and other random things: I don't know about you, but I've had about enough of the triple digit temperatures. In my part of the world, at least, it's so hot that sweat sweats, stadium vendors are selling "luke warm" dogs and Paris Hilton has changed her catch phrase to "That's cold." And August has just begun! I'm afraid it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Thankfully the opposite is true for this podcast.

This week, CRC continues its new wave hangover from the previous episode with great old tracks from The Mood, Visage, The Cure and New Order among the selections. The Mood were from York over in the UK. They formed in 1980 and, like so many other groups, members John Moore, Mark James Fordyce, Steve Carter, John Dalby and Eric James Logan met in a local music store they frequented. This particular establishment was called Track Records. As it was with Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode appeared as The Mood's supporting act for several early live gigs. (Funny how DM eventually surpassed so many of the groups for whom they opened.) The song here, Don't Stop, was released in 1982 and peaked at number 59 on the UK singles chart, but did reach the top spot on the UK dance chart, which had recently been introduced. Between their formation and dissolution in 1984, the band released 5 singles, but none did well enough for their label RCA to support a full album, though a 5-track mini-album was released in the US. A deal with EMI never materialized after the group left RCA and they split up in 1984.    

OMD have appeared several times before on CRC. Though mostly remembered for If You Leave, their bittersweet contribution to the awesome Pretty in Pink soundtrack, Andy McClusky and Paul Humphries strung together an amazing collection of pop hits throughout the 80s. The song here, So in Love, originally appeared on the Crush album, which was released in 1985. The album was the first that producer extraordinaire Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order and others) produced on his own. Though a little nervous, he and the band got along splendidly. The tracks for the album were recorded at Manor Residential studios in Oxford, an isolated locale which led to "long work days and a heroic amount of drinking," according to Stephen. As for the remix that appears here, Andy said that it "... was recorded with some live drums and most of the other instruments were from the Fairlight CMI sequencer, but all put to tape. Therefore, the 12" was made of a series of dub runs of the multi-track onto two track tape, then all spliced together like the good old analogue days." OMD recently released another studio album and have been touring quite liberally over the past year. 

It's not often cover songs show up on this podcast, but in the case of Always on My Mind, I made an exception. Here, the Pet Shop Boys do their thing to Brenda Lee's 1972 country music hit, though Willie Nelson's version from ten years later may be fresher in most minds. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe released this particular mix of the song in 1988 for their six-song album Introspective. They originally recorded the track for an ITV television special in Britain commemorating the 10-year anniversary of Elvis Presley's death (he covered the song as well). The song was such a sensation that the duo released the track as a single. The version here melds the original track with an acid-house track called In My House, which you will hear in its partiality before giving way to Dead Or Alive. A little trivia: In 2004, The Daily Telegraph slotted PSB's version of Always on My Mind at number two on their list of the 50 greatest cover songs of all time. It is a dandy, indeed. 

Speaking of cover tunes, one of Visage's earliest demos was a cover of Zagar and Evans' In the Year 2525, a haunting tune about man's inquisitive, yet self-absorbed and self-destructive nature. Formed by Steve Strange, the ubiquitous club kid, Visage were a distinctive zag(ar?) to the zigging of the post-punk movement going on at the end of the 70s. With ex-Rich Kids members vocalist Midge Ure and Rusty Egan already in tow, Ultravox's Billie Currie and bassist Barry Adamson, guitarist John McGeogh and keyboardist Dave Formula from the band Magazine joined forces with the group and released their first single, Tar - probably not the best choice, but it was material leftover from Strange's time in his previous band The Photons. Still, the difference between making your mark or not in the music biz often boils down to timing and for the next release, the group, now on Polydor instead of the tiny Radar Records, released their most successful song, Fade to Grey. It went on to sell massively throughout Europe and the single jump-started what would become the New Romantic movement.

A few other notes: In case you hadn't figured it out, The Beach is more or less the instrumental version of New Order's phenomenal dance track Blue Monday; mad props to the guys at Razormaid! for their absolutely killer mix of Debbie Harry's In Love With Love. My advice after hearing this version? Don't ever think about listening to the original on the Rockbird album - it's completely lifeless by comparison; a couple of episodes ago, you heard Snappy, the b-side to the Chorus single from Erasure. Well, here is the actual single, in a trance remix form you may never have heard before; finally, though it's far from my favorite track by Book of Love, band member Ted Ottaviano provides one of the better quotes you'll hear about a song. He said of Witchcraft, "While writing our second album I came up with this unrequited love song. The recipe is pretty clear: 1 part Greek Mythology, 1 part Nick at Night and a dash of JJ Fad." Good stuff!

That's it for this episode. Please support the artists, for they make this all possible. Check back very soon for another new episode and thanks to everyone for listening!




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