1. Quiet Room - Images In Vogue
2. AEIOU Sometimes Y - Ebn-Ozn
3. Cars (Razormaid! Mix) - Gary Numan
4. Tears - Psyche
5. You - (Razormaid! Mix) - Axodry
6. U.S.O.E. - C.C.C.P.
7. That Way Again - Seven Red Seven
8. Pineapple Face (Crimson Clover Mix) - Revenge
9. My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me to the Doctor) ( Extended Remix) - Dead Or Alive
10. Destination Eschaton - The Shamen
11. Scream Down at Me (Razormaid! Mix) - China Crisis
12. Girls on Film (Night Version) - Duran Duran
13. One Thing Leads to Another (Extended Version) - The Fixx
14. Tesla Girls (Razormaid! Mix) - Orchestral Manouevers In The Dark
15. That's Love, That it Is (Extended Remix Version) - Blancmange
Notes and other random things:
First, a Happy belated Easter to everyone. Yes, the write-up is a week late, but if I don't say that then the picture of that mushy sugar mess known as Peeps doesn't really make much sense. I apologize for the declining frequency of the 'casts lately and the delayed write-ups, but if the notion of quality over quantity ever needed to be applied, now would be a good time for it. I think it's John Lennon who once said that "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon said lots of things, not all of which I agree with, but he is quite right about that one. Don't worry: it's nothing bad or foul or vile. Actually, it's quite exciting stuff that I may reveal somewhere down the line, but for now I'll opt to keep some private things private. I know, I know. I'm such a tease sometimes. But let us get to the real reason you're here ... the music.
Images In Vogue have appeared once before on CRC with the great tune Lust for Love. Quiet Room was recorded between November 1981 and February 1982. As mentioned earlier, the band formed in Vancouver, Canada in 1981 and featured one Kevin Crompton on percussion. You may remember he went on to form the industrial band Skinny Puppy. Interestingly enough, he left Images In Vogue and stayed behind in Vancouver after convincing the group to move to Toronto thinking it would be easier to conduct their business there. Throughout the course of their decade-long career, they went through several line-up changes, but did open for Depeche Mode in 1982, Bryan Adams in 1983, and Duran Duran on the Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour in 1984. The band called it quits in 1991, gathering for a one-off show at Toronto's Opera House in 2002.
Ebn-Ozn's track AEIOU Sometimes Y appeared in an earlier Fun With Retro podcast from last year. The version you heard there was from a retro compilation whereas the version you'll hear in this episode is the album version. Any die-hard 80s fans will love this full-length version as it contains lyrical verses that you never hear on the radio during those retro shows. When you hear them, you'll understand why. Lead vocalist Ozn (Robert Rosen) even dares DJs to play this record, which most never did. Ebn (Ned Liben) was the instrumentalist of the group, though he died sadly in 1998 of a heart attack. Robert Rosen officially changed his name to Robert Ozn and has gone on to become an in-demand script analyst, screenwriter and producer.
My first ever podcast from last April included Change Your Mind, a track from Gary Numan and jazz fusion instrumentalist Bill Sharpe. Of course the track here, Cars, is probably Gary's best-known song and, unfortunately, one that is overplayed to death not only on the radio, but as bumper music for nearly every damn traffic report known to mankind. Still, it's a classic and deserves an appearance. I've shied away from Gary's music more than I'd like to because, like The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths and other bands, a live drummer causes some problems with beat matching. BPMs fluctuate wildly over the course of an entire song, so as a DJ you really have to pre-plan where you're going to mix out the song. The transition to Psyche's great song Tears, as you'll probably attest, isn't perfect, but it's close. Again, little things like this are just part of the character of this podcast. I'm keeping it real as the kids say these days. (Do kids still say that?)
Axodry was one of the MANY projects by Andreas Tomalla better known as Talla 2XLC. I wish I had more info for you on this release/project, but I don't. I can tell you the song was originally mixed by The Teutons of Fun, F. Poulton and M. Buchel, before Art Maharg of Razormaid! fame got hold of it to make this version. Ha ha ... get it? "Teutons" of fun ... two tons of fun. Um, yeah. Good times.
Seven Red Seven were comprised of Mitchell Adrian and David Michael. That Way Again was taken from their first full-length album Shelter, which was released in 1991. Though they had a sound reminiscent of Cause & Effect and other electro-pop bands of the era, their songs were full of great pop hooks and catchy melodies and very much held their own. The boys did a pretty interesting cover of Stevie Wonder's Superstition and helped out with remix work/backing vocals/songwriting on the 1997 release Hope Springs Eternal by Christian-oriented synth outfit The Echoing Green.
Revenge were one of several side projects by former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook. The band was sort of a response to the announcement by Bernard Sumner (lead singer of New Order) that he was taking a hiatus after their Technique tour to pursue other things. By "other things" he meant the band Electronic with Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys. It had been widely suggested that the name Revenge was aimed at Sumner, though Hook reveals the name idea actually came from the word "Revenge" spanning the back of the leather jacket George Michael wore in the video for his song Faith. Pineapple Face was the group's most successful song and a massive club hit. After the dissolution of Revenge, Hook went on to form the group Monaco, whose song Junk appeared on an earlier episode.
Dead Or Alive have been on this podcast a couple times previously. Last time, I discussed their connection with the production super-trio of Stock Aitken Waterman. The track here, My Heart Goes Bang, was remixed by Phil Harding and he offered some reflections on the track and SAW:
"The opening is very reminiscent of the sounds on You Spin Me Round - the slap bass is Fairlight - the main bass was a keyboard that I can't remember the name of ... and the drums were mainly the famous Linn drum machine." (It should be noted here that as a kid, I would have given my left arm, gall bladder, appendix and - get this - maybe even a functional internal organ of some sort for a Fairlight CMI keyboard and a Linn drum machine.) He continues, "Most of those would have been programmed by Stock and Aitken, then the marimba sounding sequence that enters is from the band's original programming. A lot of the tracks on the Youthquake album contained this similar combination of D.O.A. and SAW ideas, which made the final result exciting and full of great ideas."
China Crisis make their first appearance on CRC with the excellent Razormaid! mix of Scream Down at Me. The band originally formed in 1979 outside Liverpool in a township called Kirkby. They were sort of new wave-y, but had distinct elements of post-punk at their core. Their two best-known tracks stateside are probably Working with Fire and Steel and King in a Catholic Style, the former a huge hit in Australia and the latter reaching #19 in the U.K. It was also their last major hit single. Fans of artists like David Bowie, Brian Eno and Steely Dan, the group would end up working with Walter Becker from Steely Dan on their third full-length album circa 1985.
As much as I love the band, this is the first appearance by The Fixx on CRC. I guess I just never found a good moment to include them in the flow of a mix until now. One of the enduring factors about The Fixx's music is the production work by Rupert Hine. His guitar work in particular is always quite haunting and it creates a very solemn feel in much of his music. Rupert has worked with many other artists including Duncan Sheik on his first couple of albums and the band Eight Seconds, whose spine-chilling track Kiss Me When It's Dangerous has appeared twice on CRC (the last being the Thanksgiving episode). I can guarantee it will appear again in the future. The Fixx began their career as Portraits, changing it to The Fix (one "x") after adding guitarist Jamie West-Oram to the Portraits line-up of Cy Curnin (vocals), Adam Woods (drums), Rupert Greenall (keyboards) and Charlie Barrett (bass). After signing to MCA, the label forced the second "x" into the name to avoid any unwarranted drug references. Interestingly, they were largely ignored in their native England and it was America where they first became bonafide stars aided by heavy video rotation during the halcyon days of MTV. One Thing Leads to Another is one of the band's biggest hits reaching #4 on the pop charts. It also remains one of the defining songs of the band and the decade of the 80s as a whole. If you have never listened to the album Reach the Beach in its entirety, put it on your musical bucket list. It is a rock masterpiece without question. In fact, the title track is one of the most beautifully assembled songs you've probably never heard before.
Finally, Blancmange make their second trip to CRC with the extended remix version of That's Love, That it Is. Formed in 1979 in England, they were signed to London Records after their track Sad Day managed to make it onto the great Some Bizarre compilation alongside Depeche Mode's Photographic, Soft Cell's The Girl with the Patent Leather Face and Moles by the group B-Movie among others. Lead singer Neil Arthur recalls the recording of That's Love ... :
"We had this groove going and needed to get the last sequence laid on top. Took forever to sync up - wouldn't cooperate. Then by fluke as the track was starting, someone hit the sequencer in manual and it was perfect. 'Hit the record button!' everyone shouted. Message understood. A random event caught on tape."
Thanks to everyone for the kind messages sent to me this past week. I'm talking real actual messages ... not those suspect ones from that poser Faye Kletter. Your praise and your kind words are what really make doing this podcast so worthwhile. Well, that and sharing oodles of great music with you all.
Until next time (which will hopefully be sooner rather than later), keep supporting the artists you hear as they are truly the ones who make this all possible. Happy listening!