1. What Time is Love? (LP Mix) - The KLF
2. Make it Mine (v 1.0 Progress Mix) - The Shamen
3. Blue Eyed Pop (S1000 Mix) - The Sugarcubes
4. Love Baby - Fortran 5
5. Break 4 Love (Razormaid! Mix) - Raze
6. The Beginning (Roundabout Mix) - Seal
7. Walking Away (S.M.D. Mix) - Information Society
8. Don't Tell Me (Dance Remix) - Blancmange
9. Snappy (12" Remix) - Erasure
10. Beat of Life - Anything Box
11. Je T'aime (Extended Mix) - Vicious Pink
12. Bitter Heart (Razormaid! Mix) - Seona Dancing
13. Regret (The Fire Island Mix) - New Order
14. So Weit Wie Noch Nie (Erlend Oye Mix) - Jurgen Paape
15. The Caterpillar (Flicker Mix) - The Cure
Notes and Other Random Things:
Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all my US listeners and happy regular weekend to everyone else around the globe. The occasion here in the states marks a time of sun, friends, family, icy beverages and plumes of smoke wafting from the grills and barbeque pits of backyards everywhere. But it also marks a time of quiet reflection and giving thanks to the men and women in the Armed Forces who have served our country and have, in some cases, given their lives to protect our shores. It is thanks to their bravery and their willingness to put everything on the line that the rest of us have the freedom to over-eat, get sloppy drunk and moon my television while screaming obscenities at whichever NASCAR event happens to be on.
Oh, don't tell me you haven't done it.
Anyway, even though it doesn't seem like nearly enough, a heartfelt "Thank You" to all those in uniform. Heroes - all of you.
On such a patriotic day for us in the states, and with my being one of its inhabitants, I almost feel guilty including songs with foreign lyrics like Vicious Pink's French-inspired Je T'aime and Jurgen Paape's So Weit Wie Noch Nie. The latter song includes samples from an artist named Daliah Lavi, whose lyric appears in a 1972 track called Vielleicht Schon Morgen. Mind you, I have nothing against the French and the Germans. One makes great fries and the other exceptional gummy bears. It's just that on a day like today, I somehow feel like the whole podcast should be nothing but John Philip Sousa samples sprinkled into a mash-up of The National Anthem and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, you know? But because none of those are 80s tunes (or 90s tunes for that matter) that would never happen. Of course, considering that this podcast sort of strayed from a typically unwavering adherence to the 80s & 90s theme anyway, I suppose I could have chosen that path.
For instance, the Jurgen Paape track is actually a 2002 release. It just fit so well with New Order's Regret that I couldn't resist. Also, astute listeners will hear an MC5 sample right at the beginning of the KLF track What Time is Love? Yeah, that's lead singer Rob Tyner screaming, "Kick out the jams, M0+#er Fu(k=r!" And if you listen closely and know well your old people music, you will hear a number of other samples including a highly recognizable "1 ... 2 ... 3 ...4" from the Beatles in the remix of Make it Mine by The Shamen; and "It is time ..." a chopped up sample from Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders in the track Love Baby by Fortran 5. The original lyric appeared in the song Stop Your Sobbing.
Back to the KLF … James Cauty and William Drummond have appeared in an earlier episode of CRC. At that time, I mentioned how musically irreverent they were and how glaringly insubordinate they were to the music industry as a whole. It seemed as if everything they did was merely to get a reaction out of the public or to challenge the accepted definitions of art. One read of their hilarious and very tongue-in-cheek book How to Have a Number One the Easy Way will support that notion, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t pen some very infectious and highly danceable tracks in the process. What Time is Love?, despite dripping with mid-range frequencies, is one of them. Now, pay attention because here are some names that you should know as they helped make the song what it is:
Isaac Bello: he’s the guy who does the rapping in the song.
Wanda Dee: she’s responsible for the “I wanna see you sweat” lyric
And then there are P.P. Arnold and Katie Kisson, who yell “Mu Mu!” at various intervals. How’s that for a resume builder?
The Sugarcubes make their second appearance on CRC with the excellent remix of Blue Eyed Pop. As most Bjork fans know, the Icelandic collective is where the pint-sized pop star first gained international acclaim, though she had been involved in music from a very young age, even recording her first album at age 11. She has also had a brilliant solo career and contributed vocals to the song QMart on the 808 State album Ex:el. This mix of Blue Eyed Pop was done by S1000. The DJ/production duo consisted of Mike Koglin and Spencer Williams. Koglin has gone on to become a very prominent trance DJ and producer these days, running his own record imprint called Noys Music. To those younger listeners with a larger familiarity with the trance scene, he had a huge club hit in 1998 with a track called The Silence, which was a reworking of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence.
Raze were conceived by American producer Vaughn Mason with singer Keith Thompson contributing vocals. Though Break 4 Love was released in 1988, Thompson also did the vocal honors on a track called Jack the Groove in 1986. That song was one of the very first house music chart topping tracks in the UK, creeping into the top 20 at one point. The Pet Shop Boys and Peter Rauhofer, who also performed under the name Club 69, did a cover of Break 4 Love in 2001. Using the name The Collaboration, the track appears on the bonus disc of the album Release and as a b-side to the second disc of their single Home and Dry. The Razormaid! version here is pretty filthy at points, thus the Explicit tag on this podcast. It’s a pretty muddy, steamy affair anyway, but some of the samples might make you squirm a bit if you’re within earshot of your parents while listening. Why on earth you would put yourself into that predicament anyway is beyond me. Then again, as the guy who just admitted he moons his television, I probably don't have much room to judge. You probably don’t want to play this one around your kids either, unless you’re prepared to answer a LOT of questions.
Information Society have appeared on CRC several times in the past and they will appear again in the future. I’ll let the band themselves tell you about this particular track. I’m still trying to figure out what S.M.D. stands for.
“This was the 2nd single released off the ‘first’ album. It did almost as well as What's On Your Mind, getting to #9 in the top 40 in the fall of '88. The video got a lot of MTV airplay. We had a big problem with this one in the studio. When we were mixing, and we got to the vocals, they sounded distorted in a very strange manner. Of course, the first thing we did was to solo the vocals to hear what was wrong with them. Then we couldn't hear anything wrong with them, so we shook our heads and went back to mixing. Then they sounded distorted again. Only WITH the tracks did they sound distorted. Eventually we realised that the super-heavy TR-808 kick drum sound was creating the ILLUSION of distortion in the vocals, similar to the effect of talking into a fan. We had to remove the super-sub-kick during the vocals sections.”
They went on to say, “It was on this single that we began to realise how little control a band, especially a dance band, really has over its re-mixes. We rejected the Shep Pettibone mix outright. It went on the CD anyway. We really didn't like the "The Space Age" samples in the Space Age mix, they stayed.”
Hmmmm. I think I’m getting some pretty good ideas about what the S, M, and the D might stand for now!
Erasure are no stranger to this podcast nor will they ever be with the sheer volume of catchy dance tracks Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have cobbled together over the twenty-plus years they have been together. Snappy is the b-side to the song Chorus, which appeared on the album of the same name. This 12” mix was produced by uber-producer extraordinaire Martyn Phillips. Fans of Erasure (and Depeche Mode for that matter) might be interested to know that an album collaboration between Vince Clarke (an original member of DM) and Martin Gore is forthcoming. On August 27th of last year, Clark shared via Twitter that he and Gore had recorded a track called “Zaat”, which was to appear on the next Erasure album. The two apparently had enough creative energy together to crank out a full-length. As far as I know, no dates have been set for either release at this point.
Last, but not least, I wanted to write a few words about Seona Dancing (pronounced like Shawna). The knowledge has gained a bit of traction with the success of The Office in the UK and all his other pursuits, but Seona Dancing was the musical outlet for one Ricky Gervais when he was but a skinny little gothy/new wavy-looking kid back in the day. They had two single releases: this song and one called More to Lose, but after both achieved only modest (and apparently unofficial) chart positioning, he and friend/bandmate Bill Macrae decided to call it a day in 1984. Gervais is certainly not regretting that move, though any lovers of 80s electronica might beg to differ. As a side note, if you have small kids, do yourself a favor and don't let them listen to Break 4 Love. Did I already say that? In all seriousness though, get Ricky's excellent Flanimals series of children’s books. I happened to pick up the first one a few days ago and it’s really quite funny. It’s a brief biography of a bunch of non-sensical creatures with non-sensical names along with descriptions of their habits and behavioral traits. It’s a very entertaining read, I must admit. I also must admit I think I bought it more for myself than for anyone else. Hey, I do an 80s podcast. What kind of maturity level do you think you’re dealing with here?
Thanks to everyone for listening. I hope to be back again soon with another episode. In the meantime, enjoy this one and be sure to support the artists you like. Without their efforts, none of this is possible.