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!