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!
'TOMORROW'S WORLD' - STANDARD EDITION CD & DOWNLOAD
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
'TOMORROW'S WORLD' - DELUXE EDITION CD & DOWNLOAD
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. Hold tight for another episode coming soon!