Clearance Rack Classics Retro 80s and 90s Dance Mix by DJ Tintin
80s and 90s retro dance adventures of a boy and a cheap mixer
CRC Retro Mix #54
August 29, 2020 07:59 PM PDT
1. Idiot Country - Electronic
Notes and other random things:
I hope everyone is staying busy and safe during the current craziness. I really assumed that lockdowns and stay-at-home-orders early in the spring would be a boon for my podcasting opportunities, but alas it was not. Still, I finally managed to get around to recording this line up of tunes yesterday that I assembled a while ago. So there's that. If you're a 90s dance music fan there is lots to love here, most of which has not appeared in a #CRCRetro podcast prior to today (I'm looking at you Anything Box, Electronic, The B-52's, The Farm, Cause & Effect and Candyflip). One thing that stands out is a full third of the tunes here are album versions and not remixes. Much like the more you learn the more you find out you have yet to learn, the same applies to my music collection. Seems like the more stuff I collect, the more I realize how much I have yet to get. Because I have no desire to repeat things too often in this 'cast, I assume nobody will have issues with hearing album cuts of some songs strategically placed among the mixes. But, it certainly makes mixing more challenging. Thank God for looping!
A second thing that stands out is that three songs here are from the New Order evolutionary tree. "Idiot Country" (a personal fave of mine) from the super-group Electronic featured Bernard Sumner from New Order, Johnny Marr from The Smiths/The The, and Neil Tennant from Pet Shop Boys. "Tasty Fish", from 1991, is by The Other Two: New Order drummer Stephen Morris and New Order keyboardist Gillian Gilbert. Of course, then there's the 1995 Hardfloor Mix of "Blue Monday", the original of which still sounds cool and futuristic all these years later, and is still the best-selling 12" dance single of all-time. Considering I'm currently reading Peter Hook's book "Substance Inside New Order", which is his take on the phenomenon that was/is New Order I suppose I had them on the brain while assembling this podcast. Nonetheless, there's a lot of good, upbeat vibes in this edition and really we could all use a little more of that these days.
More to come ...CRC Retro Mix #53
February 07, 2020 11:45 AM PST
1. Animal Magic (Dance Vocal) - Belouis Some
Notes and other random things:
I assembled this podcast while selecting songs for my previous podcast and thankfully had time this week to record. So for anyone keeping track that's two new podcasts in roughly a month! Not bad for someone who has been on the quasi-semi-biannual recording schedule for some time. I'll add some notes at some point, though I haven't even finished the notes from my previous 'cast. I figured you all would want the music more than my ramblings anyway. Enjoy!CRC Retro Mix #52
December 31, 2019 03:08 PM PST
1. Lust For Love - Images In Vogue
Notes and other random things:
Happy New Year to everyone! My gift to you: a NEW PODCAST! Ring in 2020 and the new decade in glorious retro style, but please play responsibly. That goes for everything else tonight as well! I'll be back with some tidbits about the bands when I get a chance. In the meantime, Happy Listening!
Much the same as other "almosts" like B-Movie and The Danse Society, bands whose promising beginnings were marred by disappointing recording sessions at crucial developmental stages, Images In Vogue's trajectory seemed poised to deliver better overall results. After forming in 1981, moderate success found them early with the 1982 release of two EPs: the 3-song "Pre-Release" and 5-song "Educated Man", plus an opening gig for Depeche Mode. Supported by relentless touring and and opening slot for Duran Duran in 1984 the band signed with Warner Canada. Setting to work on their first full-length album, the label execs suggested "Dream Weaver" singer Gary Wright to oversee production. The resulting sessions produced dismal results for the band who decided to shelve the project. The album would eventually be released by the label on the strength of the single "Call It Love" which was getting regular rotation on college radio throughout North America. Touring demands in Toronto prompted a move across country from their home in Vancouver. Ironically, the rigors of travel caused friction among band members. Simultaneously, band member Kevin Crompton (later known professionally as cEvin Key) remained in Vancouver to focus on his bourgeoning side project, Skinny Puppy. Further fracturing caused the band to slowly lose their momentum and Images In Vogue went on official hiatus in 1991. Renewed interest in retro music and fan demand has reunited members for various tours and appearances including a 2012 appearance with the next band I'd like to mention: The Spoons.
The Spoons formed in Burlington, Ontario Canada in 1979. Taking their name from the famous utensil while eating Alphabet Soup at the home of band member Brett Wickens, the group originally followed a prog rock template, but found more success as pioneers of the Canadian electronic music scene. After recording an early single in 1981, Wickens left the group to focus on design. Originally working with Peter Saville, designer for the Factory Records catalog of bands, he has since carved out an exceptional career in brand identity, having directed work for major companies such as Adobe, Coca-Cola, Sony, Viacom and for all the major Hollywood Studios. He is responsible for designing the Sopranos logo. Without Wickens, the band came to prominence beginning in 1981 with the release of "Stick Figure Neighborhood", one of the earliest new wave albums to be engineered by the great Daniel Lanois. Their next album, "Arias & Symphonies" earned the collective a Most Promising Group Award and saw "Nova Heart", the first single from the album hit the Canadian charts. The b-side to that song was the one here, "Symmetry". A live favorite at early gigs, lead singer Gordon Deppe said of the song, "We went into the studio fully intending it to be our first single release. Little did we know that the lesser known B-side "Nova Heart" would take on a life of its own and become the A-side midway through recording. It took us all off guard." So, "Symmetry" was almost a hit. Strangely enough, the song didn't even appear on the "Arias & Symphonies" album. Members of the band reunited in 2010 to record their sixth album and appeared alongside Images In Vogue in 2013 to co-headline the "Rewind The Tape" tour. They are still active today.
The Dream Academy almost never happened. Singer/Guitarist Nick Laird-Clowes, formerly in a band called The Act, keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel and multi-instrumentalist Kate St. John combined forces with the notion of creating music with a diverse and rather unorthodox set of instruments and sounds. Moving counter to the power pop acts of the day, their demos were rejected by every record label over the course of a two-year period before before getting signed by Warner Brothers thanks to a fortuitous relationship with Geoff Travis of Rough Trade records and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, who went on to produce Dream Academy's first two albums. As luck would have it David's brother Mark had played guitar in The Act with Nick. The track here, "The Love Parade", was the fourth single from the group's eponymous debut album. It eventually peaked at #36 in the US, but was viewed as disappointing by record execs who had hoped for more in the shadow of the runaway hit "Life In A Northern Town". Reflecting on production for "The Love Parade", the only song on their first album not produced by Gilmour, on the 35th Anniversary of the release of their first full-length, Nick revealed:
"What happened was, we had a pretty good demo for “Love Parade,” and we loved it, and when we made the record with David, somehow we never got 'round to it, and he always said, “Well, the demo's pretty good, and it's not really my kind of thing, and it's good what you've got.” And I said, “Well, okay.” But at the end of the album, when we listened to it, it wasn't good enough. But we still all adored the version, so Geoff Travis from Rough Trade, being a really canny music-loving thinker, said, “What about [Alan] Tarney? He did 'We Don't Talk Anymore,' by Cliff Richard.” And we all loved that record. There was a touch of irony about it, because we knew this was coming from right field instead of left field, and we thought, “Well, that's a really inspired idea, because nobody would think of us working with Tarney.” So it was really interesting, and we said, “Well, let's see what he thinks.” And he said, “No, I'd love to do it!” It wasn't like I could say, “I want this, I want that.” I did a lot of that, and he walked out a couple of times because of that. And it was right back to that old thing which had happened every time when I'd worked with anyone before David. It was just silly things like, “Can I just get on the faders and push the keyboards like this and put more echo on the voice?” But it was always happening to me. [Laughs.] So it was brilliant, and… Well, no, it wasn't brilliant, but he did it, and then we mixed it again, and it was great. But he taught us a lot. I mean, he didn't triple-track vocals. He tracked them up about 12 or 15 times! He had real special techniques, and he also had quite strong ideas. So he was wonderful, but he just came at things from a totally different place. He was pure pop, and he was very, very brilliant at it."
As a side note: Alan Tarney also produced "Take On Me" by A-ha.
CRC Retro Mix #51
July 29, 2018 12:04 PM PDT
1. Regina - The Sugarcubes
May 20, 2018 10:21 AM PDT
1. Bag Lady (I Wonder) - Ebn-Ozn
Notes and other random things:
50 episodes! Kind of a nice accomplishment, if I may say so. Not sure why 50 is any more important than, say, 47 or 5 or 19. I certainly don't want to be numerically discriminatory or anything like that, but maybe if those other numbers were divisible by something other than themselves and 1 they might get more publicity. So, I'll celebrate reaching the 50-episode milestone because not only is 50 equal to half a hundred, but it is divisible by lots of other cool numbers. On to the bands ...
The first band I'd like to mention here is the first band in this podcast: Ebn-Ozn. Many of you are probably aware of the excellent "AEIOU Sometimes Y", which also appeared on CRC #28, but most of you may not be aware of their tune "Bag Lady", which was a Top 40 Club hit and minor radio hit. Both songs appeared on the group's only full-length album called "Feeling Cavalier", which is notable for being the first album to be recorded entirely on a Fairlight CMI sampling keyboard. That makes Ebn-Ozn one of the true pioneers of the sampling culture which was just starting to take hold in the early 80s. If you haven't seen the video to "Bag Lady", it featured one Imogene Coca, better known as Aunt Edna in National Lampoon's Vacation movie. Go take a look. I'll wait ...
Okay, we're back live.
CRC Retro Mix #49
February 18, 2018 10:23 AM PST
1. Heartbeat City - The Cars
Notes and other random things:
So, hello again! Nice to make your acquaintance. Good to finally carve out an evening to record another podcast. I swear, these days I blink and three or four months go by. I suppose, relatively speaking, the same could be said for this episode as it is officially the shortest podcast in CRC history, clocking in at just under one hour. "So, Mr. DJ Tintin," I'm sure you're saying to yourself, "for all my patience waiting for you to give me some new tunes you reward me with LESS music???" It seems that way. You still get the requisite 15 songs, but many of these were single or album versions as opposed to remixes. That's the only defense I have. BUT, look at this artist and track list! Those of you looking for some stuff you haven't heard before may have just hit the mother lode. The Stranglers? Our Daughter's Wedding? Not exactly household names. "Fun City", "Heartbeat City", "Still Angry"? Not exactly the songs anyone would recall off the top of their heads by Soft Cell, The Cars or Book Of Love, respectively. But enough justification. On to the bands ...
So, why were the 80s so great? A loaded question to be sure. But ask yourself how many bands in recent memory could have a member, who owned a hair salon, rent out a space above said hair salon, form a band, get discovered by Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe fame, decide upon wearing women's clothes for a video shot in three days on a shoestring budget and become superstars thanks in some part to a fledgling music network called MTV and a now-famous hairstyle? Such was the fate of A Flock of Seagulls, a band that certainly helped alter my musical trajectory and, with the song I Ran (So Far Away), created one of the most iconic and lasting songs of the decade. THAT is the greatness of the 80s - the fact that music was not yet paint-by-number. There was room for experimentation. Sure, you had to be marketable, but the definition of marketable was fluid. And the rules were fluid. As long as someone in the know heard something they liked or saw a creative spark it was sometimes enough for a label to take a chance on you. Spoken like someone who thinks the music they grew up with is the best, I know. But I ask again: could that backstory exist today? Perhaps, but I just don't see it. As for the song in this podcast, "Telecommunication", it is sort of a cult hit at this point and probably an accidental one at that. "(It's Not Me) Talking" was the first single release by AFOS in 1981, but it was the futuristic lyrics and "wall of sound" energy, later praised by uber-producer Phil Spector, that propelled "Telecommunication" into the clubs and into hearts of new wavers. The tune still sounds cool and futuristic even today and reminds me of a moment in time when musical possibilities were still limitless.
"No sequencers were used" reads the liner notes of Our Daughters Wedding's first EP, "Digital Cowboy". Layne Rico (electronic percussion / synth), Keith Silva (vocals / synth) and Scott Simon (synth / saxophone) wanted everyone to know that their electronic wizardry and sleight of hand was due entirely to coordination and skill and not programming and triggers like many of their contemporaries such as Depeche Mode and OMD, two groups to which ODW was often compared after their switch over from punk rock and guitars to new wave and synths. And while the group, who sang about lawnchairs and made frequent appearances on MTV with Martha Quinn in the early days of the network, somewhat ironically dismissed DM and OMD as being too "gimmicky", the group did score opening slots for some of the giants of the day including Duran Duran, Talk Talk, Iggy Pop, The Psychedelic Furs and U2. They even worked with famed producer Colin Thurston to record the aforementioned EP. Not bad for a US-based band who suffered the slings and arrows and broken beer bottles of misfortune hurled at them for using electronics on stage at a time when punk was still king. But even skill and deigning to employ sequencers could not save the group from a dust up with their label, EMI. According to Scott Simon, the LA office killed the momentum of their full-length album, Moving Windows, which was released in 1982, because a label exec had a personal issue with one of the band's representatives. The track here, Auto Music, is a Razormaid! mix of the lead track to that first and only full-length. The sweet electronic bass line you hear came about from Simon and David Spradley, the producer for Moving Windows, "jamming one morning in our Union Square loft."
To cut a long story short, Spandau Ballet are good. Go buy their records. Seriously, though, Spandau Ballet seems like a perfect name for a slick and sophisticated band who helped spearhead the New Romantic movement, an era of glossy images and high fashion that gave rise to groups like Duran Duran and Visage and others. That is until you remember that, like other groups, SB had their roots in the punk scene and that their name was Allied trench warfare slang for corpses whose bullet-riddled bodies twisted and danced on barbed wire as they were hit by German gunfire. Perhaps they would have been better off going with The Cut or The Makers, both previous band names. But, the name Spandau Ballet stuck as did the amazing voice of Tony Hadley, the Kemp brother's guitar prowess (Martin and Gary), Steve Norman's saxophone riffs and John Keeble's percussive underpinnings. That classic lineup produced a string of Top 10 hits (10 to be precise) including "Gold", "Only When You Leave", "True", "Chant No. 1" and the song in this podcast, "To Cut A Long Story Short", the groups' debut single, which reached #5 in the UK. Speculation surrounding the song is that it pertains to a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being drafted, but getting no explanation why he must join the war. This song apparently inspired Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yaz, The Assembly) to write DM's third single, "Just Can't Get Enough" which, as a side note, is currently being used in a Wal-Mart advertisement. I did NOT see that coming!
What more can be said about Gary Numan that hasn't already been said over the course of four decades by the music press? Probably nothing, so I'm not even going to try to break new ground. But, in case you missed it, Gary did just drop his 18th solo album, Savage (Songs From A Broken World), this past September and it instantly shot all the way up the album charts to #2 in the UK and #1 on the UK Indie charts. Call it a love of the man and his music or an indictment of the current music scene, but for a guy who goes down in history as the first artist to secure a #1 song using an all-electronic approach with the highly-coveted and frequently-covered "Are Friends Electric?" way back in 1979, the fact that Gary is still making music that questions, challenges, lifts, destroys and defies convention is impressive. Despite the lofty charting position of the new album and its predominant use of electronics, it failed to register on the Billboard Electronic charts because, according to a Billboard executive, “Sonically, the Numan album just does not fit in" with Billboard's perception of electronic dance music. Seems a bit ridiculous, but Numan is no stranger to such disinterest or indifference on the part of the music cabal. In fact, even during his heyday, "Are Friends Electric?" was perched atop the British charts for three weeks before any radio station would add it to their playlists. The song in this podcast, "I Die: You Die", which appeared in 1980 on the Telekon album a mere two years after his Tubeway Army signing with Beggars Banquet, is his rebuke of the music press and their God complex, star-maker/star-breaker tendencies. The track eventually reached #6 on the UK singles chart.
And finally, speaking of the music press, the last band I'd like to mention here had them completely baffled and befuddled for the bulk of their career, or at least until 1990 when Hugh Cornwall left the group. The Stranglers, originally known as the Guildford Stranglers when they embarked as a band in 1974, were comprised of guitarist/keyboardist Hugh Cornwall, bassist/vocalist Jen-Jacques Burnel, keyboardist Dave Greenfield and drummer Brian Duffy (aka Jet Black). Though not one member hailed from Guildford, they were "tweeners" in every sense of the word, dabbling in numerous styles from electropop to soul during the course of their long and storied career. And while many of their successes came during their early punk days, they never quite fit into the punk scene. Ostracized for their relative age, their humorous, often self-deprecating lyrical style contrasted with their often anti-politically correct stage antics, their stunningly fast musical growth and development, and their hit-making skill, which generated 21 Top-40 singles, The Stranglers set themselves apart from their punk contemporaries and gave the press fits as they did not know how to put square pegs into round holes. The track here, "All Roads Lead To Rome" was from their seventh album, Feline. As you can hear, it has distinct new wave overtones, which makes total sense having been released in 1982, but it is certainly a brave departure from their earlier work. And while this track did not chart, it still stands as one of the high points from the Feline album and provides a glimpse into a chameleon-like band that was firmly in transition.
Another episode in the books. Thanks for reading/listening. Enjoy the music!
CRC Retro Mix #48
August 20, 2017 05:45 AM PDT
1. Close (To The Edit) - The Art Of Noise
July 06, 2017 10:21 AM PDT
1. Love Is All That Matters - The Human League
Notes and other random things:
So, how often does a band release a non-hit to promote an upcoming Greatest Hits compilation? I don't know the answer exactly, but it can't be very often. Still, The Human League did just that with the first track in this episode. Truth be told, "Love Is All That Matters" did reach #41 in the UK, but this particular song was aimed at US audiences specifically due to the fact the that "Human", the first single from the album Crash, went to #1 in the States. Sadly, the track failed to chart in America. Oddly enough, the song, which was the third single off the album, was released almost two years after the album itself, which made it more of a promotion for the upcoming Greatest Hits package. Accompanying the song's release was a cheaply-made clips video, perpetuating the notion that the group's label was not willing to invest much more in the band, with their having reached a low point creatively. It's why the band was flown to Minneapolis in the first place to work with renowned producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, mega-producers responsible for the meteoric rise of Janet Jackson and others. While the parties got along personally, professionally the sessions were a total power struggle. Lead singer Phil Oakey said of the pairing, "We like to be in control in the studio. We don't like giving that up to a producer. That's why we had a big, final argument, and we just decided to go home and leave them to finish it off. It just got to the point of who had the power, and in that instance...They were the men behind the mixing console, so they had ultimate control." Jam and Lewis had notoriously rejected much of the band's material in favor of their own, even replacing keyboardists Philip Adrian Wright and Ian Burden. Wright was so humiliated, he quit the band upon their return to the UK and Burden shortly thereafter. Still, despite the power struggle, Oakey now admits that this record saved their careers, despite feeling as if its not truly their album. Whatever the case, "Love Is All That Matters" is a terrific song, which is why I chose to feature it here.
Naked Eyes has not often shown up in these podcasts, mostly because I do not own any remixes by the group. (Insert audible gasp here). While their music is fantastic, it seems there was always something there to remind me that other releases took precedence over filling gaps in the Naked Eyes portion of my music collection. (You see what I did there!) Thank goodness for looping then, right? At least it gives me a chance to feature SOMETHING by these guys. In this instance, I chose "(What) In the Name of Love" from 1984's Fuel for the Fire album. It was the second full-length release from the group that was origially conceived as a duo featuring Pete Byrne on vocals and counterpart Rob Fisher on keyboards. Originally in a band called Neon with future Tears For Fears progenitors, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, that collaboration was short-lived, but it gave fans of 80s music two great bands at the expense of one, which is not a bad thing at all. And though you may hear lots of wacky stories from those who lived through the decade of excess, one thing you'll never hear anyone say is "I remember seeing Naked Eyes live." Though Pete Byrne has said they expected to tour after their first album, but their record label wanted them to produce more studio material, many believe that the complexity of their music prevented them from ever touring. They were one of the early adopters of the Fairlight CMI and Emulator sampling synthesizers and, because of the sheer bulk of the equipment back then and the limitations those synthesizers possessed with regard to memory and sequencing ability, it was considered almost impossible to recreate their songs in a live setting. These were digital sound reproductions, not analog or reel-to-reel reproductions as bands like Depeche Mode used on stage for percussion early in their careers. So, much like Visage before them, the band was strictly a studio creation. After the second album, Byrne and Fisher took a hiatus from Naked Eyes to pursue other musical interests, but left the partnership open-ended. They had always planned to get back together to write more songs. The moment arrived in 1999, but sadly the sessions were interrupted when Rob Fisher died of complications from surgery. Still, Byrne has carried on and Naked Eyes in its current incarnation has been playing live shows across America from Hollywood to Carnegie Hall, has performed on PBS and has put out both a live concert DVD and a critically-acclaimed ten-song acoustic collection. An all-new studio album is apparently forthcoming as well. Maybe it will have some remixes!
Anyone with a working knowledge of Ministry and Alain Jourgensen knows the group has gone through a fairly massive transformation from their early days as a new wave/synthpop group to the thrash metal juggernaut that tore up venues with punishing guitar-laden sounds from mid-90s to the present. To anyone else, it would seem that the Ministry appearing in this podcast is not even the same group as the current incarnation. Heck, it's still hard for me to connect the dots between point A and point B, but for Jourgensen that would probably be the preferable scenario. He has repeatedly said his previous persona, that of a clean-cut kid sporting new wave duds and singing with a fake British accent was a mistake, disavowing any willfulness on his part to produce such a monstrously "awful" album as With Sympathy, the source for "What He Say", the track that appears here. He has held tight to the notion that Arista records was solely responsible for the direction the band took on that first full-length release, though his wife at the time was quoted as saying "...the English accent thing was more an homage to the bands he loved than anything else. He was not trying to come off as British. The Stones used a southern accent and no one crawled up their ass for it." Regardless, With Sympathy is an excellent slice of new wave bliss despite the fact that its creator denies having anything to do with it. Out of print for quite a while (Jourgensen has said on several occasions that he destroyed the original master tapes) the album was reissued in 2012 with three bonus tracks.
The Other Two, if memory serves (and it may not) has not yet appeared in CRC. The group consists of Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, husband and wife, drummer and keyboardist respectively of New Order and both critical components to the success of that band. Morris also drummed for Joy Division. Morris has said there is no real mystery to The Other Two band name "We're crap at names, and it was getting late" is his explanation of its origin. Interestingly, the pair originally sought out Alison Moyet and Kim Wilde to perform vocal duties, but Moyet didn't happen and Wilde apparently went on too many vacations to be a reliable addition. With Morris' dislike of singing drummers (Phil Collins and Don Henley specifically make him sick) Gilbert was recruited to provide the voice for the group. Most of the material appearing on their two albums, The Other Two & You (1993) and Super Highways (1999) is part re-purposed stuff and left-over stuff cobbled together from the various television and soundtrack work the duo has authored over the years. The track here, "Loved It (The Other Track)" was the last song on their debut album and appeared only on CD releases.
Last, but not least is a woman who outsold Madonna in many countries during the mid-80s. Her name is Sandra Ann Lauer - Sandra - as her legions of fans know her, and is one of two artists in this episode to have collaborated with Michael Cretu, with one of them eventually marrying the producer extraordinaire. Can you guess which one? (Hint: it's not Peter Schilling) Formerly the lead singer of a disco trio called Arabesque, she also provided vocals on the string of Enigma albums released in the 90s and beyond. The track here, "(I'll Never Be) Maria Magdalena was the lead single from her debut album The Long Play, which was released in 1985. While having a rather striking resemblance to Laura Branigan and Italian singer Raf's huge hit "Self Control" from a year earlier, this track went on to become a #1 hit in 21 countries around the world. It was re-released in 1993 with much more techno elements and a futuristic video, but it flopped signaling the start of her career decline from it's lofty peak. She is, however, still recording music to moderate success.
Thus endeth the lesson and this episode. Until next time, Happy Listening!
CRC Retro Mix #46
May 21, 2017 10:04 AM PDT
1. Beat Dis - Bomb The Bass
Notes and other random things:
First, apologies to Kon Kan fans. I had fully intended to include a remix of "I Beg Your Pardon" in this episode. But I didn't. Why? Well, I've found that early Sunday mornings are about the most opportune time for me to record podcasts now - really early. And in my half-awake, half-asleep state I cued up the wrong tune. In all my years of DJ-ing/podcasting, I can't ever recall cuing up a song I had no intention of using. It's funny, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out why the beats wouldn't match and it wasn't until 3 or so minutes later that I realized I was cuing up the wrong tune. At that point, I didn't have enough time to switch to a different song, so I just went with it. So, for all you Pet Shop Boys fans out there, you get two PSB tunes in this podcast with only a single song separating them. It works, I suppose, but I generally prefer to use only one song per artist in each 'cast. I guess there's a first time for everything, right?
Speaking of a first time for everything, after 45 episodes, Bomb The Bass finally appears in song form and not in a production or remix vein. I alluded to "Beat Dis" in episode #41 as CRC featured the Bomb The Bass Mix of Depeche Mode's song "Strangelove" as the lead-off track. One of the early dance tracks to incorporate sampling into the mix, "Beat Dis" was the first single from Bomb The Bass (aka Tim Simenon) and had upwards of 72 samples contained within. Along with ground-breaking tracks, "Pump Up the Volume" by MARRS and "Theme from S'Express" by S'Express, "Beat Dis" heralded the arrival of sampling as a viable artform. The track was huge in Europe, reaching #2 on the UK Singles Chart. It also peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart for one solitary week, marking the only charted hit for Bomb The Bass in the United States.
I have a real soft spot for the track I'd like to mention next. The band is T42 and the track is "Don't Let My Love". These guys were on the upswing and on the cusp of breaking out in a big way from the Dallas-Ft.Worth market during my time there in the early 90s. Orignally a duo consisting of Jay Gillian and Jimron Goff, vocalist Will Loconto supplanted Goff as the lead singer in 1989. After the release of a cassette EP (remember those?) called Hot On Top, they gained steady airplay on 94.5 The Edge radio station, which was home to all the great alternative bands back in the day. One of my many record store haunts back then, Oak Lawn Records picked up the band for a 12" single of "Don't Let My Love", which did well enough to attract the attention of Columbia Records, who signed the group. They released the full-length album, Intruder, in 1992, which was produced by Paul Robb from Information Society. It's hard not to hear the similarities to Information Society on "Don't Let My Love" and other songs on the album as well. In an ironic twist, Loconto quit the band in 1993, setting out to work with Information Society. While Gillian brought in other musicians to keep the T42 fires burning, the band's star faded and the group melted wistfully into the retro ether. Still, they left behind some tasty pop sugar for our consumption, even doing a very respectable cover of "Let Me Go" by Heaven 17. If you're into upbeat electro-pop, Intruder is definitely worth a listen. And if you're from the DFW area, the album and this song should be a reminder of an excellent time when the DFW local music scene was king.
Taken from his 1982 album of the same name, Peter Godwin's "Images In Heaven" resembles more of a cult classic than a bonafide mega-hit. Formerly a member of the short-lived glam rock band Metro, along with Duncan Browne and Sean Lyons, Godwin is probably best remembered for his solo effort, "Images In Heaven", though you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of devout new wave lovers who are very familiar with the song. David Bowie may argue the "best-remembered" point, as Metro's song "Criminal World" made enough of an impression on Mr. Stardust to induce a cover tune. Still, outside of 1983's Correspondence album and a Best Of compilation released in 1998 on Oglio Records, Godwin's scant musical output has always left new wave junkies wishing for something more.
Something more ... also the sentiment I feel about Seven Red Seven. Chicago natives and band mates, Mitchell Adrian and David Michael, formed the group in the early 90s and had only a couple of releases issued to minor success before going on to production work for other musicians. However, their time together as a band produced one of the more under-rated and under-appreciated synth-pop albums in Shelter, which was released on Speed Records in 1991. The album included the song here, "That Way Again" and "Thinking Of You" (which appeared in remix form in CRC episode #34). Both were issued as singles. However, the rest of the album, much like Intruder by T42, is a synth-pop delight and a must-have for any synth-pop completist, especially for fans of Red Flag, Cause & Effect, Anything Box, Cetu Javu and others. The group would record just one more album, Bass State Coma, in 1994, and an interesting cover of "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder before moving into the production field. Truly a shame their total musical output was not much, much greater. P.S. Go buy Shelter!
The last band I'd like to mention in this episode is the band Data. Fronted by Georg Kajanus, who made waves in the 70s with his band Sailor, Kajanus left Sailor in 1978 to dabble in electronic music. From this, Data was born. The track here, In Blue ... DJ, is a hybrid mix by Razormaid! Records of a couple of tracks from Data's third and final album, Elegant Machinery. Their other releases include 1983's 2-Time and 1981's Opera Electronica. In 1995, Eternity Records released a compilation album called Accumulator containing the second and third albums in their entirety plus the track "Fallout" from the Opera Electronica album.
That's it for this episode. I'll be back soon with another new episode. Thanks for listening!
CRC Retro Mix #45
April 02, 2017 07:22 AM PDT
1. Tora! Tora! Tora! - Depeche Mode
Notes and other random things:
Starting off this podcast is a song that may not be familiar to non-Depeche Mode fans - or about four of you. The phrase itself is notable for its connection to Pearl Harbor. The word "tora" literally means tiger in Japanese, though in a WWII context it is radio code for "totsugeki raigeki", meaning lightning attack. In a Depeche Mode, context, however, the song is also notable as it is one of only two Martin Gore-penned songs appearing on the band's debut: Speak & Spell. (the other was the instrumental track, Big Muff). As most of you probably know, Vince Clarke, who later went on to form Yaz and Erasure, was an original member of DM and its primary songwriter before leaving the group shortly after the release of their first record. Gore would take over songwriting duties after that. Tora! Tora! Tora!, while not one of the most well-known or provocative songs in the DM catalog, provides a tantalizing, albeit brief, glimpse into the mind of Martin Gore and all that was to come. As a side note, a live version of Tora! Tora! Tora! appears on the 12" version of the song "Get The Balance Right". It was the first live track to appear on any DM single. A limited edition version of GTBR contained several more live tracks, making it the first DM single to appear in a limited edition format.
Speaking of Vince Clarke and Erasure, the second song in this 'cast, "Brother & Sister" is, in my humble opinion the best track on the band's Wild! album, which dropped in 1989, and perhaps one of their best tracks, period. Considered one of the stronger Erasure albums from stem to stern by many fans, Wild! is enigmatic in the sense that, for whatever reason, it didn't strike a chord with American audiences. Coming immediately on the heels of The Innocents from only a year earlier, an album which contained the massive hits "Chains Of Love" and "A Little Respect" one would think that the next album would have more appeal stateside. Yet, not even great songs like "Drama!, "Star" or "Blue Savannah", (#4, #11, #3 respectively in the UK) sniffed the American singles charts. The band wouldn't see the American charts again until the release of "Chorus" in 1991. On another side note, it was around that time that I got to meet Andy Bell. It was at a hotel bar in downtown Fort Worth, Texas after a concert. While I didn't attend the concert, I had a friend who worked at the hotel tip me off that Andy would be in the bar area sometime after the show. Three other friends and I piled into our car and headed for the hotel. When we arrived, there was a rather large throng of people waiting outside, hoping to get in to catch a glimpse of the band. We showed up well after the fact, walked right in the front entrance and took a seat at a table in the bar area. Nobody even inquired whether or not we had a room at the hotel (we didn't). About 15-20 minutes later, Andy and a couple members of his entourage took a seat at a table near us. We mumbled among ourselves, starstruck as ever. It took about another 15 minutes for us to get enough courage to walk over and ask for an autograph. As we were the only other people in the bar, he kindly obliged. We didn't linger or ask a bunch of questions. We simply said how much we loved Erasure's music and thanked him for the autograph. Then we returned to our table. He appeared exhausted from the show and I think he truly appreciated the fact we didn't press the issue.
While many stateside think of Re-Flex as a one-hit wonder thanks to their international smash, "The Politics Of Dancing", the fact is the band had five other singles chart in various countries around the world, including the track "Hurt", which appears here. Reaching #82 in the US back in 1983, the song is largely forgotten or overlooked by all but die-hard fans at this point in time, but it's a fantastic pop gem by any standard and deserves to be heard. Re-Flex were formed in the early 1980s by musicians Baxter on vocals and guitar and Paul Fishman on keyboards and backing vocals, and included Francois Craig on bass, and two successive drummers, Phil Gould and Mark King, both of Level 42 fame. Following King's exit, Roland Vaughn Kerridge took over on drums and later, after Craig’s departure, Thomas Dolby introduced ex-Gloria Mundi bass player Nigel Ross-Scott to the band, thus completing Re-Flex's final and perhaps best-known line-up. Though the group stopped working together in 1987, they have never officially split up. If you are a fan, it might interest you to know that in 2010, Re-Flex band members released a 6 CD box set entitled 'Re-Fuse'. The set includes a re-mastered version of their debut album, The Politics of Dancing, and five CDs of other previously unreleased material. One of those five discs is their sophomore effort called Humanication which, somewhat ironically, was shelved by EMI before its release as it was deemed ... wait for it ... too political.
And speaking of pop perfection, OMD's "Tesla Girls" would have to qualify. Though it's one of the definitive club tracks in the band's catalog, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys found it exceptionally difficult to come up with a version that they knew to be "right". At the time, the band's confidence had bottomed-out after the release of their fourth album, Dazzle Ships, and the group struggled to produce new music they felt was up to their lofty standards. Inspired by Yugoslavian-born scientist Nikola Tesla, who developed the alternating current, and armed with a title suggested to the group by musician Martha Ladly, "Tesla Girls" went through endless revisions and multiple adaptations during umpteen recording sessions for their fifth album, Junk Culture. Even after creating what would become the album version of the song, McCluskey recorded two new versions and even attempted to remix the original studio recording before admitting defeat and signing off on the version we've all come to love ... except for "Kids In America" singer Kim Wilde, who called the tune "inane and monotonous". Still, in 1984 the track reached #21 in the UK and has become a classic. By the way, the "No, No, No" vocal sample was done by Maureen Humphreys, Paul's wife at the time.
Last, but never least, you may be wondering about the title 5-8-6 by New Order. The song was originally conceived out of Factory Records' head, Tony Wilson, requesting "twenty minutes of pap" from the band. From that directive was borne a 23-minute instrumental titled "Video 5-8-6". The song contained many elements that would surface in various songs on NO's debut album, Power, Corruption and Lies, including their best-selling club hit, "Blue Monday". The song would eventually be distilled down to the vocal version of the song most fans are familiar with. Bassist Peter Hook has stated that the title comes from the bar structure found in the track "Ecstasy". The track went on to chart at #86 on the British Singles Chart and #19 on the British Indie Chart. It also went on to become a classic among classics in the New Order catalog.
Welp, another episode in the books. I'll be back with another soon. Thanks for listening!
Think you know all there is to know about new wave, pop, synthpop, and early electronica from the 80s and 90s? Think again. Groove to a continuous mix of some of the great retro dance club classics, forgotten gems and rarities from one of music's greatest eras. Pop your collar, strap on a Swatch or five and enjoy!
DJ TINTIN PERSONAL NOTE 11/7/16: I HAVE NOW UPGRADED ONCE AGAIN TO A PRO ACCOUNT, SO BANDWIDTH ISSUES SHOULD BE NEGLIGIBLE ONCE AGAIN. PLEASE VISIT, LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD AS OFTEN AS YOU LIKE. TELL YOUR FRIENDS. TELL YOUR ENEMIES. TELL ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN TO COME BY AND SAY HELLO! ABOVE ALL, ENJOY THE MUSIC! I guess you could say I've been a fully-fledged DJ for a while now, having had the good fortune to perform opening sets at a local 80s dance establishment called the Breakfast Club in Charlotte, NC from about 2005-2010. It was a chance opportunity and one that I relished until the night ran its course and came to an end. I started Clearance Rack Classics as a way to continue doing live mixes and to share great music with anyone willing to listen. Gone are the crowds and the funky fashions in this format, but gone also are the music mandates from club owners. Here, I get to play what I really want my audience to hear and not have to devote all my time to the "hits", so to speak. It's not that I have anything against the hits, but there is so much good music out there that begs to be heard. It seems that, as the years go by, more and more genres have been compartmentalized into about 75-100 songs that get repeated over and over in various media. The rest gets squeezed out or gets forgotten entirely. It is my hope that I can keep the dimming embers burning bright right here. Happy listening!
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