Erasure – Crackers International (Vinyl E.P.)


Well they have started to advertise for Christmas Parties in the pubs in Manchester so this reminded me of this festive release from Erasure, back in 1988. It helped promote the Live Vid “Innocents” and I remember going to the gig at Nynex Arena. The weird thing was everyone got a massive poster promoting this release just before they went in, so you were stuck with it for the whole gig. You can see most of the audience with these posters rolled up like tubes and waving them about, mine survived (just!) if a little creased. Supporting were Nitzer Ebb who managed to annoy the Erasure fans immensely !!!

Back to the songs , no introduction needed for “Stop!” – classic Erasure which would have fitted on any album. Next is “The Hardest Part” with great harmonies and a lost classic. “Knocking On Your Door” is a synth motown classic. Finally there is “She Won’t Be Home” another Christmas classic in a melancholic edge complete with synth trombone !

Paula Abdul – Opposites Attract (12″)


From 1988 and a spritely looking Miss Abdul had a major hit with this little ditty. It’s all about the Megamix which was on the B-side. “Straight Up” , “Cold Hearted” , “The Way That You Love Me”. ” Forever Girl” and “Knocked Out” are all crammed into an 8 and a half min mix. The “Street Mix” had a Rap from The Wild Pair , there is also a “Party Dub” – Wow that was a bit commercial!

John Foxx – Enter The Angel (12″)


The last John Foxx single from the 80’s, released in 1985 it was a track off the album “In Mysterious Ways” Quite religious and uplifting for a Sunday. Eddie Reader provides suitably angelic backing vocals and you get more of her performance on the “Extended Mix” which is a bit rare one. I just loved the arpeggio synths and the choral effects. B-side “Stairway” is more band sounding , it could even be off the Ultravox album “Systems Of Romance” – a must listen for Foxx fan’s with great guitar work from Robin Simon. It seems it was a live studio outtake here in an extended version. John Foxx does Prog!!

Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F (12″)


The German Bill Bailey lookalike and keyboard whizz Harold Faltermeyer had a worldwide hit with this in 1984 and it was the theme tune of the film, Beverly Hills Cop with Eddie Murphy. Here with the hard to find “London Mix” plus the “Extended Version” and B-side “Shoot Out” (a bit Herbie Hancock) Apparently (for the anoraks out there!) the five main instruments used to create Axel F were a Roland Jupiter-8, Moog Modular Synthesiser 15, Roland JX-P, Yamaha DX7 and a LinnDrum. No Frogs were harmed in the making of this record!

NEW LINK 2017 (on it’s way!)

Cabaret Voltaire – I Want You (12″)


Well some more Cabs from 1985, not the most bassy record ever released (I’d love them to remaster the album “The Covenant, The Sword And The Arm Of The Law” a great but sadly tinny sounding album) The tale behind this is a bit narcisstic. I always wanted to get records my mates didn’t have, elitist tendencies at the age 16 !! Well I snuck into Kenneth Gardners in Barrow to order this record I heard on the radio. Handwritten order went in. Hands were rubbed in anticipation. I had to call in the following week to see if it was in, I did and felt the usual excitement (it came in a brown paper wrapper!!) BUT whilst I was there I had a little browse in the 12″ record section, I found one , then two, another one ! (yes after finding about 8 I released they cocked up the order and must of ordered 10!) so much for exclusivity ! After 2 weeks they were in the sale for 20p each!

Well , it’s the full version plus excellent B-sides “Drink Your Poison” about race and civil unrest ! “C.O.M.A.” was basically shoving the album and other stuff into a sampler and seeing what happens !!!

Cabaret Voltaire – James Brown / Bad Self (Part One) (12″)


It’s like neglecting a baby, the uglier twin, so apologies for my viewers and followers ( there’s ten now!) The clunkier , posterior blog has been a bit barren for the 80’s fans so I bring you some classic Cabaret Voltaire. First up is this amazing, 1984, John Tokes Potoker produced “James Brown” that does not have one single James Brown sample in it!!! It’s electro funk of the highest order with prehistoric samples and those insistant horns. Loved it then and loved it now !! B-side “Bad Self….” is more your Cabs electro groove. Love the refrain “Mercenary” reminds me of Man City !!  A forgotten classic

400 Blows – The New Lords Of The Block (Vinyl Album)


From 1989 and a challenge to any listener , like their contemporaries ,23 Skidoo, 400 Blows are uncompromising. Tracks built on a variety of different world rhythms and atmospherics and beginning to be influenced by hip-hop. It was released in 1989 and contains reworks of “Return Of The Dog” (the only tracks with vocals)

A1. Fundamental Islam
A2. The Return ’89
A3. 2416
A4. Freedom
A5. The Return (Vocal)
B1. The New Lords On The Block
B2. Perspective 5
B3. Blows X 2
B4. The Jigsaw Of Life
B5. Endless


Bill Nelson’s Orchestra Arcana – Optimism (Vinyl Album)


The blog has been a little neglected of late and I am going more obscure so please bear with me ! This album from 1988 see’s Bill Nelson working with samplers to produce an instrumental album , which shows great invention. It still has moments of Nelson’s brilliant guitar work but it’s all about the atmospherics and moods created by the samples.

A1 Exactly the Way You Want It (3:10)
A2 Why Be Lonely (1:17)
A3 Everyday Is a Better Day (2:13)
A4 The Receiver and the Fountain Pen (2:50)
A5 Welcome Home, Mr. Kane (4:26)
A6 This Is True (1:26)
A7 Greeting a New Day (1:48)
A8 The Breath in My Father’s Saxophone (2:11)
A9 Our Lady of Apparitions (2:20)
B1 The Whole City Between Us (3:30)
B2 Deva Dance (1:34)
B3 Always Looking Forward to Tomorrow (2:19)
B4 World Thru’ Fast Car Windows (1:36)
B5 Profiles, Hearts, Stars (5:18)
B6 Daughter of Dream Come True (1:55)
B7 Alchemia (5:30)

Prince & The Revolution – Girls & Boys (12″)


From 1986 and still sounding hardly dated. The man was a genius in the studio. Not released as a single in America and was a follow up to his hit “Kiss” in the UK. The contains the album version of the title track, “Under A Cherry Moon” the title of the film of the same name, here as the LP version. The real gem is the B-side “Erotic City (Make Love Not War Erotic City Come Alive)” which was originally the B-side of “Let’s Go Crazy” from 1984, a superb electro funk work out, at over 7 mins,Prince at his best but could this be a post too far!!