From 1982 when the Thompson Twins were a 7 piece band before the machines (synths) took over. Helped by the pristine production of Steve Lillywhite this had ears turning and went to top the US Dance Charts. It was their breakthrough track and an early 80’s anthem and , bizarrely , appeared on the “Ghostbusters” film soundtrack, 2 years later! A slice of synthy funk that got a cheeky reference on subsequent track, “Love On Your Side” the 12″ mix really works well. The B-sides are also good, keeping with the more band orientated sound with stabs of synth weirdness. “Coastline” is uptempo and live sounding. “In The Beginning” sounds like Tears For Fears and is slower and more experimental than the album version.
More Private Lives, this time from 1983 and a more poppier commercial sound, think a young Johnny Hates Jazz via curiosity Killed The Cat (yes, that sort of style!) It’s all a bit too fluffy for me, very 80’s pop and a bit cliched, the 12″ mix doesn’t really do that much. adds a few effects but still plays it safe. The B-side, however, is much more synth pop with a nice bass line, blue eyed soul and new wave à la Fiction Factory.
Any new wave disciples out there? Here is a little Parish Church to pray in.
Break the chains (Break Out Mix)
Break the chains (radio mix)
You’ve got to win
I’ve seemed to have acquired some more stuff by Private Lives, a new wave band from the early 80’s. This single was produced by Martin Rushent at his Genetic Studios and features saxophone by Gary Barnacle (a familiar name to Visage/Ultravox fans) Private Lives was the duo of John Adams (vocals) and Rick Lane (keyboards) complimented by session musicians and sort of operated under the radar even though being signed to Chrysalis.
So this was from 1982 and is in the more soulful style although Martin Rushent still gets his Linn Drum machine in the mix with a nice dubby “Instrumental”
|A||Because You’re Young
|B||Because You’re Young (Instrumental
From 1982 and a slice of Indipop with this from Monsoon. some fascinating facts is that the singer was an ex member of Grange Hill , Sheila Chandra,and she was the first Indian woman on Top Of The Pops. A mix of electronics and Indian music this was a big hit and the extended version adds a longer instrumental section and what sounds like a vocoder?!
I bought the 7″ of this from Boots when it came out in 1982 and it was nice reacquainting myself after so many years. I like the bluesy mix of ethnic sounds on the B-side, a sacred sounding ballad about the river Ganges.
A classic that most people will have from 1982, with the sumptuous production of Trevor Horn and the string arrangements of Anne Dudley. A very clever bit of marketing by releasing 3 singles (the other being “Tears Are Not Enough” and “Poison Arrow”) to get the audience anticipating the release of the album “Lexicon Of Love.” With the personal sleeve notes by Martin Fry it preempts Frankie Goes To Hollywood and ZTT. The four parts are various mixes of the track. Parts 2 and 4 are instrumentals , Part 3 is the more dance floor tuned remix and Part 1 is the 7″ version. The other, rarer DJ mixes are already on here (somewhere) so you now have the full set.
|A1||The Look Of Love (Part One)||3:28|
|A2||The Look Of Love (Part Two)||3:44|
|B1||The Look Of Love (Part Three)||4:16|
|B2||The Look Of Love (Part Four)||0:56|
The video is suitably fun and pompous.
A band just starting to break through and from 1981, this was Simple Minds finding their feet. A classic here in the full version it has the prog rock sheen, thanks to Steve Hillage on production. It’s all about the mix between electronics and guitars and they get it just right! The B-ide does plod along a bit without the vocals. Not very rare but essential listening and the video is fascinating!
Keeping the early 80’s feel going here is a forgotten track from Department S ( it was the follow up single to “Is Vic There?”)From 1981 this was a bit of a stonker and many thought actually was a lot better than the first single. A unique keyboard sound and a dance feel about it it seems like the angrier Grandad of the Kaiser Chiefs. It has a bit of an anti-war/army message and drives it along at a frantic pace. The B side is a weird, spoken tour of London to the hotel of a mysterious lady who has been expecting you! Sounding like a cross between Adam Ant, The Cramps and Duran Duran!?! The bonus is a nice French version of their debut single but not entirely sung in French, a mix of both languages, the backing seems to be entirely rerecorded and mixed from the first single as it was done by Dave Tickle.
|A||Going Left Right (Extended Version)||4:28|
|B1||She’s Expecting You||2:35|
|B2||Is Vic There? (French Version)|
It’s been hot for weeks now! Amazeballs! The second release from Birmingham’s UB 40 and what a dubby beauty it is! All studio trickery combined with bass and drums, hypnotic! A big fan of their early stuff (Pre “Rat In Me Kitchen”) this is a class 12″ inch with a Randy Newman cover to boot and Bob Lamb providing the studio magic. It all goes on a dub journey but still keeps the main parts of the track, best of both worlds!
A lesser known song from one of the Princesses of Post Punk, Hazel O’Connor. The non extended 12″ version with 2 rare, extra tracks. This was off her debut album, “Sons And Lovers.” Sounding like a slightly slower “8th Day” with an ever present Saxophone, a forgotten gem. B-sides “Ain’t It Funny” has even more saxophone doing familiar cover melodies and is a much more uptempo, punky track. A rare listen is a cover of Bowie’s “Suffragette City” ,live from the Dominion Theatre, a very clear recording with duel vocals by a certain Mr. Simon Le Bon!! Duran Duran were on the bill as a support band.
White/black ska/reggae from 1981 and a rare but very listenable slice of dub, complete with a cover of Solomon Burke’s classic track “I’ve Got To Get You Off My Mind” Don’t know anything about them at all!!!
|A2||I’ve Got To Get You Off My Mind|
|B||They Said (Dub Mix)|