From 1984 and a bit of a late hit for da Club. Still under the wing of producer Steve Levine with drummer, Jon Moss, getting into the studio this was cutting edge for 1984. Playful synthpop with the added international theme. I prefer the “shriek mix” that keeps more elements of the single in. The B-side is mostly in Spanish particularly the chorus, pure pop heaven.
Virgin – VS 694-12
|A||The War Song (Ultimate Dance Mix)||6:51|
|B1||The War Song (Shriek Mix)||6:16|
|B2||La Cancion De Guerra||4:06|
The breakthrough hit here in the 10 min + mix. I always remember it being faster being whinned on the fast, live version. From from 1984 and the lead single to promote their new album “True Colours” this is one of those 80’s mixes that pullout all the stops. No big name remixer mentioned. The more Jazz influenced B-side, “Standing In The Light” is better than the A-side, produced by Larry Dunne and Verdine White of Earth Wind & Fire, with the distinct Jaydee bass guitar sound.
Polydor – POSPX 697
|A||Hot Water (Extended Version)|
|B||Standing In The Light (Extended Version)|
More commercial 80’s this time from 1986 and the piano led rocker from Bruce et al. The most distinct piano riff of the 80’s and is quite a lot more synthy than you expect. B-sides are both album tracks. The rockier “The Wild Frontier” and the piano style of the A-side is resumed on the track “The Red Plains”, very Genesis in places.
NEW LINK 2016!
RCA – PT 49806
|A||The Way It Is||4:55|
|B1||The Red Plains||4:59|
|B2||The Wild Frontier||4:01|
Is this commercial ? Well the anti-drug message is quite jovially delivered, Robinson rapping over an electro-dance backing from this track from 1986. Mixed by John Adams and written by Paul Harvey it sounds like a US disco smash. The B-side has fretless bass and marimba synths and in a mostly spoken social commentary of a Yuppie wedding of the late 80’s, an ex-girlfriend at the alter and wry social commentary…superb!
Castaway Records – TRT 3
|A||(It Ain’t Nothing Like) The Real Thing (Blow Version)||7:35|
|B1||(It Ain’t Nothing Like) The Real Thing (Blaster Version)||3:23|
I’m going to do a little experiment. It seems that popular, mainstream 80’s releases are my most popular shares. It seems a bit obvious, if this was a commercial site it would be the most profitable way of earning a crust, the stats prove it. I post the B-sides because I find them the more interesting, rewarding listen. Mike provides the site with the more obscure, transatlantic shares and I try a find obscure stuff to educate and enthrall fans of the 80’s and 90’s. So this week I am going for commercial 80’s releases only, that have not appeared here. I bet the Stats go high!
From 1982 and under the production of Trevor Horn this second release by ABC scored them a massive hit. With Martin Fry’s earnest letter to fans on the back and being released on their own offshoot label, Neutron Records, this was clever, a personal touch to the mass marketing.
So the track itself is not extended or remixed, the longer “Jazz” mix released in the US, but encapsulates what ABC was about, bombastic sound, groovy bass lines and clever but coolly delivered lyrics.
The B-sides are “lounge” versions of the main track. Taken from a short film, an espionage epic called Mantrap directed by Julien Temple. Jazzed up and it seems with a live vocal take, a good alternative version. The “Lounge Sequence” is just an atmospheric. film noir instrumental.
Neutron Records – NTX 102
|B1||Theme From “Man-Trap”||4:18|
|B2||“Man-Trap” (The Lounge Sequence)||4:18|
More whimsical 80’s pop from Frazier Chorus from 1989 and sounding a little bit like a cross between ABC and a slowed down Pulp’s “Common People”.
Superb production by Hugh Jones with a full orchestral backing, not the very synth drenched version that many fans didn’t like (you can hear it in the vid)
The gentleness continues on the B-side with the clarinet lead instrumental, “Spoonhead” and a very odd version of the Sex Pistol’s classic done in the Frazier Chorus style, you have to hear it!
Virgin – VST 1192
|A1||Sloppy Heart (Full Version)|
|B1||Anarchy In The UK|
An Anglo-Canadian act, The Lucy Show, still adopting the New Wave style on this track from 1987. Mark Bandola (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Rob Vandeven (vocals, bass) with Pete Barraclough and Bryan Hudspeth on drums.
Lots going on here, rock guitars and even a brass section over the sequenced melody. They did have something about them, I’m loving the Indie wall of guitar of the driving “Invitation.” Roddy Lorimer who played the fantastic trumpet.
Big Time – 6043-1-BD
|A||New Message (Solo Trumpet Mix)||4:55|
|B1||New Message (Instrumental)||3:29|
|B2||New Message (New Version)||3:29|
While we are on the Canadian band tip I’ll post a few more from Mike. From 1984 and the Tom Cochrane fronted Red Rider. Featuring Jeff Jones on bass, (who was the original singer of Rush) John Webster on keyboards, Ken Greer and Spider Sinnaeve on bass. Essentially a rock band this was given the remix treatment by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero so we get rock dance crossover that keeps the groove going. (getting rid of some of the saxophone and toughening the bass up)
Capitol Records – SPRO-9133
|A||Wild Thing, Young Dreams (Rock Me) (Dance Version)||6:22|
|B||Wild Thing, Young Dreams (Rock Me) (Instrumental Version)||3:32|
Funky New Wave from the female led Canadian band, The Parachute Club.
From 1983 and their debut release, the band line-up was Lorraine Segato on vocals and guitar, Lauri Conger on keyboards and vocals, Billy Bryans on drums, Margo Davidson on saxophone and vocals, Julie Masi on percussion and vocals, Steve Webster on bass and Dave Gray on guitar. Produced by the legendary Daniel Lanois (Eno collaborator) it does have the feel of more prog/funk new wave, particularly on the slower B-side “She Tell You”- it would make a great dub mix. So plenty of layered beats on the 12″ and shiny synths reveals an early feminist hit. Wonder if this will get a spin at Manchester Pride happening at this very moment.
RCA – PD-13655
|B||She Tell You||5:05|
Jazzy synth combo from Sheffield, Floy Joy, features quite a lot on this blog and amazingly contained an ex-member of industrial act Clock DVA, Micheal Ward. Along with Ward the later band line-up comprised of Robert E.Clarke and singer Desney Campbell (who went on to be in Everyday People) This was from 1986 and produced by the well respected Don Was. A gentle paced track with a strong chorus. The Joyce Davenport mix strips things down and toughens it up with more of a dub mix, reminds me of Talk Talk in places.
NEW LINK 2017
ALL FLOY JOY LINKS HAVE BEEN REFRESHED (There wasn’t that much actually)
Virgin – VS 848-12
|A||Friday Night (Club Mix)|
|B||Friday Night (Joyce Davenport Mix)|