CRC Retro Mix #49
1. Heartbeat City - The Cars2. All Roads Lead To Rome - The Stranglers3. I Die: You Die - Gary Numan4. Auto Music (Razormaid! Mix) - Our Daughter's Wedding5. To Cut A Long Story Short (12" Version) - Spandau Ballet6. Fun City (12" Mix) - Soft Cell7. 8:15 To Nowhere - Vicious Pink8. Telecommunication - A Flock Of Seagulls9. New Life (Remix) - Depeche Mode10. Devil Inside (12" Remix) - INXS11. Still Angry - Book Of Love12. Today (Extended Version) - Talk Talk13. A Forest (Tree Mix) - The Cure14. The Metro (Extended Version) - Berlin15. Take On Me (Tony Mansfield 12" Version) - A-ha 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!
18 Feb 2018
CRC Retro Mix #48
1. Close (To The Edit) - The Art Of Noise2. Wood Beez (Version) - Scritti Politti3. Junge Roemer (Specially Remixed Version) - Falco4. Promised You A Miracle (US Remix) - Simple Minds5. What You Need (Extended Mix) - INXS6. Strangelove (Blind Mix) - Depeche Mode7. The Great Commandment (Strauss Remix) - Camouflage8. Animal Magic (Dance Vocal) - Belouis Some9. Chains Of Love (Truly In Love With The Marks Bros. Mix) - Erasure10. True Faith (Shep Pettibone Remix) - New Order11. Have In Mind (Kalimba Mix) - Cetu Javu12. Brand New Lover (Dust Monkey's Love Bubble Mix) - Dead Or Alive13. Relax (Ollie J Mix) - Frankie Goes To Hollywood14. It's My Life (Happy 90's Mix) - Talk Talk15. Is There Something I Should Know? (DJ Tintin Mix) - Duran Duran
20 Aug 2017
CRC Retro Reboot #1 (originally broadcast 4-23-10)
1. The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight (Dominant Mix) - Dominatrix 2. Touched By The Hand Of God (Razormaid! Mix) - New Order 3. West End Girls (Razormaid! Mix) - Pet Shop Boys 4. Kiss You (When It's Dangerous) (Extended Remix) - Eight Seconds 5. The Promise - When In Rome 6. A Letter From Afar (Big Mix) - B-Movie 7. Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) - A Flock Of Seagulls 8. Brave New World (Razormaid! Mix) - Moskwa TV 9. Situations - Cetu Javu 10. LFO - LFO 11. Change Your Mind (Razormaid! Mix) - Gary Numan 12. Shellshock - New Order 13. Don't Go (Razormaid! Mix) - Yaz 14. Getting Away With It (Razormaid! Mix) - Electronic 15. Love U More (A Version) - Sunscreem Notes: I'm back! Well, kind of. It's been a long three years away, but a career change, a cross-country move, starting a family and all the obligations that go along with it quickly push podcasting down the ol' priority list. It also didn't help that all of my music has been in packing boxes since the move. Well, that has recently changed and I'm starting to get it all organized again, meaning I'm hoping to start doing podcasts again. They probably won't be as frequent as I'd like, but it will be something, which is more than the nothing I've given you, my listeners, for the past long while. During the process of unearthing my music collection, I came across some of my earlier podcasts. Because I ditched my Pro account for the free one in light of my time constraints, most of my old podcasts were removed from this site as my storage capacity was severely depleted. While I try to get organized, I thought it might be cool to re-post some of my better, earlier efforts. For new listeners, it will give you some new material to listen to. For those who have been with me from the start, it will at least replace the podcasts that have been up for an eternity. The one here is the one that started it all: my first ever podcast. I'll post the track list in the next day or so for those who do not have it. In the meantime, it's good to be back (well, kind of). Happy Listening!
4 Mar 2015
CRC Retro Mix #46
1. Beat Dis - Bomb The Bass2. Hello (Honky Tonk Mix) - The Beloved3. Say It (Disco Citizen Mix) - ABC4. Good Life (Indulgence Mix) - Inner City5. Left To My Own Devices (New Toy Mix) - Pet Shop Boys6. World (World In Action Mix) - New Order7. Heart - Pet Shop Boys8. That Way Again - Seven Red Seven9. World In My Eyes (Sensoria Mix) - Depeche Mode10. Don't Let My Love - T4211. Oh L'amour (The Funky Sisters Remix) - Erasure12. Pleasure Boys (Razormaid! Mix) - Visage13. Images Of Heaven (Razormaid! Mix) - Peter Godwin14. In Blue ... DJ (Razormaid! Mix) - Data15. New Gold Dream (Razormaid! Mix) - Simple MindsNotes 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!
21 May 2017
Most Popular Podcasts
CRC Retro Mix #45
1. Tora! Tora! Tora! - Depeche Mode2. Brother And Sister - Erasure3. God Tonight (Art Of Mix) - Real Life4. I Get Excited (Razormaid! Mix) - Pet Shop Boys5. A Kind Of Tragedy - Celebrate The Nun6. Your Tears (Razormaid! Mix) - Echo Romeo7. Hurt - Re-Flex8. 5-8-6 (Razormaid! Mix) - New Order9. Cubik (Kings County Dub) - 808 State10. Disappointed (808 Mix) - Electronic11. Think (Virtual Reality Mix) - Information Society12. Creation (Ultimatum Mix) - Stereo MC's13. Train Of Thought (Extended Mix) - A-ha14. Tesla Girls (Razormaid! Mix) - OMD15. Reap The Wild Wind (Extended Version) - UltravoxNotes 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!
2 Apr 2017
CRC Retro Reboot #2 (originally broadcast 2-18-11)
1. Messages (Razormaid! Mix) - Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark 2. Computer World - Kraftwerk 3. Perfect Kiss - New Order 4. Unveiling the Secret (Remix) - Psyche 5. Desperate But Not Serious - Adam Ant 6. Atomic - Blondie 7. It's Called a Heart (Razormaid! Mix) - Depeche Mode 8. Talk Talk (Extended Version) - Talk Talk 9. Space Age Love Song - A Flock Of Seagulls 10. Train of Thought (Extended Mix) - a-ha 11. The Sound of the Crowd (12" Version) (Complete) - The Human League 12. Uncertain Smile (12" Mix) - The The 13. Nowhere Girl - B-Movie 14. Cool Blue - Eurythmics 15. Tainted Love '91 - Soft Cell Notes: Hi, again! This is my second installment of the Retro Reboot series. It's kind of a way to revisit some of my better, older podcasts while I get everything ready to do some new podcasts in the near future. For some of you these episodes will be familiar, but for some of my newer friends and listeners they will sound completely new. Regardless, it's all great music that should be heard. This particular episode was originally published in February of 2011. Happy listening!
17 Apr 2015
CRC Retro Mix #38
1. Visions Of You - Jah Wobble's Invaders Of The Heart2. Life's What You Make It (Extended Mix) - Talk Talk3. Birthday (Justin Robertson 12" Mix) - The Sugarcubes4. Feel Every Beat (DNA Remix) - Electronic5. Hallelujah (Club Mix) - Happy Mondays6. Big In Japan (Remix '88) - Alphaville7. Transition - Renegade Soundwave8. Notorious (Extended Mix) - Duran Duran9. Prisoner To Desire (Razormaid! Mix) - Psyche10. Love Comes Quickly (Dance Mix) - Pet Shop Boys11. Policy Of Truth (Beat Box Mix) - Depeche Mode12. Walking Away (Space Age Mix) - Information Society13. True Faith (Shep Pettibone Remix) - New Order14. Subversion (Razormaid! Mix) - Tanz Waffen15. Machines (LP Edit) - Red FlagNotes and other random things: Somebody slap me if I try to take several years off from podcasting ever again. I had to pretty much relearn everything I had known about my cheap mixer and recording software from scratch. Not only that, new updates to software means new interfaces and having to learn where all the navigation features are all over again. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but at least he can relearn old tricks since forgotten. Anyway, on to the music.Starting everything off is sort of a forgotten gem by John Joseph Wardle, also known as the inimitable Jah Wobble. The track peaked at #10 on the US Modern Rock charts back in 1992. Featuring the unmistakable backing vocals of a young Sinead O' Connor, the song was a staple on college radio back in the day. But it almost never happened. Following his stint as the original bassist for Public Image Ltd., Wobble formed Invaders of the Heart in 1983, but sometime in the mid-80s became disillusioned with the commercialism prevalent in the music industry. That and his penchant for drunken brawls let to a hiatus from music. Thankfully, a friend and former bandmate convinced him to return. A live recording he made led to a new contract with a small European label, which propelled him to further success with subsequent Invaders albums. Since the early 90s, Wobble's world music leanings and unique dub-style bass playing has shown up in numerous collaborations with a wide range of musicians of all musical backgrounds. Talk Talk hasn't appeared a lot in CRC, but that's mainly due to the freeform nature of their later music and their lack of "hits" if you will. That's not at all a slam on the group or their style. In my honest opinion they were one of the more original groups coming out of the 80s. And that's not to say they didn't have their share of chart success, but like some other well-respected bands, as their popularity ebbs, their critical acclaim skyrockets. Mixed by producer extraordinaire Tim Friese-Greene, who co-produced Thomas Dolby's "Golden Age Of Wireless" album and has done work with another of my favorite bands, Catherine Wheel, this Extended Mix appeared in February of 1986. According to the band, there was also another 12" mix of this track, by Dennis Weinrich, that was omitted from the "Asides Besides" compilation where this track was taken to "stop the listener from being driven crazy". Seems like I'm going to have to find that one now ...Although the original version of "Birthday" by The Sugarcubes is one of my favorite Sugarcubes tunes, and although I got to see them live back in 1989 opening for Public Image Ltd. and New Order, and although Bjork has attained a level of success whereby she needs only one name, I think the more interesting persona involved with the remix is Justin Robertson. It's unprecedented for me to write about remixers in CRC, but to any music lover at the turn of the 90s Justin's name has probably surfaced many, many times in record collections everywhere. Turned on to music by the burgeoning acid house scene while a student in Manchester, Robertson quickly jumped headlong into the club scene, taking the record store to DJ to club owner route. Erasure, Bjork, Happy Mondays, New Order, Talk Talk, Stereo MCs and Gary Clail are just a few of the more recognizable names Justin has worked with. You may have noticed that four of those artists/bands are featured in this podcast. Coincidence? Well, yes, it was just coincidence. To read more about Justin Robertson's odyssey, you can check him out at http://thedeadstock33s-justinrobertson.com/Four albums and twelve singles. That's the total output of Renegade Soundwave's eight-year run as dance/east-end hip-hop/dub/sampling/electro-industrialist noise-makers. The song here, Transition, is from their "In Dub" album, which was a quick follow-up to the success of their first long-play album, "Soundclash". Released in 1989, "Soundclash" followed up several popular singles: "The Kray Twins", "Biting My Nails", and "Probably A Robbery", which charted at #38 in the UK during the year 1990. "Probably A Robbery", though gained chart legs mostly due to the b-side, "Ozone Breakdown", a favorite in dance clubs somewhat due to the prominent sample from the cult film, "The Warriors". RSW have been cited by The Chemical Brothers as a major influence. Red Flag, in my opinion as far as electronic dance music goes, was very under-appreciated. Buried beneath their hearty dance beats are beautiful pop songs with lush melodies and harmonies and catchy hooks, at least that was the case with their earlier material, including the track here, "Machines". Originally called Shades Of May, the band was conceived in 1982 and consisted of brothers Mark and Chris Reynolds. Both classically trained musicians, by 1984 the two took seriously to studying music and computer technology. A 1988 gig for a Southern California record pool got them noticed by producer Jon St. James. Shortly thereafter, their first single "Broken Heart" (an amazing song, no less) made its debut. Stacey Q, of "Two Of Hearts" fame, co-produced the single with St. James. Their album "Naive Art", a fantastic album from start to finish that included dance hits such as "Russian Radio" and "If I Ever", appeared in 1989. If timing is everything, the brothers' was impeccable as "Naive Art" hit the streets just as Depeche Mode were riding high at what was perhaps the peak of their songwriting prowess. As such, Red Flag's sound struck a chord, literally and figuratively with the synthpop crowds who, ahem, just couldn't get enough of DM at the time. Regulars to CRC will notice a rather robust selection of Razormaid! remixes throughout these podcasts and "Naive Art" remains the only album Joseph Watt and Co. from Razormaid! ever produced in its entirety. Paul Robb of Information Society also helped with the production. Red Flag were victims of label doldrums twice: the first was the dissolution of Enigma Records in 1991, which led to their signing to IRS, the label on which "Machines" appeared. The second was the following year when they were dropped from IRS, an event which, considering the label's impending financial troubles, may have been rather fortuitous. The brothers also had the foresight to use their advance to build their own studio, which would be home of their own label, Plan B Records. It would be the imprint of all future releases. While the band is still actively recording, Mark Reynolds sadly committed suicide in 2003. May he rest in peace and may his music live on forever.
5 Jun 2015
CRC Retro Mix #36
1. The Chase - Propaganda2. Follow the Rainbow (Razormaid! Mix) - Joe Machine3. X-Rated (Moonitor Version) - Psyche4. 19 (Destruction Mix) - Paul Hardcastle5. Humatic (Razormaid! Mix) - League of Gentlemen 6. World in my Eyes (Oil Tank Mix) - Depeche Mode7. Situations (Razormaid! Mix) - Cetu Javu8. Thinking of You - Seven Red Seven9. Handsome (Psycho-Ray Mix) - Camouflage10. Komputer Pop - Komputer11. Heaven (Extended Version) - Until December12. Spooky (Magimix) - New Order13. Render - Lassigue Bendthaus14. W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G. - Front 24215. One World - Ajax Notes and other random things: Update as of (02-01-12): God golly ... is it already February?!?! Just realized I forgot to do my notes and random things for this podcast, which was already over a month ago! Jeez. Well, it's on the way, plus a new podcast once I find time to record. New job, new family member, new year and a cross-country move on the horizon are taking up all my time at the moment. Did you notice all the "newness" in that last sentence? Yet here I am dishing out what Bryan Ferry would call "The Same Old Scene" when it comes to reasons why I can't seem to get podcasts up in a reasonable amount of time anymore. Or, like ABC's Martin Frye crooned, "Excuses have their uses, but they're all used up." Seriously, though, I can't recall being any busier in my entire life and I beg your indulgence with my slow updates of late.Update as of (02-04-12): Let's look at a few of the bands in this particular episode (finally, right!?) I want to start with League of Gentlemen. Funny I want to start with a band I know almost nothing about, but it's really the concept of this song that intrigues me so much. Back in the 80s, there were a lot of industrial-sounding bands that were fascinated with the synthesis between man and machine and what it might entail for the survival of the human race. Mysterious Art, for instance, if you recall from an eariler episode, touched on the theme with Men of Glass. There were plenty of others. This excellent number from 1987 does the same. On a side note, I have always been fascinated how Eastern Bloc industrial artists could always seem to write cool songs even though they barely knew English. Somehow they take sentence fragments and comma splices, add the letter "z" wherever there is supposed to be an "s", pluralize words like "informationz" and still manage to give me chills. That's talent! Of course, this band only had enough talent to do one song because I haven't, to date, found anything else by these guys ... at least in this incarnation. As we have learned with producers like Morton, Sherman and Belucci they can "seed" an entire genre by doing hundreds of one-off bands to create a scene as those guys did with the Belgian New Beat dance scene years ago. So, maybe the guys in LOG reformed under another moniker. I'll have to look into it sometime.But there's more to this "Humatic" phenomenon than meets the eye. As with other electronic groups who explored man's servitude to the rise of machines there is an inherent lack of logic there that makes me chuckle. I've played it out for you below, though names have been changed to protect the innocent. (Note: this is a completely fictional account)Klaus: Hi, Gert.Gert: Howdy, Klaus.Klaus: Say, Gert, how would you like to be in a band with me?Gert: Sounds great, Klaus. But is this another one of your band concepts that requires I wear lederhosen on stage while dumping a stein full of Krautspatzle over my head?Klaus: No, Gert. This one is much better. I want to explore the relationship between man and machine and how eventually, due to elementary chaos theory, all machines will morph and rise up against their masters and enslave them, breed with them and create a hybrid race of automatons that will exterminate all humanity.Gert: Count me in!Klaus: Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get the drum machines, sequencing keyboards, electronic samplers and Commodore computers that we'll be using. Gert: Sounds great, Klaus. I can't see anything that can go wrong with this utterly ironic plan of yours. By the way, do you have a band name yet?Klaus: I sure do, Gert. I wanted something memorable and easy to recall, so it's come down to either Braunschweiger Umweltverschmutzung or League of Gentlemen. Gert: Rad. Update as of (02-17-12): I don't have anymore fantastic re-enactments for the next band in the arsenal. In fact, like League of Gentlemen, I have little to no information at all about Joe Machine either, though I think I came across his social networking page on MySpace ... or at least some guy who goes by the name Joe Machine. Anyway, we have ZYX records in Germany to thank for this release and divinity to thank for the voice that is eerily reminiscent of Daniel Ash from Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets fame.As is the case so often with electronic music of this era, "Kraftwerk creep" rears its head a couple of times in this episode. Seeing as how they are one of the most influential collectives in electronic music history it's not surprising that so many others to follow were touched by their genius. From tempo to timbre to replicating the "Musique non-stop" mantra found in the Kraftwerk tune of the same name from the Electric Cafe album, Psyche's X-rated is a delectable morsel of synthetic cyber-porn sleaze that captures the Kraftwerk-ian spirit perfectly and garners this episode an "explicit" tag in the process. Sebastian Komor of Icon of Coil remixed the track. Then, there is the awesome, sub-splitting frequencies of the track Komputer Pop by the band Komputer. If you recall, I mentioned this band when discussing the group I Start Counting several episodes ago as they, Fortran 5 and Komputer are all brain children of David Baker and Simon Leonard. If you haven't done so and you are a Kraftwerk fan, I highly recommend Komputer's first album called World of Tomorrow. It's a fantastic concept album and is about as close to replicating the Kraftwerk sound as you're going to find. There are a bunch of great tracks to boot. And in case you missed it, Baker and Leonard recently released a compilation of tracks spanning all three iterations of their long-time collaboration. Called Konnecting, it contains 15 tracks. For die-hards, they also released a companion 60-track digital deluxe set of b-sides and rarities with tons of remixes. If you have never owned anything by these guys, the new set is a fantastic place to begin and perhaps end if you're not a completist when it comes to music collecting. More to come ...
24 Dec 2011
CRC Retro Mix #40
1. Secrets - Fiat Lux2. Puppets - Depeche Mode3. Collapsing New People (Berlin Mix) - Fad Gadget4. Shame (Mix Two) - Nitzer Ebb5. Fine Time (Steve 'Silk' Hurley Mix) - New Order6. Obsession (Club Mix) - Xymox7. New York, New York (Dancefloor Cut Mix) - Microchip League8. Evolution (Original Mix) - Nostromo Dept.9. The Race (12" Mix) - Yello10. Passion (Extended Mix) - The Flirts11. Lose Him (Original 12" Version) - I Start Counting12. Love Action (12" Mix) - Human League13. Don't Go (Razormaid! Mix) - Yaz14. Computerlove (Remix) - Kraftwerk15. Play To Win (12" Extended Version) - Heaven 17Notes and other random things:Sorry to everyone for the three-month vanishing act. Without boring you all to tears or making excuses, lets just say that raising a family doesn't leave one with much spare time to devote to things like podcasting. Nonetheless, I got another one done. Lots to like in this one, including some stuff I'm hoping even die-hard retro junkies may not be all that familiar with. Some notes will be forthcoming as I find time to clack out deets. In the meantime, enjoy the new tunes! Update 3-6-16: I didn't find time to write up anything on this episode, though I will say that I included Kraftwerk to coincide with my getting to cross off a bucket list item. On October 9 of last year, I saw Kraftwerk live for the first time ever. Simply put, the show was amazing. Sure, only Ralf Hutter remains as one of the original members, but the visuals, the sound and the experience were as immersive as one could hope for. The videos were all 3-D as well adding to the sensory overload. The 2 1/2-hour extravaganza bridged the early classics with newer material and it was quite extraordinary sitting down the entire time with generally polite applause in between songs, at least until the clamor began, culminating in a triple encore. It was a show I won't soon forget. If the band should make it to your area, it is well worth the price of admission.
2 Nov 2015
CRC Retro Mix #43
1. I Want You - Utah Saints2. Hallucination Generation (Syametic Nightmare) - Gruesome Twosome3. Salvation (Razormaid! Mix) - The Hood4. State Of The Nation - New Order5. Happiest Girl (Jack Mix) - Depeche Mode6. You Make Me Wonder (Razormaid! Mix) - Celebrate The Nun7. What Do You See (Arabian House Mix) - Cause & Effect8. LSI (Love Sex Intelligence) (Beatmasters 12" Mix) - The Shamen9. Lucky Charm (Extended Club Mix) - Hard Corps10. Send Me An Angel '89 (Dance Mix) - Real Life11. We Came To Dance (12" Version) - Ultravox12. The Calling (Full Extended 12" Mix) - Ken Heaven13. We Are The Boys (Razormaid! Mix) - Until December14. The Sound Of The Crowd (12" Version) (Complete) - The Human League15. My Translucent Hands (No. II) - I Start Counting Notes and other random things: Well, here it is. My first brand new podcast in nearly seven months. Where does the time go? They say patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait and I think this one was worth waiting for. A good blend of the familiar and the not-so-familiar; some things you may remember and some you've long since forgotten or maybe never heard in your entire life.Before I get to a few band notes, I want to mention that I have now upgraded my account back to a Pro account. I just couldn't bear the thought that people were actually making a point of coming to this site to listen to the music only to be told by a pre-recorded message that they could not because of bandwidth limitations. What does that mean for you all? It means no more running out of bandwidth two days after I post a new episode. With apologies to the Pet Shop Boys it means more "opportunities" to listen and to download when you have time. It means more storage, so I don't have to delete the audio from an older podcast just to post a new one. (You may have already noticed I've re-posted some of the more recent back-catalog episodes). Over time, I will add more of them. For long-time listeners, it's a chance to re-visit some of the older stuff from "back in the day". For newer listeners, it will be like a glut of new podcasts to check out.I also want to note that I've removed the audio for my previous episode (CRC #42) as the recording levels were all over the map and I didn't think the quality was up to snuff. Perhaps 5 or 6 years ago, it would have been okay, I suppose, but even in light of the cheap mixer and free recording software I use to assemble these 'casts, I think this podcast has come too far now and demands a higher level of quality. So, I may re-record that one at a future date. At that point, I'll re-post. Same for back-catalog items. The really good ones, I'll re-post. The ones that could use a little work will most likely be re-recorded and re-posted as a "reboot" episode. All in all, thank you all again for tuning in. Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2017!Now on to the bands ... If you've been a follower of this podcast since the beginning and you've clung to the belief that, against all probability, the thrash metal band, Slayer, would somehow make its presence felt at some point then your patience has finally been rewarded. And you should book your ticket to Vegas immediately. Taking a riff from the group's tune, "War Ensemble", "I Want You" was one of four Top-25 hits for Jez Willis and Tim Garbutt on Utah Saints' self-titled debut. The duo were at the pioneering edge of sampling, also grabbing a snippet of Kate Bush from her track Cloudbusting for the song "Something Good" and a soundbite from the inimitable Annie Lennox from her song "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" for the track "What Can You Do For Me". Called "the first true Stadium House band" by Bill Drummond of The KLF, Utah Saints were one of the first rave acts to play live and one I had the good fortune to see on the same bill with The Shamen in the early 90s during the rave culture explosion. And let me tell you: it was quite a show ... probably.I first heard "Salvation" by The Hood sometime in 1989 while in college. A guy who lived down the hall from me had a version of it on an old mix tape. I really liked the track and was pleased as punch when the first of many Razormaid! discs from my nascent subscription showed up in the mail containing a mix of that song. It is a portion of that 10+ minute version that appears here. I would soon come across a movie soundtrack of the same name while sifting through record bins at a local indie shop. New Order, Cabaret Voltaire, The Hood, hip-hop producer extraordinaire Arthur Baker and others appeared on the album, so I purchased it. While I've listened to the song "Salvation" umpteen times over the years, I did not know much about the band or its members. To this day, I still don't. I spent the better part of an hour trying to find information on the group, but mostly found song credits and track listings. Eventually, I did find a tiny bit of info on a website called The Lost Turntable. The info was posted by an Arthur Baker and a John Hood respectively, both of whom I can only assume to be the real article. "the hood- is john hood, a legendary nyc party promoter-doorman,who is also quite a good writer. he was signed for a short time on the sire label and is active on the club scene in south beach, miami, florida""Wow! Yeah, that The Hood track is indeed me: John Hood. (Thanks AB!) And I'm delighted to find it posted. In fact, till right now I never even had an MP3 of the song! So if no one minds, I'll post this, save this, and send this around. Nice to find Salvation!"If anyone knows anything more about The Hood, I would LOVE to get a one-sheet or press kit or bio on them.Speaking of bands I don't know much about, Gruesome Twosome would qualify as well. Sort of a one-off project for founders Samy Birnbach from Minimal Compact (aka Lord Solomon Pearbrook) and Norwegian producer Per Martinsen, who had been recording under the name Syamese, "Hallucination Generation" is the only official single from the group and was released in 1989. A cult classic in its own right, the song sort of bridges the gap between traditional industrial dance music and the bourgeoning New Beat music scene that was starting to take hold at the time. Birnbach and Martinsen would later collaborate with the likes of Bertrand Burgalat, Thrash from The Orb, Paul Kendall and Fortran 5 to eventually release a full-length album called Candy From Strangers, which was released in 1993. Birnbach currently releases material under the DJ Morpheus moniker, having once worked with Colin Newman from Wire for a project called Oracle, while Martinsen performs as Mental Overdrive. While it's probably not the best analogy as they employed very different musical styles, Ultravox is much like the band Genesis in the sense that they have two distinct timelines, led by two distinctly different front men. And much like one could argue Peter Gabriel represented the true vision for Genesis, there is no denying that Phil Collins took the band to massive commercial heights and is probably remembered more readily as the face of the group. Similarly, one could argue that while John Foxx may have been the driving force behind Ultravox during their formative years, it was Midge Ure, who took over after Foxx left for a solo career, that kept the band from imploding and pushed them further into the mainstream and to massive success in the UK. With 7 Top-10 albums and 17 Top-10 singles, U-Vox, like many other bands of the day, took their cue from the glam rock outfits that came before such as Neu! In fact, early on Ultravox was known as Ultravox! (with an exclamation point) in deference to Neu! The first album with the classic line-up of Ure, Billy Currie, Warren Cann and Chris Cross would be the amazing Vienna, which marked a very different direction for the group. Produced by long-time Kraftwerk producer Conny Plank, the album included the title track, which would reach #2 in the UK and would be the highest charted song for the band. (John Lennon's "Woman" and "Shaddap You Face" by Joe Dolce would both keep the song from reaching #1). And while the 1982 album Quartet, produced by George Martin, would be the best-selling US album for U-Vox, the band would not again reach the level of critical success they found with Vienna. The song in this podcast is the 12" version of "We Came to Dance", the final single from Ultravox's sixth studio album, Quartet, released on April 18, 1983. The single reached #18 on the UK charts and was the last of seven consecutive top-20 singles for the band. This being the Christmas season, I would be derelict not to mention that Midge Ure also co-wrote (with Bob Geldof of Boomtown Rats fame) and produced the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid.Last but not least, I want to mention "State Of The Nation" by New Order. Though it reached #1 on the UK Indie Singles Chart and #30 on the UK Singles chart in 1986, the song is probably not a favorite of the majority of New Order fans. I would wager if every NO devotee were to compile a list of his or her Top 10 songs, it would probably appear in less than 5% of those lists. Still, the track is a great one even if only for the fact that it's one of the few NO songs whose title actually appears within the lyrics and/or chorus of the song. As most die-hard fans know, the titles of most NO tunes have little or no relevance to the subject matter being discussed. "Shellshock", "Regret", "Touched By The Hand Of God" and "Confusion" are a few songs I can think of off the top of my head that go against that grain. While the song did not appear on the album, Brotherhood, which was released around this time, both the remix version appearing here and the B-side called "Shame Of The Nation", which was produced by John Robie, appear on the Substance compilation, released in 1987. That will do it for this epidsode. I've got my next podcast ready to record. As soon as I find some time, I'll do just that. Happy Listening!
18 Dec 2016