This is the first record Ultravox made with Midge Ure. I quite liked the Vienna album at the time but wasn’t all that keen on them after that. Not sure what their critical rep is these days but I’ve a feeling even Gary Numan is cooler than they are now.
When I first heard this on the radio I didn’t know who Electronic were and it took a minute for the penny to drop that it actually was Bernard Sumner and Neil Tennant singing and not some copycats.
This must be one of the few instances where a “supergroup” makes a record as good as the ones they did with their original bands.
PS: I fucking hated it when Top of The Pops got the audience to whoop it up to add more of a “live” atmosphere to the show. It sounded so bloody fake, the complete opposite of what they intended.
Download: Back To Nature – Fad Gadget (mp3)
I had no idea Fad Gadget (aka Frank Tovey) had died in 2002 until I started writing this post. Tovey was an early pioneer of electronic post-punk and “Back To Nature” from 1979 was only the second single ever released on Mute Records (after “Warm Leatherette”). He was a little too experimental for mainstream success though and remained only a cult figure.
He played a gig in the canteen at Maidstone College of Art circa 1983 when I was student there. I didn’t go for some reason and it was apparently a rather mad affair like his gigs usually were. One more on the list of acts I kick myself over not seeing when I had the chance.
Download: Zerox – Adam & The Ants (mp3)
Some pre-warpaint and pop stardom Adam Ant for you. Their second single from 1979.
Image: Jackie by Andy Warhol (1965)
Up to my tits in work and really worn out at the moment. I’m lucky enough to like what I do for a living, but there are times when I want to retire and live a life of leisure, blogging, and t-shirt designing. Which is another way of saying don’t expect much here for the next couple of weeks.
Download: Up Against It – Pet Shop Boys (mp3)
This is one of my absolute favourite PSB tracks, from their 1996 album Bilingual. It also has one of my favourite lyrics of theirs in “Such a cold winter, with scenes as slow as Pinter”.
I lost interest in Eurythmics the further they strayed from their original synth sound into more conventional pop/rock. But they sold a shed-load of records so what does it matter what I think? They were pretty damn good for a while though. This is from a 1983 gig at London club Heaven.
There’s no way I wasn’t going to check out an album called The Great Cybernetic Depression by an artist with the name Princess Chelsea when I saw it reviewed on Pitchfork. I’m already predisposed to like something like that before I’ve even heard it, and luckily it turned out to be a terrific album of lovely synthpop balladry that I would have enjoyed no matter what it was called.
Buy/listen to more here.
Dr. Who & The Daleks, the 1965 film with Peter Cushing as the Doctor, was on TV here the other week. It was the first time my kids had seen Daleks so I hyped up them up beforehand with tales of how much they scared me when I was young.
Now, my kids love Ray Harryhausen films so they’re not some jaded modern youths only impressed by state-of-the-art CGI, but sadly the Daleks didn’t frighten them in the slightest. Admittedly it isn’t a very good film, and it probably didn’t help that in it these supposedly terrifying machines were incapable of moving on a carpet. But still, at no point did either of the kids hide behind the couch which was very disappointing.
But the kid in me always gets a kick out of seeing the Daleks in widescreen colour instead of the grainy, black and white TV figures of my youth. The adult in me didn’t mind the lovely Jennie Linden either, that’s the young lady the Dalek is getting fresh with in the picture above. Careful where you’re pointing that plunger.
Download: Dalek I Love You (Destiny) – Dalek I (mp3)
Dalek I Love You was a post-punk synthpop group from Liverpool who weren’t all that successful and it’s members more famous for other bands they were in. Formed by Alan Gill and David Balfe who later joined The Teardrop Explodes (where Gill co-wrote “Reward”), the lineup at one point also included Andy McCluskey before he formed Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. This was a single from their 1980 album Compass Kumpas by which time they’d shortened their name to Dalek I. Didn’t make any difference to their record sales though.