Tuesday, March 30, 2010

minute Rice-Oxley

Keane have unveiled the new video they lensed for "Stop For A Minute", the lead track from their forthcoming EP thing, "Night Train".

It's not an album. It's a stop gap. It's a floor wax and a dessert topping. (You need to be a certain age for that last reference.)

It's srsly good stuff! Nice, widescreen, stadium chant. I like the call and response bits. It has a slight Roxy Music feel to it over a hip hop rhythm track with a splash of U2 woven through it. Nicely done, chaps!

The video gives me a bit of a headache with its sweeping, start/stop motion and morphing effects. I like the highly stylized look they were trying to achieve but the execution fell a bit flat.

Did they not have anyone to do Tom Chaplin's make up? He looks pale and spotty with blotches of razor burn showing. Are budgets for music videos that dire? Just stop at a Boots on the way to the shoot, darling!

Has anyone seen composer, Tim Rice-Oxley and drummer, Richard Hughes? Perhaps they knew they would be without a stylist that day and skipped out.

more than a feeling

Lady Ellis-Bextor steps away for a brief moment and then she returns with not one but TWO new singles. "Can't Fight This Feeling" by DJ Junior Caldera with a featured credit from SEB is a pleasant, galloping, dancefloor number.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor has the most flawless, porcelain skin and a very sexy, angular jawline. Let's hope her forthcoming album, "Straight To The Heart", is as appealing as she is beautiful.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

your sweetness is my weakness

The return of Sophie Ellis-Bextor to the hit parade is marked by "Bittersweet", another stellar contribution from Freemasons. The music video just surfaced. Shall we take a peek?

Feathers! Glittering confetti! Brightly colored paint! Trampolines! It's nearly Cirque de Soleil.

The track has some lovely, little "Blue Monday" bits in it. And it has a similar feeling and sound to "The One" by Kylie Minogue which was produced by Freemasons, as well. I know I'm stirring the pot when I say "The One" really should've been the lead single from Kylie's "X". A missed opportunity. Let's hope "Bittersweet" does the business for SEB.

When the hell is she dropping that album?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

two before true

It has been a helluva week. I didn't mean to neglect my little corner of the blogosphere. Sometimes things get in the way of our creative endeavors. Thankfully, I have music as my backdrop and soundtrack everyday. So, with apologies behind us, let's move forward with the tunes I've been spinning on my old Victrola all week long. Indeed, it was a LONG week.

Before we knew this much was true, Spandau Ballet released two, bold, slightly rough musical statements. "Journeys To Glory" was their debut which saw the band plucked from the tastemaker, New Romantic glitz of London's Blitz Club and dropped onto "Top Of The Pops", tartan dishcloths and all.

Their second album, "Diamond", traded in the more stately, dramatic elements of the first longplayer for a more urban, funky backdrop. However, both clearly derived their inspiration from the dancefloor.

Now, after nearly 30 years since they were first released, and over 20 since they first appeared on CD, Spandau Ballet's first two sonic offerings have been brushed up just as the band has reformed for a reunion tour. It has been a long time coming.

The Spandau story started in 1980 with their debut single, "To Cut A Long Story Short", which rocketed to #5 in the UK. The insistent, dramatic and somewhat militaristic synth number was followed by another goosestep groover, "The Freeze", and the hunky sleaze of"Musclebound". The parent album pulled in Old English folk influences which, when played on synths, gave the album a futuristic Renaissance flair with a Germanic twist.

Together with Tony Hadley's art house bravado, which has since become a formidable croon, "Journeys To Glory" certainly didn't sound like anything else in the early decade's dawn. Even though they were joined at the hip with Duran Duran in the press, the two bands sounded nothing alike.

At this point, Spandau were mixing slightly Goth and Middle Ages imagery in their videos. Much different than the slightly futuristic and sexualized look of Duran Duran's early clips.

The video for "The Freeze" features the rare sight of a bearded Tony Hadley! I've known Mr. Hadley for nearly two decades and I've never seen him sport whiskers of any sort. However, he's always smartly attired.

As with most reissues, a slew of bonus tracks have been added to the original tracklisting. This expanded, 2 CD edition is plumped up to included non-album b-side and funky favorite, "Glow" in both its 7" and extended 12" versions, both of which have rarely appeared on CD. However, for some odd reason, the 12" mix of "Musclebound" has been strangely omitted. This is a disappointment considering the entire package is nearly complete.

The rest of the set is filled out with 12" mixes, some of which mark their first appearance on CD with this collection. For the generation that grew up in the 80s, many of Spandau's unique remixes became the soundtrack to most weekend club crawls. They were clearly influenced by the likes of late era disco as well as acts like Chic and Roxy Music, both of which are often name checked by Duran Duran as influences.

As an added bonus, previously unreleased BBC recordings fill out the rest of the package which give an inside look into the bands rugged, live roots.

"Diamond", Spandau Ballet's second slab of longplaying vinyl, was a funkier affair that dabbled with Middle Eastern and Turkish flavors. It's quixotic and somewhat confused. Looking back on it, you can hear the shift from the first album and the move toward the smoother, smoochier worldwide breakthrough of "True".

Slap bass is the order of the day for Martin Kemp on groovy numbers like "Chant No. I (I Don't Need This Pressure On)", "Instinction" (which is not a real word, BTW) and "Coffee Club".

More world music undertones are featured on the hushed tones of "Innocence And Science" and the obtuse "Missionary" which conjures up images of David Sylvian and Japan.

"Diamond" went four singles deep with its campaign having been introduced by the high octane funk of "Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)" highlighted by a signature, metallic guitar riff and Earth Wind & Fire style horn arrangement.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to locate the video clip for the song without the embedding having been disabled. So, instead, let's revisit Spandau Ballet's performance of the hit on "Top Of The Pops" from 1981. Keep your eyes on Martin Kemp's wonky, bedraggled presence. What was he smoking before the show? Oh, the evils of YouTube. There's no where to hide these days.

Subsequent singles failed to crack the top 10 in the UK. However, they are all worthy of attention in the Spandau cannon. For instance, "Paint Me Down", second single from "Diamond", features a darker element and more chanting choruses. It's easy to see why it was considered a formidable follow up to "Chant No. 1".

Perhaps the homo eroticism of the video prevented it moving past its #30 peak, a far cry from the #3 success of previous single, "Chant No. 1". At the time, Mother Beeb didn't take kindly to shirtless men painting each other with tender care.

Third single, "She Loved Like Diamond", a foreshadowing of the soul boy ballads for which they became most remembered, missed the top 40 completely and crashed out at a lowly #49.

"Instinction", the final single lifted from "Diamond", restored the band's fortunes on the singles chart with a little reswizzling from man of the moment, Trevor Horn. If you get a chance to play the album version back to back with Trevor's mix, you can hear how much depth and polish he added to one of Spandau's funkiest moments.

The reissue of "Diamond" follows the same path as its predecessor. The 12" mixes and previously unreleased BBC recordings round out the collection. Of special note is the non-album b-side, "Gently". It's only one of two songs the band recorded that never appeared on one of their longplayers.

Unlike Duran, Spandau weren't prolific and had a more continental appeal. In fact, Gary Kemp as sole songwriter for the band, shows them in complete contrast to their 80s heyday rivals. Of course, the contribution of all the band members brought added depth, color and style to songs. On one of the occasions when we worked together, Gary mentioned to me that he only ever wrote enough material for an album with very little extra material available for inclusion as b-sides.

The inclusion of the remixes that were released as an EP with a limited edition, boxed set of "Diamond", are a nice surprise. Some of them were never issued on CD and appear on this collection for the first time.

Unfortunately, neither reissue was serviced with liner notes. Surely there is a Spandau Ballet historian who could've regaled us with colorful accounts of the band's exploits. But if you want to know more about a band from the big 80s that doesn't get the glory which seems to be reserved for other groups from that era, pick up Spandau Ballet's first two albums. There's more to them than "True".

Saturday, March 20, 2010

future funk from Hue And Cry

Hue And Cry, one of my fave groups, have started working on the follow up to "Open Soul", the album that brought them back to the groovy pop machine after 16 years in the wilderness. The pop music biz can be a cruel bedfellow, kids!

Anyway, Pat and Greg Kane, for it is them that are Hue An Cry, grabbed today's technology by its tender throat and shook it for all its worth. They've embraced social media in a way most bands only dream of. Pat, an avid reader, political pundit, journalist and keen cultural observer, is constantly digging up new ways for him and his family to work and play.

On the dawn of development for their next longplayer, H&C have begun documenting the creative process. Let's have a look.

Mercy! Pat is a sexy number. I'll have to watch that clip a few more times. Purely for research, you see.

Srsly. I am very much looking forward to the next move for Hue And Cry. "Open Soul" still continues to be a favorite. Check out the video for "Fireball", one of the singles lifted from it.

If you like "Open Soul", do yourself a favor and spend a shekel or two on their first three albums from the late 80s/early 90s - "Seduced And Abandoned", "Remote" and "Stars Crash Down". You can thank me later.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

oh, the designers!

Tracey Thorn continues to come up with the goods. Can we all just agree that the sleeve designs for the campaign around her forthcoming album are pure genius?

First, let's revisit the album cover for "Love And Its Opposite".

Srsly magnificent!

Next to the artwork for "Bang Goes The Knighthood", the new album from The Divine Comedy, 2010 is clearly full of awesome. Designers take note. Be bold.

Even the horrid font would be completely tasteless if it wasn't so perfectly matched to the photo.

Now, take a gander at the single sleeve for "Oh, The Divorces!".


Who doesn't love frilly, tuxedo shirts in an assortment of rainbow colors?

The look is a bit reminiscent of Pulp's cover art from the 90s which was flamingly incredible.

Can we make up an award and present it to John Gilsenan, the esteemed designer of this stroke of utter brilliance? Work it out, Tracey!

back to the future

Chicane returns with the follow up to "Hiding All The Stars" with "Come Back". The single, chock full of rubbery synths and a dirty, filtered loop, is scheduled to be released on April 12.

Where "HATS" incorporated the synth hook from Gary Numan's "Cars", "Come Back" samples another, 80s, classic jam in the shape of "Come Back And Stay", Paul Young's hit from 1983. Nick Bracegirdle, the man behind the Chicane name, lifts the chorus lock, stock and barrel. It even retains the background, vocal replies by The Fabulous Wealthy Tarts which made the original so unique.

As with the video clips for the previous, two singles - "Poppiholla" (an instrumental reworking of "Hoppípolla" by Sigur Rós) and "HATS" - the one which accompanies "Come Back" has a few, eyebrow raising moments. Case in point, the "French tickler" around the 1.48 mark.

Do you suppose a revival of the running man is in order?

No entry would be complete without a look back at the original videos that launch Paul Young's cheekbones into stardom.

Here's the rare, original music clip which has a couple of slightly disturbing moments. It's all a little too serious and dramatic for a Paul Young video. No wonder a second, more pleasing and somewhat wistful one was shot.

Here's the more popular, "seaside" version.

"Come Back" is taken from Chicane's forthcoming longplayer, "Giants". Paul Young's original hit features on his debut album, "No Parlez".

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

two by two

Any serious New Order fan has always had a helluva time collecting their favorite band's audio output. Their side projects have multiplied over time. With the recent release of Bernard Sumner's new band, Bad Lieutenant, and the butchering of NO's remastered catalog campaign, now seems like as good a time as any to give a brush up to some of the band's other splinter activities.

During their many downtimes when the band members were sick to death of each other's company, New Order's drummer Stephen Morris and his keyboard playing wife, Gillian Gilbert, released two albums as The Other Two. It's a clever moniker for the duo after Bernard collaborated with Johnny Marr on Electronic and Peter Hook released a few longplayers as Revenge and then Monaco.

Both albums by The Other Two have been reissued through LTM Recordings, each one lovingly adorned with bonus tracks. FYI, LTM stands for Le Temps Moderne. That smells of sophistication!

From the airy keyboard sequence and the sampled, horny horn stabs of the intro, you could be forgiven for mistaking The Other Two's debut single and album opener, "Tasty Fish", for a New Order track. It even continues the NO tradition of daft titles which don't relate to a song's lyrics. You can even imagine Gillian's vocals being sung by Bernard Sumner.

Essentially, half the album sounds like songs that weren't marked for inclusion on NO's sixth longplayer, "Republic", which, coincidentally, was produced by mega producer Stephen Hague who twiddled the knobs for "The Other Two And You". It's a combination of sparkly pop tunes and moody instrumentals.

Although "Tasty Fish" was released on the legendary Factory label the duo's debut album eventually appeared on New Order's Centerdate imprint through London a mere six months after "Republic" was released and two years on from the appearance of their debut single. Still, "The Other Two And You" was originally given selection number FACT 330 as it was recorded before the demise of Factory.

What you may not know is that Kim Wilde was in discussions as the lead singer on the album. Imagine the possibilities!

Here's the video for their second single, "Selfish". Stephen and Gillian do their best Everything But The Girl impression!

The reissue of "The Other Two And You", features the original UK sleeve rather than the amended cover which sports a lovely, close up shot of Stephen and Gillian.

Four tracks are suspicious in their absence, the Love To Infinity remix and dub of "Innocence", which was only released on a 12" single in the US, and Ashley Beedle's mixes of "Selfish". This is explained by the fact that the reissued edition of the album has been plumped up to a running time of 76 minutes.

"Superhighways", their second longplayer, followed in 1999. Vocal duties are shared by Gillian and Melanie Williams, best known for her memorable vocal turn on rave classic "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)" by Sub Sub. Interesting to note that O2, as they are known by NO fans, sound remarkably like Dubstar on a few tracks which is odd considering "Superhighways" was released right around the time Dubstar called it quits.

The reissue of "Superhighways" has been similarly expanded. Busting at the seams, LTM have crammed 76 minutes of audio pleasure on one silver disc. The bonus tracks include Andy Votel's mix "Superhighways", Cevin Fisher's remix of "You Can Fly" and a reswizzled take on "Tasty Fish" by K-klass. Unfortunately, the Quake mixes of "You Can Fly" didn't make the cut.

A video for "You Can Fly", which was withdrawn as the first single from "Superhighways", was lensed and we have the full color, visual proof.

If you order both CDs from the LTM website, they will send you a bonus CD of tracks that didn't make the cut. A few of the remixes I mentioned above are among them. The CD is housed in a plain cardboard sleeve with a white sticker adhered to the front. It sort of feels like buying one of those flesh fantasy mags at the convenience store.

If I have one bone to pick with LTM regarding the O2 reissues, it would be the duplication of the liner notes in both booklets. They are identical. Simply copied and pasted from one into the other.

I guess the purse strings were tightened on the budgets. How.....selfish! Did you see what I did there? Oh, we do know how to have a good laugh. Hardy har.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

things that go bang in the knight

On May 31, The Divine Comedy will release their tenth, studio longplayer “Bang Goes The Knighthood.” Huzzah!

Neil Hannon and his roaming band of troubadours spent most of 2009 recording the album in London and Dublin in between sessions for his side project, The Duckworth Lewis Method.

"Bang Goes The Knighthood" will be released on Neil’s own label, Divine Comedy Records, and will be available on four lively formats - standard CD, limited edition deluxe CD, limited edition vinyl and the increasingly popular, digital download.

The tracklisting for the album includes the following, twelve tunes.

1. Down In The Street Below
2. The Complete Banker
3. Neapolitan Girl
4. Bang Goes The Knighthood
5. At The Indie Disco
6. Have You Ever Been In Love
7. Assume The Perpendicular
8. The Lost Art Of Conversation
9. Island Life
10. When A Man Cries
11. Can You Stand Upon One Leg
12. I Like

The cover art is probably one of my all time favorites. It reminds me of cross between "The Avengers" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus". And who doesn't love a puppy in a bubble bath?

In TDC related news, Neil Hannon has previously mentioned that he wants to reissue the albums The Divine Comedy released during their tenure with Setanta. All five albums - "Liberation", "Promenade", "Casanova", "A Short Album About Love" and "Fin De Siècle" - will be remastered and expanded to include a raft of bonus tracks. Rumor has it the divine, deluxe editions will be released once marketing and promotion campaign winds down for "Bang Goes The Knighthood".

When Neil reissues "A Short Album About Love" with bonus material, will he have to rename it "A Long Album About Love"? Something to ponder.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Notorious Big

With only a couple of weeks before Duran Duran reissue deluxified editions of their debut album and "Seven And The Ragged Tiger", the band just revealed the tracklistings for the remastered versions of "Notorious" and "Big Thing", the first two longplayers from their post quintet output.

"Notorious", their fourth studio album, was produced by Nile Rodgers and released in 1986 after the individual members spent most of the previous year with splinter projects Arcadia and The Power Station.

The newly remastered, special edition of "Notorious" will be released in a variety of funkadelic flavors. For those of us who still worship the physical configuration, there will be a special edition, two disc version as well as a limited edition, three disc set.

The three disc set will include a DVD of live footage, album era videos and a clip from the BBC. The CDs will feature the original album with a wealth of bonus material including single versions, b-sides, remixes and live tracks.

The live tracks are of note as they will be the second official release of "Duran Go Dutch", a bootleg EP that was sort of a pseudo sanctioned document of the band's 1987 "Strange Behaviour" world tour. The first time it appeared on CD was as a bonus disc on the original, Japanese pressing of "Big Thing".

As for the remixes, many of the ones that were commissioned for promotional use will finally see the light of day on a commercial release approved by the band. The bonus DVD will include the original music videos for the three singles that were lifted from the album, a performance of "Notorious" from "Top Of The Pops" plus "Working For The Skin Trade", a live show originally released on VHS.

With the departure of Andy Taylor, due to musical differences, and Roger Taylor, from exhaustion brought on by endless tours and the prying eye of the ever growing media circus around the band, the remainder of the Brummie boys - Simon, Nick and John - were left to soldier on. "Notorious" was a bold move forward for the paired down Duran machine.

Nile Rodgers brought the funk he cultivated in his days with Chic. You can hear them soaking it in. With John arriving fresh from his stint with The Power Station, which included Chic drummer Tony Thompson, it's no wonder "Notorious" is full of funk references. From the slamming title track to Simon's Princely turns on "Skin Trade", the album is slinky, chunky and groovy from beginning to end without ever sounding like a pastiche.

Then there's third single - a high octane remix of "Meet El Presidente" reswizzled by The Latin Rascals. By this time, Duran were settling into more mid-table hits rather than seeing their singles skyrocket to the top of the charts. "Meet El Presidente" should've been a bigger hit, IMHO. And much like "I Don't Want You Love", the first single from "Big Thing", was a nod to "Notorious", "Meet El Presidente" can be thought of as a sonic foreshadowing of "Big Thing".

Crush your toes into the glorious, plush, pile carpeting of the deluxe edition of "Notorious" with a glimpse at the final tracklisting.



Original album:

1. Notorious
2. American Science
3. Skin Trade
4. A Matter Of Feeling
5. Hold Me
6. Vertigo (Do The Demolition)
7. So Misled
8. Meet El Presidente
9. Winter Marches On
10. Proposition

Single versions and b-sides:

11. Notorious (45 Mix)
12. Skin Trade (Radio Cut)
13. We Need You
14. Meet El Presidente (7″ Remix)

CD 2

"Duran Goes Dutch" EP (recorded at the Ahoy, Rotterdam, May 7, 1987):

1. Notorious (Live)
2. Vertigo (Do The Demolition) (Live)
3. New Religion (Live)
4. Hungry Like The Wolf (Live)
5. American Science (Live)


6. Notorious (Extended Mix)
7. Skin Trade (Stretch Mix)
8. Meet El Presidente (Presidential Suite Mix)
9. American Science (Chemical Reaction Mix)
10. Skin Trade (Parisian Mix)
11. Notorious (Latin Rascals Mix)
12. Vertigo (Do The Demolition) (Mantronix Mix)
13. Notoriousaurus Rex


"Working For The Skin Trade":

2. A View To A Kill
3. Notorious
4. New Religion
5. Vertigo
6. The Chauffeur
7. Save A Prayer
8. Skin Trade
9. Hungry Like The Wolf
10. Wild Boys
11. Outro


12. Notorious
13. Skin Trade
14. Meet El Presidente

Top Of The Pops:

15. Notorious (first transmission - November 6, 1986)

"Notorious" will also be released as a limited edition, 180 gram, vinyl LP with a bonus disc of mixes. If you're type that enjoys retrieving your music through a wireless connection, then the deluxe, digital download edition is for you! It will include an exclusive, live set recorded at The Beacon Theater in New York City, August 31, 1987.

Furthermore, the digital configuration will also feature a 4 track EP of mixes which couldn't fit on the CD edition due to time restrictions. The tracks include the following:

1. Skin Trade (S.O.S. Dub)
2. Meet El Presidente (Meet El Beat)
3. American Science (Meltdown Dub)
4. Vertigo (Do The Demolition) (B-boy Mix)

Only two years on from "Notorious", Duran Duran returned with "Big Thing", their fifth longplayer, in the midst of the acid house explosion and the second summer of love. By the way, nobody bought their "name change" to duranduran. That was utter nonsense.

It's clear that "I Don't Want Your Love", the first offering from "Big Thing", was the transition from the funk of the previous album. "Big Thing" was different. Equal parts raved up and blissed out.

"IDWYL", given the Shep Pettibone production treatment, had its eyes on the charts and its heart of the dancefloor. How it only managed to peak at #20 in the UK is beyond comprehension. The US gave the single a more favorable chart placing when it peaked at #4.

The album was also sleazy in spots ("All She Wants Is") while being languid and laced with high grade amphetamines in others ("Palomino", "Too Late Marlene" and "Land"). There was further exploration of sexual innuendo in the title track. Even some of the songs directly referenced not-so-thinly veiled, mind altering substances ("Lake Shore Driving" and "Drug"). And then there is the inclusion of trippy, fruity, fluted interludes. What were they smoking? Or snorting, as the case might be.

"Big Thing" might be one of Duran's most misunderstood albums. But in retrospect, it's a fine example of a band growing older, figuring out where they might fit in, rolling with the times, exploring new sonic territory and bringing old favorites forward without dragging them behind like a ball and chain. All the while they remained dedicated to the highest level of melody and groove. After all, rhythm is the power.

As with the deluxe retooling of "Notorious", "Big Thing" is scheduled to be released in a colorful array of formats. There will be a standard, two disc version as well as a limited edition, three disc set. The limited edition configuration will include the original album neatly slotted next to single versions, b-sides and mixes along with a DVD of album era videos and a rare, live show from their "Big Live Thing" world tour.

Sidenote... I was lucky enough to see DD on the "Big Live Thing" tour when it stopped at a dilapidated, 500 seat theater in the heart of the dirty, seedy streets of downtown Newark, New Jersey. Talk about taking your life in your own hands! I had second row seats. Simon flung his stringy hair around quite a bit and he sprayed me with his sweat many times that evening. You like it hot, but I like it wet! Indeed. But I digress...

Once again, for the vinyl hearted, a limited edition, 180 gram LP will be released with a bonus disc of mixes. A digital download version will be made available as well with an exclusive, live set which was recorded at the Manchester Apollo on April 25, 1989. Additionally, as with its predecessor, a 4 track EP of dub mixes will be available as a digital download from all fine, online music portals.

Some of the interesting tracks on the spruced up, juiced up edition of "Big Thing" include previously, unreleased mixes of the title track which nearly confirms rumors that it was scheduled as a single at the time. Supposedly, it was shelved at the last minute when the content seemed a bit too pervy for radio. What were they on about?

Essentially, with an album that wasn't considered one of their strongest, time has borne that out as a serious misnomer. Five singles could have easily been plucked from it with "Drug (It's Just A State Of Mind)" as the fifth and final release.

Thankfully, "Big Thing" has been expanded to include Simon's two, Jim Morrison-esque spoken word pieces which featured as b-sides to the album's third single, "Do You Believe In Shame?", with "God (London)" being eerily relevant after having been recorded more than 20 years ago.

The only track that doesn't make an appearance is the Daniel Abraham mix of "Drug (It's Just A State Of Mind)" which appeared as a bonus track on various reissues of the CD over the last decade or so. I wonder why they chose to hold that one back?

Without further adieu, cast your eyeballs over the acid tripping tracklisting for the deluxified, modified, fortified and elongated edition of "Big Thing". Please note that the tracks adorned with an asterisk were previously unreleased and mark their first appearance anywhere.

"Big Thing"

CD 1

Original album:

1. Big Thing
2. I Don’t Want Your Love
3. All She Wants Is
4. Too Late Marlene
5. Drug (It’s Just A State Of Mind)
6. Do You Believe In Shame?
7. Palomino
8. Interlude One
9. Land
10. Flute Interlude
11. The Edge Of America
12. Lake Shore Driving

CD 2

Singles and b-sides:

1. I Don’t Want Your Love (7” Mix)
2. All She Wants Is (45 Mix)
3. I Believe All/I Need To Know (Full Version)*
4. The Krush Brothers LSD Edit
5. God (London)
6. This Is How A Road Gets Made
7. Palomino (Edit)
8. Drug (It’s Just A State Of Mind) (Original Version)
9. Big Thing (7” Mix)*


10. I Don’t Want Your Love (Big Mix)
11. All She Wants Is (US Master Mix)
12. Big Thing (12” Mix)*
13. All She Wants Is (Eurohouse Mix)


"Big Live Thing" (recorded live at Palatrussardi in Milan, Italy on December 12, 1988):

1. Introduction/God
2. Big Thing
3. I Don’t Want Your Love
4. Hungry Like The Wolf
5 .Do You Believe In Shame?
6. All She Wants Is/Planet Earth
7. This Is How A Road Gets Made/Winter Marches On
8. Palomino
9. Too Late Marlene
10. Girls On Film
11. Notorious
12. Skin Trade
13. Is There Something I Should Know?
14. The Wild Boys/Drug (It's Just A State Of Mind)
15. Band Introduction/Save A Prayer
16. The Reflex
17. Rio
18. The Edge Of America


1. I Don’t Want You Love
2. All She Wants Is
3. Do You Believe In Shame?

For you dub lovers, the digital download EP of dub mixes will include the following:

1. I Don’t Want Your Love (Dub Mix)
2. All She Wants Is (Euro Dub Mix)
3. All She Wants Is (Eurohouse Dub)
4. All She Wants Is (US Master Dub)

It's clear that Duran Duran are putting a lot of thought, love and care into brushing up their catalog by giving their substantial fan base nearly everything they would want to see and hear from the band. We would expect nothing less from a project curated by Nick Rhodes who is casting a watchful eye over every aspect of the DD deluxe editions.

Can we assume "Liberty" and "The Wedding Album" are in the pipeline?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

bam salute for absolute

It's about effing time!

"Absolute - The Best Of Scritti Politti" is scheduled for release on March 29. Not only will it be their first career retrospective, rumor has it the collection will contain two brand new songs - "A Place We Both Belong" and "Day Late And A Dollar Short". Both were written by Green and keyboard wizzard, David Gamson. Dare we expect a dollop of the synth funk from '85?

No tracklisting has surfaced yet. And there's no telling which albums will be represented on the collection. I, for one, would like to see all the single versions represented in gloriously remastered sound.

Scritti Politti first debuted on the UK singles chart with "The Sweetest Girl" nearly 30 years ago. Their complete singles output, not including their punk releases, is as follows:

1. "The Sweetest Girl" (1981)
2. "Faithless" (1982)
3. "Asylums In Jerusalem"/"Jacques Derrida" (1982)
4. "Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)" (1984)
5. "Absolute" (1984)
6. "Hypnotize" (1984)
7. "The Word Girl" (1985)
8. "Perfect Way" (1985)
9. "Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)" (1988)
10. "First Boy In This Town (Lovesick)" (1988)
11. "Boom! There She Was" (1988)
12. "She's A Woman" (1991)
13. "Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me" (1991)
14. "Tinseltown To The Boogiedown" (1999)
15. "Mystic Handyman" (1999)
16. "The Boom Boom Bap" (2006)

Only five, top 20 hits, two of which went top 10. All of them deserving of a place on the compilation. It's a remarkable body of work for a group which essentially operates as a handful of satellite musicians orbit around Green Gartside and his intermittent desire to venture out from the wilderness.

Additionally, "Lover To Fall" was released as a single in France and "Umm" was issued as a promo in Japan. Also, "Snow In Sun" and "Robin Hood", both from their most recent longplayer, "White Bread, Black Beer", was withdrawn from release as a double a-side in the UK. Any one of these tracks could make an appearance.

David Gamson is very busy these days. He is credited as a producer and co-writer on “Stephen” and “Backstabber”, two tracks on Ke$ha’s debut album, “Animal.” Also, he wrote “Sure Fire Winners” on Adam Lambert’s recently overhyped-for-nought longplayer, “For Your Entertainment".

Dear baby Jesus, please let the powers that be have the good sense to issue a companion DVD of music vids.

Wish I could find the clip of "Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)".

It all reminds me of this little gem I bought on my very first trip to London way back in nineteen hundred and eighty eight. I own the laser disc, too.

love and lasers

On April 12, six months after "Love Comes" reached the dizzy heights of #44 in the UK singles chart, Bananarama will unleash "Love Don't Live Here" which has been reswizzled from the version that appears on "Viva", their latest longplayer.

With operatic flourishes and dramatic strings, it's a towering dance track of epic proportions! Prepare to have a good boogie around your handbag.

"Love Don't Live Here" will be released on four formats - CD, 7", a good old fashioned groovy 12" and the sleek yet unsexy digital download bundle.

The CD will feature a new recording of their 1996 single, "Every Shade Of Blue".

The 12" will include an extended remix of "Love Don't Live Here" along with a remix of their cover of "The Runner" which was a #10 hit in the UK for The Three Degrees in 1978. Buzz Junkies turn in a supercharged, hi-NRG production of the disco classic.

The digital bundle is the best bang for you buck with all the mixes of "LDLH" and "The Runner" in one convenient chunk.

Keren and Sarah, for they are Bananarama, unveiled the video for "Love Don't Live Here" only days ago.

I can smell the amyl nitrate from here! The clip has a touch of "Voulez-Vous" about it, n'est-ce pas?

Come to think of it, the artwork for their album, "Viva", eerily evokes the same discotastic, laser loving, blue hued vibe.

Hands on hips everyone! It's a delicate balance between sexy and serious. Don't try this at home!