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Rare 1980's MP3 of the Week

I've been involved in music for all of my life. I have a great love of rare, alternative "new wave" type of music. Some people call it synthpop. You know, those songs that you have heard in movies and so on, you don't know the artist or the name of the song...but it's such a great song! I grew up listening to radio station CFNY, and dedicated a fair bit of my life to this kind of music.

Read the story of my career as a professional club DJ.

This is the reason why I have put up this page. I've seen other people do similar things, particularly the excellent Blake's Rare Recording of the Week. However, the other pages never seem to post the music that I would have myself selected. Couple this with the fact that I own well in excess of 2,000 records and CD's, much of which is extremely rare and hard to find. It's a real shame that this music ends up sitting on my shelves, not being played. This is my solution.

Once a week on Mondays, I will post a rare track of my choosing in MP3 format, as well as a track that was posted two years ago. Feel free to email me your suggestions, but please remember that it is my choice. Once the track has been online for two weeks, it will be taken off, permanently. Please don't email me asking me to re-post a track that has been removed.

All tracks are encoded at 160 Kbps or better using the Fraunhofer encoding engine. The majority of the tracks are mastered from vinyl, however it is done through studio-grade equipment, and all editing is done in the digital domain.

Click to see: Current tracks - All 2000 tracks - All 2001 tracks - All 2002 tracks - Complete track listing


December 23, 2002

Band-Aid: Do They Know It's Christmas (12" Mix)

The 12" version of song took me years of searching to find. Released in November of 1984, it debuted in the UK at number one, and made it to number one in the US two weeks later, benefiting starving Ethiopians. Written by Bob Geldof and produced by Midge Ure and Trevor Horn, it sold over fifty million copies.

This is a special 12" mix that has an extended break 3/4 the way through in which the various performers send their spoken messages. It took me years to find this record. :)

An just in case you were wondering, the performers on the track were (in alphabetic order): Bananarama, Bob Geldof, Culture Club, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Heaven 17, Human League, Kool and the Gang, Midge Urge, Paul McCartney, Paul Young, Phil Collins, Spandau Ballet, Status Quo, Sting, The Style Council, U2 and Wham!

As far as I know the 12" version was never re-released, but the original version can be found on a Midge Ure/Ultravox compilation.

No matter what holiday you are celebrating this year, I hope it is a safe and happy one. We will be taking a break for a couple of weeks, and will return in the new year. Merry Christmas!

December 16, 2002

Boney M: Mary's Boy Child
The Waitresses: Christmas Wrapping

Boney M

Say what you will, I always liked Boney M. I was a mere 8 years old when "Night Flight to Venus" came out, but hey, I'm not ashamed to admit I still like that album. :) Boney M was (is) essentially Frank Farian, with an ever-changing lineup of performers. Boney M continues on today and continues to tour live - in three places at once. How? There have been so many performers move through the band, that there are now three actual acts touring under the name "Boney M", all playing the same songs. Nobody seems to complain.

Frank Farian was the producer, arranger - pretty well everything, with various performers out front performing the music. Farian took this one step further in the 1980's hiring two models, Robert Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan to perform on stage and on video, while session performers recorded the music in the studio. You may have heard of them: Milli Vanilli.

In any case, even though this year for some reason every radio station seems to be playing this song, I'm featuring it anyway. If you want more on Boney M, here is a great site covering all things Boney.

The Waitresses

A few years on from the Spice Girls' version of this song, and it is all but forgotten - while the original remains as strong as ever. More on it here.

You can purchase Boney M albums online here!

December 9, 2002

Sly Foxx: Let's Go All The Way (Extended Version)

Sly Foxx

This track, released in 1985 and leading off a forgettable album of the same name was a fair hit worldwide, and spawned a rather annoying and stupid video.

The only credit on the single is "Gary Cooper." No idea who he is, who else might have been involved, or what (if anything) he went on to do.

Update: Tulio Oņate Angulo writes:

Sly Foxx was a duo that appeared circa 1985, they were suppossed to be a some kind of eighties Doo-Wop band; comprised of vocalists Gary Cooper and Michael Camacho. In a Musician Magazine Interview on August 1986, Cooper stated that they were a pop version of Sam & Dave (yeah, sure "I played with the Beatles" too !!) and not just another synth duo like PSB. It seems they were just another one hit wonder. The info on this group comes from an article by Alan Di Perna featured on Musician magazine on August 1986.

From another web site:

Sly Foxx was a project spearheaded by Gary 'Mudbone' Cooper. It spawned a hit single ("Let's Go All The Way") that also had a popular video. The only other P.Funk connection was David Spradley, who played keyboards and co-wrote several of the tunes. The album is aimed at a pop market and isn't really a funk album or even a dance album. It's tinged with latin influences and is well-sung, but its essential pop nature makes it fairly insubstantial. There was also apparently a tour, with Frankie "Kash" Waddy as drummer and bandleader, and future New Rubber Band guitarist Flip Cornett.

December 2, 2002

Eurogliders: Heaven (Must Be There)

Eurogliders

Eurogliders were an Australian band that existed from 1980 until 1989. In 1984 they released an album called "This Island" which produced this week's track. Heaven was a minor hit elsewhere in the world, but was a number one smash in their native Australia.

They followed it up with the album "Absolutely" in 1985 which failed to chart like the original "This Island", and in 1989 the group called it quits.

In 1996 both albums were packaged together into a double album and released on CD. If you like the sound of this week's track, you owe it to yourself to purchase this double CD!

You can purchase Eurogliders albums online here!

November 25, 2002

Yes: Leave It (Single Version With Edit)
Yes: Leave It (Vocal Acapella)

Yes

No rerun song for a couple weeks, instead I'm posting different versions of the same song.

Yes has been around for quite a while. From 1983's 90125 album, this is basically Trevor Horn's masterpiece. Remixed more than any other Yes album, this album begat "9012Live" and countless remixes. These tracks were taken from a 12" single of Leave It. I originally intended to post an extended version, but upon listening to it, realized it was basically nine minutes of the same loop with the occasional sample pasted in. Yawn. Just because you can extend a song to nine minutes doesn't mean you should. :)

Instead, I've posted the edited single version, which has some neat synth additions as well as an amazing reverberated drum hit at 0:59 that is just dying to be played REALLY LOUD. I've also posted the acapella version, which really allows you to hear the incredible level of production in layering the multiple vocal tracks in the original song.

You can purchase Yes albums online here!

November 18, 2002

Yello: Lost Again (Extended Dance Version)
New Musik: Churches

Yello

Swiss band Yello (Boris Blank and Dieter Meier) are well known for a few songs, but I think it was their "Oh Yeah", featured in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (and subsequently in several hundred other films and TV shows) that really brought them into the public light.

This song is one of my favorites. You'll notice parts of it actually made it into "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" although it was not included in its entirety.

New Musik

Our last week of New Musik reruns. More on it here.

You can purchase Yello albums online here!
You can purchase New Musik albums online here!

November 11, 2002

Paul Young: Everything Must Change (Extended Version)
New Musik: Warp

Still lots of action on the "unknown song ID" page. If you've got a song you can't identify, upload your mystery MP3 and ask other people if they know what it is. It's free of course, and you can try it out here!

I saw 8 Mile this weekend, and actually quite liked it. Funny, great story, great acting, and if you're into old school rap (and perhaps even if you're not), you'll love it.

Paul Young

I always loved Paul Young, and this song in particular. Rather than a re-edit of the radio edit, this is a full studio performance of an extended version, much like Duran Duran's night versions. And it's great.

Paul is still recording and touring - I could go into it, but you'd be much better off checking his own web site, which contains far more information than I could include here.

Incidentally, Paul Young was a member of Streetband, which created the wonderful but ever-elusive Toast.

New Musik

Our second of three weeks of New Musik reruns. More on it here.

You can purchase Paul Young albums online here!
You can purchase New Musik albums online here!

November 4, 2002

Yazz and the Plastic Population: The Only Way is Up (UK Club Mix)
New Musik: Straight Lines

Still lots of action on the "unknown song ID" page. If you've got a song you can't identify, upload your mystery MP3 and ask other people if they know what it is. It's free of course, and you can try it out here!

Yazz and the Plastic Population

Yazz (Yasamin Summers) and her Plastic Population made a minor impact on the world of music in 1988 with "Doctorin' The House", a collaboration with Coldcut, which made the top 20 in the UK and some other countries. But this track was definitely their breakthrough hit, staying at #1 in the UK for 5 solid weeks, getting airplay on US radio stations and in clubs worldwide.

Yasamin changed the name of the group to just "Yazz" and continues today to release new music, several of which have broken the top 20 in the UK.

New Musik

I consider New Musik to be the foundation of a huge amount of what we have eventually come to know as new wave and synthpop music. More on it here.

You can purchase New Musik albums online here!

October 28, 2002

UB40: Our Own Song (Full Length Version)
Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin: A Different World

Still lots of action on the "unknown song ID" page. If you've got a song you can't identify, upload your mystery MP3 and ask other people if they know what it is. It's free of course, and you can try it out here!

Before we start this week, if you downloaded last week's feature track by Ta Mara and the Seen, and thought it sounded, well, a bit fast to you, ah, well, you should read this notice. Sorry about that. :)

UB40

Just about everybody knows reggae group UB40, their 1981 international smash hit "Red Red Wine" hitting number 1 even in America. Named after a UK unemployment form, they first started gaining recognition after touring as the opening act for the Pretenders in 1980. More than 20 years later, they are still touring!

I decided to feature one of their somewhat lesser known songs, yet one of my favorites. The absolute gorgeous analog synths that run through this brilliant extended version just melt my insides. Enjoy!

Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin

Nope, not that Dave Stewart. This brilliant duo has put out tons of great material, and once again, the wonderful analog synths that permeate this song, particularly in the bridge, are something I wish we could go back to. Ah, the eighties.... More on it here.

You can purchase UB40 albums online here!

October 21, 2002

Ta Mara and the Seen: Everybody Dance (12 inch Single)
The Fun Boy Three: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)

Before we start this week, I'd like to thank everyone for the relatively huge response my "unknown song ID" page is receiving. If you've got a song you can't identify, upload your mystery MP3 and ask other people if they know what it is. It's free of course, and you can try it out here!

Last week I mentioned I still knew nothing about Micro Chip League. I had a couple people write in and mention that Micro Chip League was a side project of Talla 2XLC, member of Bigod 20. Some details on MCL can be found on the Bigod 20 site here.

Ta Mara and the Seen

This week's track is by request. This band, led by Ta Mara (aka Margaret Cox, lead of Lipps, Inc. (Funkytown)) is an outgrowth of the Prince megalith in the mid 1980's. Written and produced by Jesse Johnson Everybody Dance appeared late in 1985 and peaked in January of 1986. The official line is that the Paisley one himself had no involvement in this track. You can listen and make your own decision on that.

Oct 25 update: OOPS! While recording some vinyl tonight for the coming week's track, I noticed it sounded a bit fast...and realized that the pitch control on my turntable had been slid all the way up, to +8%. You gotta love curious two-year-old boys in the house. :) With horror, I realized that the Ta Mara track from this week had also been recorded at +8%! I have re-recorded and encoded it at the proper speed, and that version is now online. Sorry about that!

The Fun Boy Three

Unknown in North America, Fun Boy Three were huge in England. More on it here.

You can purchase Fun Boy Three albums online here!

October 14, 2002

The Extras: Circular Impression
Micro Chip League: New York (Dancefloor Cut)

Before we start this week, I'd like to thank everyone for the relatively huge response my "unknown song ID" page is receiving. If you've got a song you can't identify, upload your mystery MP3 and ask other people if they know what it is. It's free of course, and you can try it out here!

The Extras

Toronto's Extras were originally the backing band for B.B Gabor when he was originally signed to his first recording contract with Anthem. However, after a drunken and disastrous show was witnessed by a label rep, the backing band was fired from the recording session. The band went on to form the Extras, and produced a couple minor hits, this amusing 1981 track being the most popular of the two. Gaining airplay on CFNY as well as some alternative stations around the US, it quickly became relegated to Dr. Demento status - but it's still actually a pretty good song.

From Leon Stevenson of the Extras, February 2003:

I see that we're still listed on your rare 1980's mp3 of the week page. cool. Could you possibly provide a link to our new homepage http://www.theextras.biz - we are re-releasing Circular Impression and some new stuff too!

Leon Stevenson - The Extras

Micro Chip League

New information on this group now posted! More on it here.

October 7, 2002

Boys Brigade: The Passion Of Love
Big Pig: Breakaway (Extended Mix)

Before we start this week, I would like to introduce a new service I have created. I continue to receive an increasing number of "have you heard of this song?" emails. I'm absolutely drowning in email, and I'm afraid it's sometimes weeks before some of them get answered. Therefore I've created a new system that lets you upload your mystery MP3 and ask other people if they know what it is. It's free of course, and you can try it out here!

Second, it would appear that the bargain host that I had hosting my MP3 files (that required a year's hosting fees payment in advance, I might add) has vanished without a trace. Unfortunately, I discovered this late Sunday night, and it's taken me a day to arrange hosting with a new host - which of course wants payment in advance. Boy, this is getting expensive!

Boys Brigade

The Boys Brigade is a British version of the Boy Scouts - but this Boys Brigade is actually an early 80's Toronto band. Formed in 1981, their debut 1983 album was produced by Rush leader Geddy Lee. The album produced two hits - "Melody" and this week's track. Boys Brigade disintegrated shortly afterwards, and lead vocalist Malcom Burn went on to become a world-famous engineer/producer along with his brother in law Daniel Lanois.

Big Pig

Aussies Big Pig provide their one-hit-wonder track Breakaway this week. More on it here.

You can purchase Boys Brigade albums online here!
You can purchase Big Pig albums online here!

September 30, 2002

Thomas Dolby: Windpower (High Power Extended Play)
Cetu Javu: Situations

Thomas Dolby

More from Thomas Dolby again this week. First off, I received an email from someone last week saying that the Dolby track last week was actually called "Airhead's Revenge." I went to check - and they were right. While the outside cover of the 12" single simply calls it "Extended Version", the label on the vinyl itself calls it "Airhead's Revenge." So I've modified the entry name accordingly.

I decided the second track would be an extended version of Windpower. This is another one of those songs that you really need a subwoofer to fully appreciate.

Cetu Javu

Our replay track this week is Depeche Mode soundalike Cetu Javu. More on it here.

You can purchase Thomas Dolby albums online here!
You can purchase Cetu Javu albums online here!

September 23, 2002

Thomas Dolby: Airhead (Extended Version - Airhead's Revenge)
Strawberry Switchblade: Since Yesterday (Scott's Remix)

Thomas Dolby

I've so wanted to feature Thomas Dolby - he's such a brilliant artist. But I've had a bit of a conundrum - which Dolby to feature? He reinvents himself with every album, so no one song really gets across what he's all about.

Everyone knows his "Blinded Me With Science" from 1982's Golden Age of Wireless album. I don't want to feature that track, it's far from rare. So I will feature a track from that album next week. This week however, I'm going to feature the extended version from his 1988 "Aliens Ate My Buick" album. It demonstrates his propensity for including artists and styles not considered his own - the unbilled rappers in the middle are actually Salt n' Pepa. Brilliant lyrics, it's just a great song.

Strawberry Switchblade

This track was originally less than three minutes long, so I had to do some remixing to allow us to enjoy it a bit longer. More on it here.

You can purchase Thomas Dolby albums online here!
You can purchase the first Strawberry Switchblade album online here!

September 16, 2002

Newcleus: Jam On It (12 Inch Version)
London Boys: Requiem (Continental Mix)

Newcleus

This week's song came by request from the SpiritofRadio message boards. It had been mentioned a couple of times, mostly by people wondering what it was. I thought; "there's a song I never thought to post," so this week I pulled out the vinyl and here we are. When I bought this record, it was extremely rare, and the vinyl was worth a bit. I bought three copies - two to mix with in my clubs, and one to keep sealed for later sale. This is the only record I've ever bought with the intention of selling. It's still sitting, sealed, in my record rack. Oh well.

Newcleus was a few guys from New York, who in the early eighties were working as MC's and DJ's in the burgeoning hip-hop/breakdancing scene. They started purchasing electronic studio gear, and soon started incorporating techno-style music into their own sets. They eventually released their first hit, "Jam On Revenge" (also known as the "wikki-wikki" song, due to the chipmunk-like voices saying "wikki-wikki" in it). Their follow up, "Jam On It" was much more widely received, and was a huge club hit. The "wikki-wikki" voices make an appearance again in this track.

I found a simple but complete discography site of Newcleus, which includes some pictures - most of which are scanned from the 12" single cover of this week's track.

London Boys

This was originally a request as well. I don't know much about this group, as it faded quickly into obscurity after this release. More on it here.

You can purchase Newcleus albums online here!

September 9, 2002

Man Parrish Featuring Freeze Force: Boogie Down (Bronx)
Lene Lovich:  Lene Lovich - It's You Only You (Extended Dance Mix)
Lene Lovich - It's You Only You (Version)

First off, sorry for the disappearance of the Section 25 track last week, but I was asked (nicely) by their current label to remove it, and have done so. I love sharing this music with you all every week, and I do try to make a point of posting (mostly) rare tracks that you would not easily find elsewhere, but I don't want to step on toes. To make up for it, we've got the double Lene Lovich tracks this week!

Man Parrish Featuring Freeze Force

This is the same Man Parrish that later produced "Male Stripper" (you remember - "I was a male stripper in a go go bar..."). First though, they had to make it through the breakdancing era, which produced a lot of crap - but a few gems, including this one. Well, I thought it was, anyway. :)

Man (Manny) Parrish brought European electronica to his native New York City, and continues to produce his own music as well as ghost-writing tracks for other artists such as Boy George, Michael Jackson, and others. Check out his site at www.manparrish.com where he has quite a few of his tracks available for download in MP3 format.

Lene Lovich

A great loss to modern electronic music when Lene retired from the industry. What a fantastic track - more on it here.

You can purchase Man Parrish albums online here!
You can purchase Lene Lovich albums online here!

September 2, 2002

Tears For Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Scott's Urban Mix)
Section 25: Looking From a Hilltop (Extended Version)

Tears For Fears

If you don't know this song, or of Tears For Fears, then you must have been asleep for most of the 1980's. Consisting of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, they originally collaborated in a five-piece ska band called Graduate. Frustrated at being creatively limited, they left and formed Tears For Fears, named for the works of psychologist Arthur Janov, author of "The Primal Scream." In fact, their entire first album, "The Hurting" was focused around Primal Scream therapy.

When I originally heard the "Urban Mix" of this week's track, I loved it - but I really felt like it came on too quickly, and the wonderful instrumental bit in the middle just cried out to be moved and reused. I listened to this track all week in my car, and decided I had to meddle with it just a bit. So this week's track is my version of the original Urban Mix of Everybody Wants to Rule the World. Enjoy.

Section 25

Oh, what a great track this is, especially for those of you with a subwoofer. This one demands to be played LOUD. :) More on this track here.

You can purchase Tears For Fears albums online here!
You can purchase Section 25 albums online here!

August 26, 2002

Midnight Star: Freak-A-Zoid (Extended Mix)
The Passion Puppets: Like Dust (Extended Version)

Midnight Star

Midnight Star was formed in 1976 at Kentucky State University by the Calloway brothers, trumpeter Reginald and trombone player Vincent, with vocalist Belinda Lipscomb. Relocating to Cincinatti, Ohio the group added included Melvin and Boaz Watson as vocalists, Jeffrey Cooper on guitar and keyboards, Kenneth Gant on vocals and bass, Bobby Lovelace on drums, and William Simmons on percussion, sax and keyboards. In search of a recording contract, the group made a move to the West Coast in the late 1970's, eventually signing with RCA Records. This resulted in their first album "The Beginning" released in 1980. In 1981 they were signed to Solar records, producing an album "Victory" in 1982. But it was 1983's "No Parking On The Dance Floor" album that produced this week's featured track that finally gave them a hit. They charted with several other songs up until 1987 when they finally called it quits.

The Passion Puppets

I actually heard from Ray Burmiston of the Puppets after I featured this song back in 2000. Read what he had to said, and more on this track here.

You can purchase Midnight Star albums online here!

August 19, 2002

A Guy Called Gerald: Voodoo Ray (Extended Mix)
Cabaret Voltaire
: Sensoria (12 Inch Mix)

First off, before we get to the tracks this week, I'd like to apologize for the horrendous bandwidth problems you've all been suffering through over the past few months. It started getting bad about two months ago, and has steadily gotten worse every week, to the point where a single song was taking over an hour to download - just ridiculous. The problem was simple: this page has simply gotten too popular. :) As of last Tuesday, I've moved the MP3 files to a new provider that claims to offer "unlimited bandwidth". We'll need that, seeing as the bandwidth used by the MP3 files on page is around 15 gigabytes a week. The files seem to be downloading quickly and everything is good. Let's hope things stay that way. 

Oh, and one more thing before we start: You might want to check out this page, just for fun:

http://www.puritytester.com/Trick.asp

And now, on with the music:

A Guy Called Gerald

Gerald is actually Gerald Simpson, one of the Manchester founders of 808 State, and the writer of their seminal hit "Pacific State". Gerald went off solo, and produced this unbelievably great dancefloor track that was a worldwide hit. On the strength of this track, he was signed to a contract with Sony, who subsequently rejected his follow-up album, then released him from his contract. In 1993 he released the album "28 Gun Bad Boy" on his own JuiceBox/JuiceGroove records" label. In 1996, he signed a publishing deal with Chrysalis, and shortly thereafter signed with Island Records, which again fell apart just before an album release when parent company Polygram turfed Island chief Chris Blackwell. He is now based in New York, with (once again) a new label start-up, "Hard Drive". I think we'll hear more from him...

Cabaret Voltaire

One of the great brutal electronic bands of the eighties that produced some of the greatest material of the decade. More on this track here.

You can purchase A Guy Called Gerald albums online here!
You can purchase Cabaret Voltaire albums online here!

August 12, 2002

The Assembly: Never, Never
Ministry: Work For Love (Extended Version)

The Assembly

Do the vocals on this track sound familiar? Why, it's none other than ex-Undertone Feargal Sharkey. Don't know Feargal? Well perhaps you have heard of the other half of The Assembly, a guy by the name of Vince Clark, ex-Depeche Mode, ex-Yazoo, and currently half of a little group called Erasure?

Feargal had a few more hit singles under his own name, most notably "A Good Heart". In the nineties he retired from the artistic side of music and moved to the administrative side, initially as A&R manager for Polydor Records, and later for EXP (a Viacom offshoot).

Ministry

More great 80's synthpop Ministry that Al Jourgenson has since disowned. More on this track here.

You can purchase Assembly albums online here!
You can purchase Ministry albums online here!

August 5, 2002

Nick Heyward: Goodbye Yesterday (12 inch version)
Ministry: Halloween (Remix)

Nick Heyward

One of the original members that formed Haircut 100 in 1980, Nick Heyward left that group in 1983 after Love Plus One was a huge European hit. As a solo act, he quickly produced three top-20 songs, the biggest being Whistle Down The Wind.

The 12" version of this week's track is a bit more of a rarity, and is by far my favorite Heyward effort. Nick continues to tour and release albums today. He has kind of a neat web site, if for design sake alone, it being somewhat lacking in content.

Ministry

Al Jourgenson just wishes the early 80's synthpop efforts of Ministry would just go away, in favor of his latter-80's and early 90's thrash-death-noise-whatever, that sounds more like white noise to me than music. But that's just my opinion. :) More on this track here.

You can purchase Nick Heyward albums online here!
You can purchase Ministry albums online here!

July 29, 2002

Cee Farrow: Should I Love You (12 Inch Mix)
Scary Thieves: The Waiting Game (Extended Version)

Welcome back! I was away on a business trip to Bermuda (of all places) that got extended longer than I expected, causing an unexpected hiatus. But we're back!

First off, July 8th's track, "Pale Shelter" broke all records in terms of downloads. In the first three days after it was posted, more people downloaded the song than any other song I have ever posted for an entire month. This is good - people are liking what I am posting. This is also bad - the bandwidth shot through the roof and caused downloads to slow to a crawl. To try to offset this, I've changed the historical downloads from the past four weeks, to the past two weeks. We'll see how it works.

Now on to the weekly tracks:

Cee Farrow

This was an attempt to find a song for a listener. I ended up buying this piece of vinyl - it wasn't what he was looking for, but I remembered (and liked) the song anyway, so here it is. Don't know much about this guy at all, but he's got a great voice and a "New Romantic" feel.

Scary Thieves

Classic 80's synthpop with a very dark, sad feel. I love it. More on this track here.

July 8, 2002

Tears For Fears: Pale Shelter (Long Version)
Ryan Paris: Dolce Vita (12 inch Mix)

Tears For Fears

Another group I should have featured a long time ago. Pale Shelter is one of my favorite Tears For Fears track. It was originally a demo shopped around by Mercury Records in 1981, prior to the album it appeared on, "The Hurting." One of the best blends I have ever heard of early pre-digital electronic keyboards and acoustic guitars, this extended version just lets the pleasure last that much longer.

Ryan Paris

Delving into 1980's Italian disco, you will notice the similarity between this track and Gazebo - with good reason. More on this track here.

You can purchase Tears For Fears albums online here!

July 1, 2002

Scritti Politti: Hypnotize (Version 2)
Bill Nelson: Flaming Desire (Extended version)

Scritti Politti

Week number two of Scritti Politti, with what I think is probably the pinnacle of all remixes of all songs they (he, rather) produced. You can hear just a hint of the reggae influence that permeated his later work, and the level of production is just amazing.

Bill Nelson

When I originally posted this track two years ago, I posted the album version. This time I'm posting the 12" extended version. I've also found myself recently hooked on his Empire of the Senses track, which sounds similar to this track - but with amazing arpeggios throughout. More on this track here.

You can purchase Scritti Politti albums online here!
You can purchase Bill Nelson albums online here!

June 24, 2002

Scritti Politti: Perfect Way (Way Perfect Mix)
Dalbello: Animal

Scritti Politti

I thought the other day; "I wonder if there are any great Scritti songs that I haven't yet posted?" Figuring that they had always been one of my favorite, most influential 80's groups, I assumed I had probably posted a lot of their material. Instead, I was amazed to find that I have never featured Scritti Politti! Well, we are going to rectify that over the next couple of weeks.

This week's track is from the amazingly successful Cupid & Psyche '85 album of, you guessed it, 1985. Virtually every single track on this album is a masterpiece, and if this week's track piques your interest, you owe it to yourself to click below and buy this album IMMEDIATELY.

Scritti Politti is basically genius Green Gartside with a various set of bandmates and some amazing producers. Green loves pushing the envelope, and later efforts featured Jamaican rappers among others. After an eleven year hiatus, Green released 1999's Anonmie & Bonhomie - which I thought was lacking the genius which produced Cupid & Psyche and 1988's Provision.

Dalbello

Lisa Dalbello is yet another Toronto native. This track was released along with other hits like Black on Black and Gonna Get Close To You. More on this track here.

You can purchase Scritti Politti albums online here!
You can purchase Dalbello albums online here!

June 17, 2002

Tamara Silvera: Rubberband Man (Rubbermix)
Hashim: Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)

Tamara Silvera

Just over a year ago, someone sent me a tiny snippet of a song that they wanted to know if I could identify. When I say tiny, I  mean TINY - it was about 1/4 second long. But in that 1/4 second, I heard something that I KNEW that I knew. But it wouldn't come into my head.

A few months ago, it popped into my head - it was a song called "Rubberband Man". I quickly did some searches, but the only version I could find was the original 1976 version by the Spinners.

Then, out of the blue, someone wrote me the other week and said, "Do you have 'Rubberband Man' by (I think) Tamara Silvera?" Aha!! That's right, that's who did it! I figured I wouldn't have anything that obscure, even though I could "hear" the song in my head. I started hunting online for it. I found a copy of the 1984 12" vinyl in Germany for (ulp) 36 euros. I decided to bite the bullet and click the BUY button...but you know, just before I do that, let me check for 100% that I don't actually already have it. So off to the record shelves, 12" section, "S"....and lo and behold, there it was. I actually already had the 12"! So I quickly pulled it out, cleaned it, and here it is for you today.

Tamara Silvera is (was) a Toronto artist, a prolific one at that. If there was a Canadian rock band that produced an album, she probably appears on it as a background vocalist. She did an extensive amount of childrens' albums, and some non-rock work as well. She recently relocated to Los Angeles, where she has put together and released her first solo album, "Sink or Swim."

Hashim

Most of you think you've never heard of this song before. I bet you have. More on this track here.

You can purchase Hashim albums online here!

June 10, 2002

Tones On Tail: Go! (12 Inch Version)
Jon Saint James: The Girl Who Seduced the World

Tones on Tail

When I first mentioned Tones On Tail to my (ex-patriate Brit) wife, I figured I'd get a response somewhat like, "oh, right, they were just brilliant." Instead, to my surprise, I got "Tones on Who?" Believe it or not, the sub-Bauhaus sideline group was virtually unheard of in the UK, while their dance club hit "Go!" was a staple in any club over on this side of the pond.

Tones on Tail were originally Daniel Ash of Bauhaus and Glenn Campling, a roadie for Bauhaus. The group was formed in 1982 as a side project for Daniel while he was still in Bauhaus. They were later joined by Bauhaus' Kevin Haskins after Bauhaus disintegrated. Though the career of Tones On Tail lasted only a couple of years (1982-1984), the group definitely made a lasting mark. After Tones On Tail ended, David J. (also of Bauhaus) rejoined with Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins to form Love and Rockets.

Jon St. James

A brilliant producer, and a brilliant musician, Jon is the brains behind SSQ Stacey Q, and more.. More on this track here.

You can purchase Stacey Q./SSQ albums online here!

June 3, 2002

Danse Society: Say It Again (Extended Danse Mix)
SSQ: Jet Town

Danse Society

This one is a request, what I think is their best song, from 1985. It was a toss-up between this track and "Heaven Is Waiting", but I went with this one - it is a bit more accessible, and has overtones of Killing Joke. I was going to do a short write-up on the group, but after finding this amazing Danse Society tribute site, anything I could write would pale in comparison.

SSQ

Oh, my beloved SSQ. Jon St. James (more on him next week) and Stacey Q (Swain). Both put out good material after SSQ, but their brief collaboration on this album produced some of my favorite tracks from the 1980's. More on this track here.

You can purchase Danse Society albums online here!
You can purchase Stacey Q./SSQ albums online here!

May 27, 2002

LaTour: Blue (Club Mix)
The Associates: Take Me To The Girl (12 Inch Version)

LaTour

In 1992, the film "Basic Instinct," starring Sharon Stone, came out. I enjoyed the film, but what really blew me away was the dance club scene. Sharon slinked her way through this dance club while this absolutely AMAZING techno-ish track played. That song just FIT the moment perfectly. I had to have it!

After a bit of searching, I found it as track 2 on the B-side of the 12" of the forgettable "E". Later it was released on its own as a 12", and this is that version. Enjoy!

The Associates

Like last week's Rational Youth, the Associates are no longer, but for a far more tragic reason - Billy MacKenzie, the essential genius behind the Associates took his own life in January 1997. More on this track here.

You can purchase LaTour albums online here!
You can purchase Associates albums online here!

May 20, 2002

LaTour: People Are Still Having Sex (Original LP Mix)
Rational Youth: Saturdays in Silesia (Extended Version)

LaTour

Chicago-based house producer William LaTour had a minor hit with this track in 1991, but it was a huge hit in the dance clubs - and I remember the excitement it used to generate on the dance floor when I would play it. From the same album, "Allen's Got A New Hi-Fi" was also a minor hit, but it was next week's track, from the same album, that I think was his most brilliant work.

Rational Youth

Unfortunately, after a reunion and tour over the past few years, Rational Youth once again called it quits this year, and looks like it's permanent this time. More on Tracy and the gang here.

You can purchase LaTour albums online here!
You can purchase Rational Youth albums online here!

May 13, 2002

Pet Shop Boys: Opportunities (Original Dance Mix)
Moral Support: Strange Day For Dancing

Pet Shop Boys

Second in the two-week Pet Shop Boys "original" series, this is the song that really did it for me - the song that made me love the Pet Shop Boys. Right from my own vinyl, this is the original extended dance mix of the track. Enjoy!

Moral Support

This track appeared on the first album in Dean Brown's independent compilation series featuring Canadian artists; "A Canadian Alternative." More on it here.

You can purchase Pet Shop Boys albums online here!

May 6, 2002

Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls (Extended Version)
Doppelganger: Communication Breakdown

Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys just released a new album, appropriately named "Release". I am a huge PSB fan, and I love the new album (get the limited edition 2-disc set if you can). So for this week and next, I thought I would feature the first two songs, in their original extended versions, that got me into Pet Shop Boys in the first place. The first is "West End Girls" - the original 12" version. There have been millions of remixes of this (and most) Pet Shop Boys songs, so I thought I would feature the originals.

Doppelganger

When I originally featured this track, I heard from one of the Doppelganger principals, Philip Saisse, shortly afterwards. It's good enough that you should listen again...

You can purchase Pet Shop Boys albums online here!

April 29, 2002

Drastic Measures: Teddy Bear's Picnic
EON
: Spice

Drastic Measures

More Nash the Slash (I told you this guy was prolific!). This time, he played strings on this 1979 track by Toronto group Drastic Measures (Tony Seeley, using the name Tony Malone), produced by Keith Elshaw. Tony was a brilliant keyboard player/composer, and had many people pass through his band - some who went on to play with Billy Idol, The Sattalites, and others. He worked with a huge number of Canadian acts, including Carole Pope.

EON

A big club track when it was released, this has a unique feature on the vinyl 12" that you'll never see replicated on CD. More about it here.

April 22, 2002

FM: Phasers on Stun
Q-Feel
: Dancing in Heaven (LP Version)

FM

When I think about it, I should have featured this week's song from FM last week, seeing as how I mentioned them in the Nash the Slash write-up. FM consisted of Nash the Slash, Cameron Hawkins and Martin Deller, and existed on Canadian radio (and a bit of border US radio as well) in the mid-70's to mid-80's. They were an album act, and appropriately were never picked up by top-40 AM stations - being played mostly on AOR radio.

My favorite FM song of all time is this week's song - with a combination of a reverbed mandolin and some amazing keyboards - and there's no sequencers in this song, folks!

Q-Feel

If you never heard this song in the 80's, you had more than just your head buried in the sand. At one time an extremely difficult song to find, it gradually became less rare as more people became aware of it. It took many years to reach cult status, and being featured in a few feature films didn't hurt. More about Q-Feel here.

April 15, 2002

The The: Uncertain Smile
Soft Cell
: Say Hello Wave Goodbye

Before we get to this week's songs, I've had a few comments regarding the availability of files - specifically, that downloading the MP3 files is painfully slow. I should note that I have a limited amount of bandwidth for the MP3's. These files are downloaded thousands of times each week, and 90% of the downloads occurs on the Monday that I update the page. Notice the bandwidth chart below, showing April 7 through April 13:

Not coincidentally, if you try to download one of the files on Monday, it is going to be slow. If you can wait, try downloading on Wednesday or Thursday - I think you'll find it much faster! Now on to the music!

The The

The The is basically Matt Johnson. Matt decided very early on that he wanted to be a singer, and worked in a recording studio to obtain the free studio time he needed to produce his first songs. Matt sings and plays every instrument on his recordings, but his live tours (which continue today) include such notable musicians as Johnny Marr (The Smiths), Jools Holland (Squeeze, and host of BBC's Later with Jools Holland), Thomas Leer and many others. His original manager was Cabaret Voltaire's Stevo, who decided to manage him after having him open for Cabaret Voltaire.

I think Matt is probably one of the most talented musicians in popular music today, which is why I picked the version of today's 1982 track "Uncertain Smile" - I usually post the 12" mixes of tracks, but this week I'm not, because the 12" version of this song does not have the wonderful long piano ad-lib that this version has.

Want to know more about The The? Check out the official web site.

Soft Cell

Just about everyone has heard Marc Almond's "Tainted Love." I find this track to be my favorite Soft Cell song, and this version in particular, because of the plaintive and wonderful clarinet solo that winds its way throughout the entire track. Just amazing. More about this track here.

You can purchase The The albums online here!
You can purchase Soft Cell albums online here!
You can purchase Marc Almond albums online here!

April 8, 2002

Nash the Slash: 1984 (Extended Dance Version)
Underworld: Jumbo

Before we get started this week, I will clear up last week's track from Alice Bowie. I got a LOT of email on this one. No, it is not synthpop. No, it is not Alice Bowie - in fact, there is no Alice Bowie. Yes, it was a joke - it's April 1st, people! Out of all the email I got, only three people knew right away that it was in fact a Cheech and Chong track. :)

Incidentally, Henry Rollins did in fact cover it. And his version is great. :)

Nash the Slash

How can I describe Nash the Slash? He was a Toronto artist who always appeared with his face covered in bandages, a top hat, tuxedo and sunglasses, and played the violin....

...well, it made sense at the time. In fact, Nash the Slash was a very talented musician, and played with the likes of The Who, The Tubes, Gary Numan and FM. He's still around - you can check out his web site. I've had quite a few requests for this week's song, which I think is his best work.

Underworld

Underworld is no longer what they once were, with the departure of Darren Emerson. That said, we have a huge collection of brilliant, mind-expanding music, much of it live and ad-libbed. More on Underworld here.

You can purchase Underworld albums online here!

April 1, 2002

Alice Bowie: Earache My Eye
Parachute Club: Rise Up

Alice Bowie

This is yet another one of those seminal 80's synthpop tunes that I can't believe that I've gone this long without featuring. Alice Bowie, a pseudonym tribute to Alice Cooper and David Bowie, was a one-hit wonder, with this being the only known work produced - that I could find evidence of, anyway. It was a minor hit in the US and Canada, being far more popular in areas where it gained radio airplay, and virtually unknown everywhere else. It also spawned many recorded cover versions, most notably by the Henry Rollins Band. Give this one a listen folks, you won't be disappointed!

Parachute Club

The Parachute Club is one of those groups I wish had survived through to today. Singer Lorraine Segato...oh, that voice. :) Read more about this track here.

You can purchase Parachute Club albums online here!

March 25, 2002

Psychedelic Furs: Psychedelic Furs - Heartbeat (New York Remix)
Heaven 17
: Heaven 17 - Bigger than America (Scott's Remix)

Psychedelic Furs

It was a real shame what the film Pretty in Pink did to the Psychedelic Furs. They had such a wide and varied library of amazing releases, yet say "Psychedelic Furs" to most people, and they come up with that one song. This week's track is the 12" version of my favorite song from the Furs, Heartbeat. Yes, it's a bit long, and the beginning is kind of crap, but give it a listen - I think you'll like it.

Heaven 17

Last of the three remixes that I did from their 1996 album, this is the title track. More about it here.

Purchase Psychedelic Furs albums online here
Purchase Heaven 17 albums online here

March 18, 2002

Kim Wilde: Rage to Love (Extended Version)
Heaven 17: Another Big Idea (Scott's Mix)

I had actually planned another track for this week, but last week's mention of Kim Wilde brought one of her songs to mind, so here it is. :)

Kim Wilde

Kim Wilde came to the forefront with her 1981 hit "Kids in America", her major North American hit. 1984 brought this week's track, her favorite of mine, especially this extended version. It was a minor hit in North America, garnering much more attention in her native England. 1986 brought another minor North American hit with "You Keep Me Hangin' On" after which she more or less disappeared from the musical scene.

Unlike most pop singers of the time, she wrote (most of) her own material, and had a musical background. Not to mention the fact that was (and is still) a major babe. :)

She continues to perform occasionally, and hosts TV shows, currently presenting a gardening show on Britain's ITV1.

Heaven 17

Another one of my own remixes. More about it here.

Purchase Kim Wilde albums online here
Purchase Heaven 17 albums online here

March 11, 2002

Leisure Process: Love Cascade (Extended)
Heaven 17: Dive (Scott's Mix)

Welcome back! There was no track last week, as I was out of the country for a week and a bit.

Leisure Process

This week's track is a request. Leisure Process is essentially Gary Barnacle, who was a session player working for the likes of Level 42, Visage, The Teardrop Explodes, and Kim Wilde (whom with he was linked romantically). Mark King and Phil Gould from Level 42 appeared on "A Way You'll Never Be" which was on the B-side of the Love Cascade 12" single. The only other minor Leisure Process track was "Cashflow" which I think was rather underrated.

Heaven 17

This is actually a track I remixed myself several years ago from Heaven 17's fantastic "Bigger Than America" comeback album. If you haven't seen my Heaven 17 page, check it out! More about this track here.

Purchase Heaven 17 albums online here

February 25, 2002

Fiction Factory: Feels Like Heaven
Freur: Doot Doot (Extended Mix)

Fiction Factory

Guitarist Chic Medley (how about that for a rock-star name?) said that "Feels Like Heaven" essentially killed Fiction Factory. Nothing can instantly label an up-and-coming band as a one-hit-wonder than having one huge hit (well, in England, anyway), with nothing immediately to follow it up with. In any case, it is a great song, with a great melody.

Freur

One of my all-time favorite songs (hmm, I do keep saying that quite a bit, don't I?). Freur (rhymes with "burr") later morphed into Underworld. More on this track here.

Purchase Fiction Factory albums online here
Purchase Freur albums online here

February 18, 2002

West End Dance Project: 92 In The Shade
Endgames:  First Last for Everything (12 inch Remix)
 First Last for Everything (12 inch Dub)

West End Dance Project

I was listening to an old David Marsden CFNY air tape from 1986, and he played this song. I thought; "I haven't heard that in ages, I bet nobody else has either." So I dug it up and here it is. And that's about all I can say about the West End Dance Project, because I know absolutely nothing about the band, and have been completely unsuccessful in digging up any information about them. Know something about them? Let me know and I'll post it.

Endgames

Until it started appearing on compilation CD's everywhere, this was one rare record, a copy of the 12" single going for upwards of $200. I've actually been contacted by a couple members of the band within the last year or so, who have gone on to lead productive lives in society. :) Read more about Endgames here in the original 2000 entry for this song.

When I first posted this track in 2000, I posted a version that I had found on vinyl in Washington DC. This week, I'm posting a different, extended (eight minute) version, along with the original dub that I posted in 2000.

February 11, 2002

Black: Wonderful Life
Trans-X
: Message on the Radio (12" Mix)

Black

Black, aka Colin Vearncombe, had a fairly big hit in the UK in 1987 with this song, although it was (as usual) more or less ignored in North America. Colin released his "comeback" album in 1999, named "The Accused."

My wife literally bumped into Colin (as Black) shortly after having seen him play live in Birmingham. A car pulled up, and Black (along with his band) jumped out to go into a hotel. Taken aback, my wife said something to the effect of, "we saw you play, you were quite good" (ever the British understatement). He replied, "thanks, I appreciate it." :)

Trans-X

Not their most popular song, but by far my favorite of everything they ever did. Read more about it here.

You can purchase Black albums online here!
You can purchase Trans-X albums online here!

February 4, 2002

National Velvet: Flesh Under Skin (Rock Mix)
Divine
: Native Love (12" Remix)

National Velvet

Talk about spooky. This Canadian band's breakout single, produced and promoted by CFNY alumnus wunderkind Chris Sheppard during his Club 102 days, was a hit on Canadian radio in and Canadian clubs, with minor success south of the border. Why spooky? Because I had had this relatively obscure song on my "to post" list for some time, and had planned to post it today. Then, this past Thursday, I got an email from someone, with a request attached - and you guessed it, the request was for this song. Once in a while I like to at least give the appearance that I respond quickly to requests, so here you go! :)

Divine

Probably one of the best-known dance-floor pounding songs of the early 1980's, you can read more about this seminal Bobby O song here.

You can purchase Divine albums online here!

January 28, 2002

Dead or Alive: In Too Deep (off yer mong mix)
Spoons
: Symmetry (12 inch mix)

Dead or Alive

Another band I can't believe I haven't featured before. Led by Pete Burns and produced to perfection by Stock Aitken Waterman, this song is from the same album that produced the huge dancefloor/top-40 crossover hit "You Spin Me Round." From the beginning this was my favorite song on the "Youthquake" album, and this 12" single version has the distinction of being what I consider the best-sounding piece of vinyl, technically speaking, of any that I own.

Spoons

Spoons are a Canadian band that peaked in the mid-80's. This track appeared only on the B-side of the Nova Heart 12" single, but remains today my favorite song out of all they did. Read more about it here!

You can purchase Dead or Alive albums online here!

You can purchase Spoons albums online here!

January 21, 2002

Tapps: Runaway (With My Love) (12 Inch Mix)
Strange Advance
: World's Away

Two FANTASTIC tracks this week, by coincidence both from Canada, and both from 1983! I can't believe I've gone this long without featuring Tapps, but there's just so much great music out there...

I will mention that last week was the largest week (in terms of downloads) that my MP3 page has ever seen, due in no small part to the mention on Blake's page. If you haven't checked out VinylFM yet, read the January 14 entry and give it a listen!

Tapps

Tapps was basically writer/producer Vince DeGiorgio, and was known as a high-energy dance outfit in the early 80's, putting their material out on Canada's Power Records label. Their first release, Forbidden Lover was a dance club hit, but Runaway was by far their best track, earning limited radio airplay.

Strange Advance

Oh, this song just melts my insides. By far one of my most favorite songs of all time...crank it up and let this song blast. More on Strange Advance here.

Purchase Strange Advance albums online here

January 14, 2002

Propaganda: P-Machinery (Polish Mix)
Abecedarians: Smiling Monarchs

Before I get into this week's tracks, I want to talk about something else. The radio station that got me and many others into this music is Toronto's dear departed CFNY. In the 1980's it was one of the most amazing and groundbreaking stations in North America. Champion and I daresay creator of the CFNY sound was genius radio guy David Marsden. Marsden has gathered up quite a few CFNY alumnus and is behind theiceberg.com, which offers a collection of online radio stations featuring some great fresh new music you won't hear anywhere else. One of those stations is VinylFM.com, featuring great music only available on vinyl.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you were a listener to CFNY in the 1980's, you knew the Live Earl Jive, and his zany weeknight show, featuring amazing music programmed (mostly) by himself. It's one of the things I miss most about CFNY. But no longer! Earl is back in business, producing new shows from his home studio in Beverly Hills (yes, he now lives in California, and so does Beverly - they're still married!). The shows are just as eclectic and wonderful as ever. If you listened to CFNY in the 80's, you NEED to zip over to VinylFM right now and check it out!

Once you get to VinylFM.com you will need to register if you haven't already...and you'll need a Canadian postal code like "M1A 3W9" (hint hint) to do so. Then click on "Signature Series", select Jive International and listen away!

OK, on to this week's music:

Propaganda

I can't believe I've gone this long without ever posting a Propaganda song. This one is thanks to John - I know it's long, but it's an amazingly great mix of perhaps their greatest track. Propaganda was essentially short-lived: officially formed in 1985, the striking vocalist Claudia Brucken left in 1986 to do solo work as well as team up with Thomas Leer to form the short-lived Act.

Propaganda (including Claudia) has re-formed and are working on a releasing new album shortly on the German label Repertoire Records.

Abecedarians: Oh, I've waited so long to post this one again. One of my all-time favorite songs. Click here for more info.

Purchase Propaganda albums online here

January 7, 2002

Pop Will Eat Itself: Pop Will Eat Itself - Defcon One (The Doomsday Powermix)
Dalbello: Gonna Get Close to You

Hmm, you'll notice there are two different tracks listed this week. I mentioned last week that there would be something new this week, and this is it: Two tracks posted each week, instead of one. But not just any two tracks...the first track is new, as it always has been. However, the second track will be a track that was posted here originally, beginning with the very first track posted in 2000, and working our way forwards. So, for all of you who have discovered this page just recently, and have missed the tracks that were posted two years ago, here's your chance!

Pop Will Eat Itself

Pop Will Eat Itself is a classic 80's story. They were originally known as "Wild and Wondering", releasing their first EP in 1986. It didn't do well, so they formed their own record company and recorded a 5 track EP, which was named Single of the Week in the New Music Express and got a lot of airplay on the John Peel show. 

Chapter 22 Records signed them, and their anthem song, "Defcon One" was released. In 1988 they had interest from the majors, and RCA snapped them up. However, they quickly realized that PWEI was not a commercial success, and the band languished until 1996 when they called it a day.

Dalbello: Click Here

Purchase Pop Will Eat Itself albums online here
Purchase Dalbello albums online here

Click to see: Current tracks - All 2000 tracks - All 2001 tracks - All 2002 tracks - Complete track listing

This page copyright Š 2002