Here’s a little something by Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe, alias Blancmange, and for once it’s not “Living On The Ceiling”, which is a good record but seriously overplayed. Instead, here’s the follow-up single “Waves”, a sort-of ballad which was fairly heavily reworked for the single release, with sometime Real Thing and Billy Ocean collaborator Lynton Naiff providing a lush string arrangement. Also here is the original stringless album version, and the B-side “Business Steps” which is a rather throwaway instrumental commisioned by a dance company.
And here’s a bonus track. This was the new song recorded for their 2012 “Very Best Of” collection. Not sure if they’re trying to be The Streets (it doesn’t work if they are), but it’s quite a fun song…
EDIT: A week after I posted this, DJ Paul T put up a high-quality rip of the “Waves” 12″ on his Burning The Ground blog. For the best version of these tracks (and a rare 12″ bonus track!), I recommend you visit that. And actually, just go visit that blog anyway, it’s ace.
Dipping into my shoebox of backup discs again, I pick out one dedicated to acts beginning with S, V and Y. They just happened to combine to make the right sort of total to fill a DVD-R.
The S folder contains a subfolder called “1980s”. It contains tracks from the 1980s. Given my haphazard filing system, this is not as obvious as it should be. Here are some tracks retrieved from that subfolder and its subsubfolders, all 12″ mixes.
Later reworked by Beats International as “Dub Be Good To Me” and Professor Green as “Just Be Good To Green”, but the original doesn’t get much of an airing anymore.
I know, Bronski Beat doesn’t start with S. It’s in a folder of various works by Jimmy Somerville. I think by now you should be starting to understand why I can never find the backup I actually want.
More Marc Almond, this time in an early Soft Cell classic. Strange to think this was never a hit, when it’s probably better remembered than bona fide smashes like “What” and “Torch”.
The much-vaunted, little-purchased Stock Aitken Waterman collaboration. The only way this could be more eighties would be to have Selina Scott introducing it.
Because Sigue Sigue Sputnik just aren’t uncool enough.
Well, it looks like summer’s back for a bit, so let’s break out this one from 1992. A load of other acts have done dance versions of this song since, but this was the one they’re all copying. Indeed, Opus III vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw has done at least two separate remakes herself, each with several trillion remixes, but back in 1992 Opus III were actually surprisingly restrained, offering just three mixes and a B-side for this one…
Opus III “It’s A Fine Day” (PWL CD single, 1992)
Link: Opus III – It’s A Fine Day (edit)
Link: Opus III – It’s A Fine Day (full length)
Link: Opus III – Evolution Rush
Link: Opus III – It’s A Fine Day (acappella)
The song is of course a cover version, the original being this fully acappella rendering credited simply to Jane on its original release (though at various times also to Jane and Barton or Barton and Jane, in recognition of songwriter and general mastermind of the project Ed Barton), issued on Cherry Red in 1983:
The electro-dub-pop wing of the 4AD empire, Colourbox were another one of those cult-ish bands that never quite broke into public consciousness – except of course for that one time when they were hidden behind the banner of MARRS. The success of 1987’s “Pump Up The Volume” was rather a pyrrhic victory, given that the lawsuits, and the weight of expectation, resulted in Colourbox never recording again.
Although it seemed to have come out of nowhere, “Pump Up The Volume” was merely the cap on five years of inventive, genre-melding records stretching back to 1982’s “Breakdown”. Today, you get the 1986 reissue of their 1983 mini-album “Colourbox”, not to be confused with the 1985 full-length album… “Colourbox”. Let’s face it, they weren’t great at picking album titles.
Actually, it’s a bit more than just a reissue, as 4AD took the opportunity to get a few more previously 12″-only tracks out on CD for the first time, more than doubling the length. To clarify, the original mini-album makes up tracks 4-7 here. Take a listen and tell me that Big Audio Dynamite (debut single: October 1985) weren’t taking notes. The first two tracks are singles from 1986, the last is a single from 1983 (a remake of their 1982 debut), and track 3 is the B-side of track 2.
Link: Colourbox – The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme
Link: Colourbox – Baby I Love You So
Link: Colourbox – Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse / Shoot Out
Link: Colourbox – Shotgun
Link: Colourbox – Keep On Pushing
Link: Colourbox – Nation
Link: Colourbox – Justice
Link: Colourbox – Breakdown (1983 12″ version)