SotD82 - Part 6

Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us some more Songs of the Day from 40 years back, SotD82...

Find Jimmy's other SotD82 articles here

Oh dear. Here’s that moral dilemma again. I faced this a couple of years ago when I reviewed Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and I find myself in the same position now. First up – well, it’s a great record but its author and performer has always been a controversial figure on account of some vile comments he made at a concert in Birmingham in 1976. Racist comments. Layla is a fantastic British rock classic and I love every note. I’ll leave it there.

And here’s where I become misty-eyed: lost in the haziness of nostalgia [oh GOD!!! – ed]. Billy Mackenzie will always be a hero of/in Dundee and vague memories of live performances in smoky pubs drift through my mind. There was a definite a sense of chest-bursting pride when The Associates “hit the big time” Party Fears Two (and Sulk, the album from whence it came) is a fantastic record. In my view it blends what dance partly moves into, along with new wave – all with a backdrop of New Romantics. (Oh and have a look at the documentary from 22 years ago, you may not have seen it.)

Here's the album version:

And a look at the music video:

And speaking of New Romantics [must we? – ed], let’s hear from one of the creators of the movement – the late and much lamented Steve Strange. The writing collaboration on the records of Visage is quite remarkable, containing not just the great and the good of the New Romantic movement (Steve Strange, Rusty Egan) but also Billy Currie and Midge Ure of Ultravox (there’s a big trail of these artists here into which I may delve some day [oh joy! – ed]). The Damned Don’t Cry is a really good record with the throbbing synth background giving the whole thing pace and energy. [Listen to the track with better quality audio here - ed].

Keeping up with the New Wave/electronica/synth genre, next we have the superb first single from A Flock Of Seagulls. The band’s fame in the UK would come a year later but they found international fame with I Ran (So Far Away). And it’s no wonder because it’s a belting record: there’s almost 1½ minutes of synth and bass driven intro on the extended version that still gives me goose bumps today. One of many records that thrilled the wotsit out of me on the dancefloor, I’ve often wondered why it never found commercial success in the UK.

Here's the official music video:

And a live version:  

We end this week’s selection with a bit of fun [a phrase I’ve come to dread – ed]. I remember the DJ at Smokies nightclub in Arbroath [Arbroath Smokies... I see what they did there - ed] would mix this record with Heaven 17’s (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang – probably because both records had almost an identical bpm. Or perhaps not. Either way, Klactoveesedstein by Blue Rondo à la Turk certainly did not get the success that I think it deserved. The band’s previous record (Me & Mr. Sanchez) had been a massive hit in Brazil, going on to be the theme for 1982’s football World Cup, Klactoveesedstein is a much better record. Right from the “mmmm-mmmm-ah-mmmm-mmmm-mmmm-mmmm-ah” intro there’s a liveliness to the bassline and backing track that I find both exciting and mesmerising. Fame and success were brief, however, and some members of the band would go on form the outfit Matt Bianco some years later.

From a Spanish pop TV show: 

And the 12” extended mix, just because we can: 

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