SotD82 - Part 9

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

Let’s kick-off with some happy poppy fun, shall we? [*squints* - Ed]. To underestimate Madness is to not understand British pop in any way at all. This gem talks about boys turning 16 and trying (unsuccessfully) to buy their first condoms (legally – passing johnnies purloined from mates and big brothers round the classroom doesn’t count) in what I think is an amusing and informative way.

And here's a fab live performance at Glastonbury, 2009 (listen to the crowd!)

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a high-quality version of an Olivia Newton-John [aka Olivia Neutron Bomb - Ed] music video . After the almost hysterical furore over 1981’s Physical, Landslide did not fair particularly well – even in the US where her star shone much more brightly than the UK/Europe. I like the record though and yes, it’s very much of its time, it’s another example of some of the prolific output from writer/producer John Farrar which probably reached a mid 20 year peak at this point. The music video is a humorous attempt at sinister and note that the hunk at the centre of it was her boyfriend (and future husband) Matt Lattanzi.

Around this time in 1982 a group of us from school (yes, school) decided to have a post-exam night out at The Sands – Dundee’s best nightspot in the mid-late ‘70s and early ‘80s. We were in the same class for Higher history and O-Grade biology. There were lots of good tunes but for some bizarre reason, I remember Spandau Ballet’s Instinction very, very clearly. Perhaps not the band’s most inspired record, it now comes across as unnecessarily and overly dramatic, it contained the most irritating ear-worm of a line “Stealing cake to eat the moon”. No, I didn’t look that up – the damn worm was still in there! The record is a marked departure from the band’s previous, solid New Romantic style as it’s pure pop. The single release (both 7” and 12”) had a difficult birth as the band was unhappy with the original version, eventually bringing in guru Trevor Horn to do what is considered to be quite a masterful remix.

Here's the extended remaster:

Mmmmm, the smooth soothing sound of jazz-funk with a splash of disco. Forget Me Nots has had the arse sampled out of it but I’m still a huge fan of the original. A huge fan. The “one hit wonder” label was pinned onto Patrice Rushen and I feel that for someone of her talent and achievements, it’s more than a little unfair. As a musician, she pushed boundaries as a black female artist and bagged several “first ever” titles in the role of musical director. Her performance at 2019’s Temecula Wine and Music Festival, almost 40 years after the release of this record, proves her talent and longevity as an artist. Yes, I’m a huge fan.

You can find the superb full 12” version here and watch a fantastic live performance from 2019 below:

Dundee’s own The Associates had an altogether too brief moment in the sun. The poetry of Billy Mackenzie’s lyrics shines brightly in Club Country – a song about mistrust and paranoia – articulately takes a shot at social climbing, those who try to “better” themselves. And I think the following quote from an interview, one of his last, in 1994 says it all: “It seemed that the whole of Scotland was against me, because I was really out on a limb. They thought "Who is this impostor?", 'cause I wasn't doing the three chords stuff. In Dundee, people even wanted to attack me 'cause I was flamboyant. They thought of me as pretentious, although it was very natural for me to do things I did. So Dundee definitely wouldn't support somebody like me. Also, it was very unlikely that something would have come out of this area. But maybe the fact that I reacted against this mentality gave me the drive to do something. So in a way, Dundee made me what I am.”

[Listen to the HQ Digital remaster and then ecoutez bien a le French TV music promo below - Ed]

Summer 1982. I left school and there was a long summer before I started college (and also started) working. The week after I left school (after the exams, I didn’t wait until the end of June) I remember sunbathing in the back garden and this record came on the wireless. I was transfixed! And to this day I still think it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. Yes, better than Blue Monday: deal with it. I don’t have much to say about this record, other than I consider it to be one of the greatest examples of New Wave/dance from that time.

[Here's the original 12” version and boogie on down with a full 10 minutes of their Live performance in NYC - Ed]

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