I have a great love for Torch Song, the trio formed by William Orbit, Laurie Mayer and Grant Gilbert back in the early 80s for I.R.S. Records. I first saw the video for “Don’t Look Now” on IRS’ The Cutting Edge show on MTV and wanted more of this group very strongly from that point on. It took the better part of a year until I found a promo copy of their debut LP, “Wish Thing,” in the used bins. That would have been 1985 or so. Getting their barely released second album “Ecstasy” took far, far longer. For starters, I only found out it existed in an early 90s edition of a Trouser Press Record Guide. Stores and mail order yielded nothing. Once I was on the internet, I kept a sharp eye out for this release but it took until just a few years ago until I could find a copy of this for less than $50.
I’ve always been a fan of Orbit’s work since day one, but once he worked with Madonna and raised his profile [and surely, his bank account as well] he went from cult musician to very popular cult musician!
I’ve already remastered the two Torch Song albums from vinyl, but if you know me, albums aren’t the half of it! I love Torch Song so much and they have such a modest output that it became imperative to also collect their rarities and single mixes. As of last Friday, the last elusive piece of my Torch Song collection was obtained [at a modest cost, of course]. So now I’m mentally plotting the inevitable BSOG®. Here’s what’s going in it.
“Prepare To Energize” is an instrumental that was remixed from “Wish Thing.” The B-side is the 8 track demo version [very hot] called “The Fong Test,” presumably after Lincoln Fong who worked with Orbit in this Guerilla Studios.
“Don’t Look Now” appears here in a 6:15 mix, making it slightly shorter than the 6:23 album version. The B-side is “P2E (remix)” at 5:10, different to other lengths of “Prepare To Energize.”
“Hark” is a super rare flexi-disc issued by the band for their fan club as a Christmas Card in 1984. It’s not quite “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and thankfully, I.R.S. in their wisdom, issued it on a Christmas compilation CD at infinitely less than silver-sleeved copies of the flexidisc change hands for.
…Wait! At this point when I finally have the exceptionally rare and [normally] prohibitively expensive Laurie Mayer single en route to my collection, I’m now painfully aware that I should probably make the effort to obtain the two early William Orbit solo singles from his debut solo album; covers of “Love My Way” and “Feel Like Jumping.” These last two [I swear it!] will definitely close the book on my Torch Song collection, thus allowing me to continue with this posting, but for me to continue blathering here seems premature, now. My deepest apologies, but the rest of this post will be left hanging indefinitely. Fortunately, those two 12″ singles are both much more prevalent and affordable compared to much of the Torch Song canon, to say nothing of the sole Laurie Mayer single.