Song Of The Day: Arcadia – Election Day

Today’s earworm is a no-brainer. What song could I possibly be thinking about but Arcadia’s debut single, “Election Day?” After Duran Duran reached critical mass with every underaged female in the Northern Hemisphere owning their entire recorded output, there was no where else to go but fractalizing into smaller clusters of Duran Duran members forming splinter groups. Their guitarists, John and Andy Taylor, formed hard-rockin’ supergroup The Power Station with Chic drummer Tony Thompson and vocalist Robert Palmer. This left the more, aesthetic members of the group free to form the studiously effete supergroup Arcadia, formed exclusively from members of Duran Duran itself!

That doesn’t mean that Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes and drummer Roger Taylor did it all by themselves. With blank EMI checks in front of their starry eyes, they proceeded to build a session star band to die for:

  • Carlos Alomar [Bowie] – guitar
  • Masami Tsuchiya [Ippu-Do, Japan] – guitar
  • David Van Tiegham [Steve Reich, Byrne + Eno, Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson] – percussion
  • Rapahel De Jesus [Duran Duran, Marianne Faithful, Talking Heads] – percussion
  • Mark Egan [Pat Metheny Group] – bass
  • Andy McKay [Roxy Music] – Saxophone
  • Ladies & Gentlemen, Miss Grace Jones – backing vocals

The 7″ single was released in the UK in a gatefold sleeve as designed by Malcolm Garrett [complete with Dean Chamberlain photo], with no expense spared!

Parlophone | UK | 7" | 1985 | NSR 1

  1. Election Day [edit]
  2. She’s Moody And Grey, She’s Mean And She’s Restless

The posh A-side was edited down by a little over a minute to a manageable 4:30 length for transmission on the airwaves, and a B-side was crafted with an instrumental mix of the A-side. The Alex Sadkin production reaches a finely etched acme on this material. There are what sounds like 72 tracks all carefully layered for clarity and maximum impact. Sax, guitars, synths, percussion, sampled noises, more percussion, Grace Jones, more synths layered one on top of another until the mixing board exploded! Yet the arrangement remains subtle and sophisticated as befits a conglomeration of the finest rock and jazz performers. It’s a wonder they let LeBon sing on this thing!

The US 7″ single featured a subtle “remix” of the single sleeve cover art, but the contents of the disc were the same as on its UK counterpart. Apparently, US eyes are incapable of seeing lavender knockout text over a photo clearly! Why not swap out that swishy lavender with some good ol’ red type while you’re at it?

 

Capitol Records | US | 7" | 1985 | B-5501

 

  1. Election Day [edit]
  2. She’s Moody And Grey, She’s Mean And She’s Restless

The US 12″ version is definitely in my collection. I’m unsure about a UK pressing, but the contents of the single are the same. The Consensus Mix took the nearly six minute album cut to 8:39 of exquisite excess.

 

Capitol Records | US | 12" | 1985 | V-15209

 

  1. Election Day [the consensus mix]
  2. Election Day [edit]
  3. She’s Moody And Grey, She’s Mean And She’s Restless

Seeing how this was 1985 and Post-Frankie, there was a second 12″ remix, of course! I actually bought this at the time of release since I was on a Duran-free diet at the time. It would remain until 1993 when I was able to fully forgive DD for “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” – but that’s another story. Since the Cryptic Cut was an extended instrumental remix, I could enjoy the lush track without the, uh, stellar vocals of Mr. LeBon.

 

Parlophone | UK | 12" | 1985| 12 NSRA 1

 

  1. Election Day [cryptic cut – no voice]
  2. Election Day [edit]
  3. Election Day [the consensus mix]

So the track waltzed right into the top ten on both sides of the Atlantic; so desperate were the masses for new Duran Duran-esque product. But unlike The Power Station, they were unable to repeat that chart listing with subsequent singles from the “So Red the Rose” album. That’s the public’s loss since this album stands as a high water mark for at least Mr. Nick Rhodes. You just know deep down that this was the album he was straining at the bit to make since day one. The only way it could have been bettered was if he had gotten David Sylvian to sing on it instead.

Wow. Now there’s a thought…

– 30 –

 

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to Song Of The Day: Arcadia – Election Day

  1. ronkanefiles says:

    Don’t forget the Arcadia Laser Disc! 5 tracks, 57 minutes – and it seems like 1/2 of it was “Election Day”!

    Like

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