Song of the Day: Real Life – Catch Me I’m Falling ext. ver.

It’s been quite a while since the last Song of the Day. Well, lately the songs that stick in my head are tunes by groups I’ve already written extensively about. Lately that was The Cramps and especially OMD. All last week it was “RFWK” from the new OMD album. It’s always nice to have rotating favorites from a great new album. I love it when I am listening to an album compulsively and my favorite changes constantly. It’s a great problem to have, but I’ll bet you’re sick of me writing about OMD. Well, today you get a break.

For the last several days the song that’s been stuck in my head has been an early single from Real Life, the Australian synth rock band who had an MTV hit with the excellent “Send Me An Angel” back in ’83 when that sort of thing was flying high. I had their debut album, “Heartland” and enjoyed it a lot, but the version that I am obsessed with today is not the album version.

MCA Records | UK | 12" | 1984 | MCAT 885

Real Life: Catch Me I’m Falling UK 12″

  1. Catch Me I’m Falling [ext. ver.]
  2. Exploding Bullets

I first heard the remix of this track when the video was [briefly] shown a few times on MTV. That channel played “Send Me An Angel” a lot, but barely sniffed at the follow up. I liked that the single had been extensively remixed for 7″ so I bought a copy of the US 7″ to supplement my copy of their album. I didn’t hear the extended remix until fairly recently, when I bought one of the many Real Life compilation CDs [more on this topic later]. I liked it and was happy to see it was on the CD I bought, but it didn’t catch with me like wildfire until I chanced to play that CD last week for about the second time since I had gotten the disc, and by then, it managed to get a hold on me that wouldn’t let go.

Real Life were a synth heavy Oz band that was aiming for the Ultravox-Simple Minds-Icehouse spectrum of music; just my sort of meat. Other bands down under besides Icehouse they could be effectively grouped with would include Pseudo Echo, whose debut album “Autumnal Park” offered far more persuasive merits than their sophomore album, which had their hit [non-lp in Oz] cover of “Funky Town” bolted on to the US release. Real Life showed what they were thinking of by getting Steve Hillage to produce their debut album. Hillage had previously done the honors on Simple Minds’ great “Sons + Fascination/Sister Feelings Call” albums, which gave the Minds their first hit anywhere when “Love Song” went top ten in Australia in 1981.

This version of “Catch Me I’m Falling” is a textbook example of a great old school extended remix. The intro starts out with the vocoded backing vocals exclusive to the single remix version up front over a skeletal beat as the elements of the tune build up over the first 90 seconds of the song. Lacking the intensity of “Send Me An Angel,” the tone on this single is lighter and poppier than much of the band’s first album. It instead offers a sweet ebullience that recalls A Flock Of Seagulls at their poppy best [think “Space Age Love Song”]. In fact the great guitar playing [by vocalist David Sperry] sounds very similar in style and tone to that of AFOS’ underrated Paul Reynolds. The backing vocals by the band are airy and harmonious and the remix pushes them right up front to make this track the equivalent of a high calorie dessert you just can’t say no to. It’s a wholesome reminder of the early days of remixed 12″ single. More on Real Life, later.

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9 Responses to Song of the Day: Real Life – Catch Me I’m Falling ext. ver.

  1. jt says:

    I wouldn’t say Paul Reynolds is underrated.
    He is the best hing about AFOS, hands down.
    The rest of them are barely competent players, at best; their best tracks owe their success to Reynolds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Echorich says:

    It’s wonderful how often I find that there are others out in the blogosphere as off the beaten track as I when it comes to music. Back in ’83 I would have had to stand in my local import record store to discuss a band like Real Life – barely any of my friends would have even heard Send Me An Angel and none would have known Catch Me I’m Falling! Great track and great line of musical association with your SM/Ultravox comparison. In 83 I was obsessed with The Bunnymen, Ultravox. Simple Minds, New Order and loosing interest in Blondie, Talking Heads, X. Bands like Real Life, Icehouse and INXS were beginning to make an impact on me. Icehouse won the title of my fave Oz band, but INXS were well placed in second.
    As an aside, I remember the first time I heard Pet Shop Boys cover Send Me An Angel – it’s a respectful version. I wonder just how much of an impact Real Life may have had on either Neil or Chris from the beginning of PSB. I even think Neil may have written about them in Smash Hits pre PSB.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Icehouse are also my favorite Oz band. It took me a while to warm up to INXS, but the incredible album “The Swing,” did it for me. The cheesy video for “The One Thing” with the crude sexual metaphors biased me against them at first. As for Icehouse, they’re working on a very special 3 disc 30 anniversary of the “Icehouse” album for release this year! That last album, “The Berlin Tapes,” was a huge favorite of mine in the 90s; by far the best cover album I’ve ever heard. In fact, it’s the one cover album that almost made the whole overblown genre worthwhile! I kept waiting in vain for the followup. When Iva let his domain lapse, I knew it was all over.

      So PSB did “Send Me An Angel?” What a natural! I bet it sounds great! David Sperry’s phrasing isn’t miles away from Neil’s. I count myself as very lucky for having seen Real Life at my third ever rock concert!

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  3. Brian Ware says:

    Would that have been opening for Berlin in Orlando? Yes, Real Life were really solid live. And speaking of AFOS, I saw them at their zenith back in the early 80s (with a very strong Fixx as the openers) and yeah, Paul Reynolds played circles around all of them. And while I mention great opening acts, a shout out to Talk Talk. First LP tour opening for Elvis Costello. Four very young lads coming onstage all in white (skinny black ties of course) to rather subdued applause. 40 minutes later a standing ovation – one of the few times I’ve ever seen a relatively unknown opening act get that kind of response. Great memories…

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Mr. Ware – When did Talk Talk open for Elvis Costello in Orlando? The first EC concert in Central Florida [I thought] was 1984’s “Cruel World” tour with Nick Lowe, wasn’t it? Not EC+A’s finest hour.

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  4. Brian Ware says:

    He came through for the “Imperial Bedroom” tour with Talk Talk. It was a superb show supporting a superb album. I was also at the “Cruel World” show and I agree, it was pretty lousy – a horrible sound mix. Nick Lowe with Paul Carrack were fun though.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Mr. Ware: EC came to Orlando for Imperial Bedroom? Where the heck was I? Where did he play? The Bob Carr? Why wasn’t I there??!! That could have been my long-awaited first rock concert. Ditto on the Nick Lowe – thank goodness he was the opening act so I could get some enjoyment from the show! I’d sure love to see Nick again.

      Like

  5. Brian Ware says:

    Yep, Bob Carr auditorium. I have my ticket stub, but the date is on the other half. This was before perforated Ticketbastard tickets. I guess some time in 1982. Price was only $10.00!!! Those were the days…

    I reckon somewhere online the exact date is listed.

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