The CD A Week Project: #3

REVO | CD-R | 2011 | PM003

Various: REVO Premaster 3 CD-R [2011]

  1. Fiat Lux – Feels Like Winter Again
  2. Fiat Lux – What Is This Illness
  3. Fiat Lux – Photography
  4. Fiat Lux – Aqua Vitae
  5. Martha: Light Years From Love 12″
  6. Martha: Dramas Of The Human Heart
  7. Intaferon: Baby Pain
  8. Intaferon: Baby Pain [Again]
  9. Intaferon: Hold The Bunker [Feel Real Big]
  10. Machinations: Pressure Sway [ext. club ver.]
  11. Machinations: Pressure Sway [inst. ver.]
  12. Icehouse: Can’t Help Myself [OZ LP ver.]
  13. Icehouse: Uniform [ext. remix]
  14. Marianne Faithfull: Broken English 12″
  15. Marianne Faithfull: Why D’Ya Do It? [ver. 2]

The latest CD of the week features singles by Fiat Lux, Intaferon, Marianne Faithfull, as well as material I haven’t written about, from Martha Ladly, Icehouse, and Machinations. Martha Ladly was one of the Martha’s in the Canadian New Wave band Martha + The Muffins; beloved for their hit “Echo Beach.” After their second album, “Trance + Dance” came out in 1980, second Martha, Ms. Ladly opted to continue studying design in the UK. Not coincidentally, she became part of the performing lineup of The Associates as well as the main squeeze of graphic designer to the core collection, Mr. Peter Saville. This was why she was always getting little credits on the inner sleeves of OMD albums for coming up with some of their titles.

Island Records | UK | 12" | 1983 | 12IS 125

Martha: Light Years From Love UK 12″ [1983]

  1. Light Years From Love [long ver.]
  2. Dramas of the Human Heart [long ver.]

For her second solo waxing, she really came up with the goods. “Light Years From Love” is a shimmering tune abetted by the steady synths of Brett Wickens, who along with Martha, was also one of Peter Saville’s Associates, in addition to being another synth player. He was part of the original lineup of Canada’s supa-fine Spoons, but left that band following their debut single, “After The Institution” to form the much sought after Ceramic Hello. “Light Years From Love” is as winsome a tune as the portrait of the fresh-faced Ms. Ladly on its cover. Saville no doubt leaned heavily on Peter Hook, who plays bass on the sides and wrapped the whole thing up in a tasteful sleeve. The B-side is a introspective instrumental that sounds as if it was based on the chord sequence to “You Only Live Twice,” and unfortunately, the whole enterprise was the end of Ms. Ladly’s solo career. She retreated back to her mainstay of graphic design and worked with PSA a bit longer; ultimately becoming staff designer for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label before decamping back to Canada to finish her degree. She now teaches graphic design at her old alma mater, the Ontario College of Art + Design.

A+M Records | US promo | 12" | 1983 | SP-12077

Machinations: Pressure Sway US promo 12″ [1983]

  1. Pressure Sway [ext. club ver.]
  2. Pressure Sway [inst. ver.]

Machinations were an Australian dance rock band with a punchy, dynamic sound. I recall seeing the “Pressure Sway” video by Richard Lowenstein on Night Flight and making a note to pick up music by this band. I managed to get this US promo 12″ on A+M and have enjoyed it for almost thirty years, but I never managed to pick up anything else. Not that I ever saw anything but the “Esteem” EP from which this song came. This has keyboard percussion; a technique I always enjoyed and was something that Prince used a lot on his early classics. The sleeve to this lists a third track, “Push Bike,” but it’s not actually on the white label inside the sleeve.

Festival Records | Australia | LP | 1980 | L 37436

Flowers: Icehouse OZ LP [1980]

  1. Icehouse
  2. We Can Get Together
  3. Fatman
  4. Sister
  5. Walls
  6. Can’t Help Myself [4:41 mix]
  7. Skin
  8. Sons
  9. Boulevarde
  10. Nothing To Do
  11. Not My Kind

The Icehouse cuts are a couple of loose ends; they have not been on any of the CD remasters that they should have appeared on over the last 20 years or so. “Can’t Help Myself” in particular is a hot 4:46 version of the song with an extended coda and cold ending that beats all of the other, shorted, faded versions of this cut that have appeared on all but the original Australian LP pressing of the Flowers “Icehouse” album. I had hoped that this would be restored to the 30th anniversary deluxe RM of that title I just got, but I hoped in vain.

Chrysalis | UK | 12" | 1983 | COOLX 2

Icehouse: Uniform UK 12″ [1983]

  1. Uniform [ext. ver.]
  2. Can’t Help Myself [live]
  3. Great Southern Land
  4. Uniform [German ver.]

“Uniform” is an incredible number from the second Icehouse album, “Primitive Man.” It seems to have been a single only in the UK and the US. I have the UK 12″ and it has both an extended version and an extended German version, with quite a different mix on each. The German version has showed up on the OZ CDs of “Primitive Man” but the English extended version is m.i.a.; hence its appearance here. Any version of the track sounds incredible with a deliciously precise Keith Forsey production hitting all of the marks as those Linn drums fire away in precision to the beat. The extended version has an extended, dubby midsection also featuring the Nuremberg rally samples like the shorter LP mix only deliciously longer. It’s all extended quite nicely in the style of the time.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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