Age Of Chance: Kiss US Promo 12″ 
- Kiss [collision cut]
- Crash Consciousness
I was talking to a friend last night and the topic of Prince came up since he recently played their locale; the northwest Canadian island of Victoria, British Colombia. They don’t get very many superstars there, apparently! That dovetailed with a recent playing of a brilliant cover version of His Majesty’s minimal #1 hit, “Kiss” back on my end. While the original was a unique sounding record that gave Prince his third of four number one singles, and it made so many musical ripples in the pond that a number of cover versions surfaced quickly. The Art Of Noise added Tom Jones to memorably cover the tune in 1988, which probably had a hand in reminding so many people that Jones was a great singer who shouldn’t have been languishing in Las Vegas. But Age Of Chance jumped right on this sucker as soon as the original came out in 1986.
Age Of Chance were a Leeds four piece who favored high concept sloganeering, cycling gear, and thunderous, brutal beats mated with squealing metallic guitars amid a clashing din of samples. All wrapped up in provocative Designer’s Republic packaging. In other words, they sounded like what Pop Will Eat Itself would sound [and look] like two years later. Hmmmmm. The covers also seemed to have drawn upon the same Illuminautus imagery that also fueled the foundation of the KLF. Enough speculation. What about this fine record?
Well, it’s got massive shouted vocals sung in a declamatory delivery and huge skronking beats that sound 60 feet high. The guitars are set to maximum stun and sound as nearly as feedback-happy as those on the previous year’s Jesus + Mary Chain album, “Psychocandy.” I particularly enjoy the Beatle-esque backing vocals that are isolated in either the left or right channels for a hot second with a brutal splice job of editing for maximum impact. I can’t believe that the group managed to change some of the lyrics in the final verse either! Prince doesn’t strike me as one who would authorize such hi-jinx. Nevertheless, the change adds dry sarcastic humor to this fine interpretation.
The B-side is an Age Of Chance original, and as such, sounds a bit more punishing than the A-side. The pummeling beats of “Crash Consciousness” could drive some to the cue lever, but it makes its point quickly, and by the time you might think about turning it off, the track comes to its abrupt end. The “Collision Cut” of “Kiss” is a fine, slightly extended dub version with great vocal edits reducing the song to less than haiku form, along with DJ scratching for some more texture.
Age Of Chance seemed to be a few steps ahead of the rest, in retrospect. In two years, lots of groups would sound like this and Pop Will Eat Itself would basically steal their entire concept and re-sell it to the masses. But in 1986 you heard this record and said “what the hell…??!” Listening to this again makes me think that I need to get some more Age Of Chance on the racks. According to the group’s website, every ounce of their EMI owned masters are being sold digitally these days. I may partake, since I never see the records.
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