Virgin Records: Methods Of Dance Vol. 2 CD-R 
- China Crisis – No Ordinary Lover
- I-Level – Give Me [American Remix]
- Rip Rig + Panic – You’re My Kind Of Climate [Party Mix]
- D.A.F. – Kebab Traüme
- The Men – I Don’t Depend On You
- Simple Minds – Soundtrack For Every heaven
- Culture Club – I’m Afraid Of Me [Disconet Remix]
- B.E.F. – The Secret Life Of Arabia [Dub Mix]
- Allez Allez – Flesh + Blood
- DEVO – Speed Racer [Extended Version]
When I made the earlier “Methods Of Dance” CD for a friend’s birthday, I also made the even better volume two, that was released in 1982. Actually, this album was the point of entry for me to the series, which I had not earlier been aware of. In 1982, my friend chasinvictoria lived in Atlanta and we kept in touch in those pre-internet days via the good, old-fashioned tape letter. All the better to get some of the great music that was there to soak up like gravy to your friend’s ears! And since he had great stores like Wax ‘N Facts at his disposal, he often found gems to share with me.
Volume Two was paramount among these. Sure, sure. We were already familiar with the stunning version of “The Secret Life Of Arabia” that B.E.F. had committed to LP earlier that year with the immeasurable aid of Billy MacKenzie. But could anything have prepared us for the Dub Mix of that song, which was only available here, on this fine album? The 7+ minute mix ramped up the tantalizing levels of hysteria that MacKenzie brought to the chorus and that became the starting point for this mix! Of course, that’s not discounting the phenomenal bass work of I-Level’s Jo Dworniak, which was also accentuated here*. Martyn Ware’s production was absolutely thunderous as well, which all conspired to make this track epic in all senses of the word. After hearing this track excerpted on his tape letter, I had to buy this album, and Volume One while I was at it!
I eventually found Volume One two years later, but this LP taunted me for a few more years. I can’t remember exactly when and where I bought this, but it could not have been much later than 1986 or so. As with the other volume, many favorite acts were a part of the artist list, so I had burgeoning collections of groups like China Crisis and Simple Minds. The China Crisis track was another rarity that first appeared here for me as I had not yet obtained all of the 12″ singles of that fine band. It was a left over track from the first album period as produced by Stuart Levine and included on the “No More Blue Horizons [Fool Fool]” 12″ single.
The Simple Minds track was the B-side on the 12″ of “Someone, Somewhere [In Summertime].” the luminous instrumental was the non-vocal version of the track “In Every Heaven” that didn’t surface until the 5.1 DVD-A version of “New Gold Dream [81, 82, 83, 84]” that was released in 2005. The 2.0 only world had to wait until the X5 remastering of the first five Simple Minds albums in 2012 to hear that track. The instro version here was a unique mixture of the funky and effulgent; strange sonic bedfellows that rarely met at parties.
The two tracks that I had to master from my vinyl here were the D.A.F. track, and the I-Level track. While D.A.F. is a grievous omission from my Record Cell [to my shame, the only D.A.F. I own is on these two volumes] the case of I-Level is somewhat more difficult. Barring a track here or there on CD compilations, neither of their two albums have ever made the leap to digital. The track here was on the Virgin 40th anniversary compilation “Methods Of Dance [Electronics + Leftfield ’73-’87]” which had some crossover with this album, but not 100%.
The cassette of this album had three extra tracks, The Allez-Allez, DEVO, and Roy Reid [a.k.a. I-Roy]. Allez-Allez were an intriguing blend of art-funk with a world beat chaser. I see that Les Disques Du Crépuscule have issued a comprehensive CD of the band’s single album “Promises” along with their “African Queen” EP. Color me curious. It’s now on my endless want list. Vocalist Sarah Osbourne eventually left the band when she married Glenn Gregory of H17 while Martyn Ware of B.E.F. produced the album. It’s all very tightly knit and definitely of interest.
The version of “Speed Racer” on the actual cassette was the straight album version. That’s all that almost anyone ever heard of the unusual cut. In a strictly non-canonical move, I opted here to add the rare Extended Version of the cut, which only surfaced on a US promo 12″ in that it was keeping more with the intent of the “Methods Of Dance” series. Color me unashamed.
Finally, the Roy Reid track, “Alphabet” was simply missing from this CD. Though better known as I-Roy, Roy Reid recorded a single album for Virgin Records in 198o, [“Whap’n Bap’n”] and the song was picked for this compilation cassette two years later. Given that I was making this CD as a gift, which had to reach the recipient in a matter of days, I could not find the track for sale as a download, so not even a compromised version could make it to me in time for the CD. Since I had already strayed by including the extended “Speed Racer,” I took my chances and the CD I mastered does not have all of the cassette tracks from the release of the same name! Mea Culpa! Sometimes, even a Post-Punk Monk has to cut corners. There’s always salvation the inevitable remaster some years down the line.
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* – Special thanx to Echorich for setting me straight here.
No China Crisis collection is complete without the Methods Of Dance version of No Ordinary Lover. It’s up there with Steve Proctor’s remix of African And White.
That Secret Life Of Arabia is one of the greatest remixes of ALL TIME! Ware, MacKenzie and Jo Dworniak created some lasting synth-funk magic.
Echorich – One day, I will attempt to mix the LP and dub mix of Arabia into a 12+ minute mix to wipe the floor with the likes of The Communards “Don’t Leave me This Way…” or maybe not.
Ok, so The Gotham Mix of Don’t Leave Me This Way is an achievement, but NOTHING can touch the glorious histrionics of Billy MacKenzie letting loose on Arabia.
It’s Watching Over Burning Fields. I don’t know why this CC track keeps getting mistitled.
These two CDs were a birthday present almost beyond compare, and while one can be slightly disappointed in the omission of one bonus track, the substitution of the extended DEVO track is both justified AND ancient, and as PPM said, entirely in keeping with the spirit of the original compilation. There’s a ridiculous amount of great stuff on both these volumes, and having it to hand again after many years in storage is making me a very happy camper!
chasinvictoria – Get ready for an onslaught of REVO releases… Once I get a handle on media and storage.
OMG. I bought this when it first came out – it was one of my first import LPs bought at Wax Trax in Chicago. This album was a total gateway drug! Led young me down many paths. I’m sure I first became aware of it via an ad in The Face magazine. Sigh…
Thombeau – How about that Billy McKenzie track? I cannot believe that I did not make serious attempts to buy any Associates records via mail order catalogs and waited until I saw the “Popera” CD to finally hear that band! And become obsessed. I am trying to have an obsessively complete Associates collection.
Honestly that track sort of freaked me out at first! Of course Associates became a part of my early eighties experience. Billy was a true artiste, and sadly left us too soon.
Any info on who designed the cover art ?
BARRY DONEGAN – Welcome to the comments. Good of you to ask, since the LP cover was designed by the great Malcolm Garret with an Assorted iMaGes credit line. He’s one of the crucial graphic designers who have towered over record design for me in the last 40+ years. Other significant designers would be Peter Saville, Neville Brody, Barney Bubbles, Keith Breeden, and Martyn Atkins.