Want List: 80s Re:Covered

Music Brokers ‎| US | 2xCD | 2015 | MBB7223

Music Brokers ‎| US | 2xCD | 2015 | MBB7223

Various: 80s Re:Covered – Your Songs With The 80s Sound US 2xCD [2015]

DISC 1

  1. Curiosity Killed The Cat: Long Train Runnin’
  2. ABC: High & Dry
  3. China Crisis: It’s Too Late
  4. Black: Wicked Game
  5. Heaven 17: Rocket Man
  6. Go West: Human
  7. Belinda Carlisle: Have You Ever Seen The Rain
  8. Kim Carnes: Under My Thumb
  9. Samantha Fox: Hot Stuff
  10. Wang Chung: Girls And Boys
  11. Kim Wilde: Love Will Keep Us Together
  12. Johnny Hates Jazz: Mr. Tambourine Man

DISC 2 – The Mixes

  1. ABC: High & Dry (The Empire State Kalahari Mix)
  2. Heaven 17: Rocket Man (12″ Remix)
  3. Kim Carnes: Under My Thumb (PJS ‘Tom Thumb’ Mix)
  4. Go West: Human (The Stevensonics Mix)
  5. Curiosity Killed The Cat: Long Train Runnin’ (The Phil Harding & PJS LTR Mind The Gap’ Mix)
  6. Samantha Fox: Hot Stuff (PJS ‘Hot Stuff 80s Club’ Remix)
  7. Wang Chung: Girls And Boys (Extended Mix)
  8. Belinda Carlisle: Have You Ever Seen The Rain (PJS ‘It’s Raining’ Mix)
  9. Johnny Hates Jazz: Mr. Tambourine Man (Extended Mix)
  10. Kim Wilde: Love Will Keep Us Together (Alternative Mix)
  11. Black: Wicked Game (12″ Dream Sequence Mix)
  12. China Crisis: It’s Too Late (Extended Desert Island Mix)

I just got am email from commenter NickA yesterday on this release, and I have to say that it was far from the old Monk radar, but that didn’t mean that I looked askance at it! Hmmmm. This was a pretty high-concept compilation that’s coming online in the DL and physical music world. The release date is November 20th in America for physical and ephemeral copies, but it is already on the racks in Argentina. Your mileage may vary. The label responsible for this was Music Brokers and the concept is not just another nostalgic 80s mix, but a case of getting “80s artists” to cover songs from outside of their eras. So… it’s two strains of nostalgia injected into your bloodstream and fighting each other for dominance!

I have to say that right off the top, there are four artists here whom  I collect, so concentrating rarities from them on one package pretty much makes this a must-buy for me! ABC fans can put their children through school in between new material from the golden throat of Mr. Fry, so I was very happy to see evidence of the first ABC recording since the wonderful “Traffic” album from way back in 2008. I didn’t recognize the song, though. I had to look up the writers on Discogs and lo and behold, it’s a Radiohead song from their 1995 album, The Bends. Who knew? I sampled it on iTunes. Sounded wonderful! Loved the relaxed funk vibe and the harp runs. Probably very different from the Radiohead version. [checks] Actually, no!

china-crisisChina Crisis contributed an airy version of the Carole King classic “It’s Too Late” that was helmed by Robin Millar, who was the executive producer to this project, thus ensuring it could have some integrity. Consequently, the NWOBJP vibe runs deep through this one. Seeing that I missed their new album and it is not for sale anywhere except at Pledge Music, I will have to make do with this.

Colin Vearncombe has covered Chris Isaak’s breakthrough hit, “Wicked Game.” Can’t you just hear it now? Sure you can. That’s because this  pairing makes all the sense in the world! If we have to hear Colin sing a cover, this is an inspired choice. The marimba was a nice touch and Millar’s hand at the controls was a good homecoming here.

So two years have come and gone with only the fab new single “Pray b/w Illumination” giving any evidence of the next Heaven 17 album, so we could do a lot worse than the band covering what has come to be a late-in-life favorite from Elton John. Martyn’s backing melodies are pretty heavenly here, and the funkier vibe of this cover makes for a good change, though piano is still dominant here, making this sound like an outtake from the 2nd B.E.F. album from 1991.

wang-chungOutside of the golden circle, there are a couple of potential winners here. Wang Chung have chosen to cover the top Blur song “Boys + Girls” in a particularly electro arrangement that didn’t stray too far from the great original. Kim Wilde finally got past my defenses with her stellar work on the last B.E.F. album, so I’ll give her Captain + Tennille [gasp] cover a try. It was certainly better than the original, that’s for sure.

As for the rest, I certainly don’t lose sleep over thinking what they are keeping their days busy with now. I was never a fan of the likes of Johnny Hates Jazz or Curiosity Killed The Cat, but at least the only one of these who is actually tooth-grinding is Samantha Fox, and her take of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” sounds exactly as you imagine that it would.

The second disc of the set contains extended remixes and alternate versions of the 7″ versions on disc 1. How long has it been since there were 12″ mixes of China Crisis or Black?! Sign me up for these. The whole thing is moderately priced and evidences some thought and taste, as these things go. The deep involvement of Robin Millar was a masterstroke on the part of the label producing this.

BONUS ROUND

I was trying to see if I could embed some Soundcloud players for your perusal, but couldn’t find anything. What I did find was this:

Kim’s cover version of The Cure’s “In-Between Days” which can be played, or downloaded. If you dare!

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to Want List: 80s Re:Covered

  1. Tim says:

    Thanks for posting this, it would not have otherwise hit my radar. I don’t buy music in nearly the quantity that I used to however the ABC and Black on this make it a must. Doubleplus that there’s a digital download.

    Like

  2. Echorich says:

    I will have this! I have to say I like the soul injection H17 put into Rocket Man. Elton will be proud. Colin Vearncombe singing Wicked Game is just beautiful. He’s having a wonderful year with the gorgeous Blind Faith release as well. I’m kinda stuck on Go West (Peter Cox) transforming a Killers 80’s pastiche into an actual 80’s track. The prize of the collection has to be China Crisis interpreting It’s Too Late. Millar’s production is inspired. And this all from just snippets!

    – and OMG Monk! Kim Wilde has managed to make a Cure song that is so obviously inspired by Robert Smiths love of New Order even MORE “new order-y.” That’s not to say it’s good, the only part she doesn’t disgrace is the chorus lines. That bass feedback a the end almost blew out my Harmon Kardon computer speakers…

    Like

  3. Taffy says:

    I think Kim Wilde’s Snapshots album (her all-covers affair from 4 years ago) is a freaking hoot. She sounds like she’s having a blast. It’s hardly essential, but I just like hearing her voice. Her Xmas album (Wilde Winter Songbook) is just as casual but even more enjoyable for your December listening pleasure.
    Meanwhile, thanks for the heads-up regarding 80’s Re:Covered, it sounds rather intriguing.

    Like

  4. Rob C says:

    RE: China Crisis new album…is there any way to purchase this? It’s bizarre that’s you can’t even by a DL. Any info would be helpful!

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Rob C – welcome to the comments! As far as I know, China Crisis don’t seem to be particularly troubled that only their fans who pledged can own their new album! It’s sort of driving me crazy not being able to buy it!

      Like

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