“Velocity” was released in 1984 and was States-based synthpop of the period. As such, it was not on my radar at the time. I thought I had bigger fish to fry then. The band seemed to have hailed from Philadelphia and represented a parochial local synthpop scene, presumably. Contemporaneously, and even up to now, I had not heard The Vels, so I ignored them’; preferring all of the bright, shiny things I did know…and want! Looking back, it may have been the cover art; a curiously atypical bit of work from the normally slick Manhattan Design [Frank Olinsky]. The garish cover looked like a Sally Cruikshank animated cel. Kind of goofy and playful. Of course, once I became The Post-Punk Monk, it was precisely material like this [recognizable yet never heard stuff from the Post-Punk/New Wave era] that had far more cachet with me going forward.
So now once I had the far more scarce second album by The Vels, 1986’s “House Of Miracles,” I might as well see about making a BSOG of the group’s complete output! I hot-footed it to Discogs and saw that there was not much to collect; two albums and a trio of promo 12″ singles, so I put the material on my want list and hibernated.
It was early this year when The Vels finally came home to roost for me. I purchased the following singles from my favorite record dealer [who perhaps not coincidentally, also hailed from Philly] with all three of the band’s 12″ singles arriving in one fell swoop.
Private World B/W Hieroglyphics
Mercury – 880 138-1 M-1
- Privare World
- Private World [dub]
- Hieroglyphics [dub]
Look My Way B/W Tell Me Something
Mercury – 880 407-1
- Look My Way
- Look My Way [dub]
- Tell Me Something
- Tell Me Something [dub]
The Girl Most Likely To
Mercury – 888 132-1-DJ
- The Girl Most Likely To [12″ club mix]
- The Girl Most Likely To [dub version]
- The Girl Most Likely To [7″ remix]
I then acquired a holy grail of sorts… a sealed copy of “Velocity.” Until then it had been the still missing debut album. I paid $8.69 – what was probably full 1984 retail for the pressing, but when mastering from vinyl, a sealed, unplayed copy of an album is worth magnitudes more than a noisy VG copy for $2.00. I may be cheap, but I’m not stupid.
So there will be two stand alone REVO editions with the appropriate 12″ remixes appended to the discs. One may look down one’s nose at mere dub mixes for the first album, but did I mention that the first album [and its remixes] were produced by Tom Tom Club producer/mixer Steven Stanley? You’re welcome. The second album was courtesy of Steve [Culture Club] Levine, so undoubtedly it will be a completely different vibe. Now all I have to do is sit down for several hours and get digitizing. Wish me luck and watch this space.
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