First Impressions Often Lie

Fischer-Z provide today’s post’s theme song

Today my thoughts have gone to revisit those times when I have been disastrously wrong about something that upon revisiting, I will experience a 180 degree opinion switch on. Since I’ll never be Post-Punk Pope [I have no pull with the congress of New Wave cardinals…] any thought of my infallibility is far from my reach! I can remember three albums in particular that upon first blush, did nothing for me, but my take on them took an immediate turn for the dramatic better upon a second playback. The first two of these were from the dawn of my record collecting, so with limited purchases, the notion was dominant that “this was this week’s record – I’d better give it another try!” The later instance was from 2013, and because there was infinitely more [than in 1980] to listen to in the Record Cell, I failed to return for a second pass until four years later. But as with all three of these albums, the second time was a charm!



The Buggles:
Living In The Plastic Age

It was some time in early 1980 when chasinvictoria bought this album and told me how great it was. As we often did in those days, he loaned it to me for a listen. I was a cold listener to The Buggles. I had no concept of their 1979 worldwide smash but US dud, which barely made a Top 40 appearance at the last position. At the time I hadgone off of my Top 40 diet and was listening to FM Rock, which would never have touched The Buggles with a ten foot pole [though they would be – barely – playing the excellent Yes album featuring Horn + Downes later that year]. Hence my complete ignorance. Actually, I have almost zero Top 40 consciousness from the summer of 1978 to September of 1982, when MTV entered our lives. Whatever was popular at the time was unknown to me then.

Chasinvictoria had probably played me “Video Killed The Radio Star” at the radio station where we worked in high school, and I must have seen the merit in it. But on the first spin, I quickly came to the conclusion that this album was not very good. The single was great… but the rest of it was nothing but gimmicks and effects! It was not until giving my illegal cassette tape copy [sssshhh!] a listen sometime down the road, that I twigged to the notion that that was the whole point! I later bought my own copy of this and bought the CD that served me for over 20 years. I received two Japanese copy upgrades of that CD courtesy of Ron “The Man” Kane [R.I.P.]. Currently, I’m sitting on the 2015 JPN pressing which is perfect. All of the B-sides and single edits that it needs to have are there. But yowza! I see it selling for ka-raaaazy money on Discogs just three years after its issue. That CD was only $12.99 [super cheap JON budget line which never used to exist until recently] and now it’s out there at high two to low three figures. Thanks again, Ron!


XTC:
Black Sea

It almost seems to be a fever dream in retrospect, but the first time I heard XTC was when the spiky dub pop for “Making Plans For Nigel” appeared on my screen as part of the weekly hour of music videos we lived for called “Rockworld.” It did nothing for me. The next year, I chanced to hear the song “General + Majors” on one of the two local FM Rock stations. I can’t remember exactly which one; possibly Zeta7. It sounded like pop nirvana to my ears in 1980, so I called the same station the next week during their request night where they actually played three hours of listener requests [as long as the listeners wanted Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd…] but they claimed that they did not have that in their library. It must have made a quick exit for some DJ toot.

Engaged without any other recourse, I made it a point to buy the album with all due haste. The Virgin album had gotten a US on a linkup with… RSO [?] Records when the label was still reeling from the  bomb that had been the “Sgt. Pepper’s” movie and film. I was shocked to see the opaque green paper outer sleeve on the US copy; making me wonder if the cover art was deemed salacious or not. This had been a gambit that I had seen before. Of course the cover was the extremely uncontroversial posed diver shot as seen at right.

So I put the album on the turntable and cued up a black tape to record it as I listened the first time. [I always listened to tapes of albums instead of actually spinning the wax] And betcha-by-golly-wow… this album fell as flat as Exene Cervenka to my ears. I just did not get it and was afraid that my ardor for “Generals + Majors” had led me down the primrose path! Fortunately, a second play of the tape a few days later managed to hit me in the right way and this album went from zero to hero as it was like a virtual greatest hits phenomenon to my new ears. I have to admit, as much as I like albums that came before or after it, this was an impeccable first exposure to XTC for these ears! I replaced the LP with the first UK pressing CD in 1985, and that’s the end of that song. I’ve not bought any pf the RMs. Least of all the 5.1 Steven Wilson surround mix versions.


Elvis Costello + The Imposters:
The Delivery Man

By 2013, Elvis Costello had been in the wasteland for me, for over a quarter of a century. The last release to make me buy was “Blood + Chocolate.” The Warner years meant less than nothing to me. But put $1.00 Elvis Costello CDs in front of me as was in a North Georgia thrift store on the back end of a trip to Athens in 2013 to see an incendiary Television concert at the Georgia Theater, and I’ll buy. No questions asked. That day I picked up copies of “North” and “The Delivery Man,” and after playing the unlistenable “North” first, I should have immediately succumbed to the many charms of “The Delivery Man,” but maybe because “North” was so cripplingly awful, my senses needed more time to reset themselves.

That first play of “The Delivery Man” was as inconsequential as mountain mist, so the D went back on the racks in the Record Cell to sit for four years, until it caught my eye for a second play and… mea culpa! How did I not see the merit in this, the first Elvis Costello album I’d heard since “Blood + Chocolate” [and I’d heard a few] to actually engage me, and hard. That it did this with a few guest shots from perennial least favorite female country artist Emmylou Harris, was beyond astounding. Full disclosure here.


So that’s three albums distinct in making a very wrong first impression on me only to elicit a complete reversal of opinion on the very next play. The only flip-flop faster than these that I can remember was my immediate take on DEVO upon their debut on Saturday Night Live in 1978! That set some sort of land speed records for a critical volte face on my part as I went from hatred to worship in the space of 3:30! Have you got any similar tales we can discuss further in the comments? If so, then have at it.

– 30 –

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38 Responses to First Impressions Often Lie

  1. dhrichards says:

    Love this idea. For me it was “Dare” by Human League. A friend played the album for me. I was aware, and like “Don’t You Want Me,” but man, to my 15 year old ears the rest of the album SUCKED. Were these even songs? Take me back Juice Newton and Journey! lol, it was a few years later when I went back and re-listened and realized it was one of the best pop records ever made… No idea what changed, but I think being more into synthpop by then helped immensely.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      dhrichards – Wow, I was so primed for “Dare” having bought the “Sound Of the Crowd” 12″ earlier that year since I’d heard “The Black Hit Of Space” on Virgin’s “Cash Cows” compilation! “Dare” was the album that dominated my late ’81-mid 1982, when it was finally removed from its perch by ABC’s “The Lexicon Of Love.”

      Like

  2. Jon Chaisson says:

    I have to say my version of this was Fuzzbox’s ‘Big Bang’ from 1989. I loved Bostin’ Steve Austin from ’87 and felt completely left down when the twinkly UK synthpop of “Pink Sunshine” started up. What the hell had happened to the cute Brummie punk girls? This sounded like Jem and the Holograms!
    For some reason, though, I kept going back to it. A few months later I finally *got* that that was the whole point of the album. And once I started listening to it with the mindset that it sounded like a mid-80s anime soundtrack, I loved it even more. :)

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jon Chaisson – Funny you should mention “Jem + The Holograms.” I was a fan of the campy “Josie + The Pussycats” update, but I have never been a booster of the “Big Bang” album. I still have it and all of its singles, but it’s something that I never listen to. I still have all the time for the first album period where they actually played the instruments and wrote sharp songs. I [thankfully] don’t know about mid-80s anime soundtracks. I have always disliked Japanese animation and just don’t get the anime cult at all. Hell, I waited years to buy “Reality” by David Bowie because of the cover art!

      Like

  3. Mr. Ware says:

    Okay, I’m going to up the ante here, I struggled with the whole new wave phenomenon. Like The Monk, I grew up in Orlando Florida, musically a cultural wasteland. I’m a bit older than perhaps many of you. I’m 63. I was fully engaged with the 60s and the 70s (for better and for worse) in real time. i was a full on prog rocker and enjoyed “prog pop” like The Alan Parsons project. Also a big fan of erudite songwriter Al Stewart. Upon seeing Devo, The B52s and Talking Heads on Saturday Night Live I DID NOT GET IT AT ALL. Then came that syndicated music video show called Rockworld. Late night on the local Fox affiliate. I distinctly remember one night seeing The Jam’s “Start”, Split Enz’s “I Hope I Never” (not I Got You!), Ultravox’s “Passing Strangers”, and “Lie To Me” by the sadly underrated Stiff band Dirty Looks. Wham Bam Thank You Mam! Suddenly it clicked. I’ve never looked back.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Mr. Ware – I am eight years younger and grew up on Top 40 from 1971-1978. I jumped ship from Top 40 due to the suffocating dominance of Disco in the summer of ’78 to undertake a brief dalliance with FM Rock just as it had calcified into the Classic Rock beast. By 1980 I turned off my radio. I became aware of college radio in early 1981 but was not too heavy a listener as the best signals were weak.

      I recall having a discussion with my friend David at the radio station in my high school when M’s “Pop Muzik” was a big hit that its looked like New Wave was the next trend to follow disco and was wary of it. I had loved “Take Me To The River” by TVLKING HEVDS but I was by no means jumping any bandwagons just yet. I’d come to Prog in ’78, at that time on its deathbed, so the predominance of synthesizers in New Wave pulled me out of there like, pronto. This was an even better use of synths by my reckoning. Had I heard The Human League prior to early 1981 [I had read about them in ’79 in Omni magazine from the get go] I would have been in hog heaven! Similarly, the members of The Human League had also been listening to ELP records for the 2-3 minutes of interesting sounds amid the 40 remaining minutes of ersatz classical bombast. It’s all we had for a long time.

      I loved the cheesy vox organ sounds of my childhood (“96 Tears” was my first favorite song) and hearing Elvis Costello and The Boomtown Rats really worked [thanks, FM Rock, for finding the time] for me as they mined that vein deeply. I appreciated the revised look at the 60s through jaded eyes that percolated through New Wave. I remember seeing that B-52’s album on the racks for about six months – the garish, tasteless cover calling out to me like a siren. But I had only lunch money. I could not drop $6.99 (a week’s lunch money) on a mere possibility. Once SNL had them on I was there! Similarly, seeing DEVO was galvanizing in the extreme as I have mentioned.

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      • Tim says:

        Contemporary in age but a smidge younger. I am a bit jealous of folks who are a bit older than me because they were old enough when this stuff was happening to actually get what was happening. I know it’s not music but I always reference the moon landing. I was four. Too young to really get anything that was happening aside from ”something big” was going on that was getting the adults attention. Now my late brother was eight when that happened, which was a I think just old enough to make a big difference.

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  4. Echorich says:

    Can I come up with 3 albums which I had to eat crow over – and was a second listen enough to get me there… This is really damn hard!
    The first one that comes to mind is Suede’s Dog Man Star. The eponymous debut album was an incredible bridge album for me – one that helped me get over the ever devolving music of the 80s and give me hope for Rock music in the 90s. But the opening of Dog Man Star’s lead off track, Introducing the band, just sounded like some secondhand late 60’s Rock Psychedelia – like someone was listening to way too much Their Satanic Majesty’s Request before entering the studio. Daddy’s Speeding just upped The Stones quotient for me, so things weren’t getting any better, only now Brett was in full on Bowie pantomime mode. It wasn’t pretty. It didn’t get better and still contains some of my least favorite Suede tracks, but funnily enough also one of my favorites. This i because I left the album on the shelf for most of the 90s, not because I had real distain, but because the whole Britpop phenomenon left me empty and for the most part, although they started off outside the sub-genre, the fell right in eventually.
    In 2000, I decided to give Suede a bit more of my attention and when I pulled out Dog Man Star I had enough time away from it to listen to it afresh. This somehow did the trick. I remember that I listened to it start to finish and when I was done, I was exhausted. I seemed to “get” what Brett and Bernard were after musically. Anderson’s delivery didn’t seem like the caricature that it seemed 6 years earlier. Oh that track that’s among my favorites by Suede…track 3 – Heroine. It’s Pop Glam in a classic sense. I feel it one of their most timeless songs.

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    • SimonH says:

      Funny, was listening to DMS last night and still love it. I can understand your reaction, for me though I loved it from the off. It struck a chord with me at the time. I was no Britpop fan and for me it felt like Suede we’re apart from all of that, plowing a lonely furrow in difficult musical times. Reading Brett’s recent book reinforces the feeling that they were really quite apart from the music surrounding them (although the book finishes well before DMS). I recommend it, my opinion of the band, and Brett Anderson, went up as a result of reading it.

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      • postpunkmonk says:

        SimonH – If not for the NME hype on Suede, I would have been there with you if I had just happened upon the band without so much chest thumping up front. As you say the early 90s were the most difficult musical times for me as it seemed like I was being forced to re-live the early 70s, which were traumatizing enough once!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Echorich says:

        Simon – I have to say you are quite right, in the end they had nothing to do with Britpop other than being lumped in by others, but I was just so down on British Rock Music as a result of the Britpop, an “NME Genre” eclipsing Shoegaze (a genre title that at least comes from one of the bands that was part of it), Glam/60s guitars and vibe elbowing out fuzzy and dreamlike chords – it was devastating for me. Suede righted the ship for me. Coming Up is so damn good – Filmstar is one of the most muscular songs of the 90s…Can’t Get Enough from Head Music shits all over Blur’s entire catalogue…

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        • SimonH says:

          I can totally understand! Funny though when Coming Up came out I was a bit disappointed as it felt like a retreat from DMS, with the benefit of hindsight though that doesn’t seem so much of an issue.

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          • postpunkmonk says:

            SimonH – Well, the change in complexion of the band following Bernard Butler’s departure makes total sense. While DMS was a high water mark for the band and the sort of album that took no prisoners and made fools of the so-called competition, the two that followed were sharp, nimble albums that pulled away from the Rococo excesses of that album to eke out new territory in a more pop-centriuc fashion – and they did it most skillfully. At least until “A New Morning.”

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        • postpunkmonk says:

          Echorich – Oh my gawd! “Can’t Get Enough” was such an obsession in the heady days of “Head Music” that for weeks, I would awaken with that song blasting in my skull non-stop! I went through a phase where about 70% of that album were thusly lodged in my cranium to the exclusion of all other music for a few months.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Whaaa…?!! I have to say that when I bought “Dog Man Star” and played it the first time, I was immediately spellbound by the insane psych-drone of “Introducing The Band” and really wished that it had been six minutes long!! It was like Krautrock on mandrax, which is a paradox, I know. Of course, not getting an album on first play could apply to my entire take on Suede!

      I read the NME due to a gift airmail subscription just as Suede emerged and I got my first and only taste of British press hype – which built such Roxy Music II levels of expectation in my mind that when I saw the video for “The Drowners” or “Metal Mickey” [which ever it was] on possibly the last 120 Minutes episodes I ever saw until I pulled the plug on television, I could have not been more disappointed in my life. I discounted Suede completely as a worthless hype until airings of “She’s In Fashion” on college radio – in 1999 – that I investigated “Head Music” and wasted no time in falling hard, six years later, for Suede.

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  5. JT says:

    I think I can trump you all.

    Ready?

    Bowie.

    I grew up in the 1970s in the midwest. To a bunch of kids raised on Led Zeppelin and the Stones pummeled into our heads on the radio 24/7, Bowie was nothing but a “f*ckin’ fag” who was hated on principle by all the young dudes in my grade school.

    Then:
    MTV. 1982.
    “Ashes to Ashes” and “Fashion” in heavy rotation. Yup. The “fag” became perfectly hunky dory in my world. Even “Boys Keep Swinging” (also in heavy rotation on MTV at the time) ceased to be a problem. Too bad his street cred evaporated a year later when “Let’s Dance” came out, but there was plenty of back catalogue to mine, which led me to Fripp, Eno, Roxy, etc.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      JT – My mind – she is BLOWN!! But I thought CLE was a Bowie stronghold? My wife from Akron [close enough] and her friends were totally Bowie casualties. I thought MMS played Zep and Bowie. And… you saw “Boy’s Keep Swinging” on MTV??!! Never in my experience. Wow. Yeah, that MTV timing issue was a huge downer, wasn’t it? I’ve never felt so deflated as when that world premiere video for “Let’s Dance” happened. The next day in my college art classes we were stunned as we discussed our feelings.

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  6. RE: XTC I had Making Plans for Nigel first too. They were very hip at the time supporting both the Police and U2! But alas that was about it. I did like The Big Express and Mayor of Simpleton a few years down the track. Record I didn’t quite get hmm, THE POLICE Ghost in the Machine was a bit like that and even now it’s a bit like that. A transitional beast between Zenyatta and Synchronicity.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      kelvinhayesglobal – Welcome to the comments! Interesting. So “The Big Express” is one that you like among their canon? It’s sort of the odd one out in their albums as regarded by my perception of the XTC fan community [I stop a little short of that]. Most XTC fans are all about “English Settlement,” an album I am indifferent to seeing as it was the bloated double album between “Black Sea” [perfection] and “Mummer” [a radical shift in sound that enchanted me]. I much prefer The Big Express” to “English Settlement,” but I think I am in the minority. If I ever get “Apple Venus,” I should do an XTC Rock G.P.A. Memo to self.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Ware says:

        I’m one of those hardcore XTC fan who considers The Big Express the runt of the litter. XTC records are as much about the production as they are about the music, and for me there are just too many abrasive and grating moments. I’m sure that’s by intent, but songs like Blue Overall, Red Brick Dream and particularly Reign Of Blows are just too much. I have to be in the right mood to even enjoy widely respected songs like Seagulls Screaming and Shake You Donkey Up. I adore English Settlement and consider it’s place in the evolution from Drums And Wires to Black Sea to Mummer very organic. Big Express just sits there as the very odd man out for me. But as The Monk says, your mileage may vary.
        An XTC Rock G.P.A.? Great idea as soon as we all have a couple of months open!

        Like

        • postpunkmonk says:

          Mr. Ware – “Seagulls” is possibly my favorite XTC song ever. Your attitude about “Big Express” mirrors mine about “English Settlement,” which I always lose interest in about half the way through.

          Like

  7. diskojoe says:

    “Most XTC fans are all about “English Settlement”” How about “Skylarking”? That is a great album. I actually found an original 1986 UK CD of that album in a FYE going out of business sale. It looked like crap but it was only a buck, so I got it & cleaned it up & it plays fine. I think that Andy Partridge generally over egged things & that Colin Moulding’s songs were more concise & snappy.

    Like

  8. diskojoe says:

    I would highly recommend an album that was produced by Andy Partridge that he did do a good job on. It’s The Greatest Living Englishman by Martin Newell of The Cleaners From Venus which originally came out in 1993. Andy did a great job in applying a bit of polish to Martin’s songs w/o the over egging tendencies he usually applies in XTC. It just has been reissued in both vinyl & on CD.

    Like

  9. diskojoe says:

    You can start w/this:
    http://www.martinnewell.co.uk

    He just put out a new album under the Cleaners From Venus moniker which is also pretty good

    Like

  10. Vlad says:

    For me it was “Vienna” and Ultravox in general. I’ve long been curious about them having seen their name here and there randomly – but when I got a chance to hear them (it were “Vienna” and “Lament”) I was appalled. My experience with New Wave has been slim at the time so I just thought it to be a harsh formless noise that I just couldn’t place in any context know to me then. Well, “Lament” was a bit more palatable – but still unlistenable and unmemorable crap. Oh, and those two albums were on an mp3 CD whose stars were A-ha, Ultravox were simply added by compilers as a bonus for some reason. Now, A-ha (their debut, to be precise) I found to be IT at the time (still one of my favourite albums from the 1980s, if not all time).

    It took a couple of years before I randomly decided to have a second listen, why – I have no idea. But guess what? I didn’t mind both albums, not at all. Then I listened again – and something just hooked me, “Vienna” was an object of my obsessive listen for quite some time (several months, at least). When I put it on it’s like I meet my dear old friend, this warm feeling like I’m at home. And “Lament” likewise, maybe not as Earth-shattering an experience but still such a stellar album that I always have time for. And then I started to discover their other albums – sometimes in the most unexpected places – and liked them all (even “U-Vox”). So that’s how I’ve found my favourite band. Wiped my obsession with Depeche Mode along the way :)

    And that seems to be a single most memorable experience of this kind. More often it was “Oh I actually quite dislike this album” or “Hmm, listened to this 10 times now and still can’t get into it”. Maybe it was like that with “Visage”, but I’m not so sure now. I’m pretty certain early China Crisis albums were puzzling listen at first (and second, and third…). Oh, yes, “Penthouse & Pavement”! Now that was a touch nut to crack, just couldn’t get it, maybe even more so than “Vienna”. Took several years before I was able to appreciate it (tend to skip “Groove Thang” though). And the whole of Japan – not until I’ve learned to treat vocals as another instrument :) (still not too hot on them, though). Simple Minds I can only take in measured doses – though their music is much more agreeable to me now then it was when I first heard them (can’t remember which album finally did it for me, though – most likely “New Gold Dream”). And “The Hurting” by Tears for Fears is another example that comes to mind – the vocals turned me off and music I simply had no time for. Something obviously snapped sometime – but it’s still about the only one of their albums I can listen to from start to finish. One of Midge’s favourite bands, by the way :)

    * Just remembered – for some reason compilers presented “Vienna” on that disc without “All Stood Still”! And it, after all these years, is still a bit jarring to hear after THAT song. It’s a bit like that glitch you had on your beloved first copy, it’s so burned into memory you just wait for it against your will and feel somewhat let down hearing a clean version :)

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Vlad – Thanks for that incredible recounting of what I’ll call “delayed action syndrome.” Wow, so that happened with your now favorite band? All that you’ve named was no problem for my ears, but I always thought that the early a-ha was like Ultravox-lite®. I have the first three albums but by the time they appeared, I was barely interested in them. I like the first Tears For Fears album quite a bit. The second?
      Much less so. I don’t have any others.

      Like

      • Vlad says:

        I think all this has to do with cultural differences and other specifics. New Wave was never big in Soviet Russia, barely tolerated more like, it being another height of the Cold War, and so most of the performers just couldn’t get a look in (outside of rare disparaging comments by the press). So this music was only known in narrow circles and was very rarely heard on radio even during the 1990s. Something filtered, of course, though the selections are so random I just couldn’t get my head around what was it that made them the preferred choice of programmers (like “Cambodia” by Kim Wilde, “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics, “Forever Young” or “Big in Japan” by Alphaville – hardly a happy-go-lucky stuff the radio usually picks up on!). And the powers eased off on censorship and ideological control only aroung 1987 when most of New Wave band were on the wane or disbanded. So I have just never heard Heaven 17 or Japan or Visage or Ultravox or only occasionally seen their CDs.

        It’s not like nobody knew of them, of course, I sometimes get messages from people from the most surprising regions like Urals or Siberian territories saying how “Quartet” or “Lament” were massive there when those came out (though that doesn’t mean they were released officially :) ). But generally New Wave stayed an underground phenomenon of the time, eclipsed by Italo/Europop (think Baltimora etc). So that’s why all those bands were so heavy going those initial times I tried to listen and get my head around them :) I guess it was likewise for most people – and people usually don’t like to persist in trying to understand/like stuff when it comes to entertainment. For Russia the 1980s were also a time of greater economic troubes and in times like these people tend to listen to light, uplifting music (or, conversely, harder things like Heavy Metal). New Wave just fell through, I guess, it demanded attention and intensive listen to “get” it.

        Speaking of A-ha, so I’m not the only one who saw sometimes atriking similarities? :) Now that’s the rare band that became widely popular on both sides of the Curtain almost immedialtely. Their “take on Me” video is one of my earliest music-related memories, and it was often played on Soviet TV by the 1987 already. And to this day they are of the few 1980s band that are stadium fillers in their own right here. Strange how things sometimes turn out for some bands :)

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        • postpunkmonk says:

          Vlad – Thank you for your fascinating insights as to Western music propagation during the 80s in the Soviet Union. That’s a whole blog right there should you choose to pursue that thought! I saw a-ha on their first tour in a 3000 seat auditorium, but that was about it for the band in America. A big splash, then nothing by album number three.

          You were probably absolutely correct regarding the lightening of censorship by the mid-80s. By that time the New Wave had declined to almost nothing. Mid-80s pop used New Wave techniques but was much lighter. R+N in America or Italo like Baltimora was somewhat related to New Wave but lacked its darker side almost entirely even as they appropriated the drum machines and synthesizers that were once used only by noon-mainstream New Wave bands.

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          • Vlad says:

            I’m sure what you wrote about music lacking the darker side is true, about the consorship issues and the public acceptance of “modern sounds”. New Wave was generally a bit too quirky and subversive for mass consumption, and it didn’t quite fit in even at the height of its success. Not really dance music and not heavy enough to carry “serious messages” (or rather public expectations of how this kind of messages had to be delivered). Still, with most of the Soviet population having not at all very good grasp of English I don’t think it was a matter of the message, rather just that people en masse weren’t ready for thesу angular sounds after years of comfortable disco and hard rock. Even now when I try to get my peers or younger ones to listen to New Wave I mostly see puzzled facial expressions and polite answers like “good for you, but this is not my kind of music” :) So even in its heyday this “new music” mostly just flashed by.

            Your idea of a blog on these things is actually what I had in mind for some time, I have to gather thoughts now on how to do it. So thanks for the suggestion, maybe it can be interesting for others “in the West” :) Just need more free time to do it!

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