Various: Musik Music Musique – UK – 3xCD 
- Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark : Messages
- Zeus: Musik, Music, Musique
- Fad Gadget: Coitus Interruptus
- Xynn: Computed Man
- Rod Vey: Metal Love
- Gina X Performance: Vendor’s Box
- Our Daughter’s Wedding: Lawnchairs
- Science: Tokyo
- The Human League: Only After Dark
- Toyah: Victims Of The Riddle
- Nick Nicely: Dct Dreams
- Suicide: Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne
- Ultravox: Waiting
- Moebius: Money
- The Fallout Club: Falling Years
- Der Plan: Da Vorne Steht Ne Ampel
- Dark Day: No, Nothing, Never
- Hazel O’Connor: Sons And Lovers
- Pauline Murray And The Invisible Girls: Sympathy
- Spandau Ballet: Glow
- M: Official Secrets
- Silicon Teens: Chip N Roll
- Rockets: Galactica
- Kim Wilde: Tuning In Tuning On
- Landscape: European Man
- Henriette Coulouvrat: Can’t You Take A Joke? Ha Ha Hi Hi!
- The Metronomes: A Circuit Like Me
- John Foxx: No One Driving
- D.A.F.: Kebabträume
- Gary Sloan And Clone: Harmonitalk
- Philip Lynott: Yellow Pearl
- Dalek I: Dalek I Love You (Destiny)
- Taxi Girl: Mannequin
- New Musik: This World Of Water
- Japan: Quiet Life
- Kevin Harrison: Chase The Dragon
- The Residents: Diskomo
- Buggles: Astroboy (And The Proles On Parade)
- Berlin Blondes: Mannequin
- The Passage: A Certain Way To Go
- Sic: Between
- Yello: Bimbo
- Genocide: Images Of Delusion
- Lori And The Chameleons: The Lonely Spy
- Craze: Lucy
- The Goo-q: I’m A Computer
- Blood Donor: Doctor …?
- Alex Fergusson: Brushing Your Hair
- The Korgis: Drawn And Quartered
- Visage: Mind Of A Toy
- British Standard Unit: D’ya Think I’m Sexy
- Mataya Clifford: Living Wild
- Systems: Private Lives
- Karel Fialka: The Eyes Have It
- Nini Raviolette: Suis-je Normale
- Eyeless In Gaza: China Blue Vision
- The Red Squares: The Russians Are Coming
- La Düsseldorf: Dampfriemen
¡Muy interesanté! This fascinating curation of technopop will be released at the end of July from the busy beavers of music at Cherry Red and collects a wide swath of electronic pop from the heralded to the obscure. While I own 23 of the 58 songs here, and many represent cherished parts of my Record Cell, that fact makes me very interested in the other 35 tracks here! In fact from the remaining 35 songs, I only recognize 13 of the other artists, so it’s really the 22 titles in black that really intrigue me since the groups in red are nothing to sneeze at.
OMD we cover here, but Zeus makes me wonder if it’s actually German Synth Genius-slash-gifted-producer Zeus B. Held and [checks] YES! It is. he also turned up a few tracks later playing and producing Gina X Performance’s “Vendors Box;” a less obvious deep cut from the “X-traordinaire” album. I see that Our Daughter’s Wedding were represented by “Lawnchairs” and I’ll bet anything that it was the original indie version the band recorded before singing to EMI America the following year.
Toyah Willcox is not a name that’s really associated with technopop, though “Victims Of the Riddle” though the prominent synth on that track certainly came by this company honestly enough. And her presence fleshed out the album down less obvious highways. We just mentioned The Fallout Club recently here at PPM in Matthew Seligman’s obituary. I still don’t have anything by that collective that featured the Simon Brothers; Paul and Robin, along with Seligman and vocalist Trevor Herion.
Kim Wilde is something of a pop outlier here, with a track that I’ve not heard, but her brother Ricky, who penned her material, was very much a synth aficionado, as evidenced by the presence of the mighty Wasp synth adding its pulse on her hit “Kids In America.” Landscape’s brilliant “European Man” should have been a much more high profile linchpin of the technopop scene in the UK, rather than the footnote that it turned out to be.
I sincerely hope that the version of the brilliant “Yellow Pearl” by Phil Lynott is the 2:57 hit 7″ version that I still need in my Record Cell. I have the other three versions, [two of them on CD] but any version of this song is justified. Midge Ure, Rusty Egan, and Billy Currie make of it the best track Visage or Ultravox never issued; even if if is a La Düsseldorf knockoff! As knockoff’s go it’s best of breed! It was an extremely left field hit for Lynott; a guy best known for gritty hard rock with Thin Lizzy, yet obviously comfortable anywhere on the musical spectrum as evidenced here.
JAPAN’s “Quiet Life” was their first classic as the band had been reborn into their new life as proto New Romantics. A must in every home! When I think of technopop, the band that immediately comes to mind is The Buggles, and of course they manifest here with the deep cut “Astroboy [Watching The Proles On Parade].” Yello’s “Bimbo” changed my life when I heard it on college radio in 1980. Its mutant electrofunk sounded like nothing else I’d heard before.
I really have to wonder about bands here like The Goo-q! Who would name their band that and [more importantly] what would they sound like? Nothing boring, I’d wager! This compilation features largely UK acts but is fleshed out by intriguing French, German, and Italian acts as these nations had scenes of their own, but the most intriguing cultural outlier here was expat-Zimbabweian Mataya Clifford with Afrocentric Post-Punk that sounded like it should have been issued on Ze Records.
I was aware of the earlier collections “Close To the Noise Floor” and “Electrical Language” that Cherry Red had issued previously, but looking more closely at this has opened my mind to the notion of maybe getting all three, if I run across them in my travels. I’m sure that the material I’m not familiar with could be a revelatory as the songs on these selections I already hold dearly. Hit that button below if you agree.
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