Dare ... LP A&M/Virgin, 1981. Used Gatefold ...
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A masterpiece of synth pop – and a landmark album for the HumanLeague! The record took the group from the Brit post-punk underground to the charts of the world – with a stark blend of noisy keyboards, spare beats, and Phil Okey's wonderfully flat and monotone vocals. And although the record is a bit of a departure from the group's noisier first few albums, it's also still got a dark edge that we'd kind of missed the first time around. Includes a nice remake of the theme from "Get Carter", plus loads of little great synth tunes like "I Am The Law", "Seconds", "The Sound Of The Crowd", and "Darkness" – as well as the hits "Love Action", "Don't You Want Me", and "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of". LP, Vinyl record album
The boldest face of politics on the dancefloor in the early 80s – a tremendous little debut from Heaven 17, formed out of the ashes of the original lineup of HumanLeague! At a time when the League was going a bit soft and pop, Heaven 17 picked up a stronger social agenda than before – touching on themes of corporate greed, military buildup, and class struggle – all cast within a batch of extremely catchy dancefloor numbers! The musical style is somewhat in the Brit electro pop mode of the period, but often funkier and more creative – a factor that helped the group cross over nicely to a soul market here in the states. Titles include "Soul Warfare", "Play To Win", "Penthouse & Pavement", "Fascist Groove Thing", "Geisha Boys & Temple Girls", "Let's All Make A Bomb", and "The Height Of The Fighting". LP, Vinyl record album
(UK pressing, including the printed inner sleeve.)
One of the strangest acts to come from Motown in the early 80s – and almost more of a new wave record than a soul one! The standout hit here is the title track "Somebody's Watching Me" – an odd electro tune that has Rockwell speaking/singing these paranoid lyrics with a vague British accent – but which has Michael Jackson coming in on the chorus to warm up the tune! Sadly, Michael's gone for the rest of the record – so Rockwell takes center stage with tunes that have a soul-based take on styles heard more familiarly by HumanLeague or Ultravox at the time – and which display the real Anglophile bent in American pop at the time. Still, there's a few nice electro moments – and titles include "Obscene Phone Caller", "Change Your Ways", "Runaway", "Wasting Time", and "Knife". CD
A wealth of electronic groovers from the early 80s onwards – mostly club cuts that are heavy on electro touches, presented here in hard-to-find mixes from 12" singles! The set begins with those early 80s grooves we love so much – the best Brit moments when electronics really started to hit the dancefloors in the post-punk years – on up through house tracks, 90s soul numbers, and a few more contemporary tracks. The remixes are offered up as a partner collection to the Electrospective compilation – and the set features 24 cuts that include "Penthouse & Pavement (original 12") by Heaven 17, "It's My Life (US mix)" by Talk Talk, "Talking Loud & Clear (extended)" by OMD, "Buffalo Stance (Kevin Saunderson's techno stance rmx)" by Neneh Cherry, "Water From A Vineleaf (acid bath mix)" by William Orbit, "Always (capella club rmx)" by Erasure, "Milkshake (Tom Neville rmx)" by Kelis, "Sound Of The Crowd (Extended Family voc mix)" by HumanLeague, "Moskow Diskow (Carl Craig rmx)" by Telex, "Around The World (Kenlou mix)" by Daft Punk, and "Good Life (Mayday club mix)" by Inner Life. CD