This is the weekly installment where we recap what we’ve been spinning at The Synthesizer Book headquarters during the week. If it’s on this list, it got played more than once!
This week,…a little holiday spirit.
1.Madness-It Must Be Love
It’s easy to get nostalgic around the holidays. Pondering and reflection becomes a reality for many us. We try recall all the positive things that happened to us. We also give thought to some of things that weren’t quite so postive and somehow impacted us. This Madness track makes me feel positive about everything I do have. After all, isn’t all the subtext about these holidays about giving thanks for all that we have. A great track chock full of good vibing. I recall putting this on many a mix tapes!
2. Paul Young-Wherever I Lay My Hat That’s My Home
Not all pop songs from the 1980’s were kitcshy or just flat out bad. I always liked this track by Paul Young. I don’t think this was a number one hit in the US, but it was one of my favorites of his. This isn’t better than the Marvin Gaye version, but for all the bad covers we have had to endure over the past few decades, this works. The biggest reason I like this track though is the fretless bass playing of Pino Palladino. I don’t care what session this guy is on, his bass playing is spot on. Which reminds me, must check to see how Mick Karn is doing.
3.Marvin Gaye – Wherever I Lay My Hat (1963)
Come on now, you didn’t think I was gonna talk about Paul Young’s cover and not have listened to this too. It’s a fantastic track that makes me remember my Dad singing while driving. These are the tracks of his generation and many, many others. Makes me wanna go and sip some eggnog folks.
4.I Satellite – autoMat (live)
I was talking to someone earlier in the week about a SCI Prophet 5 rev 1. Then I remembered my short quest to try and find a Prophet 5 rev 2. I had attempted to buy one from a few people. Rob from I Satellite was one of them. I sent him the money and he changed his mind on me. He refunded my money and to this day, I can say I don’t blame him! He got cold feet. Wouldn’t you? Besides, I dig my rev 3 quite a bit anyway. I’ve always liked his synth-pop and even his New Order and Japan covers.
5.Phillip Werren-Electronic Music (1968-1971)
It’s a very nice discovery by the folks over at Cast Exotic Archives. The back story on this is definitely worth reading about. I had no idea this place was so radical during that time period. A great recording and those haunting voices make this a must for all of you dark minded connoisseurs.
6.Violent Femmes-Gone Daddy Gone
I haven’t played my boys the Gnarls Barkley version yet. However, when its time to get silly and jump around the house, we play this one. I saw Violent Femmes open for the B-52’s a long time ago. Their energy is always infectious. If you’re having a bad day, try this, might lighten your load!
7.Depeche Mode-Photographic (Some Bizarre Version)
This version has always been one of my favorites of that early Depeche Mode period. This is circa Vince Clarke era. Daniel Miller produced this one for Stevo’s Some Bizzare record label. The version on Speak and Spell is a little different. I prefer this version. Have a listen if you haven’t already.
8.Soft Cell – Tupperware Party
Finally got around to reading Tape Delay: Confessions from the Eighties Underground by Charles Neal. It’s a good book. I was reading Dave Ball’s and Marc Almond’s interviews earlier and playing this track, plus a few others while reading. This is from their self released EP Mutant Moments. This sounds like a band not yet financed by a major. It’s got very raw and gritty appeal (recorded on an inexpensive reel to reel), that I believe captures some of the characteristics of what was happening with synthesizer pop during that time period, the late 1970’s early 1980s.
9.Chris & Cosey – October Love Song
They announced that they’d be performing again as Chris & Cosey. It’s the first time in 10 years that they perform under that moniker. Now, let’s just hope someone can convince them to come tour neck of the woods. What I’ve always loved about this song is that it’s completely different than anything TG would’ve done. It was such a contrast to go from Heathen Earth with TG, to something like this. Cosey’s vocal on this is just so dreamy & the melody is pop decadence at its original best.
10.Heaven 17 and La Roux – Temptation
In keeping with my synth-pop sentiment, I played this a few times. It’s a good collaboration. Check out Martyn Ware’s synthesizers,…a Korg 700 and Roland JP-8000.
Next week we recap our favorite releases of 2010.