Brilliant – Colours (1983)

Brilliant first came to life in 1982, as post-punk band Killing Joke was crumbling under internal conflicts. Unsatisfied with his bandmates’ following of the occult lifestyle, Killing Joke’s bass player Youth decided to call it quits and recorded an angry slandering song against his former bandmates. The song, That’s What Good Friends Are For…, an obvious mock of Killing Joke’s second album What’s THIS for…?, was credited to “Brilliant”, which was a name of a Killing Joke b-side and a general 1980s buzzword.

For the first incarnation of Brilliant as a full band, Youth recruited Marcus Myers on vocals and guitar, a second bass player Guy Pratt (who left for the Australian band Icehouse and was replaced by Frenchman Stephane “Tin Tin” Holweck prior to their first live performances), and the two drummers Andy Anderson (The Cure) and Peter Ogi, along with synthethist Rob Waugh. They released two singles, ‘That’s What Good Friends Are For…/Push’ (Limelight Music LIME 001/A/B with a sleeve by Mark Alleyne) and ‘Colours’ (through Rough Trade Records with a sleeve by Mark Manning) and recorded a BBC session for John Peel.

Colours reached #11 on the UK Indie Charts and was produced by Tony Wilson.

Colours                                       5:13

Colours (Monster Mix)        6:18

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Andy Taylor – Life Goes On (1987)

Andy Taylor (born Andrew Arthur Taylor 16 February 1961, Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear, England) is an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known as a member of Duran Duran and The Power Station.

He has also recorded and performed as a solo artist, and served as a guitarist, songwriter and record producer for the likes of Duran Duran, Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, The Almighty, Thunder, Love and Money, Mark Shaw, Then Jerico, C. C. Catch, Paul Rodgers (with The Law), Belinda Carlisle, Gun and many more.

After six years of being a member of Duran Duran, Taylor had realised both he and the band were in free fall. He and the other bandmembers rarely spoke to one another and the band were now living in three different continents. Taylor himself was now based in Los Angeles where he met with ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and they began collaborating for Taylor’s forthcoming solo album.

Life Goes On (Extended Version)         4:53

Life Goes On (Short Version)               3:49

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Danceclass – You Talk My Head Off (1982)

Danceclass were a UK power pop quartet from the North East of England, the band featured Dave Taggart on vocals, Tony Mcananey on bass , Ali Reay on guitar and Trevor Brewis on drums. Danceclass were signed to A&M Records in 1981 and their self-titled album, produced by Mike Chapman (Blondie/The Knack), was recorded and released in 1982.

The bulk of the tracks were recorded in the old Basing Street studios in Notting Hill. later to become ‘Sarm West’ studios.

The Discogs listing for the band is incomplete with the Danceclass album not yet being listed, the album does appear on eBay occasionally but tends to sell for upwards of £ 30.00

The album spawned two singles “Setting Myself On Fire” (7″ only) and “You Talk My Head Off” (7″ and 12″) and nothing has ever been released on CD. This would be a great album for a label like Cherry Red to license and re-release.

If you like your power pop singles, this is one of the best I’ve heard and certainly one of the great finds of the year so far.

You can read more about the band at http://www.danceclassuk.com/fr_danceclass.cfm

You Talk My Head Off                4:04

Don’t You Know                        3:19

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Paul Anka – Gimme The Word (1983)

Paul Albert Anka, OC (born July 30, 1941 Ottawa) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actor.

Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like “Diana”, “Lonely Boy”, and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder”. He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones’s biggest hits, “She’s a Lady”, and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way” (originally French song “Comme d’habitude”).

In 1960 Anka signed with RCA Records, but like most North American recording artists saw his career stalled by the British Invasion. By the late 1960s, Anka’s career centered around adult contemporary and big-band standards, played regularly in Las Vegas. In the early 1970s he signed with Buddah Records. After more than ten years without a top 25 hit record, Anka signed with United Artists and in 1974 teamed up with Odia Coates to record the number one hit, “(You’re) Having My Baby”.

Anka’s final Top-40 hit in the U.S. to date was “Hold Me Til The Mornin’ Comes”, which included backing vocals from then-Chicago frontman Peter Cetera, in the summer of 1983.  The track came from the album “Walk A Fine Line” which also included contributions from Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Ernie Watts and David Foster.

In preparation for the album, two tracks were also written and recorded with Michael Jackson, one of these tracks “This Is It” was released by Michael Jackson’s estate and did not include a Paul Anka writing credit. After Anka threatened to sue for credit and a share of royalties, the administrators of Jackson’s estate granted Anka fifty percent of the copyright. An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, “Love Never Felt So Good”, was discovered shortly thereafter and will be released in the near future.

Released in the US as a single from the “Walk A Fine Line” album was “Gimme The Word”, a duet with Karla DeVito (Meatloaf) and the 12″ single was remixed by Francois Kevorkian.

Gimme The Word (Vocal)                                     5:30

Gimme The Word (Instrumental Version)            6:18

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Griffin – Move (1984)

Reggie Griffin appeared on the music scene in 1977 as a member of US funk group “Manchild” who released two albums for the Chi Sound Records label in 1977 and 1978. The band was significant for containing three members who would go on to great success in the songwriting and production field, Darryl Simmons (De’rock), Kenneth Edmonds (Babyface) and Reggie Griffin.

Reggie would follow up his time in “Manchild” with the single “Mirda Rock” by Reggie Griffin & Technofunk on the Sugar Hill Records label in 1982 and two solo albums, Mr.Everything in 1982 and Hot Fingers in 1984 for the Qwest label where his name was shortened to Griffin.

To give you some idea of the talent of this man, on the 1984 Hot Fingers album, his credits included the following:

Produced By, Arranged By, Written-by, Engineer (Recording), Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Electric Piano, Synthesizer [Korg, Prophet, Oberheim, Voyetra, Yamaha Dx7], Drum Programming [Dmx, Drumulator, Loud], Noises [Obnoxious], Scratches [Turntable], Percussion, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone

At the same time Reggie was pursuing his musical career, his success as an arranger and producer was growing and two major hits in 1983 for Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five cemented that success, Reggie received a songwriting credit on New York, New York and arranged White Lines (Don’t Do It), both seminal tracks in the history of rap and this would be followed the following year with his arrangement work on Chaka Khan’s I Feel For You.

Reggie’s 1984 album “Hot Fingers” spawned two singles, and the second of these “Move” received some tasty remixes courtesy of Jellybean.

Move (Jellybean Remix)                                  6:17

Move (Jellybean Instrumental Remix)              5:56

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By eightiesvinyl Posted in Griffin

Junie Morrison – Tease Me (1984)

Walter “Junie” Morrison is a musician and producer born in Dayton, Ohio. Morrison was a producer, writer, keyboardist and vocalist for the funk band the Ohio Players in the early 70s, where he wrote and produced their first major hit, “Funky Worm” (1971). He left the band in 1974 to release three solo albums on Westbound Records (When We Do, Freeze, and Suzie Supergroupie).

In 1977 Morrison joined George Clinton’s P-Funk (Parliament-Funkadelic) where he became musical director. He brought a unique sound to P-Funk and played a key role during the time of their greatest popularity from 1978 through 1980. In particular, he made prominent contributions to the platinum-selling Funkadelic album One Nation Under a Groove, the single “(Not Just) Knee Deep” (a #1 hit on the U.S. R&B charts in 1979) and the gold-selling Parliament albums Motor Booty Affair, and Gloryhallastoopid. Morrison also played on and produced some P-Funk material under the pseudonym J.S. Theracon, apparently to avoid contractual difficulties. Morrison is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

After his time with Parliament-Funkadelic, he recorded three solo albums in the eighties including 1980’s Bread Alone, 1981’s Junie 5, and 1984’s Evacuate Your Seats.

The single “Tease Me” from the Evacuate Your Seats album was released in the US and Europe and was remixed by Arthur Baker for the 12″ single.

Tease Me (Long Version)             6:39

Tease Me (Dub)                         7:45

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XTC – King For A Day (1989)

XTC were a New Wave / pop band from Swindon, England, active between 1977 and 2005. The band enjoyed some chart success, including the UK and Canadian hits “Making Plans for Nigel” (1979) and “Senses Working Overtime” (1982), but are perhaps even better known for their long-standing critical (rather than commercial) success.

First coming together in 1972, the core duo of Andy Partridge (guitars & vocals) and Colin Moulding (bass & vocals) went through many band names (including The Helium Kidz and Star Park) over the next five years. As the Helium Kidz, they were featured in a small NME article as an up-and-coming band from Swindon. Drawing influence from the New York Dolls, particularly the “Jetboy” single,and the emerging New York punk scene, they played glam rock with homemade costumes and slowly built up a following. Drummer Terry Chambers joined in 1973. Keyboard player Jonathan Perkins followed, replaced by Barry Andrews in 1976, and the band finally settled on a name: XTC.

In 1989, the band was sent to Los Angeles to record their tenth studio album and the “Oranges and Lemons” LP, produced by Paul Fox, was their biggest seller yet, with the videos for “The Mayor of Simpleton” and “King for a Day” getting heavy airplay on MTV and other international music TV programs. Sonically lush and tightly produced, the album continued along the psychedelic influence of their previous albumSkylarking” while drawing from the energetic pop sound of their earlier work.

The US Promo 12″ for the “King For A Day” single included three remixes by Ivan Ivan.

King For A Day (Czar Mix)                        6:30

King For A Day (I Dub Thee Sir Mix)    6:10

King For A Day (Versailles Mix)             5:07

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By eightiesvinyl Posted in XTC

Huang Chung – Dance Hall Days (1982)

Wang Chung are an English New Wave musical group formed in 1980. The name Wang Chung means “Yellow Bell” in Chinese (黃鐘 — “Huáng Zhōng” in Pinyin) , and is the first note in the Chinese classical music scale.

The group found their greatest success in America, with five Top 40 hits in the US, all charting between 1983 and 1987, including “Dance Hall Days” (#16 In the summer of 1984), “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” (#2 in 1986) and “Let’s Go!” (#9 in 1987).

The band originally went by the name “Huang Chung” during the period 1980-1982, at the beginning of Huang Chung’s career, all the members performed under pseudonyms. Jeremy Ryder was “Jack Hues”, Nick Feldman was “Nick DeSpig”, and Darren Costin was “Darren Darwin” (and later, just “Darwin”). “Jack Hues”, incidentally, is a play on the French term “j’accuse”.

Huang Chung were originally signed to the Arista label and their last UK release was the single “Dance Hall Days” in 1982, the original 12″ Dance Mix was produced by Tim Friese-Green (Talk Talk) and was backed by a US Remix of the band’s previous single “China”.

The band’s manager recognised that “Dance Hall Days” was a potential hit and encouraged them to jump to Geffen Records where they changed their name to Wang Chung and became the first UK act signed to Geffen.

Geffen released “Dance Hall Days” in the UK and Europe in a remixed version (8:02) in 1983 and then in the US in 1984 (7:22)

The track was their only song to make the Top 75 charts in the UK, narrowly missing the Top 20. In the U.S. it peaked at #16 on the Hot 100, reached #8 on the Mainstream Rock radio chart, and went all the way to #1 on the Dance/Disco chart, their highest showing on the latter two charts.

“Dance Hall Days” has become one of the best known songs from the 80’s and has appeared in the movies To Live And Die In LA, Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion, Bachelor Party, Adventureland, The Informers, Duplicity and the TV series Breaking Bad.

The original Arista recording of the single has never been made available again on any format.

Dance Hall Days (Dance Mix)                      5:23

China (American Extended Remix)               6:54

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Fiat Lux – Blue Emotion / Sleepless Nightmare (1984)

Fiat Lux was an English synthpop band formed in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, in 1982, by Steve Wright (vocals) and David P Crickmore (guitars, bass, keyboards). Ian Nelson (sax, keyboards), younger brother of Be-Bop Deluxe guitarist and lead vocalist Bill Nelson, joined shortly afterwards, complementing the classic line-up of the band, who remained until the mid 1980s, when Crickmore departed.

“Feels Like Winter Again” was the first of Fiat Lux’s radio successes. This led to them signing a record deal with major label Polydor. At this point Hugh Jones was brought in as their record producer. In 1984, the haunting ballad “Secrets” drew comparisons to Depeche Mode’s moody synth-pop; it became Fiat Lux’s most well-known song. Fiat Lux’s utilization of cello in “Secrets” broadened synth-pop’s stylistic range. The track was played regularly on Annie Nightingale’s Radio 1 Sunday night request show. However, Fiat Lux’s debut album was never released. The group’s output was limited to several singles for Polydor and a series of TV appearances including Old Grey Whistle Test. There was also a long format video release “Commercial Breakdown”, which included live versions of the shelved Polydor album tracks.

“Blue Emotion” was the fourth single released by Fiat Lux and it reached #59 on the UK charts.

Blue Emotion (Extended Version)                          5:14

Sleepless Nightmare (Extended Version)              4:22

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Klymaxx – Meeting In The Ladies Room (1984)

Klymaxx was conceived and formed by Bernadette Cooper, who also chose the name. The dream of an all girl band became a quest she pursued after leaving college. Through many auditions and temporary members the group that became successful consisted of drummer/vocalist Bernadette Cooper, vocalist Lorena Porter (Stewart), bassist/vocalist Joyce Irby, guitarist Cheryl Cooley and keyboardists Lynn Malsby and Robbin Grider.

In 1981, they were signed to Solar Records. Their debut album, Never Underestimate The Power Of A Woman. Upon beginning work on their second album, they became one of the first acts to work with writers/producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis of The Time. The team wrote and produced the song “Wild Girls” for that second album, entitled Girls Will Be Girls. After the second Solar album in 1983, they switched to the MCA-distributed Constellation label for Meeting in the Ladies Room, featuring the 1985 hit “I Miss You,” which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. “I Miss You” remained on the Hot 100 chart for 29 weeks, an extremely long chart run at the time, and good enough to rank it as the third-biggest-selling song of 1986, ahead of several songs that hit the top 10. The album also featured the hits “The Men All Pause” and “Meeting in the Ladies Room.”

The German 12″ included two mixes of “Meeting In The Ladies Room” and a remix of the Jummy Jam/Terry Lewis produced “Lock And Key”

Meeting In The Ladies Room (Remix)               11:04

Meeting In The Ladies Room (Party Mix)          6:38

Lock And Key (Party Mix)                                        5:57

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By eightiesvinyl Posted in Klymaxx