ELECTRONIC2012-05-27 at 07:08 am Blog RSS
Electronic was the side-project of Bernard Sumner (New Order) and Johnny Marr (The Smiths). Various other musicians were involved with this ‘supergroup’, at different times (Neil Tennant and Anne Dudley at the very beginning and Karl Bartos in the mid-nineties – plus several others). The first single (Getting Away With It) was released in 1989. It took more than eighteen months for the album to materialise. It was worth the wait. From the opening hats on Idiot Country to the guitar chords at the end of Feel Every Beat, the eponymous album is a joy ride – even now, over two decades later. It is full of wonderful melodies, and rhythms guaranteed to get your fingers tapping (at the very least). The following year, another single featuring Neil Tennant was released.
Raise The Pressure was made under the influence of Prozac. The beats are bouncy and the melodies are euphoric. However, some of the ‘housey’ stabs sound like they were made in the eighties. The lyrics are dreadful (even by Sumner’s standards). There are more guitars – especially on the singles. The last Electronic album (Twisted Tenderness) features even more guitars. It is a more mature sound (Bernard and Johnny were already well into their forties). There is even a cover version of a Steve Winwood song (Can’t Find My Way Home). The ‘best of’ collection was finally released in 2006. It includes all of the singles plus a few album tracks and a great b-side (Imitation Of Life).
Bernard Sumner contributed vocals on Spanish Heart by 808 State (on Ex: El). His fellow Mancunians had been making music for about five years, at that point. The early material (as heard on Newbuild and Prebuild) was strictly acid-house. The music started becoming more diverse and substantial when the band signed to ZTT Records. There was clearly an effort to make the tracks more accessible on Ninety. More vocals were added on subsequent albums – as the music developed further. Gorgeous and Don Solaris followed Ex: El. The singles collection (808:88:98) is evidence of the band’s progress during the ZTT years (and it contains a few tracks which were not included on the albums).
Outpost Transmission was 808 State’s last album. It sounds like a collection of unreleased material (ie. The stuff that wasn’t good enough to put on the albums). Prebuild is in fact a collection of unreleased material (all pre-dating Newbuild). Long-time fan Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) released Prebuild on his own record label (Rephlex). He also re-released Newbuild and the Quadrastate EP – with extra tracks. 808 State still tours and performs DJ sets. Graham Massey also produced Bjork’s first two albums. Bjork contributed vocals on a couple of 808 State tracks (before Debut was released).
I stopped collecting Erasure many years ago. After I Say I Say I Say, things weren’t quite the same (ie. Any good). There have been a few good songs but the albums on the whole have been weak. I saw Erasure live on the Cowboy tour in 1997. Vince Clarke didn’t play a single note during that show. He sat on a stool, smoking cigarettes – and pressing the STOP and PLAY buttons between songs. He didn’t seem to be taking pride in his work anymore. The next album (Loveboat) was a taste of even worse things to come. There have been five Erasure albums since then (one of which is a covers album). I haven’t bought them or heard them. I have no inclination to do so.
Let’s not forget the good years though. Between 1986 and 1991, Erasure released five albums – each better than the last. Chorus was the peak. Following an EP containing four Abba covers, the first singles collection was released – and the first single was re-released. Erasure accumulated another twenty singles over the next fifteen years. It’s a pity they’re mostly crap.
Everything But The Girl enjoyed a boost in popularity, after Tracey Thorn contributed vocals on Massive Attack’s Protection. The duo released the best – and most popular – EBTG album in 1996 (Walking Wounded). The addition of electronic elements was a good move. The Best Of EBTG was released later in the year. The flirtation with club music continued on Temperamental. It includes the Deep Dish collaboration, The Future Of The Future. Most people had lost interest by then. There have been several EBTG compilations over the past decade, but no more albums. Tracey Thorn has released three solo albums (including her 1982 debut, A Distant Shore).
Last 5 posts by kingofthenorth
- REHAB - March 17th, 2013
- ABC : ACCOMPLISHED - June 18th, 2012
- APHEX TWIN & THE ART OF NOISE - June 17th, 2012
- AUTECHRE & BT - June 16th, 2012
- BAUHAUS & HOUSE - June 13th, 2012
View Counter: 183 views
2 Responses to “ELECTRONIC”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.