Crawford on Usenet


From: (The Machman)
Subject: Re: ..Bill Nelson
Date: 19 Jun 92 00:20:32 GMT (Richard Karty) writes:

>Can anyone recommend some Bill Nelson records?
>What I'm looking for is some more tinkly yet atmospheric intrumentals
>like those on 'The Love that Whirls', namely, 'Portrait of Jan with
>Flowers','Echo in Her Eyes', 'Bride of Christ in Autumn'; and 'La
>Belle et la Bete' LP.
>How about 'Twofold Aspect of Everything' or all those LPs in black
>sleeves with photo-montages that were originally in the big box set (I
>(By way of comparison, I also have 'Savage Gestures for Charm's Sake'
>and'Optimism', and I'm not particularly fond of either of those.)

with apologies to Al Crawford, i'm posting an archive i've made of his
Bill Nelson recommendations he's made over time.  hopefully you will
find it worthwhile.

						-- dave

From: (Al Crawford)
Date: 28 Oct 91 12:55:12 GMT
Subject: Re: Bill Nelson

In article <> (Craig 
  Shipley) writes:
> With the recent "demise" of Enigma Records, the availablility of
> the post-Be Bop Deluxe-era works of Bill Nelson is somewhat uncertain.

You can't even bargain on being able to get the European imports anymore
either - Cocteau has ceased to exist. Supplies of his albums in the shops
over here are now running rather short. It took me *months* (and a
threatening letter or two) to get hold of a UK copy of _Chance Encounters_
for a friend, and that was via the fan club.

> The local Tower has an excellent selection of his discs, but there is
> quite a number to choose from. Can I get some suggestions as to some of 
> the better discs to obtain? Tell me why you like them, too, 'cuz you
> might like the crude, unfinished demos that he puts out and I might
> like the more polished works (for example). Thanks!

I'll split his albums into four distinct categories. Polished vocal,
unpolished vocal, polished instrumental, unpolished instrumental. Generally
I'd recommend the polished albums over the unpolished. Vocal vs
instrumental I leave to you.

Polished vocal. Either the Red Noise album _Sound-On-Sound_ or _Quit
Dreaming And Get On The Beam_. Both have a fairly raw sound (so they're not
polished in that sense) but both also have decent (John Leckie) production
values. Note that the US version of _Quit Dreaming_ is somewhat lacking
compared to the UK edition due to the replacement of "Do You Dream In

Unpolished vocal. No contest, it has to be _Luminous_ which includes some
of his best vocal material of recent years (including several tracks
written for the abortive Be Bop Deluxe reformation). There shouldn't be any
rush to get that one though, since it's on Imaginary and is still
available. Of the Cocteau releases I'd probably suggest _The Two Fold
Aspect Of Everything_ which has a mixture of some (great) b-sides and other

Polished instrumental. There's several possible contenders here. If you
want something more uptempo go for the Orchestra Arcana disc _Optimism_.
This has lots of cheerful, happy, tape snippet laden songs. It's as close
as Bill has ever got to dance music. The other Orchestra Arcana album
_Iconography_ is also excellent but is rather more laid-back.  The _Map Of
Dreams_ soundtrack is also highly recommended although it's much more
varied than the others and a little strange in places. My other two
suggestions in this area both could be described as meditational music.
_Chance Encounters In The Garden Of Lights_ is probably the best thing Bill
has done *bar none* in the last five years. Two long discs full of short
pieces of wonderfully relaxing music. The other release I'd recommend is
_Simplex_ but as far as I know this has never been made available outside
the fan club (although Enigma did advertise it).

Unpolished instrumental. A difficult choice. I wouldn't, offhand, recommend
*any* of these. Buy the polished instrumentals first, then move onto these.

     Al Crawford - - "Tormented by the futility of life"

From: (Al Crawford)
Date: 29 Oct 91 09:47:18 GMT
Subject: Re: Bill Nelson

In article <> (Doug 
  Solomon) writes:
>	I would highly recommend _Chimera/Savage Gestures For Charms Sake_ as 
> an excellent combination of both polished vocals and polished
> instrumentals. I contains some of Nelson's more well know 'hits' such as
> "the real adventure", "acceleration", "every day feels like a new drug".
> There seems to be considerable overlap with _Vistamix_ but I've never
> compared track listings.  
>	The second half of this CD consists of relaxing instrumental tracks 
> and, from the title of this disc, leads me to believe this is a combination 
> of two short albums (but I could be wrong).

Correct. It was initially released as two six track mini-LPs called
(unsurprisingly) _Chimera_ and _Savage Gestures For Charms Sake_. The first
was vocal, the latter instrumental. I didn't mention this one since the
original poster seemed mainly to be after US releases on Enigma - for some
perverse reason Enigma released both of these as separate (and very short)
discs, it's only the UK release on Cocteau that combines both EPs onto a
single CD.

You're correct in saying that there's a great deal of overlap with
_Vistamix_. In fact _Vistamix_ contains the whole of the _Chimera_ EP plus
several other tracks (the `missing' tracks from the US releases of _The
Love That Whirls_ and _Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam_ to be precise).
If you prefer his vocal material it's probably a better disc to get than
the _Chimera/Savage Gestures_ disc since the extra tracks include some of
his best ("A Kind Of Loving" is great). It's also dirt cheap, although the
sound quality isn't quite up to the standard of the Cocteau releases.

		      Al Crawford -
 "Add it up, all that's left is a space in a life that goes on as before."

From: (Al Crawford)
Date: 31 Oct 91 18:33:30 GMT
Subject: Re: Bill Nelson

In article 
  (Ken Warkentyne) writes:
> Ah if only this discussion had cropped up a month ago, it would have
> saved me from buying "Summer of God's Piano".  SoG'sP is pleasant
> enough but ultimately rather dull.

You should also avoid _A Catalogue Of Obsessions_, _Pavilions Of The Heart
And Soul_, _Sounding The Ritual Echo_ and _Chamber Of Dreams_, all of which
are pretty much more of the same. Each disc has at least a couple of
outstanding tracks but the majority are just...there.

> Sounds like a guy who just bought himself a synthesizer and an 8 track.

Close, but no cigar. It's Bill, a synthesizer and a 4 track most of the
time. Except for _Sounding The Ritual Echo_ which is Bill, a synthesizer
and a selection of broken tape machines.

> Bill gives us 22 short intrumental compositions that consist of a
> half dozen or so synthetic instruments playing extremely simple
> melodic lines with simple rythms. Maybe your plants will like it.

Bill's main failing in my mind is his tendency to put almost everything and
anything he records out on record. Typically this means that out of four
discs (the four in the _Trial By Intimacy_ set or the _Demonstrations Of
Affection_ set) there's one discs worth of good material, two discs worth
of average, nondescript material and a discs worth of utter dross. We can
count ourselves lucky that his financial situation isn't more solid as I
once remember reading that he still has something like eight albums worth
of material sitting gathering dust until he can get the cash together to
release it.I rarely listen to the so called "black albums" (by virtue of
their common colour cover) but they do sometimes make pleasant background
music for when I'm doing something else. If you want *good* instrumental
stuff by Bill, try _Map Of Dreams_ or _Chance Encounters In The Garden Of
Lights_. The former is very varied, the latter rather more homogenous but
much more solid and well produced than the majority of his instrumental

ObBN: This morning BBC Breakfast TV did it's obligatory Hallowe'en piece on
white witchcraft. Rather aptly the music they played over film of some sort
of ritual was one of Bill's instrumentals (although I couldn't place
exactly which). Coincidence or did whoever chose the music happen to know
about Bill's extra-curricular activities?

		      Al Crawford -
 "Add it up, all that's left is a space in a life that goes on as before."

From: (Al Crawford)
Date: 19 Mar 92 12:32:30 GMT
Subject: Re: Bill Nelson - Quit Dreaming

And lo, spake unto the masses saying:
> I picked up a copy of Bill Nelson's "Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam"
> on a whim and was not at all impressed.  I've had a hard time even
> getting through the whole thing in one sitting.  I don't particularly
> like the vocals and there is too much synth for my tastes.
> Is this at all representative of his work or is there another disk which
> someone could recommend as a better choice.  I think this one goes back
> to the used CD store.

Bill Nelson has two distinct streams of solo work, a vocal and an
instrumental stream. The vocal albums all feature the same style of vocals
and the majority of the instrumental albums are synth based. So this
doesn't seem to leave much that would interest you.

There really isn't *that* much synth in his earlier vocal albums though.
OK, so there's the occasional bit of cheesy synth and some cheapo beat-box
providing a lot of the percussion, but a lot of what people mistake for
synths is in fact guitar - Bill is a particularly heavy user of the e-bow
to give his guitar a rather odd, synthetic sound.

If it's more guitar you want though, I'd recommend you search out either
some of the earlier Be Bop Deluxe albums (on which Bill has ample
opportunity to demonstrate his guitar virtuosity, although the albums do
sound rather dated these days) or his very first post-BBD album,
"Sound-On-Sound", which is credited to Bill Nelson's Red Noise. OK, so some
synths do appear here and there but this album is best characterised as
Nelson's (rather self-conscious) attempt at new wave. The vocal style is
similar to "Quit Dreaming" but the music itself is rather less polished
with more rough edges and a good deal of spiky guitar.

Later vocal albums polish the "Quit Dreaming" sound further, taking it in
the direction of YMO-esque synth-pop. The most recent vocal albums have
taken his sound in a less synthetic direction (although there's still
plenty synths/drum machines in there as he doesn't use backing musicians)
but they are generally unpolished and little more demos. Not bad music for
the afficionado, but not liable to impress you any more than "Quit

The instrumental albums are almost without exception collections of short
synth and tape explorations. If you don't like synths (especially cheesy
ones), they're not for you. Their quality is variable but there's some real
gems hidden in there.

		      Al Crawford -
       "Breakdown. Splinter. A thousand fragments disperse and die."

 /'''   The Machman    david c carroll
    \                 "i am the walrus.  goo-goo-goo-joob"

Newsgroups: From: (Al Crawford) Subject: Re: Anne Clark here? Date: Thu, 24 Feb 1994 14:16:10 GMT And lo, spake unto the masses saying: > > What is Anne Clarks music like? I might want to get some, any best > cd or anything? THanks, Peter! I'd stayed out of this discussion, since I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Anne Clark's music but since all the other followups seem to have skirted round what I think is one of the central features of her work, I thought I'd better say my piece lest anyone pick up one of her discs and get a shock (although not necessarily a nasty one). Although mention has been made of the quality of her lyrics, nobody (that I've seen) seems to have mentioned the rather distinctive approach of her music. Anne Clark isn't a musician in the conventional sense, but (for want of a more accurate description) I'd described her as a poet who writes material that's intended to be read over specially composed music. The disc of hers that I have (the excellent _Pressure Points_) consists entirely of Anne Clark reading her lyrics over (largely synth-based) musical backing. How well the pieces work varies - her delivery is spoken (or shouted) rather than sung but while some tracks work really well, with the words and music meshing well, it's not always quite such a good match. _Pressure Points_, BTW, is particularly noteworthy (IMHO, anyway) for the first five tracks, for which the music is composed and performed by John Foxx (who also produces most of the other tracks). For the Foxx fan it makes an interesting listen, since the music is a lot more energetic and enjoyable than the stuff that Foxx himself was producing around the period of this album's release (ie 1985 and _In Mysterious Ways_). Add to that the fact that while Anne Clark's delivery may veer considerably from the synth-pop norm, her lyrics are pretty damn good in places, and it can make for enjoyable, if unusual, listening. -- Al Crawford - Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165 Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209
Newsgroups: From: (Al Crawford) Subject: Re: More Bill Nelson Date: Tue, 1 Mar 1994 12:00:41 GMT And lo, (John McCluskey) spake unto the masses saying: > > 1st off, does anyone know if Bill Nelson is stil haggling with his > manager vis a vis Virgin records? I hope they work *something* out. No idea as to the current situation - I'd assumed that the release a year or so ago of a BN box set (_Quit Dreaming_, _Love That Whirls_, _Chimera/Savage Gestures_) on See For Miles indicated something had happened since that was supposedly *after* BN had signed with Virgin and I took it to be indicative of some sort of settlement (ie "OK, I'll let you go, but only if you let me have all the royalties from this box set I'm going to put out") but nothing seems to have come of it. > 2nd off, on the back of Vistamix which I recently managed to procure, > there were some stills from a video. OK, are there Bill Nelson videos > available out there? I'm not hedging my bet on NTSC, but PAL might > actually be OK, since a friend has a PAL VCR. > > Well, Al? :) ... No. Certainly videos exist for a buncha Bill's early stuff, but there's no tape been released as far as I know. Certainly the fan club never offered anything, and if *anywhere* would be likely to release this sort of thing, they would. On a BN note, I recently exchanged e-mail with someone who wanted details of a BN CD she'd had but loaned to a friend and couldn't remember the title of. She gave me a couple of the track names and I was somewhat stunned rigid when we managed to conclude that the CD was in fact _On A Blue Wing_ (aka _Getting The Holy Ghost Across_ in the UK) which, as far as I knew, had never been released on CD. Can anyone confirm this with a sighting of this supposedly mythical beast? Has CBS sneaked this out on CD in the US without me noticing, as they did with _Vistamix_? Al -- Al Crawford - Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165 Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209
Newsgroups: From: (Al Crawford) Subject: Re: who is bill nelson? Date: Tue, 1 Mar 1994 13:46:05 GMT And lo, (jeffrey olson) spake unto the masses saying: > > who is bill nelson? ive never heard of him, what is his music like? Bill Nelson first came to public attention in the early-mid 70s, when he was the vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and general driving force behind the group Be-Bop Deluxe. After the group disbanded, he put together a new band, Red Noise, who were in a more new wave vein. They put out one album, _Sound-On-Sound_ which sounds very late 70s, spiky guitars and more than a smattering of synths. After this, BN began working on solo material which has, over the years, followed two distinct paths. The first is his vocal-oriented work, which is probably the stuff that'll interest the a.m.s. crowd most. He released a number of excellent solo albums during the early 80s, starting out with the guitar/synth mix of _Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam_ (his most succesful UK album - reached #7 in the album charts) and gradually getting more synthetic as time went by, with albums like _The Love That Whirls_ and _Chimera_. This material is best summarised by the album _Vistamix_, which should still (I think) be obtainable in the US on CD. Most obvious influence? Well, BN's pretty original but there's a definite resemblance to some YMO material and he's worked with Yukihiro Takahashi on a couple of occasions (as well as guesting with YMO on tour?) Probably the peak of his vocal work was the 1986 album, known variously as _Getting The Holy Ghost Across_ (UK) and _On A Blue Wing_ (US) (*). Until Friday I thought this had never been released on CD, which is a shame since it's a very good album, if less explicitly synth than his earlier work. After this his vocal work began to suffer from what seems to be a case of terminal impatience, as he's since then managed to release no less than six albums full of "musical sketches" - songs thrown together in a couple of hours or so. The most recent album _Blue Moons & Laughing Guitars_ is one of these, and marks a return to the guitar as Nelson's primary instrument. In short - strong, emotive vocals, excellent guitar work and interesting, if occasionally cheesy, synths. His other path has been instrumental albums. He's released a pile of these, ranging from the four "black" albums which consist largely of musical doodles (**) on rather cheap sounding synths through to his more recent work which sounds a) more polished, b) less cheesy and c) rather like Brian Eno. He's fiddled around with other things too - an EP with an avant-garde vocal quarter called Electric Phoenix under the name Scala, two albums under the name Orchestra Arcana that are in the same vein as his instrumental work but rely rather more heavily on samples, production for a whole bunch of people, and so forth. Worth a listen, definitely, but poor availability and the sheer volume (and variability) of his work makes specific recommendations difficult. (*) If I remember correctly, _On A Blue Wing_ adds some tracks from the _Living For The Spangled Moment_ EP which aren't on the UK LP, while the UK cassette contains *all* the tracks from that EP as a bonus. I think. (**) *Good* musical doodles, though. -- Al Crawford - Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165 Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209
Newsgroups: From: (Al Crawford) Subject: Re: Kraftwerk Solo? Date: Tue, 15 Mar 1994 09:17:54 GMT And lo, (Rick Jansen) spake unto the masses saying: > > Ex-Kraftwerk Karl Bartos is in Elektric Music, and also 'maybe' collaborating > with Electronic. Bartos was 'only' a minor Kraftwerk member, Hutter and > Schneider being the driving forces behind Kraftwerk. Yes, Hutter and Schneider are the core of Kraftwerk, but I reckon that after n years in the band, some of it must've rubbed off on Bartos :-) > In my opinion some tracks on Esperanto are rather nice, but it isn't > Kraftwerk by far. True, it's not Kraftwerk, but I personally find it a lot more listenable and interesting than _The Mix_ was. Given KW's propensity to take huge amounts of time between albums (I wonder if we'll actually see another album before the millenium ends) I'd much rather have Bartos's imperfect facsimile (*) than wait for an earth-shattering Real Kraftwerk release. And wait. And wait. And wait :-) I'll buy the Kraftwerk when it appears, but in the meantime I plan to give Bartos's efforts the support they deserve - after all, it may only be my own opinion, but I consider "TV" to be right up there with the best Kraftwerk did - perhaps the myth of Ralf and Florian has grown beyond their actual capabilities, and the contributions of the other members have been belittled rather more than they should have been. (*) Or, to use what seems to be his favourite metaphor, Bartos's little Messerschmitt to the Kraftwerk Jumbo. -- Al Crawford - Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165 Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209
Newsgroups: From: (Al Crawford) Subject: Re: Human League Date: Mon, 28 Mar 1994 12:49:18 GMT And lo, spake unto the masses, saying: > > Does anyone have any info on this group? Yep. > Are they synthpop? Very. Possibly even definitively so. > They have this one song that goes, "Dont you want me baby?". They sound > really good. Does anyone else like them and if they do, can u please > e-mail me about some info about them. Thanx a million! The Pocket Human League ----------------------- The origins of the Human League can be traced back to 1977/1978 when Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh formed The Dead Daughters. They later added Adi Newton to become The Future, before Newton left to form Clock DVA and was replaced by ex-hospital porter Philip Oakey. At this point the group became The Human League, although it was a very different beast from the one that most people are familiar with. They signed to Bob Last's Fast Product label in 1978, and their first single was "Being Boiled" b/w "The Circus Of Death". At this stage the group's sound was *very* electronic and their sleeves proudly boasted that their records only featured synths and voices, nothing else. By modern standards (or even the standards of the early 80s) the material is primitive but nonetheless enjoyable, although fans of the bright, poppy Human League that hit the charts in the early 80s might find the rather morose, dark sound of their early material a little difficult. Next came "The Dignity Of Labour", a four track instrumental EP, some copies of which came with an odd little spoken word flexidisc. At this point, the group added a fourth member, Philip Adrian Wright, whose role was to put together the slideshows that accompanied the Human League's live show. After this, things got a little confused as the group signed to Virgin, released one 12" single under an alias (The Men) then reverted to their original name. The single - "I Don't Depend On You" b/w "Cruel" is rather an interesting little item, since it gives a hint as to what the group would sound like in later years, even though the lineup is essentially the basic four members plus backing musicians. The group's debut as The Human League on Virgin was the album _Reproduction_. Much of what I've said about their first single applies here - it's good stuff but sounds primitive and (with the exception of "Empire State Human") finds the group in dour mood. It's not exactly the world's most joyous album. The Virgin CD re-release is well worth looking for, though, as it adds the "Being Boiled" single, "The Dignity Of Labour" and even the flexidisc that accompanied it. Various singles and so forth then appeared, the group found themselves dropped from a support slot on a Talking Heads tour after it was discovered that they'd just planned to send some tape recorders and a slide show rather than actually appear in person, and then along came the second album, _Travelogue_. This sees the group getting rather less serious-minded, and includes some good pop songs. Again, the Virgin CD re-release is worth a look, since this adds the "I Don't Depend On You" 12" as well as the "Holiday '80" double single and the group's first post-split single, "Boys And Girls". Post split? Oh yeah, I've not mentioned that yet. *Just* as the Human League were about to embark on a major tour (of the US?), Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh left (to form the BEF and later Heaven 17) leaving the remaining two with a problem - the group's core had left leaving just the vocalist and the man who did the slides. Surprisingly, though, Oakey and Wright didn't call it a day but went on to expand the group. Now it's not too clear who was added when - all the sources I've got indicate that they added Ian Burden, as well as Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley, two 16 year olds that Oakey had met at a disco and asked if they wanted to join the band as singers/dancers. However, there are no female voices in evidence on "Boys And Girls", so it's possible that Catherall and Sulley weren't added until a little later. On the face of it, this looked like a recipe for disaster. The vocalist, the slide man, the unknown Burden and two 16-year olds who couldn't actually sing particularly well. The flop of "Boys And Girls" seemed to support this, although the song itself held surprisingly closely to the old League sound. Things began to pick up in mid 1981, as "The Sound Of The Crowd" charted in the UK, reaching no 12. The principal ingredient behind the group's changed fortunes was undoubtedly the production work of Martin Rushent, who pepped the League's sound up considerably. Another contributing factor was the addition of ex-Rezillo Jo Callis, and the combination of the combined songwriting skills of Burden, Callis and Oakey combined with Rushent's production worked well. Their next hit, "Love Action" went higher still, reaching number 3, and was closely followed by the number 6 hit "Open Your Heart". The new album _Dare!_ followed up this success, going on to become one of the most successful albums of the eighties. This was followed by the international hit "Don't You Want Me", which went to number 1 in both the US and UK (and probably quite a few other places besides). At this point I think it's probably safe to say that the Human League were easily the most successful synth-pop band around. Of course, once you've reached the top there's only one way to go. The group's profile remained high for most of the next year or so, kept high by _Love And Dancing_, an album of instrumental dance remixes and the "Mirror Man" and "Fascination" singles (both of which appeared on the "Fascination!" EP in the US). The leadoff single from the new album was "The Lebanon", which saw the first signs of slippage. Although the song was a big hit, the absence of Martin Rushent's production and the dilution of the group's distinctive sound by the introduction of conventional instrumentation didn't bode well, and while the album it came from, _Hysteria_, did well, neither of the two followup singles made the UK top 10. After the less-than-exciting performance of _Hysteria_, the group went quiet for a while. During 1985 the group began recording a new album with Colin Thurston (who produced _Reproduction_). Callis left and the group added Jim Russell, Stephen Fellowes and Andy Peake (of the Comsat Angels). However, for some reason nothing ever became of this material, although Russell remained with the band and an Oakey/Burden/Russell/Fellowes penned track did appear on their next album. Oh, yes, the next album. Well, I suppose I've got to mention it. All things said, it'd be best to describe _Crash_ as a mistake. Given that the group now all but disown the album, and that the aversion it gave Oakey to working with outside producers eventually lead to the group leaving Virgin, _Crash_ can be credited as being the album that turned the Human League into a spent force. Overproduced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, _Crash_ is a ghastly, mis-produced mess that completely eliminates any of the group's distinctive sound, turning it all into a Janet Jackson soundalike mess. Oakey hates it. I can't blame him. Another period of silence, this time a lot longer. A much depleted (Oakey, Sulley, Catherall) League surfaces briefly in 1988 to publicise an excellent _Greatest Hits_ package, before disappearing into the murk, apparently to put together a studio. The group finally re-emerged (adding two new musicians) in 1990 with _Romantic?_ which, while not exactly the misbegotten abomination that _Crash_ was, finds the group undecided as to whether they should retain their old sound (and thus come across as dated) or adopt a more modern sound. The end result was pleasant in places but only the leadoff single, "Heart Like A Wheel" (with Martin Rushent producing) made any real impact. The album flopped horribly and this, plus Oakey's dissatisfaction with Virgin attempting to control which producers they used, lead to the group leaving Virgin at the end of 1992 (or was it 1991?) Current news on the group is that they've since signed to East West, and there's a new album due later this year. I've know idea what to expect, but I know what I'd *like* to hear. The two new members who joined for _Romantic?_ have already been ditched, so it'd be nice if they brought back Callis and Burden (neither of whom seem to be doing anything else, and Callis was involved with _Romantic?_ so he's still in touch), got Rushent in to produce it and put out an album that's unashamedly retro 80s synth pop. None of this faffing around trying to sound like a modern dance act - they should realise that nobody under 20 is likely to even *remember* them, and that the majority of those who *do* have fond memories of them are now, erm, getting a little past it and are unlikely to want to dance to "the Human League goes rave" for fear of damaging their walking frame. It'd be nice if at least *one* of the early 80s synth groups remained true to its old sound. Recommendations? Well, _Greatest Hits_ is one of my all-time favourite collections (*), so if you only want one disc of theirs, this is the one to go for. UK buyers are at an advantage here, since the UK disc includes the Oakey/Moroder hit "Together In Electric Dreams" which is missing from the US version for copyright reasons. If you'd rather buy an album than a compilation, though, _Dare!_ is the one to go for since, with five of their best hit singles on it, it's virtually a greatest hits collection all by itself. Casting the net wider, I'd say almost *all* their discs are worth a listen, although _Romantic?_ isn't worth paying too much for, and I wouldn't buy _Crash_ unless the shop offered you money to take it off their hands. Well, hopefully that's going to be of use to somebody. Al (*) Oddly enough, the Human League are about the only synth-pop group *not* to have been the subject of one of those nice little budget compilations. This is a shame, since many of those that are available (ABC, Blancmange, Flock Of Seagulls) include a rarity or two, and I know for a fact that there's one or two Human League B-sides that I'd like to see making a CD appearance. -- Al Crawford - Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165 Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209
Newsgroups: From: (Al Crawford) Subject: Re: Clock DVA, or what's with them? Date: Thu, 7 Apr 1994 16:15:22 GMT And lo, (Scott Lewis) spake unto the masses saying: > > Well, I don't muchly care for what I've heard of their later stuff > myself. Try their second album, "Thirst," fairly recently reissued on > CD after far too many years out of print. Given what we've heard of Dave's tastes so far, I'd hesitate to recommend any Clock DVA album to him. He might find some of the material on _Digital Soundtracks_ of interest, as well as one or two isolated tracks here and there ("Final Program (Decoded 2)" or "Memories Of Sound" from _Man-Amplified_ are in a rather more (for want of a better word) Lustmordy vein) but that's about it. I suspect he'll have more luck with Newton's other releases as T.A.G.C. though. > Related questions: > > What's their third album called and does anyone know if it's going to be > reissued? (I've heard that it's very good but foolishly didn't get around to > picking it up while it was available) The third album was _Advantage_ and it was reissued quite a while ago (1989 or 1990), first on Interfisch then on Contempo. Shouldn't be too difficult to find, and I personally love it - a more polished, poppy _Thirst_. > I know that they're friends, but what does Newton do on Lustmord's albums? Sound design. The Lustmord modus operandi seems to be to spend the preliminary stages of a project building up a library of interesting sounds to use. This seems to be the area in which Adi contributes most. > Why oh why did Clock DVA have to go so far downhill? (this one's > rhetorical; I know that not everyone will agree with the rhetoric, but > what the hell.) Since when did rhetorical questions get treated as such in r.m.i.? :-) The reasons for the change in the DVA direction are fairly straightforward, I think. The move from industrial avant-garde jazz to industrial-esque new wave (DVA Mk I & II) to the later, electronic sound (Mk III & variations therof) seem to be largely down to personnel changes, and the resulting change in the mix of tastes of those creating the music. Newton's been the only constant in the group's lineup, joining them back in Ye Days Of Olde from the embryonic Human League. Back in the beginning Newton was very much just one member of a group, but by the time of _Advantage_ he was clearly the driving force behind the group. So I guess it was inevitable that when the group reformed later it was almost entirely Newton's baby and thus reflected his changing tastes. -- Al Crawford - Department Of Computer Science, The University of Edinburgh Rm 1410, JCMB, Kings Buildings, Mayfield Rd, EDINBURGH, EH9 3JZ, Scotland Tel: +44 (0) 31 650 5165 Fax: +44 (0) 31 667 7209

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