Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.

Wednesday

DANGEROUS RHYTHM




Ultravox! is the eponymous debut studio album by Ultravox!. Recorded at Island Studios in Hammersmith, London in the autumn of 1976 and produced by Ultravox! and Steve Lillywhite with studio assistance from Brian Eno.
It was Ultravox! who first showed the kind of dangerous rhythms that keyboards would create. The quintet certainly had their antecedents (Hawkwind, Roxy Music, and Kraftwerk to name but a few), wrapped in the ravaged moods and lyrical themes of collapse and decay that transported '70s rock from the bloated pastures of the past to the futuristic dystopias predicted by punk. Epic tales of alienation, disillusion, and disintegration reflected the contemporary holocaust of Britain's collapse, while accurately prophesying the dance through society's cemetery and the graveyards of empires that were to be the Thatcher/Reagan years. "Sat'day Night in the City of the Dead," "Wide Boys," "The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned," "Dangerous Rhythm," and "Slip Away" all simultaneously bemoaned and celebrated the destruction of Western culture while swaggering boldly through the wreckage; "I Want to Be a Machine" and "My Sex" warned of and yearned for technology's triumph. Depeche Mode claimed to be punks with synthesizers, but it was these apostles and didactic emotions that so pierced the zeitgeist of the day, and kicked open a whole new world of synthesized music.

Dangerous rhythms…indeed.

Monday

BUT NOW I'M BACK, FROM OUTTA SPACE

I just walked in to find you here, with that sad look upon your face

 

 

The Passions


Based in Shepherds Bush, west London, The Passions' music was grounded mainly in Barbara Gogan's voice and Clive Timperley's delicate echoplex guitar work. Before forming in 1978, most of the group's members had played in other groups. Timperley was formerly with the 101ers, while drummer Richard Williams and singer/guitarist Barbara Gogan were in the punk rock outfit The Derelicts.


Espousing the same post-punk, gothic ethic that brought bands like Siouxsie & the Banshees to the forefront of the burgeoning dark wave genre, the Passions' 1980 debut, Michael & Miranda, suggested that they were at least on the same track. Off-kilter jangle out of step with the bass and drums defined the opening "Pedal Fury," placing the band firmly in quirk territory, a point that the Passions continued to reiterate across the rest of the set. Picking up the pace on "Love Song" or slowing it down across "Man on the Tube" and then doing both on "Obsession" (which puts Barbara Gogan's vocals so far away from the mic for the sake of atmosphere that it sounds like she's in another room) really didn't add much punch to the Passions' gloomy intent. It's easy to see their roots, they're glaring. But so they were for all the other bands rising at the time. Stilted and lean, the songs on Michael & Miranda just don't measure up against what the Passions would do a little later or against what their peers were doing at the time. Singles "Hunted" and "The Swimmer" were followed by their major charting song, "I'm in Love with a German Film Star"