Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Classic 12"s of the '80s - Is it Love?

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Today's song is dedicated to Johnny over at Lost In The '80s, because I know he will be feeling this one...

By the time Gang Of Four released the single Is it Love? in 1983 they had lost two of their original members, added a new girl in bassist Sara Lee, and crossed the pond to North America to record their album Hard. It was produced by Ron Albert and his brother Howard - these guys had done albums by the Allman Brothers, Derek & The Dominos' Layla, the Rolling Stones and Crosby, Stills & Nash, so you knew things weren't going to be the same. The hardcore fans were not happy, because the new record went even further towards slick disco than it's predecessor, Songs Of The Free. I loved the record. Still do. Just listen to Is it Love? (Extended Dance Mix). From it's opening soulful refrain to the first swoosh of the beat and bass, the fat scaratchy guitar riff and those swelling strings it's pure funk-punk genious. Sara's bass is just about as thick as it gets, funky and popping. I love the guitar tracks on this too, so gritty and hard, couched in this soft velvety groove. It's glorious stuff.

New Music Tuesday
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It is a banner day for new music. The arrival of the Talking Heads Brick is the big story of the day for me. It's a beauteous box set (white plastic with song titles embossed all over it) with all 8 of the studio albums given the full remastering by Jerry Harrison. They all feature previously unreleased songs, and they are all DualDiscs - flip 'em over in your DVD player and its 5.1 surround mixes of the album plus bonus live performances and videos and stuff. IT IS SO BIG!!! I played Remain In Light, and got goosebumps from hearing the previously unreleased tracks. I also listened to I Zimbra from Fear Of Music and was blown away at how good the remaster sounds. This is going to keep me occupied for weeks!
Also out today - Metric's Live It Out, Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better, Broken Social Scene's self titled, Liz Phair's Somebody's Miracle, Ladytron's Witching Hour and, from the venerable DFA, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom's The Days Of Mars. I've got some serious listening to do!

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