Monday, November 07, 2005

Classic 12"s of the '80s - Set The Tone

Set The Tone were a short lived (and pretty much unknown - googling will give you almost nothing) early '80s band that featured Kenny Hyslop, drummer for The Skids and then for the Simple Minds. They released a couple of singles and an LP - really more of an EP, as it only has 6 songs on it, before disbanding. They were a hard edged dance act that mixed tough beats with dubbed out punk funk. I can't remember if I heard them on the radio or had just read about them when I picked up their first single, 1982's Dance Sucker, appearing here in it's 12"-full-on-Francois Kevorkian-remixed glory. I fell in love with the song instantly, with it's hard assed groove, huge spongy synth bass and scratchy guitars. I also liked the aggressive vocals, all shouty and loud. It was so much thicker and beefier sounding than so many of the other things on the radio at the time, largely due to the ace production of Island Records' house whiz Steven Stanley. Of course it failed to make a dent in the charts - pah! I say. I stand by it today as a fierce call to get your ass on the floor and dance, and in light of the resurgence of all things post-punk and funk, it stills sounds pretty good.

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