September 20, 2020

Rush - Signals (1982) - €10,00

Signals is the ninth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in September 1982 by Anthem Records. After the release of their previous album, Moving Pictures, the band started to prepare material for a follow-up during soundchecks on their 1981 concert tour and during the mixing of their subsequent live album Exit...Stage Left. Signals demonstrates the group continuing with the use of synthesizers, sequencers, and other electronic instrumentation. 
It is their last album produced by their longtime associate Terry Brown, who had worked with them since 1974. 

Side one

"Subdivisions" was one of the first songs Rush had arranged for Signals. After Peart devised a set of lyrics, Lifeson and Lee wrote a collection of musical ideas to fit Peart's words. Peart recalled that his bandmates interrupted him as he was cleaning his car and set up a portable cassette player on the driveway outside the studio, and played him what they had come up with. Peart added: "I listened closely, picking up the variations on 7/8 and 3/4, the way the guitar adopts the role of rhythm section while the keyboards take the melody, returning to bass with guitar leading in the chorus, then the Mini-moog taking over again for the instrumental bridge", and told Lifeson and Lee that he liked it.

"The Analog Kid" originated during the group's stay at Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands in January 1982, travelling on a yacht named Orianda. Peart had written the words to the song initially as a companion piece to "Digital Man", which Rush had started working on in late 1981, and presented it to Lee. The two discussed what could be done with the lyrics in a musical sense, deciding on the opposite on what the words may suggest, with Peart describing the track as "a very up-tempo rocker, with some kind of a dynamic contrast for the choruses".

"Chemistry" was developed during soundchecks on the Moving Pictures tour in 1981. It was during one particular session during the United States leg whereby, after each member checking each of their instruments separately, "a little spontaneous creation" came about which produced a song without the group realising it. Each member played a different part; Lee played what became the keyboard section for the bridge, Lifeson the guitar riffs heard in the verses, and Peart the drum pattern for the chorus.Upon listening to the soundcheck tapes, Lifeson and Lee took each section and arranged it into a complete track before they produced a demo which almost matched the version recorded for the album. "Chemistry" marked the first time that each member collaborated on the lyrics to a song, with Lifeson and Lee devising its title, concept, and several phrases that they wished for it to include. Peart then took their ideas and developed a set of complete lyrics. He named "Chemistry" as the easiest song to write for Signals.

"Digital Man" was one of the songs worked on during the late 1981 writing sessions at Le Studio, during which the music and lyrics for its verses, plus the ska-influenced bridge, was worked out. The song was also heavily influenced by funk, with Lee's bass line described as "so funky and fluid its almost laughable". Its instrumental break has been compared with "Walking on the Moon" by The Police. The song developed further in March 1982 during the band's one month stay at The Grange in Muskoka Lakes, Ontario. Peart wrote the remaining lyrics by an open fire in his chalet while Lifeson and Lee worked on the music in the adjacent barn. After numerous attempts they devised a combination of suitable words and music for the chorus, and Peart wrote: "We were all very pleased with the dynamic and unusual nature of the part, it was so different for us". However, Brown expressed a lack of enthusiasm to record the song and remained so until the group had continually talked about why it worked "until he got tired of hearing about it". "The Analog Kid" and "Digital Man" served as the inspiration for comic book writer Troy Hickman to create heroes of the same names in his 2004 comic Common Grounds.

Side two

"The Weapon" is the second part of Rush's "Fear" song series. During a writing session at a northern Ontario manor home in 1981, Lee and his friend Oscar devised what Peart described as the foundation of "a highly mysterious and bizarre drum pattern" with his drum machine. At a subsequent rehearsal, Peart learned to play the part on his own drum kit which required him to alter his usual technique, but took the experience as an enjoyable challenge.

"New World Man" was put together in May 1982 when the backing tracks for the album's other seven tracks were completed, and there was enough space on the vinyl for a song under four minutes. Had the track become too long, the band would have put it down and used it for a subsequent release. "New World Man" began with Peart writing lyrics that tied in themes from other songs on the album, "and came up with a straightforward, concise set of lyrics consisting of the two verses and the two choruses". The group adopted a "fast and loose" approach for its corresponding music and worked swiftly, with the song fully arranged in one day and recorded in the course of the next.

"Losing It" originated from a theme Lifeson had come up with which was used in subsequent rehearsal sessions to produce a demo with keyboards and drums. In June 1982, when the band revisited the song in the studio, they discussed the possibility of Ben Mink of the band FM playing the electric violin somewhere on Signals, and decided that "Losing It" was the best track for his contribution. To cater for the part, Rush put down the basic track for a jazz-oriented solo section and invited Mink to the studio which included him multi-tracking various notes to resemble a complete string section. The lyrics include references to the latter years of writer Ernest Hemingway–"For you the blind who once could see, the bell tolls for thee". It was not played live until 2015 when Rush performed it at five concerts on their R40 Live Tour.

"Countdown" was inspired by the band attending the launch of the STS-1 Columbia space shuttle in April 1981, the first of NASA's Space Shuttle program. They had been invited to the launch and observed it from a VIP area at an air base in Cape Kennedy, Florida. The song features samples of radio communications recorded before and during the flight. 

Side A
A1. Subdivisions - 5:34  
A2. The Analog Kid - 4:47  
A3. Chemistry - 4:56  
A4. Digital Man - 6:23  

Side B
B1. The Weapon - 6:27  
B2. New World Man - 3:44  
B3. Losing It - 4:53  
B4. Countdown - 5:48 

Release:  1982
Format:  LP
Genre:  Progressive Rock, Synth-rock
Label : Mercury Records
Catalog# 6337243

Vinyl:  VG+
Hoes:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

Earth & Fire - Andromeda Girl (1981) - €10,00

Met dit album sloeg Earth & Fire een totale andere richting in.  Hier zijn wel weer een aantal singles op te vinden zoals Love Is An Ocean en Tell Me Why en Dream. Maar die werden niet zulke grote hits, jammer!
De titelsong is meer verrassend dan echt heel erg goed, maar het is zeker de blikvanger van dit album. 
In feite is "Andromeda girl" (het nummer) een uit zijn krachten gegroeide popsong, opgerekt tot epische lengte.
Het titelnummer is het enige echt opwindende nummer aan deze plaat. Het is uitgerekt tot bijna 12 minuten en doet daardoor denken aan de epische prognummers die E&F in de jaren zeventig afleverde. Zo'n nummer is het echter niet. Het komt helaas zelfs niet in de buurt van de enige 'epic' (People come, people go) op het voorafgaande album Reality fills fantasy.
Daaromheen 'losse' nummers die vallen onder de categorie 'het gaat' tot 'wel aardig'. De nummers blijven niet hangen. De single "Dream" is beduidend aardiger dan de opvolgers "Love is an ocean" en "Tell me why".
Ik zal wel eens gezegd hebben dat Earth & fire inmiddels uitgeblust klonk. Ik weet niet of Andromeda girl nu valt onder uitgeblust. Het is meer enigszins tandeloos en het album leidt aan een gebrek aan creatieve ideëen. Tandeloos, alle scherpe randjes die symfonische rock als eigenschap kenmerken zijn volledig afgevlakt en de popmuziek, die met Weekend zijn intrede heeft gedaan, is alom aanwezig.

Jerney Kaagman zingt nog wel goed maar ze brengt je niet meer in vervoering. En dat ligt dan toch echt aan het repertoire.

Side A
A1. Dream - 3:12   
A2. Singer In The Rain - 3:12   
A3. Andromeda Girl - 12:04   
A4. What More Could You Desire - 3:05  

Side B
B1. Tell Me Why - 3:11   
B2. Love Is An Ocean - 4:00   
B3. You - 4:35   
B4. From Shore To Shore - 3:24   
B5. Just One Chance - 4:20 

Release: 1981
Format:  LP
Genre:  Progressieve Pop
Label:  Vertigo Records
Catalog#  6399271

Vinyl:  VG+
Hoes:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

September 19, 2020

Yes - Drama (1980) - €10,00

Drama is the tenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes, released on 18 August 1980 by Atlantic Records. It was their first album to feature Trevor Horn as lead vocalist, as well as keyboardist Geoff Downes. This followed the departures of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman after numerous attempts to record a new album in Paris and London had failed. Drama was recorded hurriedly, because a tour had already been booked before the change in personnel. The album marked a departure in the band's musical direction with more accessible and aggressive songs, and featuring the use of modern keyboards, overdriven guitar, and a vocoder

The album opens with the ten-minute "Machine Messiah" which, according to Horn, was written in one day. It features some guitar riffs from Howe that reporter and critic Chris Welch described as "unexpectedly heavy metal". White called the song his "baby", putting together much of its structure and rhythm. Squire found some of its passages difficult to play on his bass and thought it was more suited for keyboards, but was encouraged by White to master his parts. Downes rates the track highly, citing its various sections and mood changes. When he was composing his keyboard parts for the song, Downes included an arpeggiated segment from the Toccata fifth movement of Symphony for Organ No. by Charles-Marie Widor, a piece that he was familiar with from his youth.

"White Car" was recorded in one afternoon. Downes only played a Fairlight CMI synthesiser on the recording, to test its sampling capabilities: "I tried to simulate an orchestra using these samples, but it was very early days of digital sampling. The bandwidth was very narrow, but that's what gave it all that characteristic 'crunch factor'. We then added the vocoder and Trevor's vocal to the mix". Horn's lyrics were about seeing pop figure Gary Numan driving his Stingray, which was given to him by his record company.

"Does It Really Happen?" originated from the 1979 Paris sessions, with White coming up with its drum pattern. A version featuring Anderson singing a different set of lyrics was recorded, but it was shelved until it was developed further when Horn and Downes joined and made additions to the song. Horn and Squire wrote new lyrics.

"Into the Lens" was originally completed by Horn and Downes before they joined the group, but Squire took a liking to it and wished to re-arrange it as a Yes track. The track features Downes using a vocoder, further highlighting the band's new sound. A version recorded by Horn and Downes only was later released on the second Buggles album, Adventures in Modern Recording (1981), with the title "I Am a Camera".

"Run Through the Light" features Howe playing a Les Paul guitar, "in the background being very melancholy" with Squire playing a piano and Horn playing bass, something which Horn did not particularly wish to do, but Squire convinced him to perform. "I didn't quite know what to play on it ... one day we spent twelve hours playing and working the final bass part". A different version of the song was recorded with Anderson.

"Tempus Fugit" was another song sketched out by the Squire, Howe and White trio in late 1979. Its title is a Latin expression that translates as "time flies". According to Howe, its name was derived from Squire's habit of arriving late to places.

Side A
A1. Machine Messiah (10:27) 
A2. White Car (1:21) 
A3. Does It Really Happen? (6:35) 

Side B 
B1. Into the Lens (8:33) 
B2. Run Through the Light (4:43) 
B3. Tempus Fugit (5:15)

Release: 1980
Format: LP 
Genre: Progressive Rock 
Label: Atlantic Records 
Catalog# ATL 50736 

Vinyl: VG+ 
Cover: VG+ (Gatefold)

Prijs: €10,00

September 18, 2020

Ellen Foley - Night Out (1979) - €10,00

Night Out is the 1979 debut studio album by Ellen Foley, a long-time backup vocalist for Meat Loaf. Seven of the nine tracks were cover versions of Foley's favorite songs, while two were co-written by Foley.

The grand opener "We Belong to the Night" is breathtaking and bombastic bliss; a creamy confection of debonair dreams that could only come from the late '70s and the glitter-gutter combo of Mick Ronson and Ian Hunter. The princely poppers provide the perfect atmosphere for Foley's powerful theatrics on her inaugural flight.

The second single, "What's a Matter Baby," soars just as high in the stratosphere: a little bit '50s, but a whole lot cosmic. It's a crime music which hides in the recesses of the past, because this gem is priceless, if only for the first two tracks.
Ronson's axe is exemplary throughout: shooting over Mars and then swooping back through nocturnal cityscapes. He twists "Heartful of Soul" into "Young Lust" and makes a break for it in "Hide Away." Obviously haunted by midnight Spectors, kindred spirit Hunter supplies the perfect keyboard counterpart: mission control for Ronson's rockets.

The swirling storm whipping through Gram Parker's "Thunder and Rain" builds to an almost unbearable compression of intensity. In the eye of this celestial storm, Foley scats, scolds, swoons, croons, pouts, pleads, and purrs in a rich tone that few femme fatales possess, scaling a towering wall of sonic seduction.
The sublime proceedings finally slow down to a crawl for fallout "Don't Let Go," but it's just the mourning after an unforgettable Night Out.
One of which was "We Belong to the Night", which, as a single, hit #1 in the Netherlands.

The musicians were mostly from Ian Hunter's touring band which promoted his 1979 album You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic with the addition of the Australian musician Kerryn Tolhurst on slide guitar.

Side A
A1. We Belong to the Night   (5:24)
A2. What’s a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You)   (3:47)
A3. Stupid Girl   (4:09)
A4. Night Out  (5:21)

Side B
B1. Thunder and Rain  (3:04)
B2. Sad Song  (3:31)
B3. Young Lust  (5:34)
B4. Hideaway  (3:50)
B5. Don’t Let Go  (3:56)

Release:  1979
Format:  LP
Genre:  Rock
Label:  Epic Records
Catalog#  EPC 83718

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

September 17, 2020

Golden Earring - Grab It For A Second (1978) - €10,00

Grab It for a Second is an album by Dutch rock band Golden Earring, released in 1978. 
On Grab It for a Second, Golden Earring continued in the straightforward hard rock direction they started with 1977's Contraband
They also went for a more radio-friendly sound by teaming up with producer Jimmy Iovine, who polished their sound to a new level of slickness and also fleshed out the group's sound with session musicians like percussionist Jimmy Maelen. The result is an album that rocks hard, but loses sight of the band's personality. Much of Grab It for a Minute feels like an attempt to compete with the likes of Bad Company or Aerosmith: rockers like "Roxanne" and "Tempting" crackle with energy but feel like they could have been performed by any second-tier hard rock band of the 1970s. 
The hard-rocking numbers are further hindered by Jimmy Iovine's overtly slick production, which causes them to sound so similar to each other that they end up blending together into an indistinguishable blur. 
The one rocker that stands out from this pack is "Leather," a cheeky ode to sadomasochism built on a distinctive and powerful dual-guitar riff. Other highlights include "Against the Grain," a synthesizer-drenched power ballad that sports a memorable singalong chorus, and the title track, a steam and intense rocker that sports some of the album's most intricate guitar riffs and is further enhanced by the addition of congas on its instrumental breaks. 
Despite these occasional high points, Grab It for a Second is too faceless of an affair to win Golden Earring any new fans and is only recommended to the group's most fervent devotees. 

Side A
A1. Movin’ Down Life - 3:31   
A2. Against The Grain - 4:35   
A3. Grab It For A Second - 4:10   
A4. Cell 29 - 6:39  

Side B
B1. Roxanne - 3:39   
B2. Leather - 5:01   
B3. Temptin’ - 3:43   
B4. U-Turn Time - 3:25 

Release:  1978
Format:  LP
Genre:  Rock
Label:  Polydor Records
Catalog#  2344118

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

September 16, 2020

Philadelphia International All-Stars - Let´s Clean Up The Ghetto (1977) - €10,00

Issued in July 1977 as Let's Clean Up the Ghetto by the Philadelphia International All-Stars, this is one of Philly soul's most socially aware efforts.

The album's title track was a coming together of artists signed to Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records: Lou Rawls, Billy Paul, Archie Bell, Teddy Pendergrass, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble, and Eddie Levert and Walter Williams of the O'Jays.
The compelling track with its "we're on the move'' bassline went to number four R&B, number 91 pop on Billboard's charts in summer 1977.

The profits were allotted to a charity program. Even though the rest of the LP consists of various unreleased tracks, the result is consistent. The brassy "The Big Gangster" by the O'Jays got airplay as an album track. Other highlights are the fervent "Now Is the Time to Do It" by Teddy Pendergrass; the buoyant, optimistic "New World Comin'" by Billy Paul' and Archie Bell & the Drells' celebration of seniors, "Old People," produced by Bunny Sigler

Side A
A1.   Lou Rawls - Trade Winds   (3:48)
A2.   The Philadelphia International All-Stars - Let's Clean Up The Ghetto   (8:42)
A3.   Dee Dee Sharp Gamble - Ooh Child   (3:32)
A4.   Teddy Pendergrass - Now Is The Time   (3:42)
A5.   The Three Degrees - Year Of Decision   (2:34)

Side B
B1.   The O'Jays - The Big Gangster   (3:50)
B2.   Billy Paul - New Day, New World Comin'   (4:30)
B3.   Archie Bell & The Drells - Old People   (3:45)
B4.   Intruders - Save The Children   (4:12)
B5.   Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes - Everybody's Talkin'   (3:51)

Release:  1977
Format:   LP
Genre:   Philly Soul
Label:   PIR Records
Catalog#   PIR 82198

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs:  €10,00

September 14, 2020

Rosie Vela - Zazu (1986) - €10,00

Roseanne “Rosie” Vela (born December 18, 1952) is an American model and singer-songwriter.
Vela was born in Galveston, Texas. Her family later moved to Arkansas, where she attended the University of Arkansas. While studying art and music, Vela also began modeling. She married the Arkansas born musician, Jimmy Roberts, but he died of cancer shortly after. Following this, Vela moved to New York where her modeling career took off and she graced the covers of magazines including Vogue and Newsweek from 1975 onwards, and appeared in numerous television commercials and films such as Michael Cimino’s ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and Jack Nicholson’s ‘Two Jakes’ and another with Michael Madsen.
Turning her attention to music, Vela built a home recording studio for herself and signed a recording contract with A&M Records. She released her debut album Zazu in 1986. The entire album was written or co-written by Vela and was produced by Gary Katz. It is also notable for the fact that it included contributions from both Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (two of Vela’s musical heroes) – almost 10 years after they had disbanded their group Steely Dan. Though the album was critically acclaimed, it went largely unnoticed in the U.S. It fared better in Europe and a single from the album Magic Smile was a Top 30 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The album itself peaked at #20 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified silver by the BPI in March 1987. Further singles “Interlude” and “Fool’s Paradise” met with less success.
It has been reported that Vela recorded a second album entitled Sun Upon the Altar, but the album remains unreleased.
Following Zazu, Vela did not release any further recordings, but has since become a backing vocalist for other musicians including Electric Light Orchestra on their 2001 album Zoom. Vela also performed a few shows with the band and was (for 7 years) in a relationship with ELO’s lead singer Jeff Lynne. Vela co-wrote “A Woman Like That” with Lynne for a 1998 British movie called Still Crazy.
Vela has also appeared in several films including Heaven’s Gate (as the “beautiful girl” who makes Kris Kristofferson‘s character fall in love during Harvard‘s graduation ceremony scene), The Two Jakes and Inside Edge opposite Michael Madsen.

Side A
A1.  Fool’s Paradise  (4:00)
A2.  Magic Smile  (4:24)
A3.  Interlude  (3:55)
A4.  Tonto  (5:38)

Side B
B1.  Sunday  (4:31)
B2.  Taxi  (3:25)
B3.  2nd Emotion  (4:46)
B4.  Boxs  (3:52)
B5.  Zazu  (4:46)

Release:  1986
Format:  LP
Genre:  Pop
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  395016-1

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

September 13, 2020

Supertramp - Paris (2LP) (1980) - €20,00

Paris is a live album by the English rock band Supertramp, released in 1980. It was recorded on Supertramp's Breakfast in America tour in Paris, France, with most of the tracks taken from a 29 November 1979 show at the Pavillon de Paris, a venue which was once a slaughterhouse. The album was originally going to be called RoadworksParis reached number 8 on the Billboard 200 in late 1980 and went Gold immediately, while the live version of "Dreamer" hit the US Top 20.
According to Roger Hodgson, Supertramp had several reasons to record a live album at the time, including a desire to introduce their pre-Breakfast in America works to USA listeners and a mutual sentiment that some of their songs were pulled off better live than in the studio.
However, he admits that the chief purpose of the album was to buy time; the band was under pressure to produce a suitable follow-up to the immense success of Breakfast in America, and needed to get off the treadmill of touring and recording for a while in order to consider their direction for such an album.
Taking such a breather meant the next studio album wouldn't be finished until 1981 at the earliest, and so something was needed "to fill the gap."
Using the band's mobile studio, a number of shows in Canada and throughout Europe were recorded. However, when Pete Henderson and Russel Pope presented the band with unlabeled cassettes containing rough mixes of these recordings, and the members voted on their favourite tracks, the majority of votes coincidentally fell on recordings from the 29 November show at the Pavilion.
A few tracks were taken from other concerts during the band's stay in Paris, and studio overdubs were also added, chiefly for the vocals and John Helliwell's organ.
However, Helliwell contended that the amount of overdubbing was minimal compared to most live albums of the time: "A lot of people, when they make a live album, just keep the drums and bass and redo everything else." Filmmaker Derek Burbidge shot the concerts in 16 mm film, missing only five songs ("A Soapbox Opera", "You Started Laughing", "From Now On", "Ain't Nobody But Me" and "Downstream") to lower expenses and give the camera crew some rest. A&M Records requested music videos out of three songs, “Dreamer”, “The Logical Song” and “Asylum”. Peter Clifton edited them along with Sarah Legon, and even extended his work to ten songs. However, the studio never sent an approval, so Clifton retreated back to his Sydney home and brought the negatives along to Australia.
The album's set list contains almost all of the 1974 Crime of the Century (except for "If Everyone Was Listening"), three songs from Crisis? What Crisis? (1975), two from Even in the Quietest Moments (1977), three from Breakfast in America (1979) plus "You Started Laughing", the B-side to the track "Lady" from Crisis? What Crisis?.

Side A
A1.   School  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson with Rick Davies)   (5:41)
A2.   Ain’t Nobody But Me  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)   (5:24)
A3.   The Logical Song  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (3:56)
A4.   Bloody Well Right  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)   (7:23)

Side B
B1.   Breakfast In America  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (3:57)
B2.   You Started Laughing  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)   (4:02)
B3.   Hide In Your Shell  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (6:54)
B4.   From Now On  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies with Roger Hodgson)   (7:05)

Side C
C1.   Dreamer  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson with Rick Davies)   (3:44)
C2.   Rudy  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies plus Roger Hodgson)   (7:08)
C3.   A Soapbox Opera  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (4:51)
C4.   Asylum  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies plus Roger Hodgson)   (6:51)

Side D
D1.   Take the Long Way Home  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (4:57)
D2.   Fool’s Overture  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (10:57)
D3.   Two of Us  (Lead vocals: Roger Hodgson)   (1:25)
D4.   Crime Of The Century  (Lead vocals: Rick Davies)   (6:31)

Release:  1980
Format:  2LP (Gatefold)
Genre:  Progressive Rock
Label:  A&M Records
Catalog#  AMLM 66702

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €20,00

Ultravox - Rage In Eden (1981) - €10,00

Rage in Eden is the fifth album by the British new wave band Ultravox. It was released in 1981 on Chrysalis.
Like the band's previous two albums, Rage in Eden was co-produced by Conny Plank. It was recorded at his studio in Cologne, West Germany.
Following on from the success of Vienna, Ultravox cemented their position as a New Romantic phenomenon with their follow-up, 1981's Rage in Eden. The martial beats and political undertones of "The Thin Wall" single acted as a potent taster for the album, to be joined in the U.K. Top 20 by the even more powerful message of "The Voice."
The latter song opened the album, but nothing that followed equaled its strength, its sequencing a flaw in an otherwise excellent set.
That said, propulsive numbers like "We Stand Alone" and "I Remember (Death in the Afternoon)," the rebellious angst of "Accent on Youth," the exotic strains of "Stranger Within," and the haunting "Your Name Has Slipped My Mind Again" all contained their own power. And even if the instrumental "The Ascent" harkened back to "Vienna," it was obvious that with Eden, Ultravox was climbing to grand new heights.
The abstract album artwork was designed by Peter Saville, known for his collaborations with New Order. All re-issues of the album since 1981, however, have different artwork, due to licensing problems concerning the original cover.

Side A
A1.  The Voice - 6:00
A2.  We Stand Alone - 5:37
A3.  Rage In Eden - 4:11
A4.  I Remember (Death In The Afternoon) - 4:56

Side B
B1.  The Thin Wall - 5:38
B2.  Stranger Within - 7:26
B3.  Accent On Youth - 5:57
B4.  The Ascent - 1:10
B5.  Your Name (Has Slipped My Mind Again) - 4:28

Release: 1981
Format:  LP
Genre:  New Wave, Synthpop
Label:  Chrysalis Records
Catalog#  203958

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

Yazoo - Upstairs At Eric´s (1982) - €10,00

Upstairs at Eric's is the debut album by British synthpop duo Yazoo (known in the US and Canada as Yaz).
Vince Clarke can claim involvement in two stunning debuts in only two years: Depeche Mode's Speak and Spell and Yaz's Upstairs at Eric's. While Speak and Spell is, by far, the more consistent record, Upstairs at Eric's is wholly more satisfying, beating the Depeche record on substance and ambition, and is light years ahead in emotion.
"Don't Go" and "Situation" are absolutely killer with Clarke's bubbling synth and singer Alison Moyet's bluesy and powerful delivery. They're both rightful dance floor staples, and have since undergone numerous remixes, both official and bootleg. "Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)" is just as good a thumper, adding a wonderful mumbled bridge that shows how much Clarke enjoyed messing with pop music.
The softer "Only You" would have sounded silly and robotic if it had appeared on Speak and Spell, but Moyet's vocals makes it bittersweet and engaging. The clumsier experimental tracks make most people head for the hits collection, but to do so would be to miss the album's great twist.
The loony tape loop of "I Before E Except After C," the skeletal "Winter Kills," and a disruptive phone call in the middle of the naïve "Bad Connection" offer up more complex and intimate moments. Like its curious cover, Upstairs at Eric's presents a fractured, well-lit, and paranoid urban landscape.

The album cover depicts two mannequins in a sparsely furnished loft, facing each other over a table, with the lower part of the dummies' bodies seated on chairs while the upper portions are perched on the edges of the table. It was shot by photographer Joe Lyons at his first photo studio in north London, and he described how he had set up the shot:

Side A
A1. Don’t Go - 3:08
A2. Too Pieces - 3:14
A3. Bad Connection - 3:20
A4. I Before E Except After C - 4:36
A5. Midnight - 4:22
A6. In My Room - 3:52

Side B
B1. Only You - 3:14
B2. Goodbye 70’s - 2:35
B3. Tuesday - 3:22
B4. Winter Kills - 4:06
B5. Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I) - 4:40

Release:  1982
Format:  LP
Genre:  Electronic
Label:  MUTE Records
Catalog#  540037

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

Level 42 - Standing In The Light (1983) - €10,00

Standing in the Light is the fourth studio album released by the British jazz-funk band Level 42. The album, released in 1983.
Standing in the Light was Level 42's first major success in the U.K., hitting the top ten in 1983 and beginning a string of successful recordings that would continue throughout the band's career. The band's previous releases were pleasant but somewhat tepid exercises in jazz-lite; Standing in the Light not only marked a significant change of direction, but proved Level 42 could truly be an ace pop band.
Level 42's first three releases Level 42 (1981), The Pursuit of Accidents (1982), and The Early Tapes (a compilation of material recorded in 1980, prior to the band's signing to Polydor) revealed a promising young band with undeniable talent and melodic instincts. Despite modest success with strong singles such as "Turn it On" and "The Chinese Way," pointless instrumentals and slick production added unnecessary weight to these albums.
Standing in the Light was different for two main reasons : the songs were shorter and more accessible, and for the first time, all the songs included vocals. The group began as an all-instrumental jazz outfit; in order for Level 42 to become more commercially viable, bassist Mark King and keyboardist Mike Lindup eventually began to open their mouths and sing.
Never a strong vocalist, King nevertheless was an engaging frontman, becoming more relaxed and self assured as the band's career progressed, while Lindup's falsetto backing vocals added a distinctive touch. "Micro Kid," the opening cut here, is a good example of their approach; the synth-heavy track also prominently features Lindup's brilliant keyboard work.
Produced by Larry Dunn and Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire (one of Level 42's obvious influences), Standing in the Light contains a number of strong tracks; the funky British top-ten hit "The Sun Goes Down" and the midtempo ballad "People" are highlights, and the band's amazing musicianship is always a pleasure to hear. Only the goofy "A Pharaoh's Dream (of Endless Time)" bogs down the album, and Mark King's trademark thumb-slapping bass playing technique makes even that tune worth hearing.
Like most early-to-mid 80's albums, Standing in the Light also suffers from a somewhat dated sound, but it is one of the most impressive offerings in Level 42's strong body of work.

Side A
A1. Micro-kid - 4:44
A2. The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up) - 4:15
A3. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind - 5:12
A4. Dance On Heavy Weather - 4:27

Side B
B1. A Pharaoh’s Dream (Of Endless Time) - 4:21
B2. Standing In The Light - 3:42
B3. I Want Eyes - 4:59
B4. People - 4:55
B5. The Machine Stops - 4:15

Release:  1983
Format:  LP
Genre:  Jazz-Funk
Label:  Polydor Records
Catalog#  813865-1

Vinyl:   VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00

September 12, 2020

Matt Bianco - Whose Side Are You On (1984) - €10,00

Whose Side Are You On? is the debut album by British band Matt Bianco, released in 1984. For this album, Matt Bianco was a trio of Basia Trzetrzelewska (vocals), Mark Reilly (vocals), and Danny White (keyboards).

If one is to be charitable, they were part of a contrary and artistically, almost quite interesting reaction against punk and, more accurately, post-punk. Of that, there is no doubt. The distinctly coffee-table vibe was pretty novel at the time. For that, they should be lauded, along with other first-footers like Sade and even Swing Out Sister. On the other hand, that very aesthetic lends their music a distinct wine bar vibe. Aspirational and, though the band themselves may not be, a rather pointed, almost Thatcherite reaction against the drudgery of the ’70s and early ’80s. Plus the end game for this particular movement was bands like Curiosity Killed the Cat, and that can never be excused.
It is, however, a piece of music and on that, it must be judged, however hard it is to escape seeing it as a historical artefact in a wider context. An artefact that forms a bridge from the grimly worthy guitar scene at the time to the even grimmer modern reality of All Bar One and the Prosecco Years.
So what does this expanded reissue of the debut album sound like? It’s slick, jazz-inflected with jittery Latin rhythms, polished to within an inch of its life. It’s pleasant and there’s no doubt that the songwriting duo, Mark Reilly and Danny White know their way around a glistening pop hook. Some almost bossa nova rhythms drag tunes like ‘More Than I Can Bear‘ along with fellow band member Basia Trzetrzelewska also providing vocals. It’s considered and in many ways so terribly, terribly polite. It certainly reflects a feeling from the time which was beginning to look outwards. Outwards towards espadrilles, cheap foreign holidays and a rather tamer take on the new romantic look. Revolution it was not trying to be, and it isn’t.
The effect over the double CD is simultaneously enlightening and alarming. Enlightening as it shows the relatively anarchic state of the music industry at the time that relative chart success came their way and, alarming as it really is just pleasant. It’s not overtly offensive, it’s not thrilling, it’s…nice. Whether that’s what Robert Johnson flogged his soul for is a moot point. It probably is what caused a few ageing new romantics to take off their eyeliner and discover the joys of a dry white wine on the way home from work – weather dependent. This is music for sunny days or a fortnight in Malaga. Perhaps it even encouraged more investigation into Latin music. Certainly intrigued Emilio Estefan (husband and producer of Gloria Estefan) enough to get involved on later singles. Tracks like ‘Matt’s Mood‘, with its rattling cowbell, make it easy to see why a dancefloor producer may take an interest. In fact stripping it back even further would make a pretty solid club track. More is more, as was too often the way at the time, however.
Matt Bianco are still an ongoing concern, with at least one reunion of the original lineup, barring the unfortunately deceased Kito Poncioni. A nicely carved out career involving taking control of their own recording processes and releasing on an ad hoc basis, it must be said.
In addition to the original album, there are a host of b-sides and alternate mixes. As usual some fare better than others. An extended mix of the parping jollity of ‘Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed‘ may prove a little too much to bear but the five-minute take of the aforementioned ‘Matt’s Mood‘ is actually rather good. Plenty in there for the fans anyway, with demos and whatnot. Indeed the rougher, less produced version of ‘Half A Minute‘ is considerably superior to that tossed out the studio machine. There’s a life in its more organic take.
Pick and choose and there’s some decent stuff here. If all that fails head to YouTube and examine their infamous appearance on Saturday Superstore. A true classic of ’80s youth culture.

Side A
A1. Whose Side Are You On? - 4:32
A2. More Than I Can Bear - 4:15
A3. No No Never - 3:43
A4. Half a Minute - 3:49
A5. Matt’s Mood - 5:19

Side B
B1. Get Out of Your Lazy Bed - 3:28
B2. It’s Getting Late - 3:29
B3. Sneaking Out the Back Door - 3:46
B4. Riding With the Wind - 3:22
B5. Matt’s Mood II - 5:15

Release:  1984
Format:  LP
Genre:  Sophisti-pop
Label:  WEA Records
Catalog#  WX 7 240472-1

Vinyl:  VG+
Cover:  VG+

Prijs: €10,00