The 80s have a tough time of it. If we’re not laughing at the shoulder pads and bad hair, we’re dancing round to rubbish from Rick Astley and Wham! acting like it’s the best the decade had to offer.
Serious muso journalist Jon Savage is out to prove otherwise. Following on from his highly rated Motown compilation, this former Hacienda DJ has now turned his ears to the pulsating beats of the early 80s presenting this his collection of classic first wave electro from 82-87, a combination of funk and disco.
Young whippersnappers probably won’t be familiar with anything save Yazoo’s 1982 debut B-side ‘Situation’, recently brought to life for a new generation thanks to The Saturdays. But this isn’t a totally obscure look at the period – Class Action’s Weekend has been recently featured on Grand Theft Auto and creepy, morbid sounding instrumental ‘Dirty Talk’ from US/Italian duo Klein & MBO popped up on Royksopp’s Back To Mine collection.
If you’re after songs that will make you want to dance until 7am, Debbie Deb’s freestyle classic ‘When I Hear Music’ and Nuance’s ‘Love Ride’ fit the bill. But mixed amongst the joy is a reminder of a scene tinged with sadness as New York drag artist Noel sings of his lustful urges and the aftermath of a night “on fire” when he wakes up alone.
We could live without the dumb ‘Lisa’s Coming’ but save that, Jon Savage‘s eloquent sleeve notes will be worth the price alone.