Chart for stowaways – 25 March 2017

Here’s the latest album chart:

  1. Depeche Mode – Spirit
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène 3
  3. The Human League – Anthology – A Very British Synthesizer Group
  4. New Order – Lost Sirens
  5. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène Trilogy
  6. Dusty Springfield – Reputation
  7. Soft Cell / Marc Almond – Hits and Pieces – The Best Of
  8. C Duncan – The Midnight Sun
  9. David Bowie – Legacy
  10. Delerium – Mythologie

Preview – Marc Almond

Nurp nurp. Obviously you’ll be buying this for Tainted Love, but this latest compilation by Marc Almond and Soft Cell also brings you most of the important hits (BedsitterSay Hello, Wave GoodbyeThe Days of Pearly SpencerAdored and Explored, etc). It’s spread across two discs, possibly not entirely out of necessity, but it does have this rather nice new track, A Kind of Love (presumably a Tainted kind).

Anthology Season

Logically, I should probably own a few anthologies – I’m the kind of person who would. But, despite having listened to New Order‘s Retro a few times, I remain decidedly underwhelmed by the concept. So this year’s influx of anthologies in our line of music comes as something of a shock to the system, and it’s worth taking a moment to consider what’s actually in them.

Marc Almond – Trials of Eyeliner – The Anthology 1979-2016

Marc Almond announced his first, and it finally enters the shops on 4th November. Here are some quick statistics:

  • Number of discs: 10
  • Number of tracks: 189
  • Retail price: £120

Discs 1-4 are History, a collection of Marc’s favourite album tracks over his impressively long career.

Then Discs 5-7 are Singles, a complete collection of the Soft Cell, Marc and the Mambas, solo, and collaborative hits.

Discs 8-10 are Gems, a set of fanclub releases, collaborations, tracks from soundtracks, demos, and previously unreleased recordings.

You also get a 64-page hardcover book full of photos and images from Marc Almond‘s personal collection.

More details here.

The verdict, for me: you probably need to be a bigger fan than I am.

Erasure – From Moscow to Mars – An Erasure Anthology

Erasure are currently still busy celebrating their thirtieth birthday with some lovely vinyl editions, and also this, released on 21st October:

  • Number of discs: 13
  • Number of tracks: 200
  • Retail price: £80

Discs 1-3 are Erasure – The Singles, another collection of all the Erasure singles. Since we only got Total Pop! in 2009 and another collection just last year, this seems a bit unnecessary.

Discs 4-5 are Erasure by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, with one disc compiled by each. There are some interesting inclusions, and it would definitely be worth hearing, but probably not one that even the most devoted fan would pick up too often.

Discs 6-7 are Erasure – The B-Sides, an incomplete selection of Erasure‘s b-sides. There are a lot of gems on here actually, and it’s good to see so many of them in the same place at once. Probably worth a listen.

Discs 8-9 are just called Remixes, and are yet another selection of new and old Erasure remixes. There are some interesting looking new ones, such as Little Boots taking on Blue Savannah, but I think you would need to be a completist for this.

Disc 10 has been done before as well – Erasure – Live! is another edited selection of live highlights throughout the years.

Disc 11 is Rarities, some of which haven’t actually been released before, so might be worth the odd listen now and then.

Disc 12 is a nice inclusion, an audio documentary called A Little Respect – 30 Years of Erasure, presented by Mark Goodier from off of the olden days, and with contributions from various contemporaries.

Finally Disc 13 is a DVD release of The Wild! Tour, previously only released on VHS, so probably a nice addition for completists.

Pre-orders also get six unreleased bonus downloads, although it’s difficult to believe there’s anything to write home about among them.

More details here.

The verdict: despite the bargain price, I can’t see a strong reason to buy this one except for the b-sides collection. Hopefully that will come out separately one day.

The Human League – A Very British Synthesizer Group 1977-2016

The smallest of all the anthologies, and probably the one with the oddest artwork (see link below). Released on 18th November, the vital statistics look like this:

  • Number of discs: 4
  • Number of tracks: 92
  • Retail price: £80

There are just four discs on this one, although you do get a 58-page book too. Discs 1 and 2 are the complete collected singles from 1978 to the present, collected for the first time without any omissions.

The rest of the tracks are really just bonus material on a glorified best of. Disc 3 contains early versions of a lot of tracks, although many of them aren’t singles, so this is probably one for fans only.

Disc 4 is a DVD, containing every single one of their promotional videos and a collection of their BBC appearances.

There’s also a triple LP and double CD version containing just the singles, and they’re also touring the whole thing this Autumn.

More details here and here.

The verdict: very tempting, if the price decides to drop to something much more reasonable.

The best of the rest

Also coming out this Autumn are:

Sophisticated Boom Box MMXVI, an enormous 19-disc box set from Dead or Alive, including all the albums as two or three-disc sets, some of which have never actually been released in the UK before, as well as some DVDs and impressive packaging, all for just £118. Definitely one for bigger fans than me, but worth investigating if you’re into that kind of thing.

The Early Years 1965-1972, an astonishing 27-disc set from Pink Floyd, collecting albums, singles, unreleased tracks, singles, videos, and memorabilia from their early years, costing several months’ salary but possibly worth it if you’re an über-fan. More details here.

Depeche Mode take advantage of one of their many years off with a complete collection of videos, Video Singles Collection. This is a three-disc set containing the videos from 1981-2013, including a whole load of material that has never been released on DVD before, plus commentaries. Details here.

Record Store Day 2016

Backlash aside, I always feel as though we should try and stir up a bit of excitement for this weekend’s Record Store Day, as we did in previous years. Here are some of the releases that caught my eye…

  • a-haHits South America – five previously unreleased live tracks (12″ EP, 3,000 copies in the US, also in the UK and Germany)
  • AirCasanova 70 – four remixes including two by Brendan Lynch (12″ “maxi transparent splatter vinyl”, Canada, UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • David BowieThe Man Who Sold the World (12″ picture disc, 5,000 copies in the US, also Canada, Germany and Netherlands), TVC15 (7″ picture disc, 5,000 copies in the US, also Canada, Germany and Netherlands), and I Dig Everything – The Pye Singles (12″ EP, 7,500 copies in the US, also Canada)
  • CassiusAction EP and 8 Beats (both 12″x2, Germany only – the latter also in Canada)
  • ChvrchesEvery Open Eye Remix EP (12″ EP, 5,000 copies in the US and Canada)
  • John Cooper Clarke – Ou est le Maison de Fromage (180g coloured vinyl, UK only)
  • Étienne de CrécySuper Discount 1, Super Discount 2, and Super Discount 3 (all UK only, format not stated)
  • Dead Can DanceAnastasis (2xLP, 1,500 copies in the US, also Canada, Germany and Netherlands)
  • 808 StatePacific – three remixes (12″ EP, 2,000 copies in the US, also in the UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • EuropeThe Final Countdown 30th Anniversary – three tracks including new remix (12″ electric blue vinyl, UK only)
  • Frankie Goes to HollywoodRage Hard (The Making of a 12″) (12″ EP, 2,500 copies in the US, also in the UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • The Future Sound of LondonAccelerator plus Andrew Weatherall remix of Papua New Guinea and Stolen Documents (black heavy weight LP in printed inner bag with hand-numbered 7″ vinyl, UK and Germany only)
  • Heaven 17(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang (repressed 12″, Canada, UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • Jean-Michel JarreE.S.Exit (7″, Canada, UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • Kings of ConvenienceQuiet is the New Loud, Versus, and Riot on an Empty Street (LPs, UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • MadonnaLike a Virgin & Other Hits (12″ pink vinyl, reissue of 1984 Japanese EP with Obi Strip, 4,500 copies in the US, also in Canada, the UK and Netherlands)
  • Mike OldfieldNuclear (7″ picture disc, Canada, UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • The OrbThe Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld (4xLP, UK and Netherlands)
  • The ResidentsThis is a Special DJ Record of The Residents’ Alleged Music. Please Do Not Steal It! Keep it at Your Station – We Need the Radio Airplay (LP, 1,500 copies in the US, also in Canada, the UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • Soft CellSex Dwarf – including remixes by The Grid (12″, Canada, UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • Alan Partridge – Knowing Me, Knowing You (picture disc, UK only)
  • Doctor Who – Genesis of the Daleks (LP blue vinyl, 2,500 copies in the US, also in the UK,  Germany, and Netherlands)
  • Dr. Who and the Daleks / Dr. Who – Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (LP box set, UK only)

Good luck trying to find any of those. More information for the US here, the UK here, Germany here, and various other countries here.

Beginner’s guide to The Grid

Partly the dance side-project of Soft Cell member Dave Ball, and partly a groundbreaking trance duo, The Grid have four albums to their name and a whole heap of remixes.

Key moments

You’ll probably remember Texas CowboysSwamp Thing, or maybe even Rollercoaster from the Evolver album. After two relatively low key albums, somehow the third contained pretty much non-stop hits.

Where to start

There’s a comprehensive singles compilation in the shape of Music for Dancing (1995), which is definitely the best place to start.

What to buy

Evolver (1994) is their truly essential album. Follow that up with the debut Electric Head (1990), and then the second album 456 (1992), and you’ll have a pretty solid selection of early 1990s dance pop.

Don’t bother with

The 2008 comeback Doppelgänger is entirely forgettable, and the singles are probably for completists only.

Hidden treasure

Bob Kraushaar‘s single version of A Beat Called Love is brilliant, if you can find a copy.

For stowaways

The British Record Industry Awards 1982

Four and a bit years took place between the first ceremony in 1977 and its follow-up. Apparently perturbed by the domination of television at the previous ceremony, the “record industry” decided to reclaim its own awards. So there were no live performances, and there was no TV broadcast this year… and therefore no videos.

Now though, let’s transport ourselves back to London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on 4th February 1982, where David Jacobs is our host for the evening.

Best British Album

Nominees:

  • Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
  • The Human League – Dare
  • Queen – Queen’s Greatest Hits

Winner: Adam and the Ants.

Best British Female

Nominees:

  • Randy Crawford
  • Sheena Easton
  • Toyah Wilcox

Winner: Randy Crawford.

Best British Group

Nominees:

  • Adam and the Ants
  • Madness
  • The Police

Winner: The Police.

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • Elvis Costello
  • Cliff Richard
  • Shakin’ Stevens

Winner: Cliff Richard.

Best British Newcomer

In a quite astonishing line-up of nominations, Depeche Mode were pitted against The Human League and Soft Cell, as well as some other people you’ve probably never heard of:

  • Depeche Mode
  • The Human League
  • Linx
  • Soft Cell
  • Toyah Wilcox

Winner: The Human League.

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Stuart Colman
  • Chris Neil
  • Martin Rushent

Winner: Martin Rushent.

Best British Single

Nominees:

  • Adam and the Ants – Prince Charming
  • Adam and the Ants – Stand and Deliver
  • Soft Cell – Tainted Love

Winner: Soft Cell.

Best Classical Recording

Nominees:

  • James Levine – Tosca – Puccini – Scotto
  • Simon Rattle – Symphony No. 10 – Mahler
  • Vernon Handley – Pomp and Circumstance

Winner: Simon Rattle.

Outstanding Contribution

Unlike the 1977 award, which was shared between two winners, this time there were three prospective nominees for the Outstanding Contribution award. They were:

  • John Lennon
  • The Police
  • Cliff Richard

Winner: John Lennon.

Performances

Unknown

Further Reading / Viewing

Playlist for stowaways – Who

This week everybody who cares is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, and this blog is no exception. It’s also an ideal occasion to put together a Who-themed Playlist for stowaways.

Some of the music and sounds are from the series directly. Others are from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop; tributes to the series; or other things that are generally related and seemed to fit.

You can hear it here.

The tracks included are as follows:

  1. Brian Hodgson – TARDIS Takeoff
  2. Delia Derbyshire – Doctor Who Theme (1963 Version)
  3. Brian Hodgson – Dalek Control Room
  4. Soft Cell – Tainted Love (2XS Remix)
  5. Brian Hodgson – Quarks Chuckle
  6. Jack Dorsey and Orchestra – Dance of the Daleks
  7. David Darlington – Excelis Dawns
  8. Delia Derbyshire – Blue Veils and Golden Sands
  9. Jon Pertwee – Who is the Doctor
  10. Delia Derbyshire – Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO
  11. Peter Howell – “She’s Seen Too Much!”
  12. Dick Mills – TARDIS Doors
  13. Frazer Hines – Time Traveller
  14. Paddy Kingsland – Summons to Gallifrey
  15. Brian Hodgson – Dalek Spaceship Lands
  16. Roberta Tovey – Who’s Who
  17. Brian Hodgson – The Master’s Theme
  18. Delia Derbyshire – Doctor Who Theme (Delaware Version)
  19. Rotersand – Exterminate Annihilate Destroy
  20. Brian Hodgson – Chumblie Constant Run
  21. Dick Mills – Nova Device Countdown and Explosion
  22. The Human League – Tom Baker
  23. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
  24. Brian Hodgson – TARDIS Lands
  25. Mark Ayres – The Storm Breaks
  26. Lynda Baron and Tom McCall – With Rings on Their Fingers
  27. Glenn Miller – Moonlight Serenade
  28. Delia Derbyshire – Liquid Energy
  29. Martin Slavin – Space Adventure
  30. Pet Shop Boys – Radiophonic
  31. Brian Hodgson – Chumblie at Rest
  32. Orbital – Doctor?
  33. Delia Derbyshire – Time to Go
  34. Dick Mills – TARDIS Landing Bleep