Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Human League Hysteria

After the huge success of their third album, the Human League enjoyed huge international success on both sides of the Atlantic. They soon went on to record new material. The band spent many months agonizing as they tried to make a successor to ‘Dare’, and as things became ever more stressful, producer Martin Rushent left the project and the album was finished by producer Hugh Padgham. Three years had passed since 'Dare' and the album met with relatively lacklustre success in comparison to its multi-platinum predecessor. Three singles from the album made the top-twenty of the UK singles chart but first single "The Lebanon" was the only song to chart in the U.S.

Moroder & Oakey
Outside of  The Human League, Oakey teamed up with one of his idols, synth pioneer Giorgio Moroder and they had a massive hit with a single "Together In Electric Dreams”. The track was taken from the film soundtrack to 'Electric Dreams'. Following the big international success, Oakey and Moroder then recorded an album together for Virgin, Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder, but this met with rather less success and the following two singles failed to make the UK Top 40. However, the success of the original Oakey and Moroder track encouraged Virgin to release one final single from 'Hysteria' in November, 1984, the ballad "Louise" was released and reached #13 in the UK.

The “Human” League
In 1986, the group found themselves in creative stagnation, struggling to record material to follow up on their previous success. Key songwriter Jo Callis departed, replaced by drummer Jim Russell, and Virgin paired the Human League up with cutting-edge American R&B producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who had just scored a huge worldwide hit earlier that year with Janet Jackson's ‘Control’. The result was the ‘Crash’ album. The album featured much material written by Jam and Lewis' team, and showcased their distinctive DX7-led sound, making it quite a departure from previous Human League material. It did provide an American number-one single, "Human", but other singles made smaller chart impact. In November 1988, a greatest hits compilation album was released which reached number 3 in UK.

During the 90’s The Human League released two albums. ‘Romantic?’ was the last album the Human League recorded for Virgin Records in 1990. The album did not re-capture the group's huge commercial success of 1981 and Virgin chose not to renew their recording contract with little warning causing great animosity between the company and the band that lasts to this day. The Human League returned in 1995, now signed to EastWest, with the single "Tell Me When" giving them their first major hit since 1986's "Human", and the accompanying album ‘Octopus’ going silver. On the album credits, cover artwork and in videos, the group was now presented simply as a trio of Oakey/Catherall/Sulley.

The Human League Credo
After more than 30 years of existence and many successful singles and album releases, the Human League remains as one of the most influential bands of all time which shaped the late 70’s electronic and early 80’s synth-pop music scene. Even in the 80’s music revival today, they continue to produce their unique music style. 2011 sees their big comeback in ten years with their new album ‘Credo’ already in shops creating the new Human League-o-mania.

Source (Wikipedia Edit)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Short Circuit Presents Mute

Short Circuit Electronic Music Festival returns with two days hosted by the influential label Mute. In a celebration of Mute's unique culture this event will include performances from artists past, present and future including DJ sets by Martin L. Gore, Daniel Miller, Moby and Andy Fletcher as well as special performances by Erasure, Alison Moyet, Recoil and many many more.The festival begins on May 13, 2011 with an evening hosted by German label Raster-Noton, featuring the world premiere of a new collaborative piece by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Instant Hit: Lustt- Pillow Talk

"Pillow Talk" is a fantastic example from the golden age of Italo Disco and it was released both as 7" and 12" single backed with Instrumental Dub version. BMC records from Belgium gave birth to this single by releasing it in 1983. Sadly it remained the only output by this producer, group or act called Lustt.

Lustt- Pillow Talk

Friday, March 25, 2011

Depeche Mode- Remixes 81-11

On June 6, 2011, Depeche Mode will release Remixes 2: 81-11 on Mute. An inspiring collection of new and classic mixes of material covering their entire career, the album includes remixes of tracks from their 1981 debut 'Speak And Spell', through to 2009's 'Sounds Of The Universe', and is the follow-up to 2004's million-plus selling Remixes 81-04. These remixes reinforce Depeche Mode's standing as one of the world's most influential and innovative acts.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

80's Duets: Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder- "Good-Bye Bad Times"

In 1985 Philip Oakey took a break from the Human League and teamed up with Giorogio Moroder to record a collaborative album. The album is most notable for containing the song "Together in Electric Dreams", which was the title track for the movie Electric Dreams and a major hit single. "Good-Bye Bad Times" was released during the same year, never reached the success of the first single, but the video for the song was quite a high budget production filmed in black and white, directed by Steve Barron set in 19th century London.


A Flock of Seagulls Reissued

Cherry Red Records have reissued two albums by A Flock of Seagulls. Their self tiitled and debut which was originally released in 1982 and peaked at number 32 in the UK album charts is reissued for the third time. This version is a 15 track CD which features the 11 original tracks of the album plus 4 bonus tracks. The record contains timeless singles:"Telecommunication","I Ran" and "Space Age Love Song".
Their fourth studio album 'Dream Come True' dating from 1986 is reissued for the second time. This 14 track CD features the nine original tracks of the album plus five essential bonus tracks including the 7" & 12" single versions of "Who's That Girl (She's Got It)" and "Heartbeat Like A Drum". Both albums were originally released by Jive records between 1982 and 1986.

For track listings and more information go to this site.

(All images are copyrighted by their respective copyright owners)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Duran Duran Sound, David Lynch Vision

First Installment of Unstaged 2011 will feature Duran Duran's performance coinciding with the release of the band’s 13th studio album and their first official tour since 2008. Duran Duran are also excited to confirm special guests Mark Ronson and Kelis at the American Express UNSTAGED Event on March 23rd (today) live from LA. Award-winning filmmaker David Lynch has been enlisted to capture the performance, providing fans with a visually stunning home viewing experience.

Peter Murphy- New Single, Album, Tour

Former Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy will release his ninth album 'Ninth' on June 7, 2011 making his debut on Nettwerk Music Group. "I Spit Roses" is the first single to be taken form the album is out, available on itunes or as a stream via Soundcloud. Peter is also touring, check out his page for tour dates and ticket info.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kate Bush- Director's Cut

Kate Bush will release a compilation album 'Director's Cut' which features some of her classic songs from her albums 'The Sensual World' and 'The Red Shoes', re-recorded in new arrangements. The album will be released on May 16, 2011, as a digital album, CD in a case-bound book and a Deluxe version. The first single to be taken from the album is an updated version of her classic "Deeper Understanding" and it is scheduled for release in April.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Alphaville- Song for No One (Official Video)

Alphaville's new single "Song for No One" was released earlier this March. It's the second song taken from the album 'Catching Rays on Giant' and here is the fantastic video that was recorded for this song.

(C) 2011 Marian Gold under exclusive license to Universal Music Domestic Pop, a division of Universal Music GmbH

The Golden Hour Of The Human League

The Original Human League
In April, 1979 The Human League released their first EP under Fast Record entitled ‘The Dignity of Labour’, which contained four experimental instrumentals. Although the EP barely charted, major record labels began approaching the band. Eventually in May 1979, the band accepted an offer by Richard Branson's Virgin Records. The band recorded and released their first full studio album ‘Reproduction’ in August, 1979. Both the album and the single "Empire State Human" failed to make any impact on the charts.
In 1980, the band released their second album ‘Travelogue’ and made their first TV appearance on BBC TV Top of the Pops. The re-release of “Empire State Human" failed to make any good chart impacts and due to their lack of commercial success, Virgin refused to release further singles from ‘Travelogue’ and the general discontent among the members led to internal conflict within the band. Oakey and Ware often quarreled over creative and personal matters. Ware insisted the band maintain their pure electronic sound while Oakey wanted to emulate more successful pop groups. In the same year Ware decided to quit the band with Ian Craig Marsh joining him. Ware and Marsh became Heaven 17.

The Human League 'Mk2'
After Ware and Marsh departed from the Human League, Phil Oakey carried on with the name and he was responsible for all Human League debts and commitments. The Human League also had to pay Ware and Marsh one percent of royalties of the next Human League album under the Virgin contract. With the tour only ten days away promoters started threatening to sue Oakey if the tour was not completed as contracted. To complete the tour, Oakey had to recruit new people in a matter of days. Oakey and his then girlfriend went into Sheffield city centre on a Wednesday night with the intention of recruiting a single female backing vocalist. After looking in various venues, they visited the Crazy Daisy Nightclub on High Street where Oakey spotted two teenage girls dancing together on the dance floor. Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall were just schoolgirls on a night out together. Neither had any experience of singing or dancing professionally. With no preamble, Oakey asked both girls to join the tour as dancers and incidental vocalists. Phil said that having two female vocalists/dancers would also add potential glamour to the band. Another two band members joined the band Ian Burden from Sheffield synth band Graph who was covering the keyboards for the tour due to departure of Ware and Marsh. In April 1981, the fifth final member of the group was joining the band, another professional musician who used to play in the band called the Rezillos. The Mk2 Human League formation was now complete.

‘Dare’ is considered as the Human League’s most successful album to date. The musical style of the band has rapidly changed with the new Human League formation leaving the experimental e avant-garde electronic style to the past and welcoming the new commercial synth pop sound. ‘Dare!’ was recorded between March and September 1981 and first released in the UK on 20 October 1981, then subsequently in the U.S. in mid-1982. The album was produced by non other than the veteran producer Martin Rushent who was an expert on emerging music technologies of the time. During 1981 the group enjoyed huge commercial success with both, the album and the singles. The fourth single “Don’t You Want Me Baby” reached the top positions in the UK and USA. Dare became critically acclaimed and has proved to be a genre-defining album, whose influence can be felt in many areas of pop music today.

"Don’t You Want Me"
"Don't You Want Me" is a single by British synthpop group The Human League, released from their third album: Dare on 27 November 1981. It is the band's best known and most commercially successful recording to date, and was the Christmas number one in the UK where it sold over 1,400,000 copies, making it the 25th most successful single in UK Singles Chart history.
The lyrics were originally inspired after lead singer Philip Oakey read a story in a "trashy US tabloid" and the very expensive and elaborate promotional video for the song was created by film maker Steve Barron. The Music video was a very new phenomenon and cable TV station MTV had only just started up to capitalize on this new media but had very little material to work with. Virgin Records syndicated the video to MTV which was played around the clock. The video is credited for making Oakey, Sulley and Catherall visual icons of the early 1980s.
Source: Wikipedia (edit)

The Rise of Human League (Part I)
The Human League- Hysteria (Part III)

(All media is copyrighted by their respective copyright owners)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Next Wave: Champagne Riot

Champagne Riot is an electo synth-pop group from Denmark. Formed as a solo project of Caspar Philip Bock, Champagne Riot released a superb EP on Shelflife Records in 2008. Along the way, Champagne Riot became a duo with the addition of Anders Reuter and the two proceeded to experiment with new sounds and a bolder approach to pop music. The group draws inspiration from a variety of places including the world of classical music, Scandinavian melodic tradition, and electronic pop’s greatest torch-carriers including Kraftwerk, New Order and Pet Shop Boys.
The good news is that the group is back with a brand new EP entitled 'Moonstruck' A four track electro pop record, perfect for fans of The Drums whom Champagne Riot supported on their recent European tour and perfect for Spring.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March Singles Round Up

The Round up of March's single releases is here. We start with the Human League who are the band of the month who are releasing their second single "Never Let Me Go" from the album 'Credo' which is out on Monday. Earlier this month OMD released their third single "The History of Modern part 1" from the album of the same name and James Blake released the second single "The Wilhelm Scream" from his self titled debut. White Lies are back with "Strangers" and so are Hooverphonic with "Anger Never Dies", both releasing second singles from their albums. Patrick Wolf returns with a new single "The City" which also announces new album this spring. And last but not least, George Michael covers "True Faith" by New Order and fails to impress the music media with his interpretation of the song. Well at least, it's for the good cause.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

She Wants Revenge- Valleyheart

The new album by the Los Angeles based group She Wants Revenge will be released on May 24, 2011. Their third album is entitled 'Valleyheart' and it is a follow up to 'This is Forever' which was released in 2007.The new single "Must Be The One" is up for streaming and there is also a video available for the fantastic new song "Take The World" which was directed by by Adam Bravin. Check out She Wants Revenge official for more info and tour dates.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Video Log: The Human League- Never Let Me Go

"Never Let Me Go" full length Official Video is here for your viewing pleasure. One week until 'Credo' album release!

Instant Hit: End of Data- Sahrah

The minimal/ post punk outfit End of Data from France released two albums during their Brief existence. Their first LP 'Sahrah' was released in 1984 through Divine record label and their second album followed the year after. This gothadelic tune perfectly represents the sound of the first album.
End of Data never officially released any singles and, sadly their albums never got reissued.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ladytron- Ace of Hz Video

The official video for the song "Ace of Hz" which announces the 'Best Of Ladytron: 00-10' is out. The band has also relased 'Best Of Remixes' which features mixes by Soulwax, Tiesto, Toxic Avenger, Felix Da Housecat, Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, and more.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Icicle Works- The Small Price Of A Bicycle Reissue

The Liverpool group Icicle Works will see their second album 'The Small Price Of A Bicycle' reissued by Cherry Red Records this month. The album was originally released in 1985 and featured the singles "Seven Horses" and "All The Daughters". This reissue in conjunction with Beggars Banquet contains two bonus discs of rare and unreleased material, b-sides and live versions of the songs.

Shakespears Sister- Dancing Barefoot

Shakespears Sister have announced that their new single will be a cover of none other than the Bananarama classic "Really Saying Something"(a digital-only release).This version will mark the 30th anniversary of the song which is a live version performed on Shakespears Sister's 2010 tour and taken from the band's forthcoming live album. The new Shakespears Sister EP 'Dancing Barefoot' is also up for sale through website's digital store. It is a four track EP and it includes "Dancing Barefoot", a Patti Smith cover and an early alternate version of "A Man In Uniform". The other half of the Shakespears Sister and former member of the band Marcela Detrorit is also working on new material.

Marcella News

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Human League's 'Credo' Preview

The new Human League album 'Credo' is available as a stream via the Human League official Facebook page. This is the first official streaming of the album which will be available until Sunday. The official album release date is set for March 21, 2011 in the UK.

Erasure- Total Pop! Tour

Erasure will make their much anticpated return to the live arena in 2011 with a run of 'Total Pop!' summer shows - including a series of very special outdoor shows in woodlands and forests around the UK in June as part of The Forestry Commission's annual concert series - that will see them play in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Russia and Ukraine, plus appearances at Miami's prestigious Ultra Music Festival in March and the Short Circuit Festival in London in May.
The guys are also working on a new album which will be co-produced by Frankmusik. Check out Erasure official for more information.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Rise of The Human League

Philip Oakey
It was a note from a friend left on his door that would change his life forever. This is where Philip Oakey’s story in music began back in 1977 when he joined a band which would transform in the synth pop super group called the Human League. Also known as Phil, he is a singer, composer and producer and his music and his style made him an iconic figure of the early 80’s music scene and fashion trend setter with his unique styles to dress. From avant-garde to commercial synth pop, the sound and vision of Human League has changed throughout the years with Phil remaining the group’s only constant member and group leader since 1978 up to date, when the Humane League are releasing their first album in ten years.

The Future
In the late 70’s Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh were working as computer operators. They met at youth arts project Meatwhistle. Their musical collaboration combined pop music of that time with avant-garde electronic sound. They used to perform private performances under the name The Dead Daughters and after a few more low-key, private performances, Ware and Marsh decided to officially form a band. Joined by their friend Adi Newton, they formed The Future and began to create music in their own rehearsal facility in a disused cutlery workshop in the centre of Sheffield. The association with Adi Newton was short; Newton left The Future and went on to form Clock DVA. Ware at this point decided that he needed a singer rather than another keyboard player. This was the time when Ware’s old school friend Phil Oakey joined the band. With a new line-up, sound and vocalist, Ware decided that the band needed a new name. He suggested a quote derived from the game Starforce: 'Alpha Centauri', a science fiction wargame and in early 1978 The Future became The Human League. They however managed to release one avantgared and experimental album under The Future moniker entirtled 'The Golden Hour of the Future'

The Men
The Men was an alias used by The Human League as a result of Virgin pressing the group to record material which used more 'conventional' instruments, rather than just synthesizers. Virgin were afraid that the general public would not accept a synthesizer-only group at that time. Martyn Ware had previously declared that the League would certainly consider recording material using non-electronic instruments, but "not under the name Human League". So, to appease their new label, they recorded "I Don't Depend On You", with session musicians providing bass guitar and drums, and Katie Kissoon and Lisa Strike providing backing vocals.

Source: Wikipedia (edit)
The Golden Hour of the Human League (PartII)
The Human League- Hysteria (Part III)

(All media is copyrighted by their respective copyright owners)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

John Maus- New Album in June

John Maus will release his third LP this summer with the title 'We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves'. The album features 11 tracks of Maus' brand of vintage-inspired, lo-fi synth pop. It is reported that unlike the last two albums, 'Pitiless Censors' looks towards the future in all its absurdity where promise takes the lead for the first time, providing a counterpoint to John's default existential calling. The album will be out in June via Maus' longtime label home 'Upset the Rhythm'! in the UK and 'Ribbon Music' in the US. Possible new single "Quantum Leap" is available as a free download. You can get it here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Next Wave: Turboweekend

Turboweekend is a three piece band out of Copenhagen, Denmark, consisting of Silas Bjerregaard (Vocals), Martin Øhlers Petersen (Drums), and Morten Køie (Bass).The three members grew up together in the small town of Fredensborg. They formed Turboweekend around 2006 as a playground project, and only 4 years after the playground has become fulltime work in the most rewarding sense of the word. The band is currently writing material for their third album and preparing a European spring tour beginning. Their new EP called 'Bound' is out and features guest performances by the lovely Ty Bulmer of the New Young Pony Club Browse bands website for more information and EP download.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Human League March

Thirty years ago the Human League had a huge international success with the song "Don't You Want Me Baby" and their third album 'Dare!" went platinum in the UK. This month, they are releasing their first album in ten years and they will be the featured as the band of the month, this March, on Burning Flame Blog. Here is another hit form the album 'Dare!' which announced the New Human League Era. It was performed live on 'Top of the Pops' back in 1981.