80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Strange Advance

SA_aStrange Advance was another uniquely talented band to begin life in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Recognized as Canada’s west coast hotbed of talent, Vancouver boasts a solid play list of musicians from the 80’s and beyond. Strange Advance is no exception.

One of Strange Advance’s identifying traits is the ethereal, otherworldly use of synthesizers to enhance their sound. My favorite track is “Worlds Away” from their 1983 album of the same name. It reminds me of the background music from the PBS series “Cosmos” starring the late Dr. Carl Sagan.SA_c I have such fond memories of being mesmerized by the hourly show, and “Worlds Away” transports me straight back to that mesmerizing yet comforting time.

The band began as Drew Arnott (keyboards, percussion, vocals), Darryl Kromm (lead vocals, guitars), and Paul Iverson (bass), Ric deGroot (keyboards), Ian Cameron (guitar, violin), Joey Alvero (bass), and David Quinton (drums) were brought on board to tour in support of Strange Advance’s first two albums.

As with many of the bands I feature here, I only learned of this group in recent years after being bowled over by “Worlds Away.” The band is also known for a hit single “We Run,” a vocally emotive 80’s anthem song. In all, this was a solid band that had everything necessary to take the world by storm, but instead was relatively short-lived. The music world can be a completely mystifying and unfair environment. Strange Advance’s limited success underscores what a tough world it truly is.

“We Run” via YouTube user wormguy119:

“Worlds Away” via YouTube user mysweeteventhorizon:

“Love Becomes Electric” via YouTube user wormguy119:

“Love Games” via YouTube user wormguy119:
  

Purchase Strange Advance music here.

 80’s Discography

sa_1Worlds Away (1982)

sa_22WO (1985)

sa_3Over 60 Minutes With…Strange Advance (1987)

sa_4The Distance Between (1988)

 

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 10-20-09

cfrc-fm1

Ed-FM showed us his stuff last night. When he wasn’t bouncing off the walls of his studio showing an audience of students how the Master works his obscure tunes, he was treating us to the raw and the rare. Good news for Ed, not so good for us – Ed-FM will be on holiday for the next three weeks, returning on November 10, 2009. We will patiently look forward to having our socks rocked off promptly at 8 pm that evening.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “you haven’t lived until you’ve listened” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist October 20, 2009

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

  1. Blue Peter – Head Over Heels (12” single)

  2. Arkitex – Lincoln Walk

  3. The Pool – Pool 62

  4. Sisters Of Mercy – This Corrosion (12” single)

  5. Yello – Si Senor The Hairy Grill

  6. Ten Pole Tutor – Who Killed Bambi

  7. Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper – Elvis Is Everywhere

  8. Martha & The Muffins – Swimming

  9. West India Company – Ave Maria

  10. Silicon Teens – Sun Flight

  11. NeoA4 – Say This To Me

  12. Echo & The Bunnymen – Silver

  13. Boys Brigade – Saigon

  14. Dalek I Love You – Africa Express

  15. Fad Gadget – Fireside Favourites

  16. Psyche – Lead Me Astray

  17. Art Of Noise – Yebo

  18. Nash the Slash – Dance After Curfew

  19. Simple Minds – Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel

  20. Tears For Fears – Mad World

  21. Mittageisen – Automaten

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Eye Eye (Canada)

eye eyeEye Eye is yet another criminally overlooked band from Canada. Because it was so short-lived and only produced two LPs, there is precious little information on this amazingly talented group. Interestingly enough, I found a fact-filled blurb on Answers.com.

The band began life in 1984 as a duo comprised of Andy Ryan (guitars) and Mark Caporal (drums). One bassist/singer pair came and went before bassist Tom Lewis, singer Bill Wood, and keyboardist Don Quon joined. To me, Eye Eye embodies the best of 80’s New Wave. Somewhere nestled between the sounds of Eight Seconds and Vis-A-Vis, this extraordinary band deserved more widespread success and recognition than it ultimately received.

Eye Eye was, unfortunately, not immune to the trials that so many other uber-talented 80’s bands encountered. The insurmountable turmoil created by personnel changes and probable creative differences led to a two-year lapse between their only two LP releases. That amount of time absent from a fickle music scene proved to be their demise. By 1988, the members of Eye Eye scattered to pursue other interests, and more tragically, Mark Caporal died in an air crash in 1990.

YouTube user mybasshas7strings has a treasure trove of original Eye Eye videos. There are only four in existence, but he has made them available for our viewing pleasure, and I have taken the liberty of linking them here.

“Out On A Limb” via YouTube user mybasshas7strings:

“Endless Night” via YouTube user mybasshas7strings:

“My Sensation” via YouTube user mybasshas7strings:

“X-Ray Eyes” via YouTube user mybasshas7strings:

More information on the band can be found at this Eye Eye fan’s Myspace page.  Good luck finding affordable copies of their music, long out of print and as rare as hen’s teeth. My own search has proven fruitless. What a shame that no record companies have stepped up to the plate to reissue these obscure-yet-priceless collections.

Discography

EE_1Just In Time To Be Late (1986)

 

EE_2Common Ground (1988)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 10-13-09

cfrc-fm

Ed-FM truly outdid himself last night. Personal favorites included Modern English’s “Life In The Gladhouse” and a fantastic extended version of Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party.” A band that was new to me and sounded deliciously obscure was Section 25. And, Eye Eye – I have heard of them and know “Out On A Limb,” but did not recognize the tune “One-Sided Love.” You think you know obscure? Well, think again!

 Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “so many obscure tunes, so little time” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist October 13, 2009

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

1.     Altered Images – If I Could Be Happy (12”)
2.     Mike Oldfield – Family Man
3.     Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Caroline Was A Dropout (12” single)
4.     Blue Peter – Don’t Walk Past (F version)
5.     Modern English – Life In The Gladhouse (12” single)
6.     Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party (Party ‘til You’re Dead mix)
7.     The Specials – Ghost Town
8.     English Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom (Reggae Dub mix)
9.     Eva Everything – Painless (12” single)
10. Vis-à-Vis – Dance With Me
11. Eye Eye – One-Sided Love
12. Taxi Girl – Cherchez Le Garcon
13. Yello – Live At The Roxy
14. A Drop In The Gray – One Eyed One
15. The Box – Dancing On The Grave (extended)
16. Section 25 – Looking From A Hilltop (mega mix)
17. Xymox – Blind Hearts (12” single)
18. It’s Immaterial – Rope (extended mix)

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The The (Matt Johnson)

TheThe1No, that’s not a typo in the title. A brilliantly talented collection of musicians, The The’s music is as unique as their name. Matt Johnson formed his band in 1979, made up of Johnson on vocals and guitar, Keith Laws on synths and backing tapes, and Peter Fenton-Jones on guitar and violin. The The finally picked up drummer Triash (Peter Ashworth) a year later to round out the line-up.TheThe2

As with many super-talented bands, The The went through several personnel changes throughout the 80’s until it was just Matt Johnson all on his own. As The The, Johnson released the LPs “Soul Mining” and “Infected,” by picking up session musicians as needed for studio and live performances.

The The finally gained traction again in 1988, infused with the likes of ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, ex-Nick Lowe bassist James Eller, and ex-ABC drummer David Palmer. This line-up created and released the 1989 LP “Mind Bomb” which enjoyed great success on the UK charts.

The The has enjoyed a bit of a current popularity resurgence via the use of their song “This Is The Day” in advertising for M&Ms. Matt Johnson, with the help of a revolving cast of musicians, continued to record and play live performances through 2002. An LP called “The End Of The Day” was announced for release in 2007, but according to Wikipedia remains unreleased to this day. Let’s hope that collection sees the light of day. Matt Johnson was a true creative genius that drove the 80’s music scene to its limits. Today’s lagging, dull, and downright sleep-inducing music industry could use a solid artistic shot in the arm via Matt Johnson.

 “Kingdom Of Rain” via YouTube user sophia11:

“Armageddon Days Are Here (Again) (live)” via YouTube user gktalbo:

“Uncertain Smile (12”)” via YouTube user supermandisco:

 Purchase The The music here.


 

80’s Discography

TheThe_aBurning Blue Soul (Matt Johnson) (1981)

TheThe_bSoul Mining (1983)

TheThe_cInfected (1986)

TheThe_dMind Bomb
(1989)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 10-06-09

cfrc-fm

Just when I thought nothing could be hotter than an October day in the tropics, along comes Ed-FM and his Retrospect show. The searing, sultry, record-breaking heat here in SoFla is nothing compared to what Ed dished up for us. The last hour of the show was a mélange of 12” singles extraodinaire – definitely the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the sundae, the cream of the….well, you get the drift.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “rock-your-face-off” 80’s Retrospect show on CFRC-FM from 8 pm until 10 pm on Tuesday nights. Ed takes requests by phone: (613) 533-CFRC (2372) or email: retrospectcfrc at yahoo dot ca. Indulge yourself in some “80’s Music that doesn’t suck.” I guarantee die-hard 80’s New Wave/post-punk fans will not be disappointed.

CFRC-FM Playlist October 06, 2009

Basement of Carruthers Hall in Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
If the “Listen Live” link on the CFRC Website doesn’t work, copy and paste this URL into your Windows Media Player: http://sunsite.queensu.ca:8000/
Join us in the Chat Room during the show – either click the link on the right menu under the Rave and Roll graphic, or here.
To listen to any shows that you may have missed, go to the CFRC website and look up the archives under the “Programming” drop-down menu. You can enjoy Ed’s previous shows in one-hour increments.

1.      The Box – My Dreams Of You (12” single)
2.      Siouxsie And The Banshees – Hong Kong Garden
3.      Images In Vogue – Four Germans
4.      Torch Song – Prepare To Energize (long test mix)
5.      Poeme Electronique – Echoes Fade
6.      Trees – Red Car
7.      Landscape – European Man
8.      Baumann – Time Machine
9.      Polyrock – Love Song
10.  Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Endicott (extended)
11.  The Slow Children – Spring In Fialta
12.  Vis-à-Vis – I Am The Night (Colour Me Black)
13.  Camouflage – The Great Commandment
14.  Talk Talk – Why Is It So Hard?
15.  Yello – Vicious Games
16.  The The – Uncertain Smile (12” single)
17.  Chalk Circle – April Fool (April 2nd Mix)
18.  Comsat Angels – You Move Me (extended)
19.  Tears For Fears – Change (12” single)
20. The Damned – Edward the Bear

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Dolphin Brothers

DB1Someone asked a question about The Dolphin Brothers on David Marsden’s community posting board this past week, which in turn became the inspiration for this week’s Criminally Underrated post.

Of course, I never need an excuse nor inspiration to post about anything or anyone remotely related to David Sylvian and his former venue Japan. I am in love with Sylvian, his contribution to the look and sound of the 80’s post-punk and New Wave era, and am enthralled by the depth of his talent which blossomed fully when he went solo, and continues to evolve to this day.

Sylvian’s brother Steve Jansen was also a member of Japan, along with Richard Barbieri. When Japan folded, Jansen and Barbieri struck out on their own as The Dolphin Brothers with Steve Jansen on lead vocals, drums, and percussion, and Richard Barbieri on keyboards and synthesizers. They produced one very fine album, Catch The Fall. This collection is comprised of catchy dance-infused tunes which perfectly suited the era into which it emerged. It also contains soul-infused ballads that sound as though they could have leapt directly from a solo David Sylvian album.DB2

There is always the temptation to compare The Dolphin Brothers to Japan, and Jansen to Sylvian, the highly recognizable, flamboyant front-man of Japan. Suffice it to say, the brothers share incredibly good looks and even have a familial vocal resemblance. And yes, traces of Japan influence emerge on several of the tracks, along with the style that Sylvian himself defined in his solo works, which is not necessarily a bad thing. No matter; Jansen and Barbieri did a highly successful job of creating a sound and feel complimentary to David Sylvian’s signature style and that of Japan’s, but polished and strong enough to stand on its own.

Other musicians who contributed to the one and only LP release were Phil Palmer and David Rhodes (acoustic and electric guitars), B. Heinrich-Keat (electric guitar), Clive Bell (Thai flute, khene, crumhorn), Carrie Booth (piano), Danny Thompson (double bass), Matthew Seligman and Robert Bell (bass), Martin Ditchman (percussion), Suzanne Murphy, Kate Kissoon, and P.P. Arnold (backing vocals).

Unfortunately, finding The Dolphin Brothers music videos on YouTube is about as rare as hen’s teeth. These are the only two I was able to come up with – enjoy!

“Shining” fan video via YouTube user saturdayson:

“Catch the Fall” fan video via YouTube user yaiga:

Purchase “Catch the Fall” here.

 

Discography

DBaCatch The Fall (1987)