80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Images In Vogue

Back to Canada for another criminally underrated band named Images In Vogue. This talented band formed in Vancouver in 1981. The original line-up included Dale Martindale (vocals), Don Gordon (guitar), Joe Vizvary and Glen Nelson (synthesizers), Gary Smith (bass), and Kevin Crompton (drums, percussion). Their music is classified as New Wave and embodies all that was exciting about 80’s electronica.

Images spent nearly 4 years establishing themselves by releasing singles and EPs. A single from one of their earlier EPs, “Lust for Love,” made the charts in 1983 and gave this promising band its foothold in the burgeoning 80’s New Wave music scene. Gordon left the band in 1984 and was replaced by Ed Shaw. Images finally released a full-length LP in 1985 called In the House.

More personnel changes plagued the stability of the band. Crompton left the band in 1986 to turn his attention toward the up-and-coming Skinny Puppy, and was replaced by Derrick Gyles. Nelson was the next one to leave, replaced by Tim Welch. On a brighter note, Images In Vogue were the 1986 recipients of the coveted CASBY Award for Single of the Year (“In The House”) and Group of the Year; truly a bittersweet moment in time for a group going through so much upheaval.

The band stabilized long enough to release another full-length LP called The Spell in 1988. The record did not do well, and their record company failed to support them. That, coupled with Gary Smith’s exit from the band, sealed the decision for Images to give a final concert in Toronto and disband in 1991.

Images in Vogue has a comprehensive website where you can find rare, previously unreleased music for download, along with a wealth of information on this short-lived, yet uber-talented band. Take the time to familiarize yourself with their treasure trove of music and I guarantee you’ll find yourself wondering why Images In Vogue was not a part of your vital 80’s catalogue of music.

“Lust For Love” via YouTube user jsbx5:

 “In The House” via YouTube user jsbx5:

“So Careful” via YouTube user paddycakepro:

“Save It” via YouTube user jsbx5:

Discography:

In The House (1985)
The Spell (1988)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 01-26-10

It was a banner night for obscurities. Ed-FM started the night with a great mix by Vis-à-Vis, then quickly switched gears into five fantastic songs that unfortunately had a very short shelf life back in the day. Ed breathed life into the criminally obscure, while we were feasting our ears. It does not get any better than this – trust me.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “just you try to name that one” 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 January 26, 2010

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. Vis-à-Vis – Shadowplay
  2. Dead Or Alive – The Stranger
  3. It’s Immaterial – Ed’s Funky Diner
  4. Dole – A Day
  5. Jaag – What Am I (dub mix)
  6. Alphaville – Fallen Angel
  7. Johnny Warman – Screaming Jets
  8. Yello – Sometimes (Dr. Hirsch)
  9. Abecedarians – Smiling Monarchs
  10. The Hush – Not Reality
  11. New Order – Blue Monday
  12. Jona Lewie – (You’ll Always Find Me In The) Kitchen At Parties
  13. Images In Vogue – In The House (12”)
  14. Chameleons – Swamp Thing
  15. The Nails – 88 Lines About 44 Women
  16. Boys Brigade – Passion Of Love
  17. BB Gabor – Simulated Groove
  18. Ronie Griffith – Mondo Man (12”)
  19. Neon Judgement – Kid Shylene
  20. Big Supreme – Don’t Walk

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Visage

Great synthesizer music is like a strong opiate that soothes the weary soul. Many bands have tried to make synthesizers the hallmark of their sound, and have failed miserably. It’s too formulaic, too predictable, too bland, too much like elevator muzak. But those who are successfully able to blend synths with guitars, bass, drums, and more, have produced some of the most jarring and emotionally charged music to come out of the 80’s era.

Visage is one such band. Founded in London in 1978, the original members were Steve Strange, Rusty Egan, and Midge Ure (Ultravox). Billie Currie (Ultravox), John McGeoch (Magazine, Armoury Show, and Siouxie &The Banshees), and Dave Formula (Magazine) joined Strange, Egan, and Ure in the studio to record the band’s self-titled first album. Their best-known single “Fade to Grey” preceded the album’s release. Followed by singles “Mind of a Toy” and “Visage,” the album proved to be a success.

All of the musicians, except for McGeoch who was busy with his commitments to Siouxsie & The Banshees, returned to the studio to record a second album, The Anvil. This release charted in the UK top 10, with two singles, “The Damned Don’t Cry” and “Night Train” making it into the top 20.

Ure left the band citing creative differences and a demanding schedule with Ultravox. Bassist Steve Barnacle joined the band who subsequently released the standalone single “Pleasure Boys” in 1982. This single failed to break into the top 40.

The band didn’t regroup to release their third album until 1984. Beat Boy flopped, Billie Currie and Dave formula split, and the band tried taking their act to the road in an attempt to stay alive. In 1985, the surviving members called it quits. Visage eventually reformed in 2004 with Strange at the helm of a different line-up with a different sound. It’s a shame the original band did not live on in the 80’s to continue to fuel the era it helped to launch.

Purchase original Visage music here.

“Fade To Grey” via YouTube user niyazov:

“The Anvil” via YouTube user Industrial82:

“Visage” via YouTube user retrotubedotnet:

“The Pleasure Boys” via YouTube user Industrial82:

Discography

Visage (1980)

The Anvil (1982)

Beat Boy (1984)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 01-19-10

No time for feeling overworked and down in the dumps. No time for having a dose of the wintertime blues, nor feeling out of sorts. Ed started off the show with a great anthem by the Diodes. And by the third track, an instrumental by Nash The Slash, if you weren’t up off your duff and dancing up a frenzy, you probably didn’t have a pulse.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “bet you haven’t heard this one in a while” 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 January 19, 2010 

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. Diodes – Tired Of Waking Up Tired
2. The Nails – Hotel for Women
3. Nash The Slash – the Hypnotist
4. Wide Boy Awake – Slang Teacher
5. Vital Sines – Rhythm Of Dark
6. Spoons – Symmetry (extended)
7. Violent Femmes – Fool In The Full Moon
8. Screaming Blue Messiahs – I Wanna Be A Flintstone
9. Vicious Pink – Cccan’t You See (en Francais extended)
10. Victims of Pleasure – Jack & Jill
11. Pete Wylie – Sinful (wickedest mix)
12. DiMaggios – True Home Of The Brave (extended)
13. Divine – You Think You’re A Man
14. Yello – The Evening’s Young
15. Kinetic Idea – Angular Sky
16. Blue Peter – Don’t Walk Past (f version)
17. Visage – Again We Love
18. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Computer Games
19. Living Room – London Rain
20. Howard Jones – Look Mama (mega mama mix)

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Classix Nouveaux

Before I get underway, I want to thank Moezy for her kind words in the Marsden Theatre chat room last night. I took last weekend off because I was getting over “the crud” that’s going around here like a wildfire fueled by gasoline. Moezy told me she missed my weekly “Criminally Underrated” feature. That meant a lot to me because at times it feels like sharing my thrill for underrated 80’s New Wave and Post-punk music is transmitted into a vacuum. So, thank you Moezy for lighting a fire under me to get this written.

Last night on 94.9 The Rock, David Marsden played “Robots Dance” by Classix Nouveaux. That was my inspiration for today’s “Criminally Underrated” piece. When I hear a fabulous group from my favorite era, many times I am astounded by the “six degrees of separation” information that my subsequent research uncovers.

Wikipedia tells me that Classix Nouveaux was formed by former X-Ray Spex bandmates Jak Airport and B.P. Hurding, along with Sal Solo and Mik Sweeney. They first recorded a 4-track EP that included the aforementioned “Robots Dance.” The song ultimately caught the attention of United Artists, and the band was signed.

Classix Nouveaux is lumped along with Japan (David Sylvian!) and Ultravox in defining the term “New Romantic,” a sub-genre of New Wave. While I recognize the parameters that define the New Romantic genre, looking back lovingly on the rich 80’s music scene as a whole, I find it an unnecessary classification. To me, the music that defined the era can be easily classified as simply New Wave and/or Post-punk, with a smattering of music that fits into both.

Classix Nouveaux was, unfortunately, short-lived which seems to be the fate of so many criminally underrated artists and bands. They produced three LPs of material, and by 1984 were experiencing major personnel changes. The group managed to score a number one hit in Poland before completely fading into obscurity. Sal Solo made the UK top 20 with his “Hardest Hits” entry “San Damiano,” which also came in at number one once again in Poland. In 1985, the final iteration of the band toured more as a support for Sal Solo, then quietly disbanded.

Classix Nouveaux music is still available here. Sal Solo’s website provides more insight into the group’s short life. And then, of course, there are a few select videos on YouTube that you can preview. Feast your ears, and perhaps you’ll decide to make Classix Nouveaux a welcome addition to your obscure and underrated 80’s New Wave and Post-punk music collection.

“Guilty” via YouTube user kiilakas777:

“Never Again” via YouTube user astronaut2005:

“Is It A Dream” via YouTube user R4949:

 “Robots Dance” via YouTube user cujo80676:

Discography

Night People (1981)

La Verite (1982)

Secret (1983)

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 01-12-10

Judging from the weather here in the so-called “tropics,” hell has finally frozen over. But to make that dark journey a bit more palatable, Ed-FM warmed our ears and our souls with his trademark 80’s obscurities. When was the last time you heard BB Gabor? Or Benjamin Russell? Or Elton Motello? Perhaps it’s time that you join us for some of the most obscure 80’s tunes you’ve never (or hardly ever) heard.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “we may be obscure, but we’re interesting” 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 January 12, 2010

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.     BB Gabor – Moscow Drug Club
2.     Men Without Hats – Moonbeam
3.     Soft Cell – Mr. Self-Destruct
4.     Magazine – Because You’re Frightened
5.     Strange Advance – We Run (extended mix)
6.     Nash The Slash – Psychotic Reaction
7.     The Soft Boys – Kingdom Of Love
8.     Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Genetic Engineering (extended mix)
9.     Moev – Wanting (remix version)
10.   Elton Motello – Jet Boy Jet Girl (club mix)
11.   Benjamin Russell – Miracle
12.  The Tear Garden – Ophelia
13.  Thomas Dolby – Airhead (extended)
14.  Richard Strange And The Engine Room – Damascus
15.  Nina Hagen – The Lord’s Prayer
16.  Endgames – First, Last, For Everything (Club Mix)
17.  The Hush – Now Reality
18.  Extras – Hip Hop Hip Hip
19.  English Beat – Best friend
20.  Neo A 4 – Say This To Me
21.  The Glamour Cult – Tokyo Streets

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 01-05-10

Happy New Year! As we ring in a new decade, Ed-FM celebrated the best decade of music by presenting some of the rarest tunes you’ve never heard. Ed was a bit under the weather, as were a few of the chat room members, but we managed to party hearty all the same. Nothing like a few obscure tunes to make you forget your cares.

Be sure to tune in to Ed and his “never have enough obscurity” 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 January 5, 2010

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.   Pukka Orchestra – Weekend (Comes Alive)
2.   Fleshtones – The Dreg
3.   Simple Minds – Here Comes The Fool
4.   Yello – Vicious Games (extended)
5.   Payola$ – China Boys
6.   Teenage Head – Let’s Shake
7.   Men Without Hats – Jenny Wore Black
8.   B Sides – She’s A Raver
9.   Bongos – Numbers With Wings
10.  The Wake  – Talk About The Past
11.  Cottage Industry – Things Go Up
12.  Dessau – Isolation
13.  Fad Gadget – Fireside Favourite
14.  Ricky Gervais – Bitter Heart
15.  Abecedarians – Smiling Monarchs
16.  Data-Bank-A – Waiting Room
17.  The The – Infected (extended)
18.  The Voice – Lime
19.  The Cure – A Forest (extended)
20.  Eurogliders – Heaven (Must Be There)
21.  Pete Shelley – Homosapien (extended)