Collecting Simple Minds In The 21st Century

Simple Minds ca. 2002: L-R: Eddie Duffy, Jim Kerr, Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie, Charlie Burchill

Simple Minds ca. 2002: L-R: Eddie Duffy, Jim Kerr, Mel Gaynor, Andy Gillespie, Charlie Burchill

I am a Simple Minds collector [within reason]. One thing that has stuck in my craw was that in the new millennium, it suddenly became very challenging to buy all of the tracks/mixes of this band due to their many, many licensing deals with labels all over Europe. Where in the good old days, just buying the UK Virgin pressings netter you 95% of what was released, in the new era, things were highly Balkanized with vinyl and CDs being issued willy-nilly and to make matters more confusing, Jim Kerr teaming up with DJs on “other” projects concurrent with the Simple Minds imprint. This exploded in 2002-2004 at exactly the moment where I had the least amount of money in my life to spend on music, so there is a lot of material missing in my Record Cell.

In 2002, I grabbed the last few items ca. 1986-1998 for a BSOG that I had made that year, and it covered two phases of their long career with non-LP tracks/mixes accounted for in a huge brick of music. What I will enumerate now will be the contents of the third phase of their career [1999-2016] and this will take time and get fairly messy. But until I do this, It’s hard knowing exactly what I still need, so strap in and get comfortable. It’s another Simple Minds thread at PPM. Hopefully, one that will last days instead of months. Titles I do have in red.


simple-minds-belfasttranceuk12aJohn ’00’ Fleming VS Simple Minds
Belfast Trance
UK 12″ | Nebula ‎– Belf 001 | 2001

  1. Belfast Trance (New Vocal Mix)
  2. Belfast Trance (Original Vocal Mix)

This DJ wax was issued in 2001.

simple minds - dancingbarefootUKCDASimple Minds
Dancing Barefoot 
UK CD5 | Eagle Records ‎– EAGEP198 | 2001

  1. Dancing Barefoot 3:51
  2. Gloria 3:45
  3. Being Boiled 3:51
  4. Love Will Tear Us Apart 4:49

I actually bought this in a store in Knoxville during a visit there in 2001. It sported a dreadful version of the Joy Division number.

simple minds - homosapienUK12ASimple Minds
UK 12″ | Remote Recordings ‎– REMOTE 016 | 2001

  1. Homosapien (Malcolm Duffy Mix) 8:01
  2. Homosapien (Malcolm Duffy Dub Mix) 6:46

I was shocked to see this issued on another label than Eagle Rock, which had Simple Minds signed in 2001, but the band retained the right to shop DJ projects to any label interested, making the next four years of collecting them almost impossible, as you’ll see. I recently got this, sparking this thread.

simple minds - homosapienUK12ASimple Minds
UK CD5 | Remote Recordings ‎– REMOTE 016CD | 2001

  1. Homosapien (Malcolm Duffy Edit) 3:30
  2. Homosapien (Malcolm Duffy Mix) 8:01
  3. Homosapien (Malcolm Duffy Dub Mix) 6:46

The impossible to find CD single of this title had the succinct 7″ edit of the A-side.

simple-minds-belfasttranceukcdaJohn ’00’ Fleming VS Simple Minds
Belfast Trance
UK CD5 | Nebula ‎– Belfcd 001 | 2002

  1. Belfast Trance (Vocal Radio Edit) 3:52
  2. Belfast Trance (New Vocal Mix) 7:57
  3. Belfast Trance (Dub Mix) 7:46

A trance mix would only improve the awful “Belfast Child.” But these side DJ projects really muddied the waters at this time. There are many of them, too.

simple minds - cryGERCD1ASimple Minds
Cry #1
GER CD5 | Eagle Records ‎– EAGXA218 | 2002

  1. Cry 3:58
  2. Lead The Blind 3:59
  3. Homosapien (Vince Clarke Remix) 3:58

The 2xCD5 singles were no longer on the UK label. The Eagle CD singles for “Cry” were a German release.

simple minds - cryCD5A1Simple Minds
Cry #2
GER CD5 | Eagle Records ‎– EAGXS218 | 2002

  1. Cry 3:58
  2. For What It’s Worth
  3. The Garden

The B-sides here were left over tracks from the last two albums; “Our Secrets Are The Same” and the cover album “Neon Lights.” Neither would have improved the albums they were cut from.

simple-minds-cryclubinvestit12aSimple Minds
ITAL 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 014 | 2002

  1. Cry (Clubinvest Mix)
  2. Cry (Phunk Investigation Radio Edit)
  3. Cry (Dubinvest)

While Germany got the “Cry” B-sides, Italy got the remixes of “Cry.” And there were a lot of them.

simple-minds-crytazzit12aSimple Minds
Cry [remixes]
ITAL 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 015 | 2002

  1. Cry (Tazz Glasgoal Remix)
  2. Cry (Tazz Dub)

Italy got two 12″ers of this title.

Part 2

simple-minds-cryeurocdaSimple Minds
EURO CD5 | Eagle Records ‎– EAGXS235 | 2002

  1. Cry (Ph.I. Radio Edit) 3:30
  2. Cry (Tazz Glasgoal Remix) 6:54
  3. Cry (Charly Fath 80’2 Remix) 5:52

Europe had several unique mixes [you can see where this is going].

simple-minds-onestepclosergercdaSimple Minds
One Step Closer
BENELUX CD5 | PIAS Benelux ‎– 122.0244.122 | 2002

  1. One Step Closer (Edit) 3:55
  2. New Sunrise 4:14
  3. Cry (Clubinvest Mix) 6:56

My favorite song from “Cry” was only released as a CD single in BENELUX nations. What were they thinking? Why are there not eight DJ mixes of this amazing song? We’ll see why later.

simple-minds-spacefacegercdaSimple Minds
GER CD5 | Eagle Records ‎– EAGXS232 | 2002

  1. Spaceface 3:53
  2. New Sunrise 4:14

Germany got a CD5 of “Spaceface” with this cover. There are other ways to get “New Sunrise” on CD, so I may not need this CD.

simple-minds-newsunshinemorninggercdaSimple Minds
New Sunshine Morning
GER CD5 | Eagle Records ‎– EAGXS233 | 2002

  1. New Sunshine Morning 3:36
  2. New Sunrise 4:14

“New Sunshine Morning” was the next German CD single, and it had the same B-side as “Spaceface!” This was the only territory where this song was a single.

simple-minds-spacefaceitcd5aSimple Minds
ITALY CD5 | Carosello Records ‎– CARSH045-2 | 2002

  1. Spaceface (Stonebridge Radio Mix) 4:40
  2. Spaceface (Farfa Remix Edit) 3:50

Italy also had a CD5 of “Spaceface,” with a different cover and more unique mixes..

simple-minds-spacefaceit12aSimple Minds
ITALY 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 027 | 2002

  1. Spaceface (Stonebridge Club Mix) 7:17
  2. Spaceface (Farfa Spacemix) 9:23

Italy got this 12″ first.

simple-minds-spacefacetonkraftit12aSimple Minds
Spaceface  remix
ITALY 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 036 | 2003

  1. Spaceface (Tomcraft Remix) 5:37
  2. Spaceface (Hardakt Remix) 7:05
  3. Spaceface (Farfa Spacemix) 9:23

Then there was a remix 12″ with generic cover, early in 2003.

simple-minds-dyfamger12aWhite Spaces Feat. Jim Kerr
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
GER 12″ | Stereophonic ‎– 82876552721 | 2003

  1. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Mendoza Vs Tibet Club Remix) 6:11
  2. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Phunk Investigation In The City Mix) 8:15
  3. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Eyerer’s & Laib’s Radio Mix) 3:42

2003 brought a wave of new “cover versions” of “Don’t You [Forget About Me]” with Jim Kerr teaming up with White Spaces; the pop-friendly side of Italian house duo Phunk Investigation.

simple-minds-dyfam2003itcdaSimple Minds
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
ITALY CD5″ | Carosello ‎– CARSH092-2 | 2003

  1. Don’t You Forget About Me (Gerret Frerichs’s Radio Mix) 3:31
  2. Don’t You Forget About Me (White Spaces Main Mix) 3:13
  3. Don’t You Forget About Me (Perky Park’s Radio Mix) 3:44
  4. Don’t You Forget About Me (Phunk Investigation In The City Mix) 8:11
  5. Don’t You Forget About Me (Original Song) 4:16

Italy got more, shorter mixes of the tune. As I’m completely bored with the song, would I like it any more with a new coat of housepaint on it? Hmmm.

Part 3

One Step Closer
ITALY 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 039 | 2003

  1. One Step Closer (Phunk Investigation India Mix)
  2. One Step Closer (Funky Junction & Mowree Mix)

This was weird. Biba-Rom was Jim Kerr and Italian dance DJ Armando Maggiorana of Phunk Investigation/White Spaces. They tested the waters here first before the flood of remixes  credited to White Spaces ensued.

Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
ITALY promo 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 041 | 2003

  1. Don’t You Forget About Me (Phunk Investigation In The City Mix) 8:15
  2. Don’t You Forget About Me (Andrea T. Mendoza Vs Tibet Club Mix) 6:11
  3. Don’t You Forget About Me (Phunk Investigation Etna Dub Mix) 7:25

Two mixes figure only on this record.

simple-minds-dyfammixit12aWhite Spaces Feat. Jim Kerr
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
ITALY 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 049 | 2003

  1. Don’t You Forget About Me (White Spaces Main Mix) 3:12
  2. Don’t You Forget About Me (Gerret Frerichs’s Radio Mix) 3:12
  3. Don’t You Forget About Me (Perky Park’s Radio Mix) 3:47
  4. Don’t You Forget About Me (Eyerer’s & Laib’s Radio Mix) 3:42

Four more short remixes, all elsewhere.

White Spaces Feat. Jim Kerr
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
ITALY promo 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 050 | 2003

  1. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Adam Dived Remix) 8:05
  2. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Stefano Sorrentino Remix) 7:50

The longer Italian remixes were promo-only.

white-kerr-alivekicking2004itp12aWhite Spaces
Alive + Kicking [2004]
ITALY 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 057 | 2004

  1. Alive & Kicking (Frank O. Vocal Mix)
  2. Alive & Kicking (Javith Simple Mix)

If they could turn “Don’t You [Forget About Me]” into a club track, why not the even more boring “Alive + Kicking?” I almost want to hear this!

white-kerr-alivekicking2004p2itp12aWhite Spaces
Alive + Kicking [2004]
ITALY 12″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 058 | 2004

  1. Alive & Kicking (Phunk Investigation Mastica Dub) 7:41
  2. Alive & Kicking (White Spaces Electro Decade Mix) 5:54
  3. Alive & Kicking (Niki B & Christian E.F.F.E. Rmx) 9:50

But do I want to hear 23 more minutes of it?

White Spaces Feat. Jim Kerrsimple-minds-dyfamdannymcmillainit10ssa
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
ITALY 10″ | Absolutely Records ‎– ABR 066| 2004

  1. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Danny McMillian Remix) 7:33

2004 brought this Italian single-sided 10″ single with a new mix.

simple-minds-dyfamozcdaWhite Spaces Feat. Jim Kerr
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
AUS CD5 | Big Records ‎– BIGS002| 2004

  1. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (White Spaces Main Mix) 3:12
  2. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Andrea T.Mendoza Vs Tibet Club Mix) 6:11
  3. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Gerret Frerichs’s Radio Mix) 3:32
  4. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Perky Park’s Radio Mix) 3:47
  5. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Eyerer’s & Laib’s Radio Mix) 3:42
  6. Don’t You (Forget About Me) (Stefano Sorrentino Remix) 7:50

The OZ CD5 has some tracks in digital here.

simple-minds-dyfamgrcdaWhite Spaces Feat. Jim Kerr
Don’t You [Forget About Me] [2003]
GREECE CD5 | Columbia ‎– COL 674847 1| 2004

  1. Don’t You Forget About Me (Martin Eryer & Oliver Laibs Remix) 3:43
  2. Don’t You Forget About Me (Ged Elettro Bitta Mix) 7:54
  3. Don’t You Forget About Me (White Spaces Main Mix) 3:12
  4. Don’t You Forget About Me (Perky Parks Radio Mix) 3:46
  5. Don’t You Forget About Me (Adam Dived Mix) 8:04
  6. Don’t You Forget About Me (Phunk Investigation In The City Mix) 8:14

And wouldn’t you know it? The scarce Greek CD5 has a unique mix!

… to be continued

Posted in Core Collection, Record Collecting, Scots Rock | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not DEVO…But An Incredible Simulation! [conclusion]

In 1985, Weird Al's DEVO pastiche took our breath away

In 1985, Weird Al’s DEVO pastiche took our breath away

When it came to two guys [“Martini Ranch”] wanting some of that DEVO action, they did the obvious and enlisted half of that band in crafting “How Can The Labouring Man Find Time For Self-Culture.” Fair enough, but two years prior all it took was one arch-geek to flawlessly pastiche the Akron geeks métier without any of their help. That arch-geek was “Weird Al” Yank0vic. The song? “Dare To Be Stupid.”

weird-al-yankovic-daretobestupiduslpaIt was the title track to the third album by the plucky pop parodist and when the video was released to MTV, it caused a commotion amongst my DEVO-loving friends. Al’s brilliant pastiche hit more DEVO visual and musical tropes than one could shake a stick at [whatever that means…]. The song was only released as a single from the “Transformers: The Movie” soundtrack, but it came into being when the home video “The Compleat Al” was released and Al’s management cannily rolled the album’s video production budget into the budget for the home video; a comfy $250,000 which allowed for lotsa laffs to be crammed into that project.


The clip was jam-packed with visual and musical references to the complete body of work of DEVO. Al’s band were garbed in the classic yellow hazmat suits favored by The Spuds with atomic symbols on their chests which were remarkably close to the “Duty Now For The Future” logos. Al’s delivery was right in the pocket where Mark Mothersbaugh’s enervated delivery also resided. referenced dancer Spazz Attack’s infamous backflips from the “Satisfaction” video. They even worked in a J.R. “Bob” Dobbs-like character. The end result was DEVO distilled. More DEVO than DEVO.

transformers-ost-uscdaAmazingly, thought the clip from “The Compleat Al” was released to MTV, the record did not follow until “Transformers: The Movie” was released. This was the 1986 feature-length animated version of the familiar 80s kid’s cartoon, not the obnoxious Michael Bay CGI-abuse film series of the 21st century. The theme song was some thing called “The Touch” by Stan Bush. Ignominy of ignominies; the B-side to this disc was “Dare To Be Stupid” by our hero. At least youth of the 80s may have gotten their first exposure to “Weird Al” Yankovic while watching a cartoon [featuring Orson Welles’ last performance – recorded five days before his death, by the way] about giant robots beating each other into pulp. For this we must express thanks.

dareI express thanks because on Saturday, September 10th, I went to see “Weird Al” Yankovic perform a concert in my city and he gifted me with a performance of “Dare To Be Stupid” where the band performed in full DEVO-esque regalia. I may never see the actual band of Spuds perform, but I saw “Weird Al” Yankovic distill DEVO‘s essence into a perfect four minutes.

– 30 –

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Not DEVO…But An Incredible Simulation!

Sire Records | US | CD | 1988 | 9 25674-2

Sire Records | US | CD | 1988 | 9 25674-2

Martini Ranch: Holy Cow US CD [1988]

  1. New Deal
  2. Reach
  3. World Without Walls
  4. Fat-Burning Formula
  5. Rochard Cory
  6. Hot Dog
  7. Serious Girl
  8. How Can The Labouring Man Find Time For Self-Culture?
  9. [Brother] Take It Out
  10. Power Tool

martini-ranch-howcanthelabouringmanfindtimeforselfcultureus12aI first heard Martini Ranch when I saw the eye-popping video in 1986 for “How Can The Labouring Man Find Time For Self Culture?” by the brilliant photographer/director Rocky Schenck. Little did I know that I was seeing a virtual white paper on the aesthetics of director Guy Maddin, who got there second. That single hit like a ton of bricks because it showed that someone still remembered DEVO. Not only was the general thrust of the song close to DEVO territory, the jerky, hyperkinetic brand of the synthpop it proffered was swimming in DEVO DNA. Literally. Not only did original drummer Alan Meyers play percussion on the track, but Bob Casale [“Bob 2” r.i.p.] produced and engineered the song and Mark Mothersbaugh programmed the Fairlight CMI. Hell, it’s more of a DEVO record than the actual ones that followed it on Enigma Records, which lacked the crucial Meyers touch.

Not only was Martini Ranch enlisting the spud boys to aid them in launching at a time where they were at loose ends, but the duo had roots deep into Hollyweird itself. Leader Andrew Todd Rosenthal was the scion of a soundman at Glen Glenn Sound but backup on the duo was cult figure Bill Paxton, who by 1986 was already all over my cultural radar in films like “Terminator” and  “Aliens.” Little did I know at the time but Paxton also directed and starred in the music video for Barnes + Barnes’ Dr. Demento classic “Fish Heads,” which was a more reliable outlier of the tone of this band than his action film portfolio. I should have bought the 12″ single immediately on release in 1986, but I waited for the full Martini Ranch album to follow two years later.

The opening track was the DEVO-goes-Bollywood dancerock of “New Deal.”Another New Wave x-factor to this album was the involvement of the wonderful Cindy Wilson of The B-52s, who were on hiatus around this time. Zappa cohort Partick O’Hearn [whom I only knew from the New Wave/Jazz fusion combo Group 87 at that time] contributed both fretless and pop bass to make this cut an 80s style overload of sorts. 


The second single was the considerably less interesting desperado tale “Reach,” which was notable mostly for having a James Cameron-directed music video that was not a tenth as interesting as the “Labouring Man” clip had been. The cast of “Aliens” cameoed in many roles there but the strangest aspect of is were the Morricone-esque whistling hooks as performed by… Judge Reinhold? I later got a 12″ of this recently just to have a complete Martini Ranch collection, but it’s actually a missable track. Only the vocal characterizations from Paxton are the least bit interesting.

“World Without Walls” was a borderline tepid song that came alive courtesy of the additional talent on loan there. Cindy Wilson’s vocals [she basically duets with Todd] are as ever, a wonderful thing, but Mark Isham also contributed some sweet trumpet/flugelhorn solos at songs end that stuck in the cranium. Thus the DEVO/jazz fusion character of the album had fully manifested by the, only to be followed by the most DEVO-like track on the album, “Fat Burning Formula.”

To begin with, the opening exhortation of “kiss the fat goodbye” was uttered by none other than Mark Mothersbaugh, while the synths and drum machine were very much like the spuds in feel. Then there was an instrumental  four bar measure following the first verse that was perhaps the ultimate distillation of the DEVO sonic ethos with their brand of whipcrack/popcorn percussion playing off of stentorian orchestral stabs that I simply want to loop and listen to for hours at a time. Listening now, I get the feeling that this was what DEVO were aiming for in 1984, but crucially failed to achieve. Mothersbaugh came back at the end to deliver the tag but not before Bud Cort [?] had his stab at the mic. It’s a goofy, silly song, without even the hint of the dark undercurrent that exists in even the worst DEVO material, but it has that sound down cold.

sire-justsayyouscda“Side two” got started off with an even goofier piece of sonic cartoonery [is that a word?] called “Hot Dog.” This sample-happy piece of synth-funk fluff was undeniably catchy. So much so that Sire had green-lit a 12″ mix by producer Ivan Ivan that eventually surfaced on volume 2 of “Just Say Yo” later that year. The goofy, sproingy track also benefitted from some terrific Cindy Wilson backing vocals, where she managed to make the “give the dog a bone” nursery rhyme sound rather torrid.

The last example of DEVO devotion manifested on “[Brother] Take It Out” which once again sounded like something that the spuds should have committed to tape once they regrouped on Enigma later in the year. The stuttering, five beat drum hook that sounded like gunfire is not something easily forgotten, once heard. This is one that I would have really liked to have heard a 12″ mix of as the song is under the three minute mark, but better to leave them wanting more, I guess.

The closer “Power Tools,” is the one track that had the actual content of DEV inhabiting its dancerock grooves. It stood here as a spiritual relative of “Beautiful World” with its sentiments of “power tool… in the hands of power fools.” For a few minutes in 1986-88 it almost looked like Martini Ranch might almost be the spiritual heirs to the spud boys, who had gone missing and off Warner Brothers label by that time. There were 3-4 tracks here that managed to get that devolved head of steam up to suitable levels, but the group never sold squat. This album and the two singles [apart for the remix on the Sire sampler] were all that Martini Ranch managed to release. Andrew Todd Rosenthal went on to score loads of television and film projects in addition to being one half [“Ice Berg”] of Hebrew rappers Members of the Tribe. And Paxton managed to bust the bronco of fame and fortune as a well loved cult character actor who can transition to the lead when called upon. But it looked like they might be contenders for the spud throne, were it not for another artist who hit even closer to the target… and earlier to boot.

Next: …The Winnah!

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The Midge Ure Conundrum

Midge Ure rocks out… for a change

Midge Ure rocks out… for a change

Oh my. I just discovered that PPM bête noire James ‘Midge’ Ure will be mounting an extensive North American Tour on the next few weeks that sees the erstwhile Ultravox vocalist coming dangerously close to my HQ in about a month. Long-time readers may know that I sort of have a bone to pick with Ure lately. I am of several competing minds on this issue and almost don’t know what to think about this.

Ure currently tours North America on a depressingly regular basis. I use that phrase because from 1981 to at least 2001 I would have given a lot of money to see him perform a show, but it never happened. It’s been in the last few years that he’s been really putting on the mileage with regular tours, even as the disastrous [on record, at least] Ultravox reunion from 2008-2013 happened concurrently to these tours. It’s depressing to me now because I’ve lately come to the realization that I really haven’t cared for anything he’s done since about 1984. Even worse, of late the shows in The States [including a show in Atlanta last year that it would not have been too much trouble to attend] were the dreaded solo acoustic [read: inexpensive to mount] shows. If there is anything I do not want to hear is Midge Ure performing solo acoustic versions of what were at best, once electronic rock songs, and at worst, indigestible faux-Celtic sap.

Which is why the knowledge that this tour will be a rare electric jaunt across the continent for Ure has some currency with me – against my better judgement. It’s being promoted as the “Something From Everything” tour; allegedly running the gamut from his early Post-Punk days with The Rich Kids, through Visage and Ultravox, and finally to his solo material. In as much as I can’t really find value in his solo career, I still listen to the earlier material. A lot of it was quite good. Added to this potential softening of my stance was the realization last year that I may have been too uncharitable towards the guy. I was discussing Ure with a reader and I actually began to feel sorry for the guy and the hard line stance I took towards him.

When he released his last solo album, I sampled the video he released for “Become” and it completely didn’t work for me! To the point that it didn’t rate a mention at all on this blog because I didn’t want to feel like I was beating up on the poor guy. Sure, I’ve been harsh on Ure, but tough love is the best kind. Now with the tour coming to nearby Atlanta in about a month, I’m tempted to finally make the Midge Ure connection, late in the game, that I have been discounting for at least five years. But just barely.

Because as much as the notion of unfinished business, reconciliation, and good fellowship resonates with me, so does the memory of the particularly painful first Simple Minds concert I attended 30 years ago. Another favorite band with quality issues [to put it mildly] were Simple Minds, who have managed to deliver at least five good studio albums that I quite enjoyed to varying degrees in the last 30 years. Ure? None at all. Also, the realization that at least half [probably more] of the concert will consist of music I really don’t want to hear performed in any style will predominate to the point of it being an activity best avoided. Particularly when it entails traveling four hours and an overnight stay. I’ve been traveling a lot in recent months and I don’t think I can quite muster the impetus to venture out to Atlanta unless there was more then the notion of Ure performing to spur me onward, but for those of you so inclined, here are the extensive tour dates. Two legs worth!

Midge Ure | North American Tour | 2016 Leg

  • Sep 30 | Revolution Bar & Music Hall | Amityville, NY
  • Oct 01 | Daryl’s House | Pawling, NY
  • Oct 02 | Gramercy Theatre | New York, NY
  • Oct 04 | Blues and Jazz | Bethesda, MD
  • Oct 05 | World Cafe | Philadelphia, PA
  • Oct 06 | Iron Horse Music Hall | Northampton, MA
  • Oct 07 | Montage Music Hall | Rochester, NY
  • Oct 08 | Opera House | Toronto, Canada
  • Oct 09 | Magic Bag | Ferndale, MI
  • Oct 11 | Music Box | Cleveland, OH
  • Oct 12 | Martyr’s | Chicago, IL
  • Oct 13 | Shank Hxll | Milwaukee, WI
  • Oct 14 | The New Vintage | Louisville, KY
  • Oct 15 | The Earl | Atlanta, GA

Midge Ure | North American Tour | 2017 Leg

  • Jan 05 | Rickshaw | Vancouver, BC
  • Jan 06 | Triple Door | Seattle, WA
  • Jan 07 | Doug Fir | Portland, OR
  • Jan 09 | Harlow’s | Sacramento, CA
  • Jan 10 | Mystic Theatre | Petaluma, CA
  • Jan 11 | Social Hall | San Francisco, CA
  • Jan 12 | Coach House | Orange County, CA
  • Jan 13 | Roxy | Los Angeles, CA
  • Jan 14 | Casbah | San Diego, CA
  • Jan 16 | Grand @ The Complex | Salt Lake City
  • Jan 18 | Soiled Dove | Denver, CO
  • Jan 20 | 3Ten | Austin, TX
  • Jan 21 | Dan’s Sliver Leaf | Denton, TX [Dallas]
  • Jan 23 | City Winery | Nashville, TN

– 30 –

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Record Review: Fashiøn – Streetplayer-Mechanik

Arista | UK | 12" | 1982 | ARIST 12456

Arista | UK | 12″ | 1982 | ARIST 12456

Fashiøn: Streetplayer – Mechanik UK 12″ [1982]

  1. Streetplayer – Mechanik [audiø extra]
  2. Mutant Mix Mechanik
  3. Dressed Tø Kill [mix]

After hearing the first Fàshiön Music album, “Product Perfect” back in 1979, I didn’t expect to hear them resurface again three years later as a completely different band, but one afternoon when MTV debuted on my cable system to my enrapt eyeballs and ears, I saw the video for “Love Shadow” that had the band now making sophisticated synth-funk complete with gratuitous∞ Gina Kikoine guest vocals! I glommed onto a copy of the UK 2×12″ of “Love Shadow” and a surprisingly long time later [a few years?] I bought a LP of the second album, “Fabrique.” It became a late-in-the-game favorite of mine for 1982 as the 80s ended for me. The next decade, I spent my time and effort in completing my collection of all of the singles from this Zeus B. Held-produced opus. “Steeetplayer-Mechanik” is but one of them.

∞ – can there really be such a thing?

The Münich technothrob of this one in its [audiø extra]” 12″ mix was unbelievably strong with this one; opening as it did with synth bass that soon got overlaid with Simmons drums and vocoded as well as whispered vocals that were as sleek as a Maserati. The squelching wooshes of synths added   tension to the motorik rhythms that the song rode upon through the Berlin streets at night. Singer De Harris’ angular guitar licks added to the immaculate poise of it all. I was in awe at how producer Held was able to fuse an analog funk band with what sounded like a king’s ransom of almost grotesque levels of high technology. Maybe only the music of Japan, ca. “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” sounded remotely like this as exemplars of just how far technology could go in crafting complex, yet hook-laden dance music to sate the brows the most discerning of jazz aficionados. The 12″ played out for a glorious 8:23 since any shorter would have implied that this luxury had been moderated. A serious no-no in my book.

The dub mix of “Mutant Mix Mechanik” offered another 7:13 of instrumental dubmix that allowed the almost Mororder-rich instrumentation to glint gloriously in the early morning moonlight.  The synths and rhythm instrumentation rise and fall in a give-and-take battle for supremacy here. Of times, just a machine rhythm left as everything else has been dubbed out. This gave every element of the mix a chance to show off magnificently.

The B-side here was a brief dub mix of “Dressed To Kill” from the “Fabrique” album The dub allowed the spherical bass synth to take early spotlight before the funk guitar of Mr. Harris  took the opportunity to politely go nuts. I love the dubbed in vocal hook of “dressed to kill!” as the only vocal complement following the descending synth hook. The Chapman Stick-like synth hooks I heard among the sound of squealing tires mixed seamlessly with screams attain an otherworldly sense of dread for this quivering slice of matte-black nite-funk. The Fashiøn vibe on this single was to skirt the edges of a rushing, decadent delirium of electric funk. I consider it a crime that I never once heard this band and period of music played in a dance club.

de-harrisFashiøn of this album period is an unsurpassed pleasure that always thrills me to no end when I indulge. I have each of the 7″ and 12″ singles from the “Fabrique” album and have been pencilling in the long-waited REVO edition that will encompass it all, but wait! Just this lunchbreak, I have learned that vocalist De Harris released a solo single in 1987 of a new version of the by then five year old “Love Shadow” single on UK Arista in 1987! How did I not see this all these years earlier? The 7″ and 12″ of this are now at the top of my want list with select few dealers in the world trafficking in the desired singles. I’ll have to get these, and soon!

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