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Various Artists (Jon Savage) - Jon Savage's 1983-1985 - Welcome To Techno City

2 x CD: £17.99

Label: Ace Records

Release date: 26.01.2024

Further Information

Continuing his long-running and highly respected series for Ace, spanning year by year since the germination of his 1966 volume for both Ace and Faber Books, Jon Savage serves us up another of his spectacular insights into popular culture, this time for the years 1983 to 1985. Born out of the ashes of post-punk, there were plenty of experimental singles during the early part of this period: Siouxsie’s ‘Swimming Horses’, Shriekback’s ‘Lined Up’, Soft Cell’s ‘Heat’, Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘Gods Will Be Gods’, and the Smiths’ ‘Girl Afraid’ – a perfect kitchen sink scenario. Pete Shelley and Scritti Politti went the electronic route to great effect, while the Special AKA delivered the perfect riposte to ‘Hard Times’ (all those ripped jeans) and having fun on the dole with the under-appreciated ‘Bright Lights’. But by the end of 1984, the true action throughout this period was to be found in electronic, black American and club music: whether the metal beat of Section 25’s ‘Looking From A Hilltop’, Trans-X’s daffy hi-NRG Eurobelter ‘Living On Video’, Shalamar’s pure electro ‘Disappearing Act’, or the new music coming out of Sugarhill and Tommy Boy – Grandmaster Flash, Double Dee and Steinski, and the sampled Malcolm X. This compilation begins in the mainstream and ends in the underground. It was the classic high 80s, before the full downside of the New Right political project was revealed – although the signs were all there – but the pop fizz cloaked a nostalgia that masked the beginnings of social and subcultural breakdown. The tribes were at war, wearing clothes from pop’s past, a dizzying phenomenon that looted the 50s and 60s in a costume drama of confrontation and dislocation. As ever, Jon reports from the thick of the action and provides both front line reportage and academic insight. Play loud and enjoy the trip.

Another melting pot of sounds, styles and often forgotten (yet ground-breaking) cuts. Like Jon's writing this absolutely rips and is the perfect companion piece for his books. It's as varied as anything but it flows so sweet...Just LOOK at that tracklisting.

By Matt

Track Listing

Side 1

01 All Tomorrow's Parties - Japan

02 Soweto - Malcolm McLaren with The McLarenettes

03 Lined Up - Shriekback

04 Telephone Operator - Pete Shelley

05 Gods Will Be Gods - Echo & The Bunnymen

06 Heat (12-inch version) - Soft Cell

07 (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew - The Rock Steady Crew

08 Disappearing Act (12-inch version) - Shalamar

09 Bright Lights - The Special AKA

10 White Lines (Don't Do It) (12-inch version) - Grandmaster & Melle Mel

11 Techno City (12-inch vocal version) - Cybotron

12 Swimming Horses - Siouxsie & The Banshees

13 Heartbeat (12-inch version) - The Psychedelic Furs

14 No Sell Out (12-inch version) - Malcolm X - music by Keith LeBlanc

15 What Presence?! - Orange Juice

16 Girl Afraid (12-inch version) - The Smiths

Side 2

01 Why? (12-inch) - Bronski Beat

02 Love Resurrection (12-inch version) - Alison Moyet

03 Looking From A Hilltop (12-inch version) - Section 25

04 Think Fast (12-inch version) - Pamela Joy

05 Hypnotize (Version) (12-inch version) - Scritti Politti

06 Close (To The Edit) (12-inch version) - The Art Of Noise

07 Life's A Scream (12-inch version) - A Certain Ratio

08 Never Understand - The Jesus & Mary Chain

09 Sunspots - Julian Cope

10 Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals

11 In The Night - Pet Shop Boys

12 Single Life - Cameo

13 I Want You (12-inch version) - Cabaret Voltaire

14 Crazy - R.E.M.



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