Various ‎– Postpunk Chronicles: Scared To Dance

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Rhino Records (2) ‎– R2 75332
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Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Echo & The Bunnymen Do It Clean
Producer – Bill Drummond, David BalfeWritten-By – Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson, Pete DeFreitas*, Will Sergeant
2:46
2 The Stranglers Duchess
Producer – Alan Winstanley, The StranglersWritten-By – Brian Duffy (2), Dave Greenfield, Hugh Cornwell, Jean Jacques Burnel*
2:32
3 Heaven 17 (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang
Producer – British Electric FoundationWritten-By – Glenn Gregory, Ian Craig Marsh, Martyn Ware
4:12
4 Simple Minds Life In A Day
Producer – John LeckieWritten-By – Charles Burchill*, Jim Kerr
4:07
5 Magazine The Light Pours Out Of Me
Producer – John LeckieWritten-By – Howard Devoto, John McGeoch, Peter Shelley*
4:39
6 Ultravox Hiroshima Mon Amour
Co-producer – Steve LillywhiteWritten-By – Billy Currie, John Foxx, Warren Cann
5:15
7 Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Enola Gay
Co-producer – Mike HowlettWritten-By – Andy McCluskey
3:35
8 Iggy Pop New Values
Producer – James WilliamsonWritten-By – Iggy Pop, Scott Thurston
2:40
9 The Cult Ressurection Joe
Producer – Chris KimseyWritten-By – Billy Duffy, Ian Astbury
4:17
10 The Pop Group We Are Time
Co-producer – Dennis BovellWritten-By – Bruce Smith, Gareth Sager, John Waddington, Mark Stewart, Simon Underwood
6:32
11 Tuxedomoon Incubus (Blue Suit)
Co-producer – Gareth JonesWritten-By – Blaine Reininger*, Peter Dachert, Steven Brown
3:51
12 Japan Visions Of China
Co-producer – Steve NyeWritten-By – David Sylvian, Steve Jansen
3:39
13 Pigbag Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag
Co-producer – Dave Hunt, Dick O'Dell*Written-By – Chip Carpenter, Chris Hamlin*, Chris Lee, James Johnstone, Ollie Moore, Roger Freeman, Simon Underwood
3:41
14 Medium Medium Hungry, So Angry
Producer – Adrian Sherwood, Graham SpinkWritten-By – Alan Turton, Andy Ryder, Graham Spink, John Lewis*, Nigel Stone*
3:58
15 Killing Joke Change
Written-By – Geordie Walker, Jaz Coleman, Martin Glover, Paul Ferguson (2)
4:00
16 Skids Scared To Dance
Producer – David BatchelorWritten-By – Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson
3:19

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Notes

This Compilation ℗ & © 1999 Rhino Entertainment Company, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025-4900. Refer to accompanying booklet for complete copyright/licensing information. Printed in U.S.A.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 0 8122-75332-2 9
  • Barcode (Scanned): 081227533229
  • Matrix / Runout: wea mfg. OLYPHANT X6676 3 R2 75332-2 01 M1S1
  • Mastering SID Code: ifpi L902
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 2U2W

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YazMindsNomi82

YazMindsNomi82

April 19, 2018
edited 12 days ago

The inaugural (and easily the most satisyfing) volume of Rhino's Postpunk Chronicles series collects 16 outstanding tracks that explore the electronic and danceable sides of postpunk. It's refreshing and pleasing to have the early periods of seminal bands like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (via the propulsive synthpop masterpiece Enola Gay), Simple Minds (by way of the Roxy Music/Krautrock-damaged Life In A Day), and The Cult (courtesy of the groovy goth rocker Ressurection Joe), all before succumbing to more commercial pressures. Equally appreciated is the presence of groups that ruled the U.K. Pop/Indie charts, but never translated to American audiences, like The Pop Group (represented here by the dub-infected Y deep cut We Are Time), Heaven 17 (as heard in the defiant synthpop protest We Don't Need This Fascist Groove Thang), and Pigbag (the sampled track here is the hectic James Brown/Ornette Coleman/marching band/ska/reggae/dub hybird of Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag). Guitar-oriented postpunk isn't entirely absent here, as we also have stellar cuts from Killing Joke (the almost metal-ish Change) and the Skids (the title track from their debut LP that also provides the subtitle for this CD).

My favorite discovery off this disc is easily the surreal, quasi-industrial cut Incubus (Blue Suit) from San Francisco avant-gardists Tuxedomoon. Filled with eerie synths, jagged guitars, and robotic percussion, this selection from Tuxedmoon's 1981 LP Desire hooked me on first hearing. A pity Rhino couldn't have secured songs from fellow Ralph artists like Renaldo and the Loaf, Yellow, MX-80 Sound, or even The Residents for future Postpunk Chronicles volumes.

The sequencing for this disc is ideal, as it begins with the driving neo-psychedelia of Echo and the Bunnymen and ends with the slower-paced but still-captivating Skids (Scared to Dance makes for a perfect finale after the workout of the previous 15 cuts). I especially like how the thematically similar Hiroshima Mon Amour and Enola Gay join each other at the hip.

Unlike other Rhino V/A compilation series, the liner notes in Postpunk Chronicles are comprised of historical rememberances from various college radio DJs, music critics/journalists, musicians, and other personalities. A few select quotes from Scared to Dance are presented at the bottom.

There honestly isn't a single dud track here. A job well done by Jim Neill and his fellow chroniclers on compiling Scared to Dance! Sadly, only 2 more volumes followed. Given the rise in popularity of the postpunk era in the last decade-and-a-half, the time seems ripe for Rhino to give the series a new life.

And now, some fun statistic, factoids, and other memorandum regarding Scared to Dance!

*The version of Heaven 17's Fascist Groove Thang heard here is the full LP mix (from H-17's debut Penthouse And Pavement) including the instrumental outro.

*Virgin Records is the best represented label here, with 6 tracks culled from the Virgin library (Tracks 3-5, 7, 12, and 16, if you were curious). Despite their major-label status, Virgin was adventurous in signing some of the best new wave/postpunk acts of the era.

*The oldest track is Ultravox's sublime Hiroshima Mon Amour (the original LP version from Ha!-Ha!-Ha!, released 10/14/77), while the most current is The Cult's Resurrection Joe (a 12"/7" single issued 12/14/84).

Memorable quotes from the Scared to Dance liner notes:

Mark Kates on Echo & The Bunnymen's Do It Clean: "March 30, 1981-I arrive back at school in D.C. My roommate tells me Reagan has been shot and is recuperating at the GWU hospital. I go to WRGW to do my show. The PD hands me a copy of Crocodiles. 'They're at the Bayou tonight, you should go.' Thus began what is now 17 years of worship."

Mike Halloran on Heaven 17's (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang: "We invented dance music in Detroit... and this one spoke to us in that same sense. Sheffield lads get funky. George Clinton was more than likely not impressed, but the rest of us dug it like hell."

Philip Kret on Orchestral Maneouvres In The Dark's Enola Gay: "OMD's first few records tapped into the emotionality of Joy Division, and I remember singer Andy McCluskey breaking into tears when talking backstage about this then-just-departed friend, Ian Curtis. Coming from their second LP, Organisation, 'Enola Gay' was a crier. I was actually dating a girl named Enola Gay when this came out."

David Greenberger on Medium Medium's Hungry, So Angry: "I was first introduced to this song when it was pulsing through some club. I don't remember where. Never before or since have I felt the need to find out what a song was by asking the club DJ."

Les Scurry on Killing Joke's Change: "At last I could finally reconcile my punk and metal roots. This band hit so damn hard with its robotic, metallic hammer that most were silenced in their presence. Sure, they spawned a lot of crap-Marilyn Manson, anyone?-I can't forgive them for. During a short period they were the embodiment of 'heavy."

Track ratings:

1. Echo & The Bunnymen - Do It Clean - ****
2. The Stranglers - Duchess - ****
3. Heaven 17 (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang - *****
4. Simple Minds - Life In A Day: ****
5. Magazine - The Light Pours Out Of Me - *****
6. Ultravox - Hiroshima Mon Amour - *****
7. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Enola Gay - *****
8. Iggy Pop - New Values - ****
9. The Cult - Ressurection Joe - *****
10. The Pop Group - We Are Time - *****
11. Tuxedomoon - Incubus (Blue Suit) - *****
12. Japan - Visions Of China - *****
13. Pigbag - Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag - *****
14. Medium Medium. Hungry, So Angry - *****
15. Killing Joke - Change - ****
16. Skids - Scared To Dance - ****

Overall rating: 5 stars out of 5

Coming next: A smorgasboard of postpunk styles in Left of the Dial (which, curiously enough, doesn't contain the Replacements song of the same title)