Eurythmics are known mainly for a lot of their mainstream releases but not so much for what was supposed to be their first motion-picture soundtrack release –titled 1984– for a movie also with the same title.  Ok, that was a long sentence.  I’ll simplify my point: Eurythmic’s 1984 was the soundtrack for the 1984 movie which was based on George Orwell’s novel:  1984/Nineteen Eight Four. Phew!

Back in 1984, I bought the LP vinyl & cassette of Eurythmics’ 1984, as well as the 7″ and 12″ singles of Sexcrime.  This entire album is actually my very favorite of any Eurythmics’ release.  It has all the synth-pop, electronic elements with Moroder-esque basslines, drum machine polyrhythms, stuttering vocal samples, layers of synth pads, lush sound engineering & mixing, seas of processed reverb and cutting-edge dark-noir feel to it all (with a touch of pop sparkles on top).  It’s pop and SERIOUS at the same time.  Timeless.  Emotional.  Deep.  All in all, 1984 is different in style & sound from Eurythmics’ previous forte, falling somewhere between Peter Gabriel’s Birdy soundtrack and The Art Of Noise.

Play Eurythmics “1984″ LP/Soundtrack…

Eurythmics 1984 Tracks…

  • Track 01 – I Did It Just The Same  (mp3)
  • Track 02 – Sexcrime (nineteen eighty-four)  (mp3)
  • Track 03 – For The Love Of Big brother  (mp3)
  • Track 04 – Winston’s Diary  (mp3)
  • Track 05 – Greetings From A Dead Man  (mp3)
  • Track 06 – Julia  (mp3)
  • Track 07 – Doubleplusgood  (mp3)
  • Track 08 – Ministry Of Love  (mp3)
  • Track 09 – Room 101  (mp3)
  • Review of ’1984′ by DjProject…

    Review by DjProject…

    When Michael Redford set out to make a film adaptation of George Orwell’s well-known dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four, Sir Richard Branson (Virgin was producing the film) wanted to have a pop act to contribute to the soundtrack. And so he brought onboard Eurythmics (still signed to RCA at the time). Although only a few of the cues were actually use in the theatrical cut and subsequently for laserdisc and DVD they were all but absent from the film (Eurythmics have become “unpersons” =] ), this is a fine alternative soundtrack to the work, both the novel and the film.

    If Eurythmics were known solely for their pop sensibilities, this album would demonstrate their creative talents. The thing that makes this album stand out is the way it’s able to capture the mood and spirit of the world of Oceania. The sound is very modern and accessible to today but there’s a unsettling trait running through the album that compliments a future run by the principles of Ingsoc. Perhaps the best example in this album is “Greetings from a Dead Man.” The percussion makes it very dance-like yet the organ/synth sounds and Anne Lennox’s vocalizing give it a dark quality. This could very well be the first cyberpunk soundtrack =].

    This is perhaps why Michael Redford disliked it so much. He was much in favor with Dominic Muldowney’s orchestral score. While Muldowney’s score is a good traditional film score and points to Orwell’s inspiration (the music is very “social realist” and would fit well with a socialist/communist band’s repertoire), it does very little to really explore and solidify the dark mood of the film. For an example, “I Did It Just the Same” was used (albeit in a slightly different form on the film) when Winston was recounting his encounter with prole prostitute. The rhythm track, the striptease-like synth bass and the other electronic oddities (Anne’s vocalizations were not on the film cue) help to amplify the sexuality in the scene, a verboten idea in the world of “1984.” Muldowney’s score just doesn’t cut it (pun intended).

    While most Eurythmics fans would consider this a curiosity, I think it helps them to be seen as artists in their own right rather than just a pop group who happened to be at the right place at the right time. As for its failed use in the film, all I can say that I’m sorry that Michael Redford failed to see what this soundtrack could have done for the film.

    I must be one of the few lucky ones to own this amazing track on a 12-inch record. I believe only few thousand copies were pressed back in 1984.

    Where was I when I’d bought the record?     Ah yes!     It was sometime in late October 1985, after school, at Starsounds record store on Young Street in Toronto. Starsounds was a great record store that sold only 12-inch records of every genre, especially to DJ’s. At that time, I was looking for synth/techno/pop tracks when Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer was hot. Flipping through Starsounds’ bin of old/unsold records, my fingers came to a stop at this one particular vinyl with gloriously colored luminous-orange sleeve: Section 25.

    I held the record up in a tilted-angle closer to my eyes just to read its center label. It was hard to read, because the words and fonts were ultra moderno that were printed with light, shiny luminous colors. Yeah… a record looking great in graphic-design but lacking in function (such as reading its textual content).

    Even though I had no idea who Section 25 was, my gut said: This the record you’re looking for, buddy! Just the words 45 A Factory Record and Restructure From Fact 90 on the center label were enough to convince me the record was INDEED an electronic one that was meant for me. Still in my formal shirt/tie/jacket school uniform, I bought the record with my only $20-Canadian. Going home in the subway (the TTC), I was staring at the record and second-guessing what it might sound like. Once I got home, I ran to my room and dropped the needle to the record. The usual at the start of any record: few seconds of crackles, scratches and pops…

    …And then there was music!

    The track on Side-B starts with reverse tom-tom drums followed by reversed-&-gated 808 claps in 1/16th-note progression. Then –BAM– the beat drops like a cyber-atomic bomb: → Heavy industrial baseline → Synth bleeps/zaps all over the stereo-field → Lush synthesizer and Mellotron pads → Cyberpunk female lead vocalsWhispery male backup vocals. Electronic techno industrial pop bliss → → Hands down, an absolute electronic industrial masterpiece!

    Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (Megamix)…

    Artist: Section 25
    Title: Looking From A Hilltop (Megamix)
    Year: 1984
    Label: A Factory Record
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (Megamix) (mp3)

     

    Music Video: Section 25 – “Looking From A Hilltop” (version 2)…

    It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you.
    Without a strong article to blog a post to.
    Think of six months you had to wait through.
    Time’s up.  I’m sorry I’ve kept you…
    waiting for this, with your hand on the mouse, soon…
    as you click it, turn up the volume!

    Heh. How ya like my own take on Eric B & Rakim’s – “I Know You Got Soul” lyrics above!

    And hey… Thank you for your patience.

    In the long break which I’ve taken away from my blog, I was going through and reorganizing my entire vinyl and CD collection. I was listening to a lot of music, as well as searching and buying a lot of new and used records and CD’s from niche record stores, thrift stores, garage sales and internet. I’ve added more music to my arsenal in the past few months, especially certain old-school tracks which I’ve been searching for years to find… such as the 12-inch extended version of Promises Promises by Naked Eyes.

    What the hell is it about this track which makes it deliciously and emotionally congenial? …And why is it so immortal?

    Oh, I know… It is the plethora of rich, creamy & lush layers of weaving sound textures in a sea of sound-design bliss — an artwork trademark of Naked Eyes’ two British members Pete Byrne (guitars & vocals) and Rob Fisher (synthesizers & keyboards). They deliver Promises Promises with such bliss, thickened with consistency and splendiferous substance of utmost quality in the beautiful combination of different musical elements, threaded and embedded deeply in the song’s inner core and exterior fabric.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Naked Eyes was one the very first bands to make significant use of the Fairlight CMI sampling beast of an instrument.  Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush had used the Fairlight on prior efforts, but the usage had been far less than Naked Eyes would employ on their debut effort.

    However, before becoming a two-man band, Byrne & Fisher had formally played in a band called Neon with future members of Tears For Fears — also a two-man band who used the Fairlight extensively. The relationship between the two bands is perhaps why both bands had similarities in their use of rich, epic sound-textures in the music, albeit each having their own musical styles.

    The lyrics of Promises Promises was obviously about a person’s disappointment in his/her significant-other who made countless promises but was not able to keep nor follow through any one of them. If having read the lyrics without listening to the music first, one might have gotten an impression that the song would be slow and sappy.     Sappy/slow it was not!       Surprisingly, this track was paced at mid-tempo with:

    • Tight drums at the core;
    • Percussive marimba’ish synth stabs;
    • Lush synth pads and swells coming in & going out through both left/right channels of the stereo-field;
    • Echoey electric guitar licks drenched in reverb ambience; and
    • Moderate and not over-the-top vocals with not too many words.

    ●●● Overall sound-&-feel of the song was (and still is) moody and emotional but hopeful.

    Moody… Emotional… These are exactly the feelings I go through sometimes when thinking about how I might’ve been given the short-end of the stick in life. I start to loathe myself many times for being a middle-eastern person born in Baghdad, Iraq. And then I wish that I wasn’t born an arab nor a muslim –– I really do hate my religion!

    I renounced Islam when I was 6.5 years-old in 1977. I was mandated to attend “Quran” class at the end of first day of school (Rosary) in Abu Dhabi. I was late for that class. As soon as I entered the classroom, the arabic teacher asked me to recite any verse from the Quran. I had no idea what she was talking about, because I wasn’t aware to have a religion.  All of a sudden the bitch slapped me hard on my face, almost knocking me down to the floor and blacking-out. That very moment… I made up my mind: FUCK THIS! AND FUCK ISLAM!!

    After being slapped and physically abused for nearly three years, my stuttering became severely worse, as I was living in fear of those kinds of people. And because of those sons of bitches, I loathed (and still loathe) myself for being a brown, muslim arab. Therefore I moved to England and Canada with my parents at a young age of nine years in 1980. I was happy to get away from the middle-eastern world of autocratic and punitive Islamic-states in Arabia. During all my years living in Europe and North America, I’ve adapted and became accustomed to modern western civilization and culture.

    But whenever I do feel down like that, I can simply shake it off by either thinking of Promises Promises or playing the song. Perhaps a lot of the good promises in my life where broken or never fulfilled, but I am being hopeful at the end of each day.

    Naked Eyes – “Promises, Promises” (Extended Version)…

    Artist: Naked Eyes
    Title: Promises, Promises (Extended Version)
    Year: 1983
    Label: EMI America
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Naked Eyes – “Promises Promises”  (Extended Version) (mp3)

     

    Naked Eyes – “Promises, Promises” (Instrumental)…

    Artist: Naked Eyes
    Title: Promises, Promises (Instrumental)
    Year: 1983
    Label: EMI America
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Naked Eyes – “Promises Promises” (Instrumental) (mp3)

     


    Source of article: Gridface
    Link to original article: http://www.gridface.com/features/chip_e.html
    Author of article: Jacob Arnold, editor of Gridface blog

    Read this fantastic article If You Only Knew (Chip E.) and interview of Chip E. (Irwin Larry Eberhart II, 43) posted by Jacob Arnold from the Gridface blog.  Chip E. (also known as The Godfather of House) was the first artist to release a dance track which contained the words “house” and “jack,” and therefore spawning so many House tracks to be released by other House artists, also contained such words (either in the title and/or hook):  7 Ways To Make You Jack (Hercules),  Jack Your Body (Steve Silk Hurley), Jack To The Sound Of The Underground (Fast Eddie), House Nation (House Master Boyz), etc.

    Another great Tears For Fears 12″ single. This track was recorded and released in the UK charts in 1984, well before the release  of their 1985 LP/album release Songs From The Big Chair. It showcased the group’s edgier sound, intricate production and, most importantly, the creative use of sampling. Beat Of The Drum Mix was clearly one of the earliest remix tracks with sampled vocals, loops and snippets as well as loops, that were sequenced and arranged together on top of all other synths and multi-tracked layers of instrument/vocal performances recorded by the band. For example, the string-hits at the beginning Beat Of The Drum Mix were sampled from a Barry Manilow track; James Brown vocal snippets near the end; and the other samples were real ambient noises, drum shots/rolls, orchestral and horn stabs, ambient and weird noises, guitar strums/chords, and Tears For Fears’ own vocals.

    All the sampling were done with the Fairlight CMi-2 which was, at that time, the most sophisticated and highly advanced sampling/sequencing/digital-editing workstation.  It featured a mainframe computer, large keyboard-instrument controller, computer monitor and a light-pen.  Watch this video demonstration of the Fairlight. Also watch this other video of the Fairlight being demonstrated by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.

    The meaning of Mothers Talk stems from two ideas:

    1. Something that mothers say to their children about pulling faces; they say the child will stay like that when the wind changes; and
    2. The inspiration by the anti-nuclear cartoon book When The Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs.

    Tears For Fears – “Mothers Talk” (Beat Of The Drum Mix)…

    Artist: Tears For Fears
    Title: Mothers Talk (Beat Of The Drum Mix)
    Year: 1984, 1985, 1986
    Label: Mercury Records; Polygram; Phonogram; Vertigo
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Tears For Fears – “Mothers Talk” (Beat Of The Drum Mix) (mp3)

     

    Tears For Fears – “Mothers Talk” (US Remix)…

    Artist: Tears For Fears
    Title: Mothers Talk (US Remix)
    Year: 1984, 1985, 1986
    Label: Mercury Records; Polygram; Phonogram; Vertigo

    Tears For Fears – “Mothers Talk” (US Remix) (mp3)

     

    Fairlight CMi demonstration by Greg Sneddon…

    http://youtu.be/D-aWWcw2pL0

    Fairlight Cmi demonstration by Nick Rhodes & other artists…

    When The Wind Blows…

    I love this version of Head Over Heels (Preacher Mix) by Tears For Fears. It’s nice and long with outstanding edits and arrangements that takes you on a long journey. Layers and layers of real music instruments and electronic synthesizers. Intricate production. A work of art!  I wish that I wrote this song. I recorded this track off of an imported 12-inch record (pressed in Germany) which I’ve had in my collection since the mid 80′s. The Preacher Mix is comprised of three parts: (1) intro Broken, (2) the main song Head Over Heels, and (3) outro Broken —- with all three playing in consecutive order. The intro and outro versions of Broken sound different from each other. However, the Broken-outro part in the album version of Head Over Heels is completely a different version/mix than the one in Preacher Mix; it sounds like a live performance than a studio-production (although I am not sure if it is really “live” or just made to sound that way).

    The Preacher Mix was available only on 12-inch record for a long time.  It wasn’t even available on Tears For Fears’ 1985 album Songs From The Big Chair, nor was it available on their 1999 remastered release of Songs From The Big Chair which included all the original tracks from the album plus several bonus B-sides tracks/remixes. But in 2006, The Preacher Mix was included in yet another remastered, 2-disc deluxe edition release of Songs From The Big Chair on CD

    Tears For Fears – “Broken / Head Over Heels / Broken” (Preacher Mix)…

    Artist: Tears For Fears
    Title: Broken / Head Over Heels / Broken (Preacher Mix)
    Year: 1985
    Label: Mercury Records
    Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.

    Tears For Fears – “Broken / Head Over Heels / Broken” (Preacher Mix) (mp3)

     

    Tears For Fears – “Head Over Heels/Broken” (Album Version)…

    Artist: Tears For Fears
    Title: Head Over Heels/Broken (Album Version)
    Year: 1985
    Label: Mercury Records

    Tears For Fears – “Head Over Heels/Broken” (Album Version) (mp3)

     

    Tears For Fears – “Head Over Heels” (Live 1984)…

    In 1983, Malcolm McLaren released two singles, Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch, both of which becoming worldwide top-10 smash-hits. Those two tracks hit the international music charts before his LP Dutch Rock was released. Dutch Rock album proved to be highly influential, bringing hip-hop to a wider audience, especially in the UK.

    Giacomo Puccini, Madam Butterfly operaIn 1984, Malcolm changed his tune to opera on his next maxi/EP single release of Madam Butterfly which was an electronic, synth-pop modern-classic track, based on Giacomo Puccini’s 1902 classic-opera Madam Butterfly’s“Un Bel Di Vedremo” final aria (watch videos below). For those of you who are not familiar with Puccini, perhaps you might recognize his “Nessun Dorma” aria from his Turandot opera (which is still part of today’s popular culture). Nessun Dorma has achieved pop-status by Luciano Pavarotti’s recording of it, used as the theme song of BBC’s television’s coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup soccer in Italy; and it subsequently reached #2 on the UK singles music chart (the highest placing ever by a classical recording).

    Malcolm McLaren’s Madam Butterfly is arranged with a drum-machine, atmospheric synthesizers and spoken/sung R&B verses (with opera backup vocals). The production on Malcolm’s Madam Butterfly is stellar. The track was produced by Steven Hague who settled for nothing but the best in overall production. I know for a fact that a Fairlight CMI-2 was used, because Madam Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo) starts with the Fairlight’s famous factory sound-preset ”aah” voices coming in slowly and rising gradually in amplitude, serving as a bed/pad sound layered in the background throughout the track. Watch music video below to hear that sound. I know all the Fairlight sounds inside-out, because I’ve heard them millions of times since 1980 when the Fairlight beast of a sampler/workstation instrument was used on countless of tracks by other famous artists and groups in that era (for it’s unique sound, powerful sample/sound processing engine and music sequencer). Watch this video of the Fairlight being demonstrated by Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. As for the chord melody in Madam Butterfly, it is a sound of an upright-harp with softer/slower attack transient; though there’s no telling what synthesizer or sampler brand used for it. It could’ve been a custom-sampled harp sound for the Fairlight, or a factory-sample bank coming from a then-popular E-mu Emulator-II, but my guess is that the harp and the bassline-sound were factory-preset patches from a Yamaha DX7 synth. Watch this YouTube demo of the DX7. Harp sounds from synths and samplers sound almost exactly the same and very difficult to distinguish them apart. Also, the drum-machine used in Madam Butterfly is an Oberheim DMX (which was just as popular as Roland TR-808, LinnDrum and E-mu Drumulator and SP-12 drum-machines at that time).

    Attention new music producers: I have compiled and categorized .wav samples of almost every classic drum-machine and electronic drum-kits made by man.  Download drum_kits.zip

    I used to own the 12″ vinyl of Madam Butterfly which I bought in 1984 from Our Price record store in Uxbridge town center (Hillingdon, Buckinghamshire, UK). But I gave it to my friend Mister P-Body (Arizona) in June 2001 (just before I moved back to West Vancouver, BC, Canada, on July 1, 2001), as I had already owned a copy of it on CD-single which I’d purchased in 1988. To this day, I’m still playing the track over and over again. I have never gotten (and still never get) sick of listening to Madam Butterfly — takes on me on long mind trips each time.

    Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (Un Bel Di Vedremo)…

    Artist: Malcolm McLaren
    Title: Madam Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo)
    Year: 1984
    Label: Virgin Records; Charisma Records

    Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (Un Bel Di Vedremo) (mp3)

     

    Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (On The Fly Mix)…

    Artist: Malcolm McLaren
    Title: Madam Butterfly (On The Fly Mix)
    Year: 1984
    Label: Virgin Records; Charisma Records

    Malcolm McLaren – “Madam Butterfly” (On The Fly Mix) (mp3)

     

    Malcolm McLaren – “Death Of Butterfly” (Tu Tu Piccolo)…

    Artist: Malcolm McLaren
    Title: Death Of Butterfly (Tu Tu Piccolo)
    Year: 1984
    Label: Virgin Records; Charisma Records

    Malcolm McLaren – “Death Of Butterfly” (Tu Tu Piccolo) (mp3)

     

    Stage Performance: A preview of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” opera…

    Opera Performance: Puccini – “Madama Butterfly” (Un Bel Di Vedremo)…

    Stage Performance:
    Pavarotti sings “Nessun Dorma” final aria of Puccini’s Turandot opera…

    Page 1 of 4 1234