Visage – “Fade To Grey” (12″)

This is such a beautiful song composed by British artist Steve Strange in December 1980. Fade To Grey has that French emotional melody and elegant groove, with English vocals accompanied with French spoken words by a female. Good old 1980 sustained eighth-note octave synth bassline, Roland CR-78 drum-machine, and synth drum slams & hits. The track is like an uplifting passion of the French food with the deepness of French wine that screams falling in love and having sex with a French mistress, covered in French chocolat (sho-ko-la).

Visage – “Fade To Grey” (12″)…

Artist: Visage
Title: Fade To Grey (12″ Version)
Year: 1980
Label: Polydor

Visage – “Fade To Grey” (12″) (mp3)

 

 

Music Video: Visage – “Fade To Grey”…

Spandau Ballet – “Chant No. 1″ (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) (12″ Mix)…

Artist: Spandau Ballet
Title: Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) (12″ Mix)
Year: 1981
Label: Chrysalis Records

Spandau Ballet – “Chant No. 1″ (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) (12″ Mix) (mp3)

 

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)

 

Trevor Horn about to leave SARM to play tennis (hence the shorts!) in July 1984, with the Synclavier (front, right).

Before reading this blog ………. I strongly recommend that you read (if you haven’t done so) or re-read (if you don’t remember) my last post about producer extraordinaire Trevor Horn’s dynamic 12-inch ………. and then come back here for more Horn’ful penetration.

Quick Recap…

This is Trevor Horn… this is trevor horn
He’s the guy who produced and performed “Video Killed The Radio Star” world-wide smash-hit track. And he’s collecting millions of dollars of royalties from it. the buggles, the age of plastic

I did some major digging and discovered some fascinating, forgotten facts and hidden gem tracks from The Buggles.

The Buggles, Trevor Horn (left) and Geoffrey Downes (right) In 1980, the Buggles’ duo Geoffrey Downes (keyboards) and Trevor Horn (vocals) — who were coming off an international success with their New Wave album The Age of Plastic and the acclaimed single “Video Killed the Radio Star” – to help out on a new YES album. Downes suddenly left Buggles when Trevor learned that YES’ keyboardist Rick Wakeman was leaving the band, and therefore snatched him as well as lead-vocalist Jon Anderson to work on the next Buggles album Adventures In Modern Recording. The Buggle’s second album was completed in 1981 but was never released or charted. The album was a gem masterpiece.

A Little Bit of YES…

This is Rick Wakeman. keyboardist Rick Wakeman
This is Jon Anderson. Jon Anderson
Vangelis … in his studio setup in hotel room in Paris … working on his 1987 Direct album. Vangelis in his hotel studio setup in Paris.
During 1981-1983, Jon Anderson worked with Vangelis who’s famous for Blade Runner soundtrack and Oscar-winning theme for Chariots Of Fire. Vangelis and Jon Anderson
YES’ biggest hit single was 1983′s Owner Of The Lonely Heart (youtube video link).
YES – “Owner Of The Lonely Heart” (mp3)
YES 90125 album cover

Buggle’s 2nd Album – Age In Modern Recording

Since this album was never charted, there was only one single released as a 12-inch ……… an absolutely incredible track I Am A Camera with Wakeman on the keys and Anderson on the mic, which can be heard below, among few bonus tracks.

The Buggles – I Am A Camera (12 Inch)

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - I Am A Camera (12 inch)

Listen to the all the instrument layers, arrangements and chord progressions.

The Buggles – I Am A Camera (12 Inch) (mp3)

 

The Buggles – On TV

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - On T.V.

The Buggles – On TV (mp3)

 

The Buggles – Blue Nylon

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - Blue Nylon

The Buggles – Blue Nylon (mp3)

 

Buggle’s 1st Album - The Age Of Plastic

The Buggles – I Love You Miss Robot

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - I Love You Miss Robot

The Buggles – I Love You Miss Robot (mp3)

 

The Buggles – Clean Clean

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - Clean Clean

The Buggles – Clean Clean (mp3)

 

The Buggles – Astroboy

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - Astroboy

The Buggles – Astroboy (mp3)

 

The Buggles – The Living In The Age Of Plastic

The Buggles, Trevor Horn - The Living In The Age Of Plastic

The Buggles – The Living In The Age Of Plastic (mp3)

 
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