Monday, March 24, 2008

Musica: Rap boy rap!

We all have them: Memories that inexplicably remain embedded in your brain throughout your life despite having no discernible purpose. For me, one of them was noticing a black and white flyer announcing a show by a band called Thompson Twins touring in support of their 1983 "Sidekicks" album (Originally, when it was released in the UK, the album was called "Quick Step & Side Kick," a much better title).

I only knew their "In the Name of Love" single but I wasn't sure I was ready to plunk down money on the show. Years later it is the one live concert that I have always regretted not attending. Maybe that is why the memory still remains.

Still, this week - more than 20 years after their original release - I am glad to report that two Thompson Twins classic albums have gotten the deluxe treatment. Sorta.

Those of us from the "New Romantic" generation idolized these albums. As an artsy fartsy geek I certainly dug the three-headed Thompson Twins logo, Alannah Currie's hair-do, and their bitchin' fashion sense (I knew a couple of guys who took it to the next level and dressed like them). And with space-age suicidal songs like "Kamikaze," celebrity stalking murder songs like "Judy Do," and betrayal songs like "Love on Your Side" what teen could be immune? (I mean, "If You Were Here" was featured in "Sixteen Candles" with MOLLY RINGWALD!! Enough said!).

Most importantly: Some of also discovered that the tape cassette version of the records had the full album on one side and a dubby groovy remixed version on the other side (who knew tape cassettes could hold so much music?).

Jump forward to 2004. Superfecta Recordings, which specializes in re-releasing 80's classics, goes through the painstaking process of remastering the originals and releasing "Quick Step & Side Kick" in an "expanded" edition with four extra tracks (here) and their 1984 "Into the Gap" with two extra tracks (here). But watch out for the wrath of 80's geeks! Superfecta were eaten alive for the limited additional material considering the wealth of music still out there.

Enter Edsel Records this year with definitive 2-CD package versions (here and here). They include ALL the cassete dubby versions PLUS the released 12" mix LP mixes and B-sides making them an 80's music geek lover's dream come true! 'cept that reviewers are now complaining about their quality since, unlike Superfecta, Edsel apparently did not remaster the recordings.

Hm. As long as I get B-side classics such as "Leopard Ray" and "You Take Me Up (Machines Take Me Over)" I don't think I'll mind. I guess I will wait until I get the new versions to pass judgement on the sound.

In the meantime, here is "You Take Me Up!" from "Into The Gap" (though the "Machines Take Me Over" version is fiercer). Long live Thompson Twins!

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

Thanks for the great video! i forgot how much i dig the Thompson Twins... Good stuff.