[Shuffle] -- I didn't have much time to work out a theme this week. That is probably due to my additional blogging duties for 25 Days of Holiday Music. So, I plugged in my iPod Nano, dialed up the 80s collection, and hit shuffle. The first three songs that queued up became the selections for today. If you're ready to find out what those tunes were, you can read and hear more after the break.
Flashback #1: "Goin' round and round 'cause you can't get on your feet."
O first Flashback of the day, "I'm Not the One," had its first life on the Cars' fourth studio album, Shake It Up (1981). It wasn't a single, but it was granted a second life on the band's Greatest Hits collection in 1985. Lyrically, it is a rather gentle put-down song, particularly when you consider the barbs offered on other Cars' tunes about heartbreak. Musically it is mellow, but never weepy, with just the right balance of electronic percussion and synthesizer riffs. The song was remixed for the Greatest Hits collection and released as the second single in 1986 (a great year, by the way). The re-release prompted an AllMusic reviewer to write: "It sounded just as fresh five years after its initial release, proving that 'I'm Not the One' was a new wave classic with staying power."
"I'm Not the One" peaked at #32 on the Billboard Top 40 chart.
Flashback #2: "Cover my face as the animals cry."
The Cure provides our second Flashback today. Ah, the Cure. My goth rock poster boys. In 1982, the band was pretty much at the point of a complete collapse but still managed to release their fourth studio album, Pornography (I hope I don't get too many web 'bots trawling after me for posting that word). It is widely considered their darkest album. Critics were altogether unkind in their reviews. My favorite reviewer, J.D. Considine, wrote: "Pornography comes off as the aural equivalent of a bad toothache. It isn't the pain that irks, it's the persistent dullness.") However, the album did well in their native UK, debuting at #8 in the singles chart and staying on the charts for nine weeks.
Pornography's third track, "The Hanging Garden," is our second Flashback. It was part of a gatefold double pack of 7" singles with a total of four tracks: "The Hanging Garden" and "One Hundred as Part One, and "A Forest" (Live) and "Killing an Arab"as Part Two. This double pack was titled A Single, but it is usually referred to as "The Hanging Garden" to avoid confusion. "The Hanging Garden" begins with a wonderfully driving drum beat and an accompanying bass riff that tickles me to no end. Although the lyrics are absolutely sombre, and the guitar and keyboard work is somewhat wispy or dreamy, the bass and drums keep the song moving with a sense of dread urgency. I'm usually breathless and my heart is racing by the end of this song. And, of course, I'm ready to listen to it all over again.
Flashback #3: "Confusion sprung up from devotion | A halo that covers my eyes."
Our final Flashback artist of the day, New Order, was birthed from the ashes of Joy Division. For more about that painful process, refer to my Flashback post of 11/19/2010, Second Acts.
Appropriately, our third Flashback of the day is "Everything's Gone Green" which was released in December of 1981. I say it's appropriate because our third flashback was New Order's third single. "Everything's Gone Green" was not a track from a studio album, but an edited version did appear as the B-side for their second single, "Procession." "Everything's Gone Green" was later included on several collections: the 1981 – 1982 EP, the cassette version of Substance (1987), and the 2008 "Collector's Edition" of the 1981 album Movement. It can also be found in various remixed or live forms on the following collections: The Rest of New Order (1995), Retro (2002) and Singles (2005).
Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.
Also, I am currently blogging a holiday song per day, from December 1 through December 25. It's the 25 Days of Holiday Music, and I hope you enjoy it.
And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.
I'll see you in seven!