January 22, 2016
I reckon that just about everyone who is from my generation will be very familiar with the song Pop Muzik, which was an absolutely massive hit for M in in the summer of 1979. It reached #1 in at least ten countries and went Top 10 just about everywhere else. It sold 1 million copies in the USA alone.
But I wonder how many remember the follow-up, which totally flopped in the States and only reached a very moderate #33 in the UK:-
mp3 : M – Moonlight and Muzak (12 inch version)
It’s another early version of synthpop, and if you have a listen to the first 45 seconds of intro you’ll find it to be very reminiscent of the sort of tunes that would bring The Human League huge success a few years later. And with the vocal delivery from Robin Scott not being far removed from many of guitar-led new wave songs that were so prevalent in 1979, a case can be made for Moonlight and Muzak being one of the cleverest pop songs of 1979 in what was a tremendous year for music.
Albeit, I’m willing to admit that the 12″ version, of which a copy still sits in the cupboard more than 36 years later, has perhaps been stretched out by two minutes longer than necessary.
Here’s a bonus cover of the big hit from a very surprising source:-
mp3 : Tricky – Pop Muzik
b-side to his 1999 single For Real
September 2, 2015
First of all…..when you haven’t heard such a great song in gawd knows home many years as it hasn’t come up on random shuffle on the i-pod and you think to yourself….wow!
mp3 : Portishead – Glory Box (single edit)
Secondly…..there is no way that 20 years have flown by since this was in the UK charts. Nooo Waaay.
Sour Times in August 1994 had brought Portishead to the attention of the record-buying public but parent album Dummy had been a bit of a slow-burner albeit it was high in all the critics end-of-year appraisals. The decision to edit down the closing track of the album for release as a 45 at the start of the following year was a stroke of genius and Dummy was soon selling in much bigger quantities and in the Top 20. I really thought Glory Box had been a Top 5 hit but looking back with the use of t’internet reveals it stuck at #13, the same spot as Sour Times some five months previous.
The three other tracks on the CD single are a variation on a theme and well worth a listen:-
mp3 : Portishead – Toy Box
mp3 : Portishead – Scorn
mp3 : Portishead – Sheared Box
Oh and for completeness, here’s the full 5 minute plus version that closes out the LP:-
mp3 : Portishead – Glory Box
The main sample in the song is an Isaac Hayes track called Ike’s Rap II. Later the same year, the sample again hit the UK charts, this time at #12:-
mp3 : Tricky – Hell Is Round The Corner (original mix)
mp3 : Tricky – Hell Is Round The Corner (the Hell’n’Water mix)