1/20/16

Eight Of My Favorite Twelve Inch Singles and Four of My Favorite EPs of 1982

You know how some diets or relationships allow for a cheat day?  Let's let this be our cheat day from my list of 100 Favorite Singles from 1982, the single greatest year in music history. This is the day I trot out a few of my favorite twelve inch singles and those value-priced EPs.  None of these artists or songs appear on the list of 100 (it is very difficult to do sometimes but I stand by my one song per artist rule) but they should be considered an integral part of my favorite year in music.  These twelve inch singles as well as two of the EPs are the super-sized, maximized, remixed and extended versions of some of my favorite songs while the other two EPs are unique introductions to the musical stylings of each artist.  As the voices in my head constantly remind me, it all happened in 1982.
The less than three minute single version that got all the radio and video play contains the essence (and all the lyrics!) of this cover song but I like the bloated, ominous sounding extended version of "Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go", especially the spacey effects that signal the segue from one song to the other.  The even longer "Tainted Dub" was headphone nirvana back in the day though it hasn't held up as well.  Soft Cell's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret remains a favorite to this day, a sleazy walk on the wild side you'd have to hide from Granny in a Carpenters album cover. Then I came across the Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing EP in the import bin which managed to drastically raise the dancability of a few tracks from the album while throwing in a couple new songs.  Like that EP so much it landed at number 29 on my 100 Favorite Albums of 1982 list which makes it ineligible for today's proceedings.  Yet I still snuck it in anyway.
One of two records I bought in Texas during the Summer of 1982 - the other was the self-titled A Flock Of Seagulls album - and played in my Texas Grandma's six foot long console stereo.   The stereo might as well have been Beats by Dre brand with the way the bass dominated the sound - no wonder she enjoyed listening to those early thumping Donna Summer eight tracks; I think she had Donna's first four maybe five albums up to but not including Live & More. Not sure why she didn't like Bad Girls either.  The Special Extended Dance Mix of "Don't You Want Me" is more than 99% instrumental but it was new and different and my very first radically remixed twelve inch single and I love it.  A few months later, I picked up The League Unlimited Orchestra EP Love and Dancing which featured the same version of the song, only pitched and sped up.
ABC's The Lexicon Of Love probably coulda shoulda woulda been my very favorite album of 1982 instead of number 2.  One of the singles released from that landmark album was "The Look Of Love (Part 1)" and I picked up the twelve inch single pictured above sometime after school started in August 1982.  It is a radically augmented version of the song complete with tape effects and dubs with Trevor Horn reconstructing the song from the pumping bassline up.  Friends of mine who liked the song absolutely hated this Dub version but I quickly added it to a cassette dub of the album as it filled out an entire side of a TDK SA90 and added ABC's other twelve inch singles to the other side of the tape.  The song and this mix in particular bring back myriad memories most notably blasting the dub version in the HERCmobile on those cool late Summer nights that make Desert life worth living.

I was late to the Yaz train but once onboard I was all aboard, seeking out every piece of vinyl Vince and Alison put out. This twelve inch features a François Kevorkian remix which was used on the US release of the Upstairs At Eric's album, replacing a song called "Tuesday".  With the remix being the album version, I sat out to track down the original single version of "Situation" on 45.  Found the US single within a week or so but then found out the UK version was different still so after about a month and a half I paid way too much for the original UK single on the Mute label with the beautiful "Only You" as the A side and had all the versions of "Situation" I ever wanted.  (Until more versions turned up.) Both sides of this twelve inch single got lots of play and mixtape appearances until a decade later when a new weapon was added to the audio arsenal, Lester Temple's 8:11 edit of the song for the Hot Tracks remix service. (Listen to an edit of his edit HERE.)  Another timeless track I'll never grow tired of hearing, 
My man Mike was the first person I know to score a dub of The Clash's Combat Rock album just before sophomore year ended.  He dropped a copy off at my drafting desk one day and it was the last album I bought before going to Texas for a month and a half that Summer.  Did I take that dubbed copy with me?  No.  Did I make an all new cassette dub?  No.  Heard "Rock The Casbah" a few times on local stations in Texas but never "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" or my favorite song on the album "Know Your Rights".  Got back to Tucson, pockets full of cash and hit the stores.  The twelve inch of "Rock The Casbah" was one of my first purchases and while I was initially disappointed and more than a little pissed that the A side was just the album version, I flipped it over and enjoyed "Mustapha Dance", the dub remix version of "Rock The Casbah".  Probably one of the shorter twelve inch singles ever with a huge shiny runoff after each track to fill up the space.  "Mustapha Dance" finally showed up on CD with the release of Super Black Market Clash in 1994.
The Shotgun Mix of "White Wedding" was first heard in one of those laserlight shows I used to attend at the planetarium. Steve Stevens epic opening guitar squiggle was represented by a green laser squiggle on the giant domed ceiling we sat looking up at. Then the pounding rhythm track kicked off and it was more than eight minutes of sonic bliss.  Stayed afterwards to talk to the two guys and one girl that manned the show and found out the song was dubbed off an import twelve inch.  Took me about a month as I recall before I stumbled across this domestic twelve inch at Al Bum's, literally three blocks from the planetarium.  It was a gold stamped promo and I made it all mine for $2.  The happy couple is still doing well thirty-three years later.
More funky synth bass lines, more funky edits and some cool vocals make the Extended Version of "Let Me Go" by Heaven 17 an easy pick for this list.  It is also the lone import among my Playful Eight here today.  I heard Heaven 17 for the first time on the Sunday night new music show, you know the one, and picked up their self-titled US debut at Musicland in the Tucson Mall which had just opened on the northwest side of the city on one of those "its new so we gotta go" visits with the fam.   The song on the radio was "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang" and it was one of many new favorites on the album including Side 1 closer "Let Me Go". I'm inclined to say this mix was playing one day at Loco Records on their sweet sounding system where every spot in the store was the sonic sweet spot.  I grooved where I was browsing over in the soundtrack albums section before heading over to the twelve inch singles area to search for a "Let Me Go" single.  Striking out, I wandered over to the import bins - I think there were two for albums and two for twelve inch singles - and found this bad boy exactly where it should have been.  Like a lot of import records, it was sealed in loose fitting plastic rather than the album warping shrink wrap on US albums and maxi singles.
Like the other seven songs featured above, the 45 rpm single of "Atomic Dog" would easily be in the Top 20 or Top 15 of My Favorite Singles of 1982.  But the Atomic Mix of the song is so damn funky, I had to feature it here today.  Amazingly, the song barely dented the Top 40 on the Disco/Dance chart and missed the Hot 100 completely, instead Bubbling Under at number 101 for three weeks.  It did top the Black Singles chart for four weeks in 1983 however and was definitely a Top 5 track in my sixteen year old life back then. And if nearly five minutes of doing the dog catcher wasn't enough, this mix doubled down and gave us ten minutes of chasing the cat.  Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay!

Dance/Disco Chart
song titleartistpeakdebut
Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love GoSoft Cell48/29/1981
Don't You Want MeHuman League311/21/1981
The Look Of LoveABC19/4/1982
SituationYaz16/12/1982
Rock The CasbahThe Clash85/29/1982
White WeddingBilly Idol107/31/1982
Let Me GoHeaven 1741/22/1983
Atomic DogGeorge Clinton383/26/1983

The lovely Janice S. tipped me to this one. It wasn't on one of our several record buying "dates" - I call them dates even though she was the first of several high school crushes to sentence me to the friend zone which I took advantage of by asking her along to the record store whenever I had money. Neither one of us had our learner's permit yet as we were late bloomers (aka terrified to drive) so her Dad usually drove us to the mall and we rode the bus back home to the base.  I think she gave me a tape of this EP just before our winter break began in 1982 and then disappeared to visit her Mom out of state.  I listened to the tape, loved it but had no luck finding my own vinyl copy until later in 1983.  When Janice returned and I saw her at the bus stop on our first day back in class, she came up to me and said "So?" catching me off guard.  I stammered "Nice haircut" sounding less than confident.  Then she smiled and said "Thanks by the way but that wasn't what I was asking about.  Did you like the tape?" She sat by me on the bus while I told her how many times I played the tape and how much I liked it and what my favorite songs were ("She Blinded Me With Science" and "One Of Our Submarines") and kept to myself how every time I played it, I thought of her over those long three weeks.  Just before we pulled into the parking lot at school, she asked what I thought about the album on the other side.  Before I could plead my ignorance for never having listened to the other side or more than likely play it off by lying, the bus came to a stop and everyone stood up at once and we got separated though we would see each other in Humanities, College Algebra and Chemistry.  Though I wasn't trying to avoid her or maybe I was, I never talked to Janice again that day and I raced home as fast as our mass transit permitted to listen to the other side of the tape.  It wasn't labeled and it began with "She Blinded Me With Science" just like the A side so I fast forwarded and found "One Of Our Submarines" to be the next track, just like on the other side.  The next three songs were all the same as well and that was it, no bonus tracks hiding after a long period of silence.  Though the album would have fit on one side of 60 minute cassette, Janice stuck it on a TDK SA 90, and then dubbed it on the other side as well.  She had pulled one over on me and it only made me want her more.  Next day at the bus stop, I told Janice I liked it.  She went on about how it was a really good album, a complement to the "mini LP" on the A side which confused me because they were the one and the same.  I asked "Are you still pulling my leg?" at which point she shot me a stare that told me I was an idiot and didn't know what I was talking about then she said "What are you talking about? I put the mini LP on the A side and his album on the B side."  I gave her the tape back and told her to listen when she got a chance.  The next day at the bus stop she came up to me, gave me a hug and slipped a tape into my jacket pocket while whispering "Sorry" with her tongue practically in my ear.  She was wearing her white cheerleader skirt, white sweater and red letterman jacket with her name stitched across the little flap on the back on as there was a rally of some sort that day and she smelled so good, like cherry Pop Tarts and roses.  Damned friend zone.  Yeah, so she had apparently meant to put The Golden Age Of Wireless on the B side of the tape cause that was what was on the new tape she gave me.  It was a first pressing as well without "She Blinded Me With Science" or "One Of Our Submarines". Pretty sure when I was over at her house next, maybe a couple of weeks later, she showed me the album and it had different artwork then the one I wound up buying later in 1983.  Or I could be hallucinating this whole thing after listening to the Blinded By Science EP with the Grados on.
When I saw this mini LP sitting on the New Release shelf at the Wherehouse, I bought as it had a nearly seven minute remix of one of my favorite songs from Rio.  And it was only $4.99!  The first three tracks turned out to be awesome do overs of the originals (though at the time I was unfamiliar with "Girls On Film" from their first album). The fourth track "My Own Way" was just as whiny and irritating as it is on the album though it did sound beefier with a heavier rhythm.  But "Hold Back The Rain" was completely worth it - that opening wave of synth blast is one of my text tones.  The track is improved on all levels in my book and it is still the one I sub in when I listen to Rio top to bottom.
I caught the tail end of this song one Sunday night on the radio as I was busy switching my laundry from washer to dryer and out of the room in the early winter of 1982, maybe November.  I didn't catch the title or artist though I'm sure the DJ back sold it.  The following Sunday, I called in at the beginning of the Virgin Vinyl show and asked about the song, told him what time it was when I heard it and the DJ gave me the info I was looking for: "Images Of Heaven" by Peter Godwin.  It's a fairly delicate song with a sturdy rhythm track, like a cross between Heaven 17, Simple Minds and Pete Shelly.  Had no luck finding a 45, a twelve inch or even an album for the longest time until one day I found this EP at Al Bum's as gold labeled promo only radio station reject in January or February 1983.  None of the other songs did anything at all for me but I love Love LOVE "Images Of Heaven" and eventually scored the 45 version on the twelfth volume of Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough series before picking up Godwin's greatest hits CD, also titled Images Of Heaven, in 1999.
Scandal was less cool and aloof than Blondie and a little more accessible than the girl gang Go-Go's and I genuinely enjoyed their debut mini LP.  Patty Smyth was girl next door cute, like Linda Ronstadt's baby sis, and she was backed by a band that could cook.  Had no idea she grew up to marry the John McEnroe or that two of Scandal's original members are now in rock 'n' roll heaven where they've got a helluva band or that Jon Bon Jovi was briefly a member of the band in 1983.  Now I'm sad.  Gonna listen to this EP and not be sad.  So good.  The first two tracks are my favorites.
Albums
EP titleartistpeakdebut
Blinded By ScienceThomas Dolby202/5/1983
CarnivalDuran Duran9810/2/1982
Images Of HeavenPeter Godwin

ScandalScandal391/29/1983

3 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes yes! I had a number of those as well. Amazing records.

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  2. All good stuff, but I'm partial to the Heaven 17 joints. You've sent me down the H17 rabbit hole today. "Let Me Go" was the first H17 track I heard when the video played on the MTV. I purchased a used cassette of the s/t album and never looked back.

    Shameless self-promotion follows:
    H17 on The CD Project
    H17 self-titled album featured on My Favorite Decade
    Listen to my cassette of the 1982 s/t album

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