7 inch CHS2715, 12 inch CHS122715
Well it seems the obvious place to start. As the Lost Bands Of The New Wave Era post about Intaferon's Baby Pain was my nudge to start this blog, let's get going with those other two singles. First up is the debut, Get Out Of London
I remember this coming on the radio and finding it thoroughly arresting. We were just out of New Romantics time, and this had all that dark brooding tone from that, but with a bristling propulsive power that hadn't been on the airwaves for years. The lyrics are a frantic and volatile, if somewhat oblique, breathless rant. I've stuck them on the MP3 for those of you who use players that can read all the extra info.
The cover is cool too - the dynamism of the track complemented by the black and red lettering, the urgency of making the title all one word in capitals, and the desperate lunge of the picture.
Although the more cynical among us could point out that even if they managed to grab hands, the guy at the back is going to get dragged along the road. Also, a Routemaster bus isn't the prime method for getting out of London, more like for getting around it.
Intaferon were a duo - Simon Fellowes and Simon Gillham - named after a cancer treatment drug. They were produced by Martin Rushent, at that time a Very Big Name. He'd produced all those early Buzzcocks classics, but then went all electronic and produced the Human League's Dare album (the one with Don't You Want Me and all those on).
You can see both elements combining on Get Out Of London, romping synth basslines and strident guitars melding together brilliantly.
Rushent was also a pioneer of the 1980s style 12 inch remix. Most of these were total rubbish; just half the song, then a drum machine and bassline noodling on for a couple of minutes, then the other half of the song. Complete waste of time and vinyl, a cynical marketing ploy.
Over on my Strawberry Switchblade site there's a hilarious discussion of such mixes. The band, both their managers and both their producers all deny responsibility for them. One manager, Bill Drummond, explains
At that time the whole idea of a remixer as being somebody special and somebody you pay a whack of money to go and do it, and this is an actual job, it just didn't exist in those days. You made a record and, as you said, you had to have a twelve inch and so you'd just sit around and think, 'OK, we'll double the length of that drumbeat, double the length of that,' and you'd got a twelve inch. It's like asking me who made the cup of tea.
Rushent's remix is a lot more busy and worthy than the overwhelming majority of 80s 12 inches, and keeps the kinetic fizz of the 7 inch mix, though it does still sound a tad dated nowadays. That heavy use of Paul Hardcastle style sampler stutter hasn't really sounded much good since, well, Paul Hardcastle.
Check back in a few days for the follow-up single, Steamhammer Sam.
[downloads removed due to needing the server space for new postings]