Classic Pop

‘IS THAT THE 12″ REMIX’ postings

WELCOME TO THE DANCEFLOOR – RUSTY EGAN – 29th April 2017 – Facebook

The fanastic Rusty Egan, DJ & former member of Visage & The Rich Kids, has a whole page to himself in ‘Is That The 12″ Remix’. Less well known is the fact that he remixed Madonna’s first single ‘Everybody’ for its’ UK release (a massively sought after remix these days). CD copies of his album ‘Welcome To The Dancefloor’ are now available – featuring the likes of Peter Hook, Tony Hadley & Midge Ure and I can’t recommend it highly enough…it’s currently being played very loudly for the umpteenth time up here on top of the hills in rural Yorkshire. Available here 🙂 http://www.pledgemusic.com/…/rusty-egan-welcome-to-the-danc… (there’s a vinyl edition tooooo)

 

TOP 12″ SINGLES OF ALL TIME – THE LISTS – 22nd April 2017 – Facebook

For the new edition we were lucky to have CLASSIC POP founder & editor-at-large Ian Peel on hand to pen the afterword. Not only that, the magazine’s TOP 25 12″ SINGLES OF ALL TIME was able to be used alongside the fantastic existing lists from the likes of Rob Windle of Electronically Yours https://www.facebook.com/electronicallyyoursuk/ and Chi at The Electricity Club (full article here) http://www.electricityclub.co.uk/tecs-25-favourite-classic…/

 

THE MOOD – 20th April 2017 – Facebook

One band who are featured in ‘Is That The 12″ Remix’ are ’80s band The Mood (thanks to founder member Mark Fordyce). Their 12″ singles were awesome, as is their ‘Singles Collection’ CD that Cherry Pop put out a few years go. All the 12″ mixes are on there as well as the 7″ mixes & ‘b’ sides. Their UK vinyl collection – as well their North American mini-album – is in the photo below (courtesy of The Mood vinyl collector Rob Grillo 🙂 🙂 )
For more info about a long lost 80s synthpop band see http://www.themood.info/TheMood/Welcome.html
AND there’s an exclusive interview with Mark Fordyce at The Electricity Club too http://www.electricityclub.co.uk/missing-in-action-the-mood/

mood

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RELAX…it’s only a remix

It’s probably my age, but i’m still adding to my collection of vinyl. Just last weekend I picked up an almost complete collection of Altered Images 12 inch singles, all in great condition, and I was well chuffed.

I’m still adding to my Frankie Goes To Hollywood collection. There are just a handful of discs I need but I’m going to have to work hard to find them, I won’t get them at a car boot sale, and even then a couple are well outside my price range. More about that later, but what I will say now is that ZTT records certainly made things interesting for the record collector.

7

7″ & 7″ picture disc

First there’s the 7” versions. There’s a few of them…the standard 7” and the picture disc 7” (did you know that if you have ‘relax’ on a compilation CD it won’t be the 7” mix, it’ll probably be the album version, which is slightly different). Then there’s the limited edition ‘last seven inches’ white label…both of them! One is a mis-pressing with ‘Ferry ‘cross the Mersey’ wrongly listed as the ‘B’ side and with A & B labels actually the wrong way round. The other is correctly pressed with ‘One September Monday’ on the reverse. Other ‘variations’ are available! I had to get a US copy of Relax with alternative chequerboard sleeve and slightly different mix to the standard UK 7” too…

American 7

American 7″ pressing

'The Last Seven Inches' x2

‘The Last Seven Inches’ x2

If you have a smashing 12” copy of the ‘sex mix’ then the chances are you don’t actually have the ‘sex mix’. I went through this is in ‘Is That The 12” Mix’. The original 16 minute sex mix was mastered at 33rpm and had the cat no ‘12 ZTAS 1’. However, upon criticism that it was too long, an edited 8 minute version was then put out…at 45rpm in the same ‘sex mix’ sleeve and with the cat. no ‘12 ZTAS 1’. This didn’t appease the critics so Trevor Horn put out a new 7 minute plus mix…again with the same sleeve and cat.no – this is actually known as the US Mix or New York Mix and is the one that sold in 90% of cases. You can tell which mix you have by looking at the matrix number in the run out grooves. 1A-4U (or 1A-5U) is the US Mix which is pretty standard. But 1A-1U is the original sex mix and A-2U / 12-IS-ZTAS-1 the 8.20 mix. All are pictured apart from the original 33rpm pressing as I still need that. There’s also a 12″ picture disc that contains the US Mix…

I hope you’re keeping up because it gets a little tricker. ZTT records then decided to confuse everybody by reissuing the 16 minute sex mix at 45rpm but with ‘original mix’ written in big letters on the inner label (there was no picture sleeve for this pressing)…and if you’ve got a German 12” and the label indicates it is the 8.20 mix then it could be the US/New York Mix (as mine does) instead as there are several pressings emanating from there too. One thing ALL the UK 12″ versions have in common is the instrumental mix of Relax (with an acapella start) on the B side along with Ferry ‘cross the Mersey.

Twelve Inches of Pleasure

Twelve Inches of Pleasure

A couple of years ago Salvo music reissued a new 12” of Relax featuring a new ‘sex mix edition 3’ – it has a purple lettering rather than the standard peachy colour. It is open to debate whether this is a ‘new’ mix or one that had remained in the ZTT archives waiting to be discovered for the best part of three decades.

There’s a cassette single too….containing the ‘greatest bits’. This is a type of megamix which incorporates the best of all the Relax mixes. This ,along with every other mix has appeared on one of the many recent CD releases that Salvo music have put out since acquiring the rights to the ZTT back catalogue.

'Cassingles'

‘Cassingles’

I might add that I always have a budget. I never spend more than £10 (including postage!) for a record, which is why the single sided ‘Warp mix’ of Relax is out of reach as it tends to go for upwards of £50. As it’s virtually the same as the ‘last seven inches’ version I won’t lose any sleep over that. There’s also a ‘Greek Disco Mix’, released only in Greece which is a cut and paste mix using bits of the 16 minute mix and 7” mix – this too goes for a fortune. The other I still need is the original sex mix pressing at 33rpm (mentioned above) ..not that rare a pressing but all of them advertised on discogs are actually the 45rpm version. Remember the key is that matrix number etched into the run-off grooves..in this case it has to be 1 A-1U.. I’ll have it if you have it for sale please.

ZTT decided not to confuse all of us who liked Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax 1984 follow-up TWO TRIBES. They didn’t need to replace any mixes in order to get the song noticed, simply because FGTH HAD been noticed by now – but they did issue their second consecutive number one in a large number of formats in the UK.

Two tribes 7

Two tribes 7″ & 7″ picture disc

There’s the standard 7” version, although amazingly that original mix (‘cowboys & indians’) is virtually unobtainable on CD. The 7” picture disc is a slightly different mix (‘we don’t want to die’) as is the American pressing (which I don’t actually have) which is the same as the album version (‘for the victims of ravishment’)

The 12” mixes are easily recognisable. The standard 12” with Lenin on the cover is the ‘annihilation mix’. The second, released a few weeks later, is the ‘carnage mix’. Both have an extra track, War , on the B side as well as an alternative version of Two Tribes (‘surrender’).. A third twelve inch version featured the ‘carnage’ mix on the B side with a remix of War (‘hidden’ mix) on the A side instead. War was not available on the 7” versions despite being classed as the double-A side in the UK.

DCIM100MEDIA

‘annihilation’ 12″

'carnage' 12

‘carnage’ 12″

A fourth UK 12” was the picture disc, which had the same tracks as the third release before a final fifth disc -featuring the ‘Hibakusha’ mix of Two tribes, with War back on the B side . There was no picture sleeve for this one and for many years was considered a ‘rare’ disc.

I do have a sixth 12” disc – a rare promo copy that features the ‘carnage mix’ on side A and the (correctly-titled) US mix of Relax on the reverse.

'War (hidden)' & picture disc 12

‘War (hidden)’ & picture disc 12″ singles

'hibakusha' & 'carnage promo' 12

‘hibakusha’ & ‘carnage promo’ 12″ singles

The cassette single of Two Tribes is similar in format to that of ‘Relax’, pasting together bits of various mixes of the track.

I will keep collecting Frankie Goes to Hollywood releases. Unfortunately there are others 80s acts i’ll also keep collecting. Needless to say, I have an understanding partner & younger brother who is just as insane…his blog is at http://thefreeeps.blogspot.co.uk/

A PILGRIMAGE TO BERWICK STREET, SOHO

When I were a lad, I was a bit of a fan of popular music. Of course I still am. The cheesier the better – i’m no music snob. I had a particular affinity with HI-NRG dance music, and in particular with anything released on Record Shack records, which was located at number 12 Berwick Street, London.  Pride of place in my vinyl collection was the double album ‘Record Shack Presents volume 1’, which contains classic tunes from the likes of Miquel Brown, Evelyn Thomas, Eartha Kitt and Break Machine (I really couldn’t break-dance though). Each side was sequed by Ian Levine, who produced the majority of the label’s releases. Imagine my delight when I discovered volume 2 and then volume 3..sheer bliss. I also owned a growing collection of 12″ singles from the label, many of which featured on those compilation albums.

xxxxx2 xxxxx3 xxxxx

In the mid 1980s I wanted to visit the Record Shack store. I wanted to meet the owners, I wanted to meet Ian Levine, and I wanted to meet all the artists that they recorded. I just wanted to stand in there and browse the racks to see, in the flesh, many of those releases I  could only read about in the pages of Record Mirror magazine, and see going up and down the magazine’s HI-NRG chart. Bradford and Leeds had their fair share of record stores but they didn’t sell the more obscure releases – Record Shack sold every single HI-NRG record that was ever released (or so I imagined) so I had to go.

My girlfriends never really understood why I bought records such as ‘So Many Men, So Little Time’, and ‘I Love Men’. Nobody would give a damn on Berwick Street.

Alas, by the time I’d graduated to University in the midlands, and at last got the chance to visit the big smoke, the store was gone. Record Shack was gone. I was a year too late in 1988. I knew the label had gone bust, and that the store had been leased to Bluebird records (another record store at least) but I charged down Berwick Street stridently, ignoring the masses, the market sellers, and the friends I’d gone to visit the capital with. I had to see 12 Berwick Street for myself.

I didn’t buy anything that day. But I did go inside. It wasn’t Record Shack, but it had been. I didn’t tell anyone why I had gone there, because they would never have understood, or cared. It remains one of my few regrets in life that I never got there when I wanted to, but to a Yorkshire lad with no money a visit to London was a rare experience.

It’s far easier these days. I try not to go, as I find the place so unfriendly, but I was there last weekend to see Bradford City annihilate Chelsea. When I am there, in and around Oxford Street, I always make that short detour down Berwick Street to remember those early days when I discovered music and formed my own tastes. It’s not even a record store any more. Most of the record stores that lined that street are also gone, as have times changed (Sister Ray survives, I always like to nip in there). But I was there again. Nobody knew (or cared) what my motives were. I took a photo or two, turned round, and headed back for ther tube. I didn’t want to miss kick off…

RECORD MIRROR and CLASSIC POP

Thursday October 26th 1985. That was the date. I’d been in sixth form at my new posh school for just a few weeks, and had ventured into town for the first time. Only 6th formers were allowed in town, and even then we had to wear our blazers and were not permitted to roll up the sleeves under any circumstances. Which is why I had my sleeves rolled up. I did look particularly cool too.
Unfortunately the head teacher, or one of his deputies would patrol town at lunch times. And there he was, walking up Skipton High Street in my direction. I’d not yet been spotted, so I threw myself into the nearest shop. The nearest shop was a newsagent, and so to pass the time while said dementors passed by, I perused the magazine rack.

And there it was.
cult
I already knew about Smash Hits, and Melody Maker, and the NME, but here was the latest issue of one that was barely on my radar. It was the cover, adorned by The Cult’s Ian Astbury, that first attracted my attention. It wasn’t just Astbury’s imposing looks that diverted my eyes though, it was what was written at the foot of the cover: ‘Top of the Pops Chart’. Great a magazine that lists the UK singles chart. Not since the girl who saved me the old singles chart listings in Woolies a year or so earlier had I seen a complete chart rundown.
And then I took a look inside (always better to take a little longer in case the head teacher was lingering). It was love at first sight. Not only was there the complete UK top 75 singles chart, but there was ‘the next 25’ too, the UK albums chart, the American singles and albums charts, a 12” singles chart, reggae and indie singles charts, a disco chart and even a Hi-NRG chart. Utter fabulousness.

No longer did I need to scribble down in basic Grillo short-hand radio 1’s chart rundown. The ‘chart book’ I had used diligently for a good couple of years was now obsolete and consigned to the bottom drawer. In its place was this glossy alternative, a sort of cross between Smash Hits and NME, that contained not only those wonderful charts but James Hamilton’s BPM disco pages, and pages of singles, albums and ‘hot dance vinyl reviews. In that seminal (for me) issue were features on Billy McKenzie and the Adventures, there was an ad for a new remix of Hazell Dean’s ‘They Say It’s Gonna Rain’ as well as Divine’s new single, Simple Minds had album of the week, Jennifer Rush and George Benson topped the UK singles and albums charts, Evelyn Thomas topped the Hi-NRG chart and Wally Badarou the Disco Chart, while Rene & Angela were at number 7 and 17 in the same Disco chart with different mixes of the same song. And Morrissey adorned the back cover….most exciting…

The love affair with Record Mirror lasted a few more years, during which time the Hi-NRG chart got dropped due to attempted rigging of the chart (scandalous) and house music and multiple remixes took over the world. James Hamilton’s column kept me busy for hours, and despite never being able afford more than a couple of 12 inch singles a week I build up and encyclopaedic (and anal) knowledge of every mix released by which house music act.

And then, in April 1991, when, due to falling sales Universal Magazines closed it down, alongside ‘Sounds’, another music magazine of the day. All of a sudden it was. Transvision Vamp adorned the final cover, and RM was consigned to history.

Since then I’ve not really collected, or bought, many music magazines. There were occasional one-off ‘80s’ specials that were worth the money, but then, in 2012 there were two interesting new titles, both focussing on the grand old 80s. They weren’t just filled with pages and pages of nostalgia filled pages either, but were much more forward looking than that, and for the first time since then I’ve started reading the music press regularly. Sadly, and despite giving away a free CD, ‘electronic’ did not survive beyond its launch issue, but does exist in a slightly altered form as an online resources (‘electronic sound’) but the fabulous bi-monthly Classic Pop, edited by Ian Peel had just seen its tenth issue published.
Classic-Pop-Cover-210x300
Now the sign of a good magazine is in the fact that it takes bloody ages to read the thing. And that’s exactly what you had with RM, and what you have now with Classic Pop. There may be no current chart run down’s (and sadly, James Hamilton passed away some time ago), but there have been countdowns: the best 12” mixes ever, the top 100 singles form the 1980’s, and even a host of reviews of the finest 80s-influenced releases by today’s bands..Goldfrapp….Marsheaux….the latter among those bands who deserve a far bigger audience for their output.

So long live Classic Pop. Record Mirror may be long gone, but there are still top notch music magazines out there.

***Incidentally, I missed the very first issue of ‘Classic Pop’ (pictured above),so if anyone has a copy they no longer need…