I have written here before of my love of American folk music and acoustic singer-songwriters, but I do not think I have mentioned my secret weakness for 1980s synthpop. I consider it secret because my Wife hates it, so I usually end up playing it when she is not around. Fortunately, my five-year-old daughter seems to like it too, and we are often to be found bopping in the kitchen to Erasure, The Human League, Yazoo (known as Yaz in the US), OMD, Depeche Mode or The Thompson Twins.
As a late-adopter of CDs, I have a huge collection of vinyl records at my parents' house in England, left there because of the expense and difficulty in getting them over to the US. Among the collection is an album from 1982 called Love and Dancing, which is billed as being by "The League Unlimited Orchestra." I recently obtained a copy of the album, which was always very dear to my heart, and it has made me insanely happy.
Love and Dancing is essentially an album of dance remixes of tracks from the influential Dare album, which was made in 1981 by the Sheffield band, The Human League. It was one of the very first remix albums, a producer project, and as such was groundbreaking. Martin Rushent, the producer of Dare, put it together the hard way, by cutting up tapes. Rushent is now 61 and back producing after retiring from the business.
Listening again to this album after so long instantly transported me back to the eighties. I fondly remember a street performer in London's Covent Garden doing a fantastic but hilarious robotic dance to tracks from the album. Its stuttering style was perfect for the purpose. I have been playing it rather a lot just recently, so it is a good job my daughter likes it. My Wife does not, and when I asked my Brother in England what he thought of it, he said that he always preferred the original. So, perhaps I am pretty much on my own. I did ask on Twitter and Facebook if anyone remembered it and one friend in England (Hi Paul!) said he does have the album and likes it.
Getting this album has prompted me to get the rest of The Human League's albums (some of which I had on vinyl in England). It has also got me catching up with some of my other favorite artists of that period. It has even got me checking out web-resources about old synthesizers (I used to play synths myself in the eighties). I think you could say this was an influential album for me.
If you have any interest in Love and Dancing or The Human League, I discovered that a cool CD containing both Dare and Love and Dancing was released in 2002. That is a bargain!
Do you have favorite music from your past that instantly conjures up a particular period in time for you? Please do share by making a comment.
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