Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Into the Gap – Thompson Twins [#639]

album cover for Into the gap by the thompson twins
No Eighties compilation can possibly be complete without Thompson Twins. Indeed, no music collection grown across the decade of the eighties can be considered complete without them either. Thompson Twins are a sound so the eighties they may as well have quiffy hairstyles, have a band member of undetermined gender and look moodily into the camera when not dancing freestyle in their music videos.

During one of my many visits to Virgin Megastore when I was a student in 90’s Sheffield, I was desperate to make up a 3 for £20 offer from the selection available, so it was Into the Gap that became the third. Sadly, in a desperate effort to make friends, I loaned the CD out to someone only for me to drop out of uni a few months later and lose contact with the borrower forever.

Fortunately for me, I kept a cassette recording of the CD to listen to on my Walkman and managed to rip the cassette recording nearly an entire decade later. The version I have now is kind of a third gen rip of the album but still really good crystal quality. A testament to the various recording devices I’ve had over the years.

Yet considering I wasn’t all that keen on the band to begin with, I really fell for this album. Perhaps it’s the waves of nostalgia that come with it or perhaps the power of the three hit songs from the band that appear on the album. I’m not entirely sure.

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Human’s Lib – Howard Jones #598

HowardJonesHumansLib

Human’s Lib by Howard Jones

Nothing says 80’s music more than a bloke with spiky hair and a synthesiser.

 

Oh, Howard Jones. I remember you with your spiky hair on singing What is Love? on Top of the Pops. I remember you on Live Aid singing Hide and Seek. I remember trying to work out the inaudibly sung lyrics in pre-internet days. I remember seeing you on a “We wuz in the Eighties” vox pop TV show in the early noughties. I remember thinking “What ever happened to Howard Jones?”.

This is Jones’ first album featuring three of his hit songs from his early 80s career. Rich in 80s synth melody with interesting if a little bitter lyrics the album has fared well in time but doesn’t carry as much of the welly as other albums from contemporary bands and artists. It’s more of a choice of listen than something you would  build an iTunes playlist from.

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Aero – Jean Michel Jarre [#57]

urlAero – Jean Michel Jarre

Do you remember the 1970s? Do you remember those pristine vinyl records your elders kept lovingly in their sleeves. Tentatively taking the black discs out of their paper sheaves, popping them religiously onto the turntable and carefully lowering the stylus onto the run in?

Do you remember the smell?

Do you remember?

Jean Michel Jarres music takes me back immediately to that time. I can still hear the hum from the badly earthed amplifier, the smell of the vinyl and the visualisations of the mind where I’m transported from the chintz filled sitting room to the far off reaches of outer space.

You know the type of outer space I mean don’t you? The kind that resembles cosmic Mathmos lava lamps. Nebulae, misty clouds of cosmic matter, blipping and blopping (yes they are actual verbs). The kind of outer space that wouldn’t be amiss from a remake of Barbarella or some science programme with Jonny Ball. The kind of Roger Dean outer space with weird aquatic astral creatures and bloopiness.

Aero, is a kind of “Best of” revisited. Nice if you want to relive the cardigan wearing, garish carpeted childhood of the 1970s. Nicer still if you just want to pop some acid with your hipster friend while staring at their Mathmos glooping and shlooping about on the table.

It’s kind of thought provoking that this music evolved into Air.

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