by David Laurie, MD of boutique record label, Something In Construction
Concerning my book, on the subject of David Bowie's not inconsiderable influence upon Synthpop, the olde worlde and the new and all of us...
DARE is the 1st book from David Laurie, MD of boutique record label, Something In Construction.
It’s about Synthpop and how David Bowie, Kraftwerk and cheap synths displaced rock'n'roll, forever changed what it meant to be "in a band" and invented Modern Pop: It focuses on 1979-1982.
Something In Construction [aka SIC Records] is celebrating its 10th year in 2015. SIC has released music by AIR FRANCE, MEMORY TAPES, THE CONCRETES, LONEY DEAR, ANR and more recently HOLY STRAYS, ENJOYED, PIANO WIRE and the legendary SHAUN RYDER. It has been nominated for a Grammy and developed into a management company and now a music publishing company (in partnership with Beggars).
A fresh look at how the arrival of synthesizers fuelled an incredibly creative time for Pop Music and why the "plastic music" of the early 80s is so very durable and influential.
Go on, I'm listening....
DARE focusses on 1979-1982 and takes a look back to the dizzying excitement of this time in Pop Music.
After the endless drab and grey of the 70s - microchips were suddenly everywhere: in the home, on your wrist and powering the Synthesizers that changed everything in Pop.
The Top Twenty filled up with all kinds of weird and wonderful hits, week after week. Each new Smash Hits and the Top Of The Pops was an unmissable feast for the eyes and ears.
It really felt like the sic-fi future was finally arriving.
How so, David?
A handful of ambitious electronic albums from David Bowie and Kraftwerk in the late Seventies, coupled with newly affordable computer technology, forever changed what it meant to be "In A Band" and taught Pop Music a whole new language.
This is the tale of how Synthpop rendered Rock’n’Roll redundant almost overnight and how Britain fell in love with the Bleep.
The unprecedented genius of The Human League, New Order, Simple Minds, ABC, OMD, The Cure, Japan, Duran, Depeche Mode et al achieved what Punk had failed to. A massively successful and largely British musical revolution, packed with freaks and weirdos that redrew the generation gap and took Pop on a much needed quantum leap into the future.
This New Pop reached its dizzying creative peak in 1982 as band adfter band rocketed from the relative obscurity of a John Peel session into the flashbulb glare of Top Of The Pops. These Pop peacocks were splashed in brilliant technicolour over the covers of both Smash Hitsand NME and soon set their sights on America...but at what price?
This very entertaining book describes how the exotic and enduring records of this incendiary Year Zero changed everything and continue to inspire your favourite new artists today.
Are you in the book, then?
No. Not really. OK, a little bit. Music has been my life and this period changed everything for me. I was 14 in 1982, living in an endlessly damp, grey South Wales. This glittering New Pop music blew my mind week after week and led me down the rocky path to becoming an A&R Man and running my own record label, SOMETHING IN CONSTRUCTION.
I'll tell the story of this computerised musical revolution, examine the records and the effect they had and continue to have. I'm an "insightful Music Biz veteran" now, with a fresh perspective on the art and business of Pop, but still addicted to buying new records every week and still very much in touch with that wide-eyed teenager.
01. “HEROES” 1974-1978: The Back Story Of Modern Pop Music.
KRAFTWERK NEU BOWIE MORODER BLONDIE SPARKS
02. DAWNING OF A NEW ERA 1979-1982: After the grey Seventies, dour English eccentrics start to reach for the fun, the colour and the glamour.
THE JAM, THE SPECIALS, ADAM AND THE ANTS :
03. THE SOUND OF THE CROWD 1979-1981: Synthpop arrives. Pop Music takes a quantum leap into the future.
GARY NUMAN, OMD, ULTRAVOX, SOFT CELL, THE HUMAN LEAGUE
04. TEMPTATION 1981-1982: Funk Gets Serious, Disco Is Exhumed. How Synthpop, Funk and Disco hypnotised all the cool guitar bands
ORANGE JUICE, NEW ORDER, PiL, GANG OF FOUR + NEIL YOUNG
05. MAD WORLD 1982: The floodgates open; brilliant new Pop groups spring up all over Britain. Smash Hits bounces them into the Top Twenty.
ABC, ASSOCIATES, TEARS FOR FEARS, YAZOO, TALK TALK
06. GHOSTS 1982: The Top Twenty welcomes all sorts of odd things. How did these non-singles become massive hits?
JAPAN, MONSOON, GRACE JONES, LAURIE ANDERSON
07. FLOORSHOW 1980-1982: Even Goth’s moths are drawn to the bright light of the Top Forty.
BAUHAUS, THE CURE, THE SISTERS OF MERCY, SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
08. DUCK ROCK 1981-1982: Punks import Hip Hop and Electro from New York. Black culture freshens up Pop music. Again.
MALCOLM MCLAREN, AFRIKAA BAMBAATA, THE CLASH
09. NEW GOLD DREAM 1982-1984: Rejecting Rock’n’Roll, The Big Music, Shimmering & Modern. The new European Canon tilts at stadiums.
SIMPLE MINDS, THE BUNNYMEN, U2, PETER GABRIEL, KATE BUSH
10. AVALON 1982-1985: In Pursuit Of Production Perfection. Months in Montserrat. Luxury as commodity. The real Eighties kick in.
ROXY MUSIC, DURAN DURAN, SCRITTI POLITTI DARE:
11. THRILLER 1983-1985: Economies Of Scale. Kajagoogoo vs Prince. Corporate Pop, CDs, Now That’s Not What I Call Music.
MICHAEL JACKSON, MADONNA, PRINCE, CDs, MTV
12. MANY HAPPY RETURNS 1980-2014: The persistence of Duran Duran and the perpetual Eighties revival
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, LA ROUX, HOT CHIP, THE KILLERS