Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 41: Synth Pop

I don't really see the need to wax historic on this one, as I think most people are on board with what happened here. In the late 1970s/early 1980s there were some (mostly British) people who were really into Kraftwerk, Northern Soul, Post-Punk, etc., and set out to combine all these things into a new kind of synth-heavy pop music that pretty much conquered the world for the next decade or so. Then a bunch of other people jumped on the bandwagon; some were awesome, some were decidedly un-awesome. Ho hum.

Anyway, I've compiled a mix here of a lot of my favorite Synth Pop tunes...for the most part I've left out the super-huge mega-hits we all know and love because a) everybody already knows them, b) you can find them 9850239705239 other places, and c) I'm frankly fucking worn out on 'Blue Monday' and 'Just Can't Get Enough' and 'Take On Me'. Sorry guys.

  1. Blancmange; The Day Before You Came (London Records, 1984)
  2. Wham!; Everything She Wants (Remix) (Columbia, 1984)
  3. The Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield; What Have I Done To Deserve This? (Shep Pettibone Disco Mix) (Parlophone, 1987)
  4. Erasure; Chains Of Love (Truly In Love With The Marks Bros. Remix) (Mute Records, 1988)
  5. Book Of Love; Pretty Boys And Pretty Girls (Extended Mix) (Sire Records, 1988)
  6. Depeche Mode; Shout (Rio Mix) (Mute Records, 1981) 
  7. The Human League; Do Or Die (Chrissy Edit) (Virgin, 1981)
  8. New Order; 586 (Chrissy Edit) (Factory, 1983)
  9. The Bridge; Love Dance (Second Vision, 1984)
  10. 52nd Street; Can't Afford (Factory Benelux, 1984)
  11. Vision; Love Dance (Chrissy Edit) (MVM Records, 1983)
  12. Secession; Touch (Part 4) (Beggars Banquet, 1984)
  13. Experimental Products; Glowing In The Dark (Short Circuit Records, 1984)
  14. Tuxedomoon; What Use? (Remix) (Ralph Records, 1980)
  15. Crash Course In Science; Cardboard Lamb (Press Records, 1981)
  16. Visage; Frequency 7 (Dance Mix) (Polydor, 1981)
  17. A-Ha; Train Of Thought (WEA, 1985)
  18. Home Service; Only Men Fall In Love (Chrissy Edit) (Cachalot Records, 1981)
  19. Joe Jackson; Steppin' Out (A&M Records, 1982)
  20. Ultravox; Sleepwalk (Chrysalis, 1980)
  21. Berlin; The Metro (M.A.O. Records, 1981)
  22. Yello; Bimbo (Ralph Records, 1980)
  23. Devo; Going Under (Warner Bros., 1981)
  24. Soft Cell; Frustration (Some Bizarre, 1980)
  25. Depeche Mode; Now, This Is Fun (Extended) (Mute Records, 1982)
NEXT WEEK: 1992 Rave.


  1. this is the best music blog!!! could you make a 80's digital dancehall mix??

  2. Great selection. Especially glad to see Crash Course In Science on the list. Thanks, man -- and thanks for the EBM/New Beat selection, too.

  3. my GF is gonna love this one


  4. Tuxedomoon- What Use? = awesome!

    really looking forward to the 1992 Rave one, and loved the UK Funky and Dubstep ones too!

    Could you please make a Speed Garage one??

  5. I appreciate this blog and your mixes, I appreciate the diversity and obscurity of the music that you choose, the dovetailing and juxtaposition are especially excellent. I wish that you would do a Giorgio Moroder mix, perhaps highlighting the more underrated music, such as GIORGIO: E=MC2,Munich Machine, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, and SEIKO. perhaps less highlighting his work with others, although some Freddy Mercury collabs would be nice mixed in and some epic things like berlin, flashdance and some knights in white satin.
    Sorry if I'm being pushy, I'm just bouncing ideas, you'll probably say, "you have ideas already why don't you do it" but I am not talented with sequencing and my ear for juxtaposition is nowhere near yours.
    regardless, I remain a devoted fan

  6. I'm gonna do a Moroder mix in about a month! :)
    it's going to be a mix of his more obscure stuff and his poppier soundtrack/collaboration work...

  7. Sounds Ideal!
    as always, I wait with anticipation.

  8. @chris - check out this wrongtom/mr.trick mix for 80s digital dancehall:

  9. Dude. Dude dude dude. You are right in my motherfucking wheelhouse right here. Somebody else tells me, "hey, I made an '80s synthpop mix" and I'm gonna think "oh boy, I bet it's OMD from their lame phase followed by 'Send Me an Angel'." You, though, I knew you'd get it right. Hell, you could have played "Send Me an Angel" and "You Spin Me Round" a dozen times back to back, but leave in the DM, and it's good.

    OK, so I'm an unapologetically huge DM fan, I'll admit. Nonetheless, you chose two of their best and most obscure songs. "Shout" is a glory of blipping, clanking, and popping, and I will always defend "Now This is Fun" as one of the most sublime and strange pieces of music by a name band (good idea to stick it at the end, too, cuz it's nigh-impossible to mix out of).

    (Only quibble: the version of "Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls" that's mashed into their cover of "Tubular Bells" would have worked a bit better into "Shout". Er, I actually did that in a mix back in February. Great minds and so on.)

  10. Props for the Berlin track at the end! I love this mix in the gayest of ways.


  11. This is my youth! Actually had about a third of these tunes when I was a boy. Mr Murderbot you run tings!!! Love the juke mix...

    Would love to hear a classic Detroit house mix from you (Serious Grooves et al have been tragically forgotten by history)