The Second Disc

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Reissue Theory: More Novelties

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It’s almost the weekend, which hopefully means for you, the reader, a few days of fun and frolic. To that end, let’s get the fun started early with a few particularly goofy Reissue Theory novelties. One is a one-hit wonder who managed to combine New Wave and a slightly older generation of music, and the other is an inexplicably house-oriented companion piece to a popular video game. Bet you won’t find that combination anywhere else on the Internet today!

Hit the jump to see which red-letter works get the red-carpet treatment after the jump.

Okay, maybe not “red-letter.” The first selection is After Eight, the debut album from Taco (born Taco Ockerse, if you can believe it), easily one of the cheerfully silliest performers of the ’80s. The Dutch-by-way-of-Indonesian singer managed to work his way into the world’s consciousness (however briefly) by synthing up a cover of Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Accompanied by a weirdly captivating video full of glow sticks, fine attire and questionable makeup choices, the single actually made it all the way up to No. 4 on the Billboard charts. (This proves definitively that, no matter how ridiculous a recording is, a good song will prevail.)

As it stands, After Eight, with its motley assortment of pop standards done the New Wave way, might fit nicely on someone’s shelf with a bit of single material, to boot.

Taco – After Eight (RCA AFL1-4818, 1982)

  1. Singin’ in the Rain
  2. Tribute to Tino
  3. Puttin’ on the Ritz
  4. I Should Care
  5. Carmella
  6. La Vie en Rose
  7. Cheek to Cheek
  8. After Eight
  9. Livin’ in My Dreamworld
  10. Encore (Sweet Gipsy Rose)
  11. Thanks a Million
  12. Puttin’ on the Ritz (Single Edit) (7” A-side – RCA PB-13574, 1982)
  13. Cheek to Cheek (Single Edit) (7” A-side – RCA PB-13646, 1982)
  14. Puttin’ on the Ritz (Extended Version) (12” A-side – RCA PD-13575, 1982)

This next title will mean nothing to elder rock-oriented statesmen but may strike a chord with video game-addled twenty- or thirtysomethings out there: Mortal Kombat. Yes, the game that many kids in the ’90s lost their quarters to (that is, if their parents let them play the surprisingly violent fighting game) is actually sort of tied to one very ubiquitous song: the pounding “Techno Syndrome” by The Immortals. It was used to promote anything and everything MK-related, and is still something of a cultural flashpoint thanks to its ridiculous intro, a simple, urgent scream of “Mortal Kombat!”

What most people probably don’t know is that the group behind the song, The Immortals (a Belgian house outfit spun off from popular early-’90s dance group Lords of Acid), ended up cutting an entire album of songs meant to soundtrack the Kombat experience. Like “Techno Syndrome,” they blended surprisingly catchy beats with samples from the games. To be totally honest, Mortal Kombat: The Album makes for a decent workout mix – at least, if the silliness of it all doesn’t make you fall off your treadmill.

Perhaps the album could see a reissue if the semi-dormant franchise ever gets back off the ground (after a crossover game that had the Kombat characters fighting DC Comics characters in 2008, developer Midway Games was absorbed by Warner Bros., who also intend to make another film based on the game). Here’s how it might look. Flawless victory!

The Immortals – Mortal Kombat: The Album (Virgin/Vernon Yard Recordings 7243 8 39629 2 1, 1994)

  1. Johnny Cage (Prepare Yourself)
  2. Kano (Use Your Might)
  3. Sub-Zero (Chinese Ninja Warrior)
  4. Liu Kang (Born in China)
  5. Techno Syndrome (Mortal Kombat) (12″ Mix) *
  6. Scorpion (Lost Soul Bent on Revenge)
  7. Sonya (Go Go Go)
  8. Rayden (Eternal Life)
  9. Goro (The Outworld Prince)
  10. Hypnotic House (Mortal Kombat) (12″ Mix) *
  11. Mortal Kombat Mix (CD single B-side – Vernon Yard Recordings V25H-38419, 1993)
  12. Sonya (Go Go Go) (Maxi Version) (U.K. 12″ promotional A-side – Vernon Yard Recordings VGP 3, 1994)
  13. Techno Syndrome (Encounter the Ultimate) (from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation soundtrack promo CD – TVT 8201-2P, 1997)
* the original pressing used the 7″ edits. They have been replaced for personal preference. Both tracks from CD single Vernon Yard Recordings V25H-38419, 1993

Written by Mike Duquette

March 26, 2010 at 01:03

Posted in Features, Reissues, Soundtracks

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One Response

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  1. I’d buy the Taco reissue in a hot second.


    March 26, 2010 at 15:03

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