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The Art of the 12-Inch, Part Deux: Unheard Paul McCartney Collaboration Included Among ZTT Treasures

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What do you do?  No one else can dance like you!  So what’s all the fuss?  There ain’t nobody that spies like us! 

It’s not often that we get the opportunity to write about Paul McCartney, forever fab, and Art of Noise, pioneering British synth-pop duo, in the same sentence.  But Salvo Records and ZTT are giving us just that chance with this week’s U.K. release of The Art of the 12-Inch, Volume Two.  Okay, it’s not that much of a stretch, as Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley contributed synthesizer to McCartney’s 1984 Give My Regards to Broad Street soundtrack album, and was later enlisted to write arrangements for his 1986 Press to Play.  And it was on that latter album where Dudley’s Art of Noise mates got involved.  McCartney wrote the title song to John Landis’ 1986 comedy Spies Like Us and planned to include it on Press to Play.  Macca’s interest in synthesizers, electronic sounds and avant-pop was nothing new; he would introduce many of those sounds into his McCartney II solo album and continue to explore that realm as late as 2008’s Electric Arguments, his third collaboration as “The Fireman” with the artist known as Youth (a.k.a. Martin Glover).

Ian Peel, curator of the new Salvo set, recalled, “McCartney called in the Art of Noise to remix the track [‘Spies Like Us’] in the summer of 1985.  It was a mad, cut-and-paste retake that turned the song – McCartney’s last U.S. Top Ten hit – into a left-field electronic collage.”  (Peel knows of what he speaks, as author of The Unknown Paul McCartney, a 2001 account of the musician’s more outré experiments.)  Paul and Linda McCartney joined Dudley, JJ Jeczalik and Gary Langan for what sounded like “a very experimental session,” in Peel’s recollection.  The 12-inch vinyl mix was released in November 1985 but has so far eluded any of McCartney’s archival projects.  McCartney gave his consent to the track to make its CD debut on the second volume of Salvo’s The Art of the 12-Inch, but then the plot thickened!

Hit the jump to continue! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 21, 2012 at 09:31

A “Perfect Way” to Get Scritti Politti’s Hits Coming Soon

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Here’s an under-the-radar release for you on this ridiculously snowy day: a new compilation for ’80s dance-rock band Scritti Politti from EMI/Virgin.

Founded by singer/songwriter Green Gartsdale in Leeds in the late 1970s, Scritti Politti began as a left-leaning post-punk outfit championed by John Peel and signed to Rough Trade and spent the ’80s evolving into a funky, synth-based ensemble. “Wood Beez,” “Absolute,” “The Word Girl” and “Oh Patti” were some of the band’s Top 20 singles in their native U.K., but their biggest hit abroad was the gleaming “Perfect Way,” which climbed to No. 11 in America.

Absolute – the band’s first career-spanning compilation – includes a handful of single mixes, the rare debut single “Skank Bloc Bologna” (a favorite of Peel’s) and two brand-new tracks, “Day Late and a Dollar Short” and “A Place We Both Belong.” Amazon U.K. has a pre-order page here, but no release date; EMI’s schedule (as seen in the link above) puts its release date as February 28.

View the track list after the jump. (Thanks to our ’80s guru Vinny Vero for tipping us off.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 27, 2011 at 10:25