V.A – Jon Savage’s 1983-1985 Welcome To Techno City – Ace UK 2CD

V.A – Jon Savage’s 1983-1985 Welcome To Techno City – Ace UK 2CD


Continuing his long-running and highly respected series for Ace, spanning year by year since the germination of his 1966 volume for both Ace and Faber Books, Jon Savage serves us up another of his spectacular insights into popular culture, this time for the years 1983 to 1985.

Born out of the ashes of post-punk, there were plenty of experimental singles during the early part of this period: Siouxsie’s ‘Swimming Horses’, Shriekback’s ‘Lined Up’, Soft Cell’s ‘Heat’, Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘Gods Will Be Gods’, and the Smiths’ ‘Girl Afraid’ – a perfect kitchen sink scenario. Pete Shelley and Scritti Politti went the electronic route to great effect, while the Special AKA delivered the perfect riposte to ‘Hard Times’ (all those ripped jeans) and having fun on the dole with the under-appreciated ‘Bright Lights’.

But by the end of 1984, the true action throughout this period was to be found in electronic, black American and club music: whether the metal beat of Section 25’s ‘Looking From A Hilltop’, Trans-X’s daffy hi-NRG Eurobelter ‘Living On Video’, Shalamar’s pure electro ‘Disappearing Act’, or the new music coming out of Sugarhill and Tommy Boy – Grandmaster Flash, Double Dee and Steinski, and the sampled Malcolm X.

This compilation begins in the mainstream and ends in the underground. It was the classic high 80s, before the full downside of the New Right political project was revealed – although the signs were all there – but the pop fizz cloaked a nostalgia that masked the beginnings of social and subcultural breakdown. The tribes were at war, wearing clothes from pop’s past, a dizzying phenomenon that looted the 50s and 60s in a costume drama of confrontation and dislocation.

As ever, Jon reports from the thick of the action and provides both front line reportage and academic insight. Play loud and enjoy the trip.


CD 1
01 All Tomorrow’s Parties – Japan
02 Soweto – Malcolm McLaren with The McLarenettes
03 Lined Up – Shriekback
04 Telephone Operator – Pete Shelley
05 Gods Will Be Gods – Echo & The Bunnymen
06 Heat (12-inch version) – Soft Cell
07 (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew – The Rock Steady Crew
08 Disappearing Act (12-inch version) – Shalamar
09 Bright Lights – The Special AKA
10 White Lines (Don’t Do It) (12-inch version) – Grandmaster & Melle Mel
11 Techno City (12-inch vocal version) – Cybotron
12 Swimming Horses – Siouxsie & The Banshees
13 Heartbeat (12-inch version) – The Psychedelic Furs
14 No Sell Out (12-inch version) – Malcolm X – music by Keith LeBlanc
15 What Presence?! – Orange Juice
16 Girl Afraid (12-inch version) – The Smiths

CD 2
01 Why? (12-inch) – Bronski Beat
02 Love Resurrection (12-inch version) – Alison Moyet
03 Looking From A Hilltop (12-inch version) – Section 25
04 Think Fast (12-inch version) – Pamela Joy
05 Hypnotize (Version) (12-inch version) – Scritti Politti
06 Close (To The Edit) (12-inch version) – The Art Of Noise
07 Life’s A Scream (12-inch version) – A Certain Ratio
08 Never Understand – The Jesus & Mary Chain
09 Sunspots – Julian Cope
10 Johnny Come Home – Fine Young Cannibals
11 In The Night – Pet Shop Boys
12 Single Life – Cameo
13 I Want You (12-inch version) – Cabaret Voltaire
14 Crazy – R.E.M.

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Jon Savage's 1983-1985 – Welcome To Techno City






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