Culture: Which Way is Duranistan?

“Duran Duran is not a band, it’s a place” – unknown quote circa 1986/87 “..it’s the national flag of Duran Duran” – quote by John Taylor both from Smash Hits issue 219 April/May 1987 It seems unfathomable that I’ve never produced a piece on Duran Duran given this blog’s cultural stance on the new wave. I […]

Icehouse: Big Wheel Still Spinning (Re-evaluating Sgt. Iva’s Magical Mystery Tour)

In the early nineties many bands born of the post-punk generation hit a creative brick wall (Duran Duran’s Liberty, INXS’s X and Icehouse Code Blue come to mind). Only U2 and Depeche Mode played their cards correctly. The slate was effectively wiped clean for the aforementioned trio of acts. All did better on their second […]

Who Killed the New Gold Dream?

In our teenage years we are further shaped by the culture around us: books, movies and especially in my case: music. My generation had music of atmosphere, mystery and intrigue. Arcadia, David Sylvian, New Order, This Mortal Coil and the 4AD label. It was looking to the future… The Human League dared us, OMD dazzled […]

Cast in Steel v Paper Gods

September gives us a wealth of new material from two of the eighties finest. I have been a fan of both since their debut recordings (A-ha’s Hunting High and Low in 1985 and Duran Duran’s self-titled in 1981). Currently we have Cast in Steel and Paper Gods. Ordinarily I wouldn’t partake in this manner of ‘who […]

Make it Big!

In light of Simple Minds upcoming release BIG MUSIC, I thought I’d glance back at some of the other records that mention BIG in their titles, and it’s surprising how many are new wave or alternative artists from the eighties. As for Simple Minds themselves, I recall an article in Smash Hits where Jim Kerr […]

Time After Time: Reissuing the Reissues

Recently as part of my Song Lists series I covered Tears For Fears, a particular favourite of mine during my adolescence. While researching that I noticed that yet another reissue of their sophomore effort Songs From the Big Chair is due with no less than six discs and all manner of other paraphernalia attached to […]

Even in the Quietest Moments: Songs for a Rainy Day

You might think this a strange topic for summer, but here in Asia the monsoon rains have already begun. If you find yourself stuck indoors, here are some tunes that will imbue the vista before you. And yes, you’ll be able to tell I’m of a certain ilk and age from this list. ALVA NOTO/RYUICHI […]

They Should Have Been Singles!

The title is self-explanatory really, but the music world or more importantly artist albums are littered with the songs that really should have been singles, let’s begin.. ROBBIE NEVIL – LOOK WHO’S ALONE TONIGHT Who knows what record company politics dictate the line of single releases that will define an artist’s career but had this […]