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  1. #1
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Week 46: 50 Albums That Changed Music

    I'm posting a day early because I have a little leisure time, but I won't the rest of the day or tomorrow. I just hope the weather cooperates with our picnics today. Thunderstorms are predicted for late this afternoon, but I hope they hold off until tonight.

    This week's selection made me chuckle. Perhaps it was more influential than I realize, but I can't believe this choice, as I assumed this band was merely a "one hit wonder". Well, I can since it's a British newspaper, but it just doesn't strike me as one that many of you will support, but let's see if anyone give a rat's rump. The Human League - Dare (1981)

    Until Dare, synthesisers meant solemnity. Phil Oakey's reinvention of the group as chirpy popsters, complete with two flailing, girl-next-door vocalists, feminised electronica. Without this...and Oakey's lop-sided haircut, squads of new romantics and synth-pop acts would have been lost.

    As I mentioned, this is likely a stretch, and is solidified by the shortest argument, by the critic, for its place on the list. Just freakin' weird in my estimation.

    G Swish
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    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Yeah, it was big, early technopop. For me it does get a big so what, but I do remember the period where this stuff was big. There were some catchy singles, but overall kinda disposable. I would've thought Depeche Mode might've made sense, but I don't know if they had a breakthrough album as compared to singles.

    Technopop did do some good things, I think it opened some people up to the by-then-old 'new wave' stuff which they previously might not have cared much about.

    When Lester Bangs died this was reportedly the record he had on his turntable, which ultimately says more about the impact this rec had on music than any of this content so far as I'm concerned.

    I don't like others.

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    I saw them live back on the DARE Tour and they were pretty cool, they had that one song about the Kennedy assassination that was pretty cool and most all the songs on Dare were decent back in the day, but I tried to listen to this record lately and in my opinion it has not held up near as well as early OMD or Depeche stuff...

    for a second.......

  4. #4
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    When Lester Bangs died this was reportedly the record he had on his turntable, which ultimately says more about the impact this rec had on music than any of this content so far as I'm concerned.
    I can hardly think of anything more insignificant.

    Well, maybe I could but I'm in a hurry.

  5. #5
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Don't You Want Me Baby? was the big single offa this. This album was MUCH bigger in the UK than here in the states.

    As a synth geek, I recall being bowled over by this album because of it's previously mentioned brightness and upbeat pop appeal. It was a departure from the way any synth bands that had come before sounded.

    But really, it's forgettable fluff. Without this, no Howard Jones and Wang Chung. Gee, thanks.

    I'd replace this pick with some early Thomas Dolby.

    I saw them live in their heyday too. Man, did they SUCK! they were wasted, sloppy and extremely dull.

  6. #6
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    Solid perspective Troy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Don't You Want Me Baby? was the big single offa this. This album was MUCH bigger in the UK than here in the states.

    As a synth geek, I recall being bowled over by this album because of it's previously mentioned brightness and upbeat pop appeal. It was a departure from the way any synth bands that had come before sounded.

    But really, it's forgettable fluff. Without this, no Howard Jones and Wang Chung. Gee, thanks.

    I'd replace this pick with some early Thomas Dolby.

    I saw them live in their heyday too. Man, did they SUCK! they were wasted, sloppy and extremely dull.
    The Guardian mentions up front how difficult it was to pare the lest down to just 50 records, but I can't figure out how this one could possibly have made the cut, and Thomas Dolby would certainly be worthy before these posers.

    G Swish
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  7. #7
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    I'd replace this pick with some early Thomas Dolby.
    Exactly.



    Quote Originally Posted by MGH
    When Lester Bangs died this was reportedly the record he had on his turntable, which ultimately says more about the impact this rec had on music than any of this content so far as I'm concerned.
    Maybe he was just about to write something scathing about it...but really, anything coulda been on that guys turntable just before he died...what if it was a Dolly Parton record, or Triumph, or Sheb Wooley...OK you get the picture. We could assume that he was interested in Human League and its future impact on pop music, or it could have been the very thing that killed him.

    Does make you think though...maybe we should be more discerning with what we put on/in our system to listen to, you know...just in case.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular BradH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    ...but really, anything coulda been on that guys turntable just before he died...
    That's true but I remember this album was taken very seriously by the critics when it was released and I've met a lot of people who swear by it. Personally, I never understood why. I'm sure Bangs loved it too but I just don't see that as all that significant. At the end of the day, he was a music critic, no more, no less.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    Dolly Parton record
    Hey! Dolly didn't do anything to you! I love Dolly Parton. Seriously... I really do. I got a bunch of LPs and CDs.


    But back on topic. Dare is a good record, but too dependant upon stupid new romantic imagery and hot (for the 80s) girl singers. The real pick is Yazoo's Upstairs at Eric's. The Guardian writer is suggesting Dare as having been the antidote to Depressed Mode's Speak and Spell. That Dare was light and poppy and Speak and Spell was depressed, like all synth music up to that point. But that year, Vince Clarke had already left Depressed Mode to release Upstairs at Eric's in 1982. Yaz made synth music not only poppy, but also haugntingly beautiful.

    As to far reaching influence, listen to Yaz, then listen to NIN's Pretty Hate Machine and White Zombie's La Sexorcisto and tell me that Yaz did not have far reaching influence well outside of just dance music.
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  10. #10
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradH
    That's true but I remember this album was taken very seriously by the critics when it was released and I've met a lot of people who swear by it. Personally, I never understood why.
    Remember when this was indie music?

    I think it was a sort of landmark in that it was so popular, and it devoid of guitars or drums, not that synth music was invented on this album or anything. I remember the band members on a radio talkshow, saying something like "guitars are so archaic and obsolete" (I paraphrase). It did get a lot of airplay, but acts like ABC, Soft Cell, Culture Club and Thompson Twins were going to do well whether Dare did anything or not. Besides, all this credit goes to acts like Gary Numan anyway.

    I think this act and others biggest influence was that they (new romantics) were the impetous for a new era of hard rock-n-roll, that pop radio was getting so plastic sounding that listeners embraced any form of hard rock that came down the pipe, like Ratt, Motley Crue, and others. After a breif 4 or 5 year hiatus of being challenged by New Wave, hard rock, particularly heavy metal, would bum rush new romantism and bring good old fashioned hedonism back into the American rock scene.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    bring good old fashioned hedonism back into the American rock scene.
    Which led to this?
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  12. #12
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3-LockBox
    Remember when this was indie music?

    I think it was a sort of landmark in that it was so popular, and it devoid of guitars or drums, not that synth music was invented on this album or anything. I remember the band members on a radio talkshow, saying something like "guitars are so archaic and obsolete" (I paraphrase). It did get a lot of airplay, but acts like ABC, Soft Cell, Culture Club and Thompson Twins were going to do well whether Dare did anything or not. Besides, all this credit goes to acts like Gary Numan anyway.

    I think this act and others biggest influence was that they (new romantics) were the impetous for a new era of hard rock-n-roll, that pop radio was getting so plastic sounding that listeners embraced any form of hard rock that came down the pipe, like Ratt, Motley Crue, and others. After a breif 4 or 5 year hiatus of being challenged by New Wave, hard rock, particularly heavy metal, would bum rush new romantism and bring good old fashioned hedonism back into the American rock scene.
    I agree with the idea that Yaz was superior to this, as far as technopop went. But I think the Ratts & Motley Crues were at least as much of a reaction against corporate American rock like Styx & Journey than they were having anything to do with a reaction to technopop. I never thought that they thought of this stuff as representing 'rock' music, and the radio was all Boston & Kansas & maybe Rush, along with the Eagles & Led Zeppelin, Stones, Who, etc. More attention was being paid to new work by Santana, CSN, & Fleetwood Mac at this point than any of the metal coming out of the UK like Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest or those bands at this time. New Wave was the Cars, Devo, Talking Heads, & Blondie, more so than Depeche Mode or ABC.

    My comment about Bangs was more along the lines of a joke that he offed himself after hearing something like the Human League & thinking of it as the way of the future. He might've dug it, who knows, it's not like he wasn't open-minded, but after years of writing about stuff he liked he'd had to spend some time writing about stuff he didn't, and from what I gather he didn't enjoy that all that much. I don't put all that much stock in a scenario where he hears Dare & kills himself, not that it's not possible. But I think he was one of the most important & influential rock writers ever, if not THE #1 guy in this regard. He was certainly taken more seriously than Charles Young, and I would've liked to have seen his thoughts on 80s trends, which I do think would've been more relevant than the content put out by some of those early technopop bands, many of whom actually could put a decent single together, at the very least. That is to say, I consider the void created by his passing to represent something more important than the legacy of acts like Kajagoogoo & Hayzi Fantayzee.

    I don't like others.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    Hayzi Fantayzee.
    F-Me! I had to google that one.

    http://www.deadoralive.net/haysifant...ticles/pf.html
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  14. #14
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindGoneHaywire
    I agree with the idea that Yaz was superior to this, as far as technopop went.
    That was actually Slumpbuster who suggested Yaz - and I'm in complete agreement. Yaz Upstairs At Eric's is far superior to Dare.

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