Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 12, 1990
R ECORDS love this ever-changing o
true test of a disco band is
Continued from page 5 its songs transcend the r
man. But, as madmen's lyrics go, penchant for fluff. Wit
they sure are fun to listen to and to exceptions, ABC prove t
scream along with. was more to their (so far)e
Thanks to the Tipper Gore career than mere pop m
groupies, there are two covers of this Absolutely, a greatest hits
album. One, of which there are rela- contains a few mini-classics
tively few copies, depicts three par- The songs are arrange
tially nude figures: Farrell, girlfriend logically for the most par
Casey Niccoli, and an unidentified CD contains four remixes.
woman. The other, "clean" version ten will prove just how i
features the text of the First band is/was. From the dinn
Amendment. Buy the former; sup- sound of "Poison Arrow
port freedom of speech. mock-hard rock of "That'V
h a few
i, and the
" to the
thing, though. The best songs have
one common characteristic: a catchi-
ness that is hard to resist. And few
would argue that being stuck in a rut
is better than changing with the
Not that all of the 17 songs are
worthy of praise; there are a few here
that don't deserve to be on anyone's
greatest hits record. Tunes like "The
Night You Murdered Love" and
"S.O.S." reach new heights in
corniness. Yet the gems outweigh
the lemons. "Be Near Me," "When
Smokey Sings," and "The Look of
Love" should be high on any best-
All in all, Absolutely points out
the highs (and a few of the lows) of
a career that has too-often been over-
looked. There a few songs that I
would have liked to see included
(e.g., "A to Z" and "The Power of
Few bands are as unapologeti-
cally disco as ABC and few are as
image-conscious and trendy. Yet I
But This is Now" to the bizarre
techno pop of "How to be a Mil-
lionaire" to the pseudo-Motown of
"When Smokey Sings" to the house
music of "One Better World," ABC
seem to have tried nearly every (pop)
musical style. Not that this is a bad
Persuasion"), but when has any
compilation truly been complete?
With the release of a greatest hits
record, one may wonder what the fu-
ture holds for ABC. My guess is
that as long as there are new styles
to try out, ABC will be around for a
while. And that's fine with me.
Meat Beat Manifesto
All too often, one hears the story
of the brilliant records of brilliant
bands falling on deaf American ears.
Although there may be several
possible reasons for this (e.g.,
asshole conservative radio
programmers, big record companies
too concerned with the bottom line,
the poor distribution capabilities of
small indie record companies, etc.)
the fact remains that in a perfect
world, Meat Beat Manifesto's first
record, Storm the Studio, would have
received much more attention. As it
happened, the song "Strap Down"
got a limited amount of exposure in
acid house clubs and earned the band
a small cult following. However, the
new record, although not in general
American release yet, shows that the
group deserves much more.
Storm the Studio was a
confusing. Although there are only
four songs listed, any respectable
CD player would insist that there are
14. The music was as dense as it
MERYL STREEP SHIRLEY MAcLAINE DENNIS QUAID
ABC's greatest hits album is a mixed bag containing all the essential
comes, creating a real "wall of
sound" replete with hyperkinetic
synthbass lines, excellent and
perfectly apt sampling and the best
white boy rapping this side of 3rd
Bass. 99% picks up where the last
record left off, although it makes
things much simpler for the listener.
First of all, the record contains the
DOES SEXUALITY HAVE A HISTORY?
Professor of Law
University of Michigan
Wednesday, September 12,1990
Amphitheater, Fourth Floor
Cosponsored by the Institute for the Humanities and the Law School
traditional 10 separate tracks.
Secondly, the music is stripped
down a bit; instead of two million
things going on at once, now themt
are only a million.
Notable tracks include "Now,'
"Psyche-Out," and "10 X Faster
Than the Speed of Love," all of
which strip down the Meat Beat
sound without losing its character,
The best tracks however, are "99%'°
and the single "Dogstar Man/Helter
Skelter." These two songs are mixed
acid house-style, blending together
and jumping back and forth, thu$
creating probably the best nine or so
minutes of dance music in yeart
Both "Hello Teenage America" anrd
"Hallucination Generation" ark
comedic numbers; the forme'
features dialogue from an old (ang
thankfully forgotten) radio or TV
show and a jazzy piano riff, while
the latter has samples from an anti-
LSD film that one can imagine
being shown in high schools .aft
across the country in the latJ
The downside of the record is
mainly its length. While Storm the
Studio was over seventy minut 4
long, 99% is closer to forty. Alsooa
couple songs fall short of the
standard set by the rest of the recoml.
Nonetheless, 99% is better overal
than Storm the Studio, even if it iss4
bit shorter and its single isn't quk
as strong as "Strap Down."
I had a chance to talk with two
the members of the band in Detr*t
after their opening set for Nine In .
Nails. While they were pleased about'
the exposure they were gaining 40
the tour, they expressed doubts th'1
the new record would be releaseO
anytime in the near futures
Hopefully for the band, not r
mention the listening public, it wil
Me? I've got my copy, but t
starting to get worn out.
Are the Pixies the most overratd
rock group in the western world
what? They do have nice rec4 a
sleeves though. This one has Bare
in some kind of bondage gear, s
plied by Ken, no doubt. The Pi
have carved out a nice little niche N
themselves as wicked surrealists, bit
the more one hears of Black Francis
morbid shriekings, theclearer it
that he's grown up as an indulge~
brat who's found himself in a play
ground where all these grown-ups a
tually take him seriously. Ever
record sees Francis in another regrP
See Records, Page 9
Having a wonderful time, wish I were here.
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