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December 01, 1994 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-12-01

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, December 1, 1994 - 7

An Echo of the New world Order

Without a doubt, New Order and
Echo & The Bunnymen were two of
the most important bands to emerge
from the early '80s post-punk move-
ment, and, unlike many of punk's big
names, these two bands created sev-
eral albums comprised of inventive
and moving lyrical imagery, which
was combined seamlessly with intri-
cately crafted song structures. As both
bands progressed, they kept their
music compelling by throwing injust
the right amount of experimentation
and spontaneity.
Despite many similarities, how-
ever, these two bands drove their point
home in radically different ways. Most
obviously, the Bunnymen were
fronted by charismatic vocalist Ian
McCulloch, who belted out his songs
with a passion and fury that expressed
even more than the lyrics themselves,
while New Order was reluctantly led
by the timid Bernard Sumner, who
was clearly uncomfortable with the
idea of inheriting the vocalist / lyri-
cist position from the late Ian Curtis.
Eventually, though, Sumner's shy
whispers and often nonsensical lyrics
would become an integral part ofNew

Order's music.
Both bands' debut LPs explored a
darkly psychedelic mood, but their
execution could hardly have been
more different. The 12 tracks which
made up the Bunnymen's "Croco-
diles" had the air of a band that had
been developing their sound for years.
Songs like the fiery "DoIt Clean" and
"Rescue" along with lesser known
tracks like "All That Jazz" and "Croco-
diles" featured a miraculously tight
sound that gelled each member's con-
tributions together perfectly.
New Order's "Movement," on the
other hand, was a portrait of a band
attempting to re-discover themselves
after the tragic suicide of their origi-
nal vocalist. Somehow, they man-
aged to stumble upon a breathtak-
ingly vibrant sound that used their
apparent lack of self-confidence to
their advantage. None of the songs on
"Movement" were released as singles,
as most of the album was comprised
of stark, desolate pieces that began
with cold silence before twisting and
squirming their way to an explosive
climax. Despite this, "Movement" was
not met with commercial nor critical
success, and New Order themselves

eventually abandoned this aspect of
their music.
Both bands followed up their de-
but albums with new material after
only a year, and the results quelled
any fears of a sophomore slump. The
Bunnymen had clearly become more
violent and experimental with the
powerful "Heaven Up Here" LP.
Tracks like "Show of Strength" and,
most notably, "A Promise," show-
cased the apex of McColluch's vocal
strengths, while "Over The Wall,"
"Turquoise Days," and "No Dark
Things" highlighted guitarist Will
Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson's
passion for spontaneity within the
context of their masterfully con-
structed songs. In addition, the song
"All My Colours" put the spotlight on
percussionist Pete Defrietas' aggres-
sive style for the first time.
New Order had begun their ascent
with a pair of mind-blowing singles,
"Everything's Gone Green" and
"Temptation" which were backed with
the intriguing "Cries and Whispers,"
"Mesh," and "Procession." With these
tracks, New Order were finding a way
to meld synthesizer textures, sequenc-
See NEW ECHO, Page 10

New Order look all comfy, don't they. I o
Go-Go's gol
The review you are about to read
is not a sequel to "Valley Of The Go-
Go's." It is wholly original and bears
no relationship to real persons, living
or dead. It does, like "Valley Of The
Go-Go's," deal with the oft-times
nightmare world of show business
but in a different time and context.
These words, paraphrased from
*Russ Meyer's classic 1970 film "Be-
yond The Valley Of The Dolls," ap-
pear quite suitable in describing The
Go-Go's and their influence upon both
the music scenes of the '80s and to-
day. Their new two-CD anthology,
"Return To The Valley Of The Go-
Go's," details the influence of the
world's premiere girl-group during
the '80s, a musical era that is cur-
* rently making a comeback.
Of course, the label "girl-group"
is entirely unfair, offensive and sug-
gests a division between the Go-Go's

wonder if that's a CraftmaticTm Adjustable Bed.

t the heat on collection

music and other bands of the period.
But, the Go-Go's immediate popular-
ity with 1981's "We Got The Beat"
began the constant stream of press
curiosity into the "girl-group phenom-
The Go-Go's "nightmare world of
show business" was that their music
could never quite outshine their im-
age to the world. We can now realize
the mistake, for their songs, wonder-
fully captured on "Return To The
Valley Of The Go-Go's," musically
outdo anything ever put down on
record by Flock of Seagulls, Rick
Springfield or Soft Cell.
"Mirth! Melody! Mayhem!"
adorns the cover of the collection, and
can be heard on the two discs, as well
as a few twists. The first half of disc
one showcases the Go-Go's raw,
punkish period, an aspect of the band
that remains unknown to most people.
Sharing concert bills with X and

other late '70s punk bands, the Go-
Go's blasted through their own ultra-
low-fi tunes like "Screaming" and
"Fun With Ropes" included on the
anthology with other live songs.
The Go-Go's eventually refined
their pop-edge, and, with the release
of their debut album "Beauty and the
Beat," the band would find mass ap-
peal for songs like "We Got The Beat"
and "Our Lips Are Sealed." The record
went double-platinum, and the Go-
Go's were nominated for a Best New
ArtistGrammy in 1981. They released
two more albums of dizzy, infectious
pop that contained hits like "Vaca-
tion" and "Head Over Heels" before
calling it quits in 1985.
All of the hits are present and
accounted for on "Return To The
Valley Of The Go-Go's" plus equally
perky B-sides like "Surfing And Spy-
ing." But the best surprise of all is
three new songs written for the col-

The GoGo's, Belinda Carlisle and all,
lection, all of which delightfully be-
gin where the band left off in 1985.
"Good Girl" is enchanting pop;
"Beautiful" is more powerful and
shows off Carlisle's strong vocal abili-
ties and the best piece, "The Whole

World Lost Its Head," contains the At a time when the '80s are touted
best line ever heard from the Go-Go's as "awesome," the Go-Go's deserve
- "Mary ate her little lamb / And their own spotlight for making music
punk rock isn't dead." And neither more fun and enjoyable. The Go-Go's
are the Go-Go's, who have also songs can make the '90s amore perky
planned a brief US tour. time and fill new listeners with joy.

- 1

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