Amoeblog

Alles gute zum geburtstag Schaffel - A look at the musical impact of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus"

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 30, 2015 04:05pm | Post a Comment

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the infamous Depeche Mode Riots, in which half a dozen people were treated for minor injuries. Another Depeche Mode milestone is upon us as on 29 August 1989 the band released their 23rd single, "Personal Jesus" and basically invented the "schaffel" subgenre. 



It wasn't their first single to prominently feature electric guitars -- preceding non-album single "Route 66" (a cover of Bobby Troup's standard "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66") had made use of them to good effect. However, I was always suspicious when electronic musicians added guitars to their synthpop because so often it seemed like a calculated effort to appeal to the musical conservatives. It was with suspicion that I first approached "Personal Jesus" but after the release of the guitar-less "Enjoy the Silence" I breathed a sigh of relief. 



Truth be told, Iggy Pop was probably the first to recognize that combining electronics with the glitter stomp of T. Rex and Chinnichap was a good idea. "Nightclubbing" was released as a single in 1977 and featured a Glitter Band-inspired riff paired with a drum machine. I'm willing to bet, however, that a fair few of the schaffel crowd didn't hear that song until it resurfaced on the soundtrack of 1996's Trainspotting.

One Album Wonders: Sad Iron

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 25, 2015 01:40pm | Post a Comment
SAD IRON - TOTAL DAMNATION (1983)

This week’s One Album Wonder is Dutch heavy metal band, Sad Iron, who released their only album, Total Damnation, in 1983.

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Sad Iron wasn't forged in the Netherworld, but rather the Netherlands -- the harbor town of Hoorn, to be Sad Ironprecise. The founder and sole constant member since their formation in 1979 is guitarist Bernard Rive. He soon recruited Dirk Ooms (bass), Gerrit Soering (drums), and Jan Palenstijn (vocals). Three of Sad Iron’s songs, performed live, were included on Holland Heavy Metal Vol. 1. As a result of winning a battle of the bands, Sad Iron were rewarded with once day of studio time at K&M Geluidsregistratie.

Rive entered the studio with new members Leo "Pro Deo" Ockeloen on bass, Jacques Van Oevelen on drums, and Herke Van Der Poel on vocals and they recorded Total Damnation in one day. Sad Iron shared stages with bands like Hanoi Rocks, Picture, and Vandale.

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One Album Wonders: The Zodiac

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 17, 2015 11:07am | Post a Comment
The Zodiac - Cosmic Sounds

Zodiac
 were a studio group who released one album, Cosmic Sounds - Celestial Counterpoint with Words and Music, in May 1967. The members of Zodiac were respected session musicians Bud Shank, Carol Kaye, Cyrus Faryar, Emil RichardsHal Blaine, and Paul Beaver. Each song is devoted to the signs of Chaldean astronomical zodiac. The music was written by Canadian synthesizer pioneer Mort Garson
The spoken word narration was penned by Jacques Wilson and are narrated by Faryar in a voice reminiscent of Jim Morrison's who as part of The Doors, had recorded their debut in 1966 and released it in January 1967 to great acclaim.

The success of The Doors was a primary inspiration for the project. Elektra head Jac Holzman came up with the concept and hired Alex Hassilev, a member of The Limeliters, to produce. Hassilev brought Mort Garson to the project -- the two had just formed a production company together.

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A Look Back at the Depeche Mode Riots

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 11, 2015 07:43pm | Post a Comment
Depeche Mode

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Watts Riots (or Watts Rebellion, depending on your point of view). In that riot, 3,438 Anglenos were arrested, 1,032 were injured, and 34 died. This year (but not today) is also the 25th anniversary of another, less serious uprising, the Depeche Mode Riots, in which five people were treated for injuries.

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Southern California has hosted its share of riots; there was the San Gabriel Mission Riot in 1785, the Chinese Massacre of 1871, the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, the Cooper Do-nuts Uprising of 1959, the Sunset Strip Curfew Riots of 1966, the Black Cat Riot of 1967, the Huntington Beach Surf Riot of 1986, the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, the San Bernardino Punk Riot of 2006, the Anaheim Riots of 2012, and the another Huntington Beach Surf Riot in 2013. Some (most) were exacerbated by the authorities, and several were fueled by civil rights aspirations and/or racism. Only one that I know of was fueled by hormones, Anglophila, and ARP-2600s.


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One Album Wonders: April 16th

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 3, 2015 03:29pm | Post a Comment
April 16th promo photo
April 16th (APRIL 16TH APPRECIATION SOCIETY)


English hard rock/heavy metal band April 16th formed in London in the summer of 1985. The members were Chris Harris (guitar), Dave Russell (vocals), Eric Puffet (bass), John Fisher (drums), and Lawrence Mills (lead guitar). They released just one album, Sleepwalking, in January, 1989. It was recorded at Cherry Studios in Croydon and released by High Dragon Dragons, a subsidiary of Parisian label, Black Dragon Records. The sleeve painting was done by Mike Stick


April 16th - Sleepwalking


Sleepwalking garnered the April 16th some attention. Radio 1 invited them to record a session with the late Tommy Vance, influential host of The Friday Rock Show and champion of heavy metal. They also appeared in a feature on ITV's London Weekend Television. There was a review in Kerrang! A second album was tentatively planned for release in 1990 but never saw the light of day. The band broke up in 1991.

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