The Unmistakeable Sound of Independence since 1978 | Call to order: +44 (0)20 8996 3120

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  • 4CD / 80 track set exploring the independent side of the UK’s post-punk synth-pop boom.

 

  • From household names and scene legends to underground outsiders and bedroom experimenters.

 

  • Hardback book format includes over 12,000 words of sleevenotes (including artist-written pieces), introductory essay by Dave Henderson and period imagery.

 

  • Key tracks and hidden gems from Mute Records, Rough Trade, 4AD, Survival Records, Cherry Red and a host of essential independent players.

 

  • Produced by the team behind the critically acclaimed ‘Close To The Noise Floor’ series and a number of other essential box sets.

 

The year – 1978. The mood – revolution. The latest addition to the musician’s sound palette – the synthesiser. And so a new sound was born, and one which would free pop music from its guitar dominated tradition into something with a bright new future which would write itself. Almost overnight, via a handful of key single releases, the big bang of punk produced something the kids called ‘synth-pop’. The clue was very much in the name.

 

A broad church from the outset, this synth-pop movement wasted no time in embracing players from all corners of the musical dressing up box. From guitar groups drafting in a keyboard playing friend and the progressive rockers using their expensive banks of electronics in new ways to the modernists and the Thatcherists, full of unabashed aspiration, and the punks – arguably the purest punks of them all – who discarded the guitar and the drum kit overnight in their pursuit of something fresh that their generation could truly call their own. All were welcome, and all contributed to the many different directions synth-pop would mutate in over the coming five or six years.

 

‘Electrical Language’ captures this time and place in microscopic detail. The uptempo would-be hits with suburban nightclub aspirations, the science and technology enthralled proto-techno workouts and the otherworldy experiments are all here, sitting comfortably amongst each other in some cases, jostling for position in others. This was a post-punk revolution of another kind, played out on a stage free of the traditional boundaries and limitations, entirely alien to anybody over twenty-five and enthralled by the new and the exotic. For the first time in a while, the future looked bright, albeit illuminated with electric light.

TRACKLIST 

DISC ONE

  1. WINDPOWER – Thomas Dolby
  2. SCIENCE FICTION – Alan Burnham
  3. WARM LEATHERETTE – The Normal
  4. STAY WITH ME TONIGHT – Alex Fergusson
  5. TARANTULA – Colourbox
  6. FANTASY – 100% Manmade Fibre
  7. BANDWAGON TANGO – Testcard F
  8. ELECTRICAL LANGUAGE – Be-Bop Deluxe
  9. THE WORLD – Dalek I
  10. HONOUR AMONG THIEVES

– Chain Of Command

  1. RED FRAME/WHITE LIGHT –
    Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
  2. RED CASTLES – The Legendary Pink Dots
  3. LIFES ILLUSION – Ice The Falling Rain
  4. THE HUMAN FACTOR – Music For Pleasure
  5. SHE’S AN IMAGE – Poeme Electronique
  6. I’M THINKING OF YOU NOW – Box Of Toys
  7. THE PLANET DOESN’T MIND – New Musik
  8. HOPE DEEP INSIDE – Schleimer K
  9. THE DISTANCE FROM KÖLN

– Native Europe

  1. TECHNICAL MIRACLE – Voice Of Authority

DISC TWO

  1. CIRCUS OF DEATH – The Human League
  2. XOYO – The Passage
  3. CROWDS – A Popular History Of Signs
  4. OCTOBER (LOVE SONG) – Chris And Cosey
  5. FEEL SO YOUNG – Laugh Clown Laugh
  6. CROATIA – Basking Sharks
  7. MR NOBODY – Thomas Leer
  8. RICKY’S HAND – Fad Gadget
  9. HYPNOTIC RHYTHM

– Local Boy Makes Good

  1. DROWNING IN BERLIN – The Mobiles
  2. EVEN NOW – Edward Ka-Spel
  3. LYING NEXT TO YOU – Passion Polka
  4. RABIES – Naked Lunch
  5. DO IT – The Limit
  6. WORK SONG – Robert Calvert
  7. BABY WON’T PHONE – Quadrascope
  8. IT HAPPENED THEN – Electronic Ensemble
  9. IN THE MORNING – Jeanette
  10. NIGHTLIFE – Those Attractive Magnets
  11. MY COO CA CHOO – Beasts In Cages

 

DISC THREE

  1. YOUR LOVE IS LIKE A SLUG

– The Bodhi-Beat Poets

  1. VEIL LIKE CALM – Eyeless In Gaza
  2. DESTITUTION – Camera Obscura
  3. GOOD TIMES – Drinking Electricity
  4. HAPPY FAMILIES – Zoo Boutique
  5. FEELS LIKE WINTER AGAIN – Fiat Lux
  6. FALLING DOWNSTAIRS – Colin Potter
  7. OUR LITTLE GIRL – David Harrow
  8. IT NEVER RAINS IN OUTER SPACE

– Futurhythm

  1. ZENNOR – Goat
  2. VIDEOMATIC – Final Program
  3. TADDY UP – Pink Industry
  4. YOU DON’T LOOK THE SAME – Play
  5. CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION

– The Fast Set

  1. TRACE OF RED – Two
  2. LYING HERE – Shox
  3. DAYTIME ASSASSINS – The Builders
  4. BEATING HEART (12″ VERSION)

– Section 25

  1. ABSENT FRIENDS – Joe Crow
  2. JAMAICA DAY – Faction

DISC FOUR

  1. GENERATOR (LASERBEAM) – Tim Blake
  2. TOUCH – Lori And The Chameleons
  3. THE SECRET AFFAIR – Jupiter Red
  4. I’M YOUR MAN – Blue Zoo
  5. EVEN ROSES HAVE THORNS

– Jesus Couldn’t Drum

  1. PAINT IT BLACK – Techno Pop
  2. CHASE THE DRAGON – Kevin Harrison
  3. OTHER PASSENGERS – Thirteen At Midnight
  4. YOUR VOICE – Freeze Frame
  5. STAY WITH YOU – Time In Motion
  6. LIVE WIRES KILL – The Toy Shop
  7. SURFACE TENSION – Analysis
  8. TIME – Paul Haig
  9. CONTEMPLATION – Solid Space
  10. COMMITTED TO VINYL – Martin O’Cuthbert
  11. LOOK DON’T TOUCH – Science
  12. THE WISHING TREE (MEGATREE MIX) – Charlie’s Brother
  13. WORKING MODEL – The Quarks
  14. THERE’S SOMEONE FOLLOWING ME

– Eddie & Sunshine

  1. HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) – Hybrid Kids
Artists

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Format

Genre

TRACKLIST 

DISC ONE
1. WINDPOWER – Thomas Dolby
2. SCIENCE FICTION – Alan Burnham
3. WARM LEATHERETTE – The Normal
4. STAY WITH ME TONIGHT - Alex Fergusson
5. TARANTULA – Colourbox
6. FANTASY - 100% Manmade Fibre
7. BANDWAGON TANGO – Testcard F
8. ELECTRICAL LANGUAGE – Be-Bop Deluxe
9. THE WORLD - Dalek I
10. HONOUR AMONG THIEVES
- Chain Of Command
11. RED FRAME/WHITE LIGHT -
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
12. RED CASTLES - The Legendary Pink Dots
13. LIFES ILLUSION - Ice The Falling Rain
14. THE HUMAN FACTOR - Music For Pleasure
15. SHE'S AN IMAGE - Poeme Electronique
16. I’M THINKING OF YOU NOW – Box Of Toys
17. THE PLANET DOESN'T MIND – New Musik
18. HOPE DEEP INSIDE - Schleimer K
19. THE DISTANCE FROM KÖLN
– Native Europe
20. TECHNICAL MIRACLE - Voice Of Authority

DISC TWO
1. CIRCUS OF DEATH – The Human League
2. XOYO – The Passage
3. CROWDS - A Popular History Of Signs
4. OCTOBER (LOVE SONG) - Chris And Cosey
5. FEEL SO YOUNG - Laugh Clown Laugh
6. CROATIA - Basking Sharks
7. MR NOBODY – Thomas Leer
8. RICKY'S HAND – Fad Gadget
9. HYPNOTIC RHYTHM
- Local Boy Makes Good
10. DROWNING IN BERLIN – The Mobiles
11. EVEN NOW - Edward Ka-Spel
12. LYING NEXT TO YOU – Passion Polka
13. RABIES – Naked Lunch
14. DO IT – The Limit
15. WORK SONG - Robert Calvert
16. BABY WON'T PHONE – Quadrascope
17. IT HAPPENED THEN - Electronic Ensemble
18. IN THE MORNING – Jeanette
19. NIGHTLIFE - Those Attractive Magnets
20. MY COO CA CHOO – Beasts In Cages

DISC THREE
1. YOUR LOVE IS LIKE A SLUG
- The Bodhi-Beat Poets
2. VEIL LIKE CALM - Eyeless In Gaza
3. DESTITUTION - Camera Obscura
4. GOOD TIMES - Drinking Electricity
5. HAPPY FAMILIES - Zoo Boutique
6. FEELS LIKE WINTER AGAIN – Fiat Lux
7. FALLING DOWNSTAIRS – Colin Potter
8. OUR LITTLE GIRL – David Harrow
9. IT NEVER RAINS IN OUTER SPACE
- Futurhythm
10. ZENNOR – Goat
11. VIDEOMATIC – Final Program
12. TADDY UP – Pink Industry
13. YOU DON'T LOOK THE SAME – Play
14. CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION
– The Fast Set
15. TRACE OF RED – Two
16. LYING HERE – Shox
17. DAYTIME ASSASSINS – The Builders
18. BEATING HEART (12" VERSION)
– Section 25
19. ABSENT FRIENDS – Joe Crow
20. JAMAICA DAY - Faction

DISC FOUR
1. GENERATOR (LASERBEAM) – Tim Blake
2. TOUCH - Lori And The Chameleons
3. THE SECRET AFFAIR – Jupiter Red
4. I'M YOUR MAN – Blue Zoo
5. EVEN ROSES HAVE THORNS
- Jesus Couldn't Drum
6. PAINT IT BLACK – Techno Pop
7. CHASE THE DRAGON - Kevin Harrison
8. OTHER PASSENGERS - Thirteen At Midnight
9. YOUR VOICE - Freeze Frame
10. STAY WITH YOU - Time In Motion
11. LIVE WIRES KILL – The Toy Shop
12. SURFACE TENSION – Analysis
13. TIME – Paul Haig
14. CONTEMPLATION – Solid Space
15. COMMITTED TO VINYL - Martin O'Cuthbert
16. LOOK DON'T TOUCH – Science
17. THE WISHING TREE (MEGATREE MIX) – Charlie’s Brother
18. WORKING MODEL – The Quarks
19. THERE'S SOMEONE FOLLOWING ME
– Eddie & Sunshine
20. HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) – Hybrid Kids

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