Super, the 13th studio album by British duo Pet Shop Boys, is a prime example of why the Electronic/Dance act will never be part of a nostalgic ‘80s package tour – they are too busy moving into the future to live in the past. When they scored their first big hit 31 years ago with “West End Girls,” PSB were a delicious mixture of smarmy Pop and then-modern Electronica. Vocalist Neil Tennant’s deadpan (and slightly campy) vocals and Chris Lowe’s melodic, percolating Euro/Electropop backdrop made for some exciting records back in the day, earning them worldwide success and hits in every corner of the world. By the ‘90s, their star had faded a bit in the U.S. although they still released innovative and exciting albums that were snapped up by audiences In vastly different time zones than the States. Thankfully, PSB have continued to make fresh, forward-thinking records over the years. They’ve kept on top of Dance and Electronic music trends and have embraced them wholeheartedly. You’ll still find elements of their ‘80s and ‘90s sound on Super but you’ll be sorely disappointed if you’re looking for “West End Girls 2016” because Neil and Chris have moved on.
Stephen SPAZ Schnee takes a stroll through some of the singer/songwriter’s best catalog releases
While he continues to record and tour, his most commercially successful period was when he was signed to Nemperor/Sony in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He released four albums (and recorded a fifth) for the label before he moved on. He’s recorded for several labels since leaving Nemperor some 30 years ago yet the majority of his output remains just as riveting as the albums recorded during his so-called ‘heyday’. Thankfully, he also releases exclusive titles through his own Rolling Tide Records imprint, which has been a great output for rare recordings and reissues. Now that a handful of those titles are now available via retail outlets, I thought it would be a perfect time to tell you about some of them…
Nothing Compares 2 U
It seems that the cosmic stardust has finally settled on the golden age of Rock and Roll with the passing of its two brightest lights in only a matter of weeks..two complete originals yet sharing in retrospect an amazing amount of similarities….both were obviously trail blazers but it goes much further than that.
They were both incredibly prolific workaholics who kept us all guessing..both initially paid their dues and struggled artistically to find the hit formula,finally breaking through with futuristic concept albums in Ziggy and 1999..both flirted with sexual imagery and the reinvention of image…as they did musically switching between genres but at the same time creating their own sound….both heavily supported and nurtured fellow artists in writing and producing career saving music…not forgetting that they were gifted with the most amazing vocal ranges. The only main difference was that Prince was the consummate one man band….he could, and did it all…and he really COULD dance!…Bowie was a true cutting edge original, but also an amazing collaborator.
Bowie ruled the 70’s…Prince took over in the 80’s.
What a legacy they left us with.”
Jerry T. Jones (One The Juggler/Glamweazel)
Mediabase Active Rock Chart and on BDS.
AMPED’s very own MAJOR LAZER were the first major American group to perform in Cuba “since the U.S. eased relations with the Caribbean’s largest island.” This news caps off a successful 12 month period that saw Major Lazer’s “Lean On” become Spotify’s most streamed song of all time!
You can read about this ‘major’ event HERE.
Looks like Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire are living up to the title of their 2015 album, Peace Is The Mission!
Blaqk Audio, the electronic side endeavor of AFI’s Jade Puget and Davey Havok debuting August 14 in the form of the debut album CexCells actually had its genesis some five or six years ago even further back if one considers the duo’s shared love for the electronic music of the 1980s. Mixed by Dave Bascombe (Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, Suede), CexCells expands upon and fully indulges the dark electronic textures that have influenced and pervaded the duo’s work for years. The results range from evocation of prime era Depeche Mode and early Ministry (“Stiff Kittens,” “Where Would You Like Them Left?,” “Bitter For Sweet”) to four on the floor club-friendly fare (“On A Friday,” “Snuff on Digital”-the latter being the first song written for the project, dating back to 2001-2002) to vulnerable balladry (“Wake Up, Open the Door and Escape to the Sea,” “The Fear of Being Found”)- all suffused with the common threads of Havok’s signature dark vocal and lyrical stylings and Puget’s epic, emotional arrangements.
Waiting To Be Told
First To Love
Ceremonial (Burst Into Stars)
To Be Alone
Black at the Center
I’m A Mess
You Will Hate Me
May 04 San Diego, CA House of Blues
May 05 Santa Ana, CA Observatory
May 06 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
May 07 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
May 10 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
May 11 Seattle,WA Croc
May 13 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
May 14 Denver, CO Bluebird
May 16 Saint Paul, MN Turf Club
May 17 Chicago,IL Bottom Lounge
May 18 Toronto,ON Mod Club
May 20 Cambridge, MA Sinclair
May 21 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall
May 22 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
June 4 Mountain View, CA Live 105 BFD