Being a fan of Duran Duran, when the glorious packaging of Only After Dark
leapt off of the shelves of Virgin Megastore BlackPlastic couldn't resist this collection of songs chosen by two band members. Recently BlackPlastic has been reading Rip It Up And Start Again
by Simon Reynolds, a detailed account of Post Punk in the late 70s-early 80s and whilst there is an official album to accompany that book BlackPlastic can't help but think this is better. Many of the book's most frequently referred to tracks occur on this album, together in a lovely programmed set. It's just a shame it hasn't been properly mixed.
Only After Dark starts with the lovely 'Being Boiled' by the Human League, analogue synths spitting and good old fashioned space-age electronic drums earily backing things up. Further along, David Bowie's gloriously wasted 'Always Crashing the Same Car' sounds like it comes from a parallel universe.
Highlights are really to numerous to mention... The pitch black synths on John Foxx's 'Underpass', the fantastic mash up of twisted lyrics and jarring synths on The Normal's 'Warm Leatherette' (which ultimately lead to the creation of Mute Records by its creator).
Bryan Ferry's glam 'In Crowd' is fantastically ridiculous, whilst Brian Eno's 'The True Wheel' reminds you exactly why he is so revered. A glorious combination of pop and and the production of a genius. Gary Numan's classic "Are Friends Electric?" (under the guise of Tubeway Army) shows just how easy it must have been for Richard X (God love him) to turn The Sugababes around from also-rans who lost their most important member to the biggest girl group of the noughties.
'I Am The Fly' by Wire is a great mix of distortion and punk vocals whilst Magazine's 'Shot By Both Sides' is sadly probably more relevant to our current political situation that it was even when it was written.
All these highlights on one album... and there's been no mention of Donna Summer's appearance with the most exciting song of all time, Grace Jones' tripped out 'Private Life' (which sounds like it inspired the terminally naff 'Not Over Yet' by Grace) or Iggy Pop's 'The Passenger'. This is the sound of the most important period in british music history and BlackPlastic recommends you check it out.