Year of Release: 1982
I recently went on an experimental binge-buy of obscure eighties synth-pop singles. There are some good reasons behind this - firstly, when the genre hit its highs, it really produced some absolutely corking singles (some readers of this blog may not agree with that sentiment, but I grew up at just the right time to find it truly other-worldly. These days, of course, it just sounds like fantastic pop when done correctly). Secondly, I'm in the process of trying to buy a house and it's probably one of the cheapest vintage genres to buy for the cash-strapped record collector, occupying the same kind of budget slot that obscure glam rock records held in the nineties. You can pick all sorts of interesting tracks up for a mere 99p.
Take this version of The Zombies "She's Not There" for example. Synth-pop versions of classic sixties records were none too unusual - we've already had "Summer In The City" and "Day Tripper" on this blog - but this one takes the original and utterly remodels it, noting the extreme eeriness of the sixties version and turning into an icy futuristic blast. Some people will consider it to be sacrilege, but it's definitely an interesting piece of work, and certainly not a lazy cover. The Dub Version on the B-side in particular takes matters forward and creates a spacey, atmospheric and largely instrumental piece of work which moves so far from the beat blueprint that you'd almost struggle to identify it.
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Year of Release: 1983
Panic's follow-up single "Ticket To The Tropics" was an original group composition, and is a fatter, fuller piece of work, dropping the cold minimalism and padding itself out into sophisticated eighties pop. Again, though, the remix on the flip side takes the track into more interesting directions, adding echo, and a doomy atmosphere. Panic really seemed to excel at mysterious soundscapes if these two singles are anything to go by.
Unfortunately, anyone wondering who they were isn't going to find any answers from me. I have no bloody clue. 45cat didn't even have these singles listed on their usually ridiculously comprehensive website (I've remedied that) and the rest of the Internet isn't helping me out much either. The fact that Panic is a horrible name for the purposes of Google is also hindering me. If you know more, please do drop me a line.