Night Boat to Cairo is a track by UK ska / pop group Madness from their 1979 debut album One Step Beyond. Mike Barson and Suggs wrote the song and it was also included on Work, Rest and Play’s EP peaking at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart. It was later reissued as a single in 1993, after the success of the reissued version of It Must Be Love,
M/A/R/R/S was a one-off collaboration between members of A.R. Kane (Alex and Rudi Kane) and Colourbox (Martin and Steve Young), both veteran 4AD artists. They took their name from the four collaborator’s initials plus that of label boss Ivo Watts-Russell, who suggested they get together. Those four are the credited songwriters on the track.
This song is made up of about 250 samples. The line, “Pump Up The Volume” came from “I Know You Got Soul” by Eric B. & Rakim, which was released earlier in 1987. Other samples include Coldcut’s 1987 song “Say, Kids What Time Is This” and James Brown’s “Funky Drummer.” It also contains three seconds of Stock Aitken & Waterman’s song “Roadblock,” but the group didn’t get official clearance and Peter Waterman placed an injunction for five days while the copyright issues were worked out. This was the first ever #1 UK hit on an independent record label: 4AD. It also reached #1 in Holland and New Zealand.
Devo were – for many young Americans – the first new wave band of any consequence. But their super-stylised image of black humour, dazzling visuals and catchy synth-pop hooks caught the attention of weirdos and outcasts everywhere.
Things really took off on Aug. 28, 1978, with the release of the band’s first studio album, “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” The song Mongoloid was included in that debut record.
Anthemic, anti-racist, pro-femme, pro-queer English punk. They were, albeit briefly, one of the bravest, most exhilarating bands of the late 70s. Tom Robinson Band (TRB) were led by an articulate punk hero from a middle-class family with a troubled history.
TRB recorded a hit single, a hit EP and one classic album, Power in the Darkness, that featured promotion for Rock Against Racism on the cover. Then it all went wrong. A second album was far more patchy and the band broke up after two years.
“She’s a model and she’s looking good.” In February 1982, the sophisticated deadpan of Kraftwerk’s Ralf Hütter hovered like a drone over a UK top 10 that included Bucks Fizz and Shakin’ Stevens. “The Model” was originally released on the band’s classic 1978 album The Man Machine, but EMI revived the song as a B-side to “Computer Love.” DJs preferred “The Model”, so the label reissued it as the double A-side and created the first UK number one for an all-German group.
“Das Model” (in its original German version) evolved from a poem the band’s artistic collaborator Emil Schult wrote about the high-fashion models he observed in a Cologne nightclub. Some feminists claim the song objectifies its subject: a woman who only exists for the male gaze, smiling for money. Others defend it as a critique of the consumer society which reduces women to nameless automatons.
The early 80s was a golden age for pop duos: OMD, Soft Cell, Associates, Tears for Fears, Blancmange, Yazoo, Cabaret Voltaire, Wham! With their homoerotic image and Nazi-baiting lyrics, Gabi Delgado-López and Robert Görl were synth-disco rebels bent on pulverising the rulebook.
DAF (standing for Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft, which means German-American Friendship) actually started out in Düsseldorf. Only with their third album, 1981’s Alles Ist Gut, did they cement their identity as an electronic duo.