Friday, 8 March 2013

Cassette experiment day 23 - Fashion 'Fabrique'

I find it both strange and fascinating to think about the ways in which musical tastes change and develop with the passing of years. For example there are some artists that are generally only appreciated with a bit of age and perspective; Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and, maybe more controversially, The Beach Boys all fall into this category for me. I wasn’t particularly interested in any of these in my teens or twenties, but their appeal has grown in direct proportion to my grey hairs and aching joints.
The reverse is also true of course – many of the artists that I loved in my teens and twenties lie unloved and unlistened-to in the spare room (all of my music is on a very slow journey from the loft to the ‘proposed’ music room – they left the loft in November 2012 and their ETA in the music room is late April/early May 2013).
During the course of the ‘great 6 month cassette experiment’ some of these have worked their way back into my heart again; others have merely confirmed that I’ve simply left some of my earlier musical tastes behind (I’ve tried The Pale Fountains’ ‘From across the kitchen table’ a few times now and, while it has its moments, I’m sure another tape has been substituted for the album that I used to love).
This ‘changing tastes’ dilemma caused me to approach an album that was a great 1980s favourite with extreme caution –and that album is ‘Fabrique’ by Fashion, in its special edition double play incarnation. Side 1 contains the full album; side 2 contains the full album, with running order preserved, in remix form with suitably altered titles. So the opening track ‘Move on’ becomes ‘Mutant Move’ and the closer ‘Do you wanna make love?’ becomes the much grubbier sounding ‘Do you wanna make love (at 5.00 am)?’ Always a bit worrying if you have to ask, in my book!
I was unsurprised to find that I still knew, word for word, all of the tracks on both sides. Much of the album still stands up surprisingly well, maybe due the the presence of legendary producer, Zeus b Held. I would also have to admit, however, that some of the tracks that used to seem a bit weaker, now sound a little bit weaker still – ‘You only left your picture’, I now realise, is closer to the sound of Level 42 than I would have previously admitted. Incidentally, the remix of this track is billed as the ‘Reggae Reprise’ and the less said about that the better.
If you love this album, but haven’t heard the remixes then don’t despair – some are very slightly better than the originals and others very slightly worse, and the result is that your listening experience of the album wouldn’t be markedly better or worse without them.
Stop press: Proposed colour of proposed music room’s proposed feature wall – ‘1981 Orange’ from the Crown Originals range.
Label – Arista
Year - 1982

If you enjoyed this post then why not purchase 'The Great Cassette Experiment - The Joy of Cassettes' (by Neil Pace) for your Kindle? Just toddle over to Amazon and look it up. It's reassuringly inexpensive.