Released September 1981€¦ · Web viewTop 10 albums from the Golden Age of Sheffield Music. 10....
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Top 10 albums from the Golden Age of Sheffield Music
10. Mix-Up by Cabaret Voltaire – 1979
Released on 23rd October 1979, this was Cabaret Voltaire’s first proper release. The band were formed in 1974 by Richard H Kirk, Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson. The band’s first recordings remained largely unknown until their full release on 2003’s “Methodology ‘74/’78 attic tapes”.
9. The Voice of America by Cabaret Voltaire – 1980
Released July 1980, the album continues with the Cabs’ experimental sound but now focuses more on issues they’d seen in America during their 1979 tour. The Iraq War, Reagan’s presidential campaign, the rise of the Christian Right and the use of television etc.
8. Travelogue by The Human League – 1980
Released on 14th May 1980, this album was recorded in an abandoned vets. The Human League were formed in 1978 by Philip Oakey, Adrian Wright, Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh. Ware and Marsh had both been part of a band called The Future in 1977 with Adolphus “Adi” Newton who left to form Clock DVA. This album was also the last recorded with the original line up as Ware and Marsh both left in October 1980.
7. Waiting for A Miracle by The Comsat Angels – 1980
Released on 5th September 1980 as the first release by The Comsat Angels. Formed in 1978 by Stephen Fellows, Mik Galashier, Kevin Bacon and Andy Peake. The went through a few name changes, performing as The Skylids and Radio Earth before settling on The Comsat Angels. There is a recording of the band as Radio Earth performing a song called Bel-Air Raid.
6. Reproduction by The Human League – 1979
Released October 1979, The League’s first album followed their 1978 debut single Being Boiled/Circus of Death. Lead Singer Phil Oakey was working as a hospital porter “out of absolute desperation” before he was approached by the band and asked if he wanted to be a vocalist. Band member Martyn Ware took issue with the album artwork as it was misinterpreted by Virgin Records’ art department. “We wanted an image of a glass dance floor in a disco which people were dancing on and beneath this, a lit room full of babies, like some kind of dystopian vision of the future – but it just looks like they're treading on them”.
5. Red Mecca by Cabaret Voltaire – 1981
Released September 1981, Red Mecca was The Cabs’ third album and was quite different from their two previous releases, focusing on Kirk and Mallinder’s growing interest in the Christian right and their use of television which the first noticed on their US tour in 1979.
4. Sleep No More by The Comsat Angels – 1981
Released on 21st August 1981 and widely considered the band’s masterpiece, it’s said the album inspired U2 as they toured as the opening act for The Comsats in 1980 and 1981. Funnily enough in the USA the band were known as the C.S Angels due to threats of legal action by COMSAT Corporation. The sound of the drums on this album was achieved by Drummer Mik Galashier playing them near a lift shaft and having microphones spread over six floors.
3. Penthouse and Pavement by Heaven 17 – 1981
Released September 1981 this was Heaven 17’s first album. Heaven 17 was Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh and Glenn Gregory. The band was formed as a side project of British Electric Foundation, started by members Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware after leaving The Human League. The album is also well known for having its first track, “[We Don't Need This] Fascist Groove Thang’ banned by the BBC, as they worried the track would be libellous to Ronald Reagan as he was the Republican President-elect at the time of the album’s release.
2. The Lexicon of Love by ABC – 1982
Released on 21st June 1982, The Lexicon of Love was ABC’s first release. Mark White, Steve Singleton and Martin Fry had previously worked together in a band called Vice Versa who disbanded in 1980. Appearing at the tail end of post-punk, ABC went in a different direction to most of the other bands in Sheffield at the time, keeping the electronics but going for a more mainstream funky sound.
1. Dare by The Human League – 1981
Released On 16th October 1981, this album was the first release to feature Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall, who Phil Oakey met at the Crazy Daisy nightclub. This album was the band’s first to go to number one. The title track ‘Don’t you want me?’ proved to be the band’s biggest hit, getting to number one on December 12th 1981, where it stayed for 5 weeks. One of the most well-known albums to come out of Sheffield, up there with ‘Different Class’ ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not’, it’s influence can still be felt to this day.