Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs are back with another lovingly compiled compilation and it's an absolute joy. For years, synthesisers were equated with coldness, laboratories, a boffin's idea of music, and something that could put regular musicians out of business overnight. At the turn of the eighties, as the price of synthesisers and drum machines fell to within the reach of ordinary folk, a new wave of groups decided to prove the doubters wrong.
While punk had been about nihilism and anarchy, Britain's synth revolution brought emotion and melancholy back into British pop. The lyrics could be the redundancy of radio DJs (The Human League's WXJL Tonight) to the solemn vastness of power stations (OMD's Sealand) and even love songs (Patrik Fitzgerald's Personal Loss).
By the mid eighties the war was won and synths dominated contemporary pop, in America as well as Britain, but the questing oddness of the UK's first pioneer wave had been lost, only to be rediscovered at the end of the decade by black musicians in New York, Detroit and Chicago. This compilation includes some of the biggest names of the period 1979-83 as well as a clutch of overlooked records and atmospheric obscurities. Like English Weather before it, The Technology Of Tears takes a fresh look at a transitional era in British pop. It features China Crisis, Simple Minds, Thomas Leer, Soft Cell, John Foxx, Chris and Cosey, Human League and more.
1. Jean Walks In Fresh Fields - China Crisis
2. Grey Skies - Turquoise Days
3. Real To Real - Simple Minds
4. Tidal Flow - Illustration
5. An Evening In The Ray - Care
6. Youth - Soft Cell
7. Europe After The Rain - John Foxx
8. Personal Loss - Patrik Fitzgerald
9. Lights Of April - Eyeless In Gaza
10. Sealand - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
11. Private Plane - Thomas Leer
12. Direct Lines - Electronic Circus
13. Unless - The Pale Fountains
14. October (Love Song) - Chris & Cosey
15. A Map Of You - New Musik
16. WXJL Tonight - The Human League
17. Christiana - Paul Haig
18. Tiny Children - The Teardrop Explodes
19. Behind The Shades - Oppenheimer Analysis
20. Feather Bed - Trevor Bastow