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80s 12" singles

Discussion in 'music' started by tiggers, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    These are my guilty pleasure and always have been. Prompted by a comment in another thread around the LP12's difficulty in playing 45s I decided to start a thread. What I love about the 80s 12" mixes were that unlike a lot of modern remixes they (for the most part) keep the essence of the song intact and enhance upon it by reworking it in a structured way. When this worked the versions ended up (for me at least) as the go to versions. I still have around 400 12" singles from the time, but I may be missing some good ones so what are your favourites? Here is my top 12 to give you a hint of where I'm at :D

    Soft Cell - Torch
    Furniture - Brilliant Mind
    Pet Shop Boys - Suburbia
    Human League - Sound of the Crowd
    New Order - Temptation
    Blancmange - Blind Vision
    Altered Images - I COuld be Happy
    B-Movie - Nowhere Girl
    Propaganda - Duel
    Talk Talk - It's My Life
    Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again
    Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribe (Annihilation)
    wylton, Jono_13, Nytechy and 2 others like this.
  2. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    All New Order 12” singles sound amazing. And Grace Jones…essential stuff.
    Jono_13, Nytechy and tiggers like this.
  3. Amber Audio

    Amber Audio This is the Day

    The The - Uncertain Smile
    Jono_13, irons1965, kendo and 3 others like this.
  4. nostromo

    nostromo pfm Member

    Great list. The 12" single almost invariably sounded better. Better dynamics, bigger sound imo. I always put this down to the faster movement of the stylus through the groove, but it may have also been the different mixing.
    tiggers likes this.
  5. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Ghost Town, Nelson Mandela
    All the Redskins, particulary Keep on keepin On!
    The Cocteau Twins EPs

    etc etc
  6. mondie

    mondie pfm Member

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax (Sex mix)

    I love 80's 12" but most of my favourites are from Oz, however Relax is unbelievable.
    tiggers likes this.
  7. fegs

    fegs pfm Member

    Some great choices there!

    B-Movie - Nowhere Girl is a belter!
    Andrew C!, tiggers and gavreid like this.
  8. Chris Marshall

    Chris Marshall pfm Member

    Weirdly, I played the 12" of Nowhere Girl by B-Movie on Monday!

    One of my favorites is My Perfect Cousin by the Undertones. Mix is not so different to the single but it sounds fantastic.

    Greg Khin, Jeopardy 12" is fun too.
    tiggers likes this.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Loads of ‘80s 12” stuff that sound amazing. The ones that come instantly to mind:

    Joy Division - Atmosphere (original US black label cut is much better than UK, just astonishing drums).
    The first two Factory A Certain Ratio 12” singles.
    23 Skidoo - Gospel Goes To New Guinea.
    Grandmaster Flash - The Message.
    OMD - Messages (10”).
    UB40 - Madam Medusa 12” (from the Signing Off album).
    New Order - Ceremony (green cover mix), Everything’s Gone Green and Blue Monday.
    FGTH - Relax (1st 16 minute mix would be my pick).
    Propaganda - Dr Mabuse.
    The The - Infected.
    Grace Jones (anything).
    I guess I can have PIL Metal Box too!

    Later on loads of early techno and house stuff:

    The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds, Perpetual Dawn etc.
    808 State - Pacific State.
    LFO - LFO (I’ve heard this one blow up nightclub PAs it has so much bass!).
    Tons more of this stuff, but likely not the right thread for it.

    PS I’m always astonished just how good the Trevor Horn/ZTT stuff sounds considering it was mainly 8 or 12bit Fairlight & Synclavia stuff plus a low bitrate Linn Drum. Your smartphone is exponentially more powerful than the computer tech that made those records!
    Nytechy, Jono_13 and tiggers like this.
  10. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    I like a 12” Single as much as a 7” :)

    The 7” Singles Thread

    Dipping in the 12” box >

    Grace Jones ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ U.K. A1

    M/A/R/R/S - ‘ Pump Up The Volume’

    Patrice Rushent - ‘Forget Me Nots’

    Beastie Boys 3 Track 12” - ‘Fight For Your Right’

    The Jacksons - ‘Can You Feel It’

    B-Movie - ‘Marilyn Dreams’ (local lads)

    Leon Hayward - ‘ Don’t Push It Don’t Force It’

    Japan - ‘The Art of Parties’. - far superior to the album version and the 7”

    Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit & Holgar Czukay ‘How Much Are They?” - bought when I was 16.

    Bauhaus ‘Telegram Sam’ - did pick up Bela… to list but that is 1979 o_O

    Eric B & Rakim - ‘Follow The Leader


    Killing Joke - “Follow The Leaders” cheating as it is a 10”… this came out in 1981! Holy Moses.

    Stopped now, need a wee

    Got a lot more but got distracted, surprised how many are 1970’s 12” records, or 1990’s.
    Jono_13, LostAtSea and tiggers like this.
  11. Alex N

    Alex N pfm Member

    With ‘As featured in the film Breakdance’ on the cover, I admit I only got this around when I got Der Katalog. Sounds amazing when up loud enough to feel it, especially this François Kevorkian mix...

    (The extra breathy vocals are apparently Ralf after running up and down the Kling Klang stairs a few times.)
    irons1965, tiggers and gavreid like this.
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I still need to grab a copy of that mix. I bought the 12” when it first came out, i.e. before the film, and I didn’t realise it had been remixed until quite recently when it was mentioned on another thread here. The original is great too!
    tiggers and Alex N like this.
  13. Yank

    Yank Bulbous Also Tapered

    XTC - Grass b/w Dear God (before they put it on the LP)
    tiggers likes this.
  14. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    How could I leave that off my list???? Nice one.
  15. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Good call on The Redskins and Ghost Town.
  16. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    One of my favourite 80s records. When B-Movie signed to Some Bizarre the label also had to sign an unknown duo as pat of the deal and because of this they nearly decided to not bother. That duo were Soft Cell.
    Nytechy, NigelP and fegs like this.
  17. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Tony, how do I identify the US pressing of Atmosphere? I have a 12" single but I suspect it's the UK pressing as it sounds good, but not great.

    808 State and The Orb are both fantastic btw.
  18. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    That sounds utterly epic on my system. As Tony said those early ZTT releases produced by Trevor Horn sound so so good even today.
  19. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Marilyn Dreams is another great track by B-Movie. Love Pull up to the Bumper too.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It’s got a dark label, US-style tip-on sleeve and Atmosphere is actually the B side. Pics in Discogs here. The drums are just insane on it, right in the room with you. Crazy dynamic. The UK copy sounds blunted in comparison which is really surprising as IIRC it’s a Porky cut. For some reason the US copy pre-existed the UK copy, I remember it being around but being very hard to get hold of. I eventually found a copy second hand years later.

    PS Same thing with New Order’s Ceremony, though that has two different mixes not just mastering. If you’ve only heard the one with the blue and cream sleeve you’ve just not heard it. The original mix in the green sleeve packs a hell of a punch.

    The mix on Substance is the less good one.
    Nytechy and Jono_13 like this.

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