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People never read the airwaves

February 22, 2009


Now that I’m on Blogspot I would like to start giving back some music. For some reason I dont associate ‘spaces.live.com’ with sharing unavailable music.

[You’ll find the music in the first comment on this blogpost.
They’re rar files and you’ll need a password to open them.
Use winrar to open them and enter the password imadethebbc to extract the mp3 files.]

I found this linked album a few months ago. It’s out-of-print and quite rare.

The only reason I was interested was because it features an early Thomas Dolby recording of ‘Airwaves’. To quote Thomas Dolby from his blog in 2006:

Possibly the rarest of any of my releases is this one. It was a (cassette-only) compilation released in 1981 by a Belgian label called Crepuscule. It included a demo version of ‘Airwaves’, recorded in my back room in London well before I got a record deal. I was approached recently by a company that wants to re-release it on CD and is trying to clear all the rights. I own the masters (unusual!) so I plan to say yes. The line-up on the album is terrific:

John Foxx ~ Duritti Column ~ Harold Budd ~ Richard Jobson ~ Gavin Bryars ~ A Certain Ratio ~ Martin Hamnett ~ Michael Nyman ~ An Interview with Brian Eno, etc

I have one copy of the cassette, resplendent in its soft plastic cover. But I don’t own a cassette player so I haven’t heard this recording of ‘Airwaves’ in years. It’s probably quite amateurish, as I used a little Boss Dr Rhythm box for the drums: but I bet it captures the essence of the song. I admit I cringe a bit when I listen to the version on The Golden Age Of Wireless, which hasn’t aged well: the production is far too ‘AOR’, with its chorused piano, glittering guitar chords and big drums. It was much better when I played it live. I regret not having had time to do a new arrangement of ‘Airwaves’ on this last tour. Maybe in the Fall?

When I finally got to see Thomas Dolby live in 2007 he didn’t play ‘Airwaves’ but maybe next time?

Notice the Factory alumni present on that album. Read a retro-review here.

‘Airwaves’ is of course on the album ‘The Golden Age Of Wireless’ which was one of the first 2 CDs I bought. (The other was McCartney’s ‘Tug of War’).
I really like this song. That album kept me going when I was 18 years old doing a night-shift in a supermarket saving money to go to university. My saturday nights were dull and not what they should have been for an 18-year-old. Albums like TGAOW were a glimpse into another world.

With lyrics like this how could Mr.Dolby go wrong ?

Strange how the scale forms
in tiny patterns
on my antenna
and the Five O’clock Show, hello hello…
Brooklyn is crawling with famous people
I turn my vehicle beneath the river, West from South

Through the airwaves –
people never read the airwaves
do we only feed the airwaves
or stamp them out of street level?
Airwaves – the dampness of the wind
the airwaves – the tension of the skin
the airwaves I really should have seen through the airwaves

Electric fences line our new freeway
here in the half-light, the motorhomes leave
knee-deep in water under a pylon
how slow my heartbeat, how thin the air I’m breathing in

Control has enabled the abandoned wires again
but the copper cables all rust in the acid rain
that flood the subway
with elements of our corrosion
cabled in to me…
Be in my broadcast when this is over
give me your shoulder, I need a place
to wait for morning.
No it was nothing – some car backfiring –
pleased don’t ask questions

I itch all over
let me sleep.

Through the airwaves –
people never read the airwaves
do we only feed the airwaves
or stamp them out of street level?
Airwaves – the dampness of the wind
the airwaves – the tension of the skin
the airwaves I really should have seen through the airwaves…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2009 12:56 pm

    Wouldn’t have thought many of those artists would have appealed to you at all – you are a man of constant surprises…:-)Regards,djp

    Like

  2. February 23, 2009 7:05 pm

    Oh I’m a right enigma. I have to be in the mood. Some days I want simple pop and other days I want to be silly.

    Like

  3. March 8, 2009 2:02 pm

    Link now fixed and replaced with a protected linkhttp://lix.in/-41eb7csee original blog post for password

    Like

  4. March 28, 2009 11:52 am

    That Brian Eno interview is very good and not at all as pretentious as I would have expected…:-)Regards,djp

    Like

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