I was in HMV last week and spotted the recent Ministry Of Sound Electronic 80s album going for a mere 7 quid so thought I'd snap it up. I've held off purchasing it until now as I had pretty much all the tracks on it in one form or another already so didn't really need it. However, at that price, I figured it was worth a punt and would be handy to have in the DJ box. Plus, I was also curious to know how the album had been compiled/mixed as Ministry Of Sound is a label that you'd expect to be associated with a) quality and b) actual mix CDs.
On playing the album though, I was surprised to discover that it wasn't quite as impressive as I was expecting. Reasons? Well firstly, the album isn't sequenced or mixed in any way whatseover. It's just a load of tracks seemingly randomly thrown together with no thought whatsoever put into how it flows as an album. What's worse is that some of the tracks have had some strange things done to them...
(...before I go any further, I should point out that I'm one of those annoying people who is obsessively nitpicky and anal about little details that would pass by most people (specifically, the casual punters whom Ministry Of Sound is presumably marketing this album at). If that kinda thing bores you, skip the section below and go to the one that starts "Re-making the album Dustie-style!" :) )
Ok, individual track notes...
Disc 1, Track 3
The glorious 12" version of Soft Cell's classic "Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go" medley.. On this album it's too slow. You what? Well, having played the track at an awful lot of parties myself I know it pretty well by now and, it just *sounded* wrong to me. Of course, I figured it might just be my hangover-addled brain getting it wrong so I checked side by side with the original and, yep, it's 2% s l o w e r than what it's supposed to be!! For a track that some people (myself included) think goes on far too long anyway, to slow it down and make the experience last even longer seems a very bizarre thing to do!!
Disc 1, Track 13
Kim Wilde's classic "Kids In America". Whoever mastered this decided to chop off 20 seconds from the end and fade it out early. Not sure why as there's plenty of space on the CD. Not massively jarring but curious.
Disc 1, Track 19
Tubeway Army's "Are 'Friends' Electric?" has had a full minute chopped off the end. It quite literally fades out while poor Gary Numan is in the middle of the final verse!? How wude!
Disc 3, Track 3
New Order's "Blue Monday". Butchered beyond belief. They've taken a seven-and-a-half minute song and compressed it into just under five minutes. Yet, there's plenty of space left on the CD to fit in the full version so, why didn't they just leave it alone? Listening to the song, it's actually not so bad for the first four minutes but then, in the last minute you can almost hear the mad panic to end the song as quickly as possible, thus a large section of the song has been snipped out and then, the final slow fade out from the original version has been replaced by a far more rapid fade-out. End end end, quick!!!
And finally, this one is admittedly not *that* big a deal but I'll include it for completeness' sake...
Disc 3, Track 6
The 12" Remix of Yazoo's "Situation" is actually a heavily trimmed version of the legendary *U.S.* 12" remix by Francois Kevorkian. I'd love to hear on CD the proper version that is only available on the old 12" of the "Only You" single but, today is not that day. Ah well.
Is it too picky also to point out that 4 of the tracks on this album aren't even technically 80s records but were released as early as May 1979? It is? Ok, I'll move swiftly on... :)
Re-making the album Dustie-style!
So, anyway, halfway through listening to the first disc of this album when I got it last week, I was rolling my eyes and thinking "I could do better than this myself". So, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and do it too. I've set myself a deadline of exactly one week today to cook up a single CD that'll have a selection of tracks taken from the same album but do a *better* job with them and create a seamless 80-minute mix. I'm gonna press up exactly 100 copies with artwork and give them away FREE to the first 100 punters through the door at my 80's night at The 12 Bar next Friday, the 23rd April.
Stay tuned for more updates on how it's going!!! :)