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( Neil Arthur, Stephen Luscombe)
"Neil Arthur (Vocals/Guitar)
formerly with a band called 'The Viewfinders' and Stephen Luscombe (Keyboards)
formerly with 'Miru' met at a London Art College in 1978. Brought together by a
mutual love of electronic music they formed a band "L360", changing
their name to Blancmange in early 1979. Their break came when they sent a copy
of one of their tracks "Sad Day" to DJ, and popular music magazine
"Sounds" futuristic chart compiler, Stevo.
(...) In October 1982, they started to taste success, releasing their debut album 'Happy Families' and follow up single Living on the Ceiling, the later was to become their greatest hit, at number 7. A further release from 'Happy Families', Waves reached number 10 and consolidated on their earlier success.
(...) It was mid 1984 when the second album "Mange Tout" reached the stores and was a great success. It was still electronic but relied heavily on the eastern rhythms to hold it together. "
1982: Happy Families
Tracklisting: 1. I Can't Explain 2. Feel Me 3. I've Seen the Word 4. Wasted 5. Living on the Ceiling 6. Waves 7. Kind 8. Sad Days 9. Cruel 10. God's Kitchen
"Though Happy Families can accurately be described as techno-pop, it's techno-pop with a modicum of taste and sophistication, putting it more in the ballpark of genre pioneers like OMD and Yazoo than of annoying '80s anachronisms like Kajagoogoo or EBN-OZN. Neil Arthur's lyrics are interesting enough to reward close listening, and his Bowie-esque voice, while somewhat limited, serves the material well. The sound of Happy Families is built largely around synthesizers, played by Arthur and partner Stephen Luscombe. The duo have a knack for catchy bass lines and drum programming, on top of which they strategically deploy guitars, Eastern instrumentation, and female backing vocals."
-- Bill Cassel, AMG
¼ 1984: Mange Tout
Tracklisting: 1. Don't Tell Me 2. Game Above My Head 3. Blind Vision 4. Time Became the Tide 5. That's Love, That It Is 6. Murder 7. See the Train 8. All Things Are Nice 9. My Baby 10. The Day Before You Came
"They racked up four further hit singles during 1983 / early 84, firstly the heavily orchestrated 'Waves' (#19), followed by 'Blind Vision' (#10), 'That's Love That It Is/Vishnu' (#33) in 1983 and 'Don't Tell Me / Get Out Of That' (#8), their last top tenner in the spring of '84. Their second album 'Mangetout' was released in may '84 to only slightly less positive reviews "
1985: Believe You Me
Tracklisting: 1. Lose Your Love 2. What's Your Problem? 3. Paradise Is 4. Why Don't They Leave Things Alone? 5. 22339 6. Don't You Love It All 7. Believe 8. Lorraine's My Nurse 9. Other Animals 10. No Wonder They Never Made It Back! 11. John
"[Believe You Me] moved away from the tablas and sitars and became more mainstream than 'Mange Tout' and was a commercial flop. Whether the fan base had moved on or whether the change in style was responsible for the lack of interest we will never know. The final singles from the band Lose Your Love and I Can See It (known on the album as Why Don't They Leave Things Alone?) faired equally badly. Lose Your Love did not even chart whereas I Can See It reached 71. "
¾ 1990: Second Helpings: Best of Blancmange
Tracklisting: 1. God's Kitchen 2. I've Seen The Word 3. Feel Me 4. Living On The Ceiling 5. Waves 6. Game Above My Head 7. Blind Vision 8. That's Love, That It Is 9. Don't Tell Me 10. The Day Before You Came 11. What's Your Problem 12. Your Time Is Over
A collection of Blancmange's greatest hits, spanning all of their career. A must for synthpop music fans.
¼ 2011: Blanc Burn
Tracklisting: 1. By the Bus Stop @ Woolies 2. Drive Me 3. Ultraviolent 4. The Western 5. Radio Therapy 6. Probably Nothing 7. Im Having a Coffee 8. Dont Let These Days 9. WDYF 10. Dont Forget Your Teeth 11. Starfucker
"Blancmange were a quirky synth pop duo that released three crackerjack albums between 1982 and 1986. They knew their way around a great hook but were equally known for their dabbling with world music, particularly Indian music that gave them a truly unique sound replete with tablas and sitars. They petered out after the underrated 'Believe You Me' though a startling number of various best-of collections continued to pop up, keeping the band in the public eye to some degree. Now all these years later Arthur and Luscombe are back with album #4, and its a real wonder, better than it has any reason to be given the length of time away from these scene. All the hallmarks are there. The quirky song titles, the literate, erudite lyrics, the odd melodic patterns, the heavy Indian influence. In many ways this album could have been released a year or two from 'Believe You Me' and it would have felt like the natural extension of the bands catalogue without missing a beat. Only the years have added a maturity as songwriters, a wisdom that has turned them into a smarter, stronger musical force. (...) The years biggest surprise, what we thought would be nice distraction, a nice cast back to the days of yore instead sees a fully formed, incredibly realized brilliant electronic album that does the memory of a pretty great band proud and shows they could have a long healthy life ahead of them yet should they be so inclined to keep the bizarre party going a little while longer "
-- softsynth.wordpress.com, 03/11
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