Monday, 8 March 2010

An 80s Song You Can Still Freely Admit to Liking...

Big Audio Dynamite-E=MC2

Former "The Clash" guitarist and singer Mick Jones made a strong start with his new band "Bad Audio Dynamite", with this bouncy hit from the mid-80s, which apart from the obvious synth chorus, has dated quite well, especially from the period it's taken from. The mid-80s was not only the centre of the decade "That taste forgot", but it was in music terms the softest, mushiest and cheesiest part of the decade. The grittiness of Punk music and ska was fading fast, as the economy grew on both sides of the Atlantic, and there was a hell of a lot to be angry about. Also, it was shortly before the likes of rap and house came to the mainstream. You had light pop music called Euro-disco, coming from the likes of Stock, Aitken and Waterman acts like Dead or Alive and Bananarama. Rock music even at this point, appeared cartoonish and over-blown like faux rock chick "Cyndi Lauper", "Heart" and "Bon Jovi". However, "Bad Audio Dynamite" or "BAD", did not fit into this mid-80s mould.

Mick Jones was fired from "The Clash" after much in-fighting and tension between himself and lead singer Joe Strummer. He never returned. However Jones did collaberate with Strummer on the second BAD album in 1986's "No. 10, Upping St.". However, one of their best songs seen here, "E=MC2" is from their 1985 debut album "This Is Big Audio Dynamite". The original group members, also seen in the video, consisted of Mick Jones, Don Letts(sound effects & vocals), Dan Donovan (keyboards), Leo Williams (bass & vocals), Greg Roberts (drums & vocals).

The song is known as the first example of "highly defined sampling technologies". The song uses talking samples from a a film known as 1970's "Performance" directed by English film director Nicholas Roeg. The music video also contain film clips from various other Roeg movies. The song reached a peak high of No.11 on the UK Singles chart. However the album didn't do as well, peaking at No.27. in the UK album charts. Their second aforementioned album performed better, at No.11. By 1990, Mick Jones reformed his band with a completely new set-up, with only himself the original member. So BAD II, got off to an even better start, with a No.1 hit single in the US charts "Rush", well, only the modern Rock US charts. The feel of the band was more like "The Clash", consisting of Nick Hawkins (guitar and background vocals), Gary Stonadge (bass and background vocals) and Chris Kavanagh (drums and background vocals).

The band slightly changed it's name to "Big Audio" for a short while, but hasn't achieved any real amount of success. In 1998, their record label Radioactive Records, refused to release their "Entering a New Ride" album after disagreements. The band released it for free from their website. Pretty much years before Radiohead or Prince released an album for free.

No comments:

Post a Comment