[1981] – ‘Heart’ Mix (2005)


‘Heart’ is the fifth compilation from the ‘1981′ box set, originally compiled and released 2004-2005 (the previous four can be found here, and more information about the project and as a whole and photos of the box are here).  Most of the time, “post-punk” has a spiky connotation, and an artsy reputation; words we would commonly associate with the period/movement/ethos are iconoclastic, political, contrarian, weird, Modernistic, futuristic, maybe even danceable and funky, in a wiry sort of way.  But one idea we might not think of very quickly is “emotional,” unless the brooding, gloomy sub-genre dominates our perception.  But even “gloomy” is almost more of an idea of an emotion than an emotion itself; a pose of sadness, a melodrama that does not particularly convey itself directly to any listener not already striking a similar pose.  This mix, then, was meant to shed a little light on the occurrence of more mature, fully-fledged emotion: the earnest, the hopeful, the broken, exultant, desperate, dreaming, nostalgic, regretful, passionate, uncertain, and sometimes viscerally angry heart of post-punk.

Most of the other discs in the set were compiled primarily around particular sonic criteria, so in some ways this is one of the more eclectic of the nine.  Musically there is a tendency toward simplicity, a degree of spareness, an un-punk sense of restraint; but other moments snarl or get a little anthemic, and others are unabashedly poppy.   Among the tracks here are some of my very favorite from 1981: The Cure‘s inimitable (would that none had tried) “All Cats Are Grey,” post-Young Marble Giants the Gist with “Love At First Sight,” Gang of Four‘s Achilles-like tale of “Paralysed,” OMD‘s bones-exposed “Romance of the Telescope” (one of the best b-sides of all time), Raincoats‘ “Only Loved at Night,” Talking Heads‘ biting-or-inspirational “Once In A Lifetime,” and perhaps most haunting, Japan‘s “Ghosts” (which, were it not for Laurie Andersons chart-penultimate ‘O Superman,’ would have to be one of the most unlikely singles of all time).   But the Passions, Depeche Mode, Elvis Costello, Durutti Column, Buzzcock Pete Shelley, The Sound, New Order, This Heat, Gary Numan, Psychedelic Furs, MX-80, Ultravox, and the other post-Young Marble Giants act featured here, The Weekend, are all represented here by some of their best work, too.  This would have to be the darkhorse contender for best disc in the set, so if you have hesitated to check them all out before, pick up again here and work your way back.  Full tracklist and download link after “more…”.  Four more ‘1981’ mixes remaining. . .

1 9 8 1  |  Heart

01  Cure, The – All Cats Are Grey [5:24]
02  Passions – Alice’s Song [3:13]
03  Depeche Mode – Any Second Now (Voices) [2:35]
04  Durutti Column – The Missing Boy [6:38]
05  Costello, Elvis & The Attractions – Gloomy Sunday [3:15]
06  MX-80 – Promise of Love [4:40]
07  Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime (Edit) [3:22]
08  New Order – Doubts Even Here [4:20]
09  Shelley, Pete – It’s Hard Enough Knowing (Edit) [2:50]
10  Sound, The – Winning [4:18]
11  Japan – Ghosts [4:34]
12  This Heat – A New Kind Of Water [5:02]
13  Raincoats – Only Loved At Night [3:30]
14  Gist – Love at First Sight [3:42]
15  Numan, Gary – Dance [2:45]
16  Psychedelic Furs – No Tears [3:16]
17  Gang of Four – Paralysed [3:23]
18  Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Romance Of The Telescope [3:19]
19  Ultravox – Rage In Eden [4:12]
20  Weekend – Nostalgia (Demo) [5:21]

[Total Time: 79:30]

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8 thoughts on “[1981] – ‘Heart’ Mix (2005)

  1. Pingback: 1981 | MetaFilter
  2. The Heart mix is great! I notice two of the songs also appear on AIR’s late night mix release. (Cure and Japan) Coincidence or who inspired whom?

    Thanks for the memories – rg

  3. Haven’t heard of the Air late night mix, so must be a coincidence. They could be seen as fairly nocturnal tracks, though, so not surprising to see them together on a mix themed as “late night”. Looking it up–looks like a nice little mix, but I am surprised to see Air mixing Elliot Smith and The Band and Cat Power. Apparently it was released in 2006, and these mixes were first “released” in 2004, so let’s say I influenced Air ; )

    Glad you like it, I hope you’ll check out some of the others.

  4. Ben, with recent crackdowns generally, when mixes get taken down, I take that as a sign I have to heed, legally. I’d love to share it again, as this is one of my favorites on the whole set–but I probably shouldn’t. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if it’s out there on the internet somewhere. Thanks for listening, really glad you enjoy the set.

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