Friday, May 8, 2015

Dead Or Alive - Youthquake

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Youthquake, the second studio album from the British dance-pop grop Dead Or Alive. The record went to number 43 in New Zealand, number 31 in Japan and on the US Billboard Album chart (with a twenty week total chart run), number Sweden, number 17 in Australia, number 10 in Switzerland, number 9 in the UK and number 8 in Canada.

Side one begins with the band's signature hit "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", which first hit the airwaves in November of 1984. As a single, it went to number 54 in Japan, number 29 in France, number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 10 in Austria, number 6 in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland, number 4 on US Billboard Dance chart, number 3 in Australia, Belgium and Italy, number 2 in Germany, and number 1 in Canada, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK. This one gets four-stars in my book; it was part of many an amazing evening out dancing in the 80's. I just love how Pete Burns' vocals soar from the verses to the chorus.

The dance party continues with "I Wanna Be a Toy", a song whose lyrics are about a longing to be accepted.

There is no rest yet as another club favorite "D.J. Hit That Button" bursts onto the scene.

"In Too Deep", the third single, rose to number 61 in Germany, number 31 in Australia, number 14 in the UK and number 12 in Ireland.

"Big Daddy of the Rhythm" is a high energy, seductive proposition with an amazing back beat.

Side two starts with the oriental-inspired opening of "Cake and Eat It". I really like how this one builds to the climatic choruses.

"Lover Come Back to Me", the second single, reached number 95 in Canada, number 75 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 24 in Italy, number 21 in Germany, number 13 in Australia and on the US Billboard Dance chart, number 11 in the UK, number 9 in Japan, number 6 in Ireland, and number 3 in South Africa. The lyrics implore a lover to return and let nothing stand in the way of the reunion. This one was another party favorite, one that got everybody bopping around the dance floor and singing along loudly with the chorus.

The fourth single was "My Heart Goes Bang"; it went to number 41 in Australia, number 23 in the UK, number 21 in Ireland, number 15 on the US Billboard Dance chart, and number 12 in Japan. The song is about losing all inhibitions and control around the one you love.

The album closes with the eight-minute long "It's Been a Long Time". This track features an epic, extended instrumental opening that includes rich orchestration and lovely piano melodies.

I first owned a copy of Youthquake on cassette, bought during the summer of 1985 when I was living in New Jersey. I played that tape all the time and nearly wore it out; it was one of those tapes I would listen to when getting ready for a night out clubbing. Years later, I got a dance remix CD of Dead Or Alive's biggest hits which included a number of these tracks. When I shifted into the digital age, I purchased the album for my collection. As you can guess, I am a big fan of this one as it was very much part of the sound of my weekends during college. It is one of those albums I like to have with me at all times (on my iPods, my iPads and my iPhones). It is always guaranteed to put me in a great mood.

For more from Dead Or Alive, click here.


HERC said...

I did not care one bit for DoA's first album despite buying the maxi single for "That's The Way" for a certain young lady.

The SAW produced masterpiece follow-up and "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" in it's extended Murder Mix glory is a completely different story. Also enjoyed the SAW produced follow-up album Mad Bad & Dangerous To Know.

Had mixtape labelled KA-BOOM! (re-created as Spotify playlist for you) that had the following songs (there might have been more but these are the ones I remember most clearly - would love to find that tape):
"Relax" (New York Mix) - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
"Major Tom (Coming Home) (Special Extended Mix)" - Peter Schilling
"Shellshock (Extended Mix)" - New Order
"You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) (Murder Mix)" - Dead Or Alive
"19 (Destruction Mix)" - Paul Hardcastle

Fun for the club? Sure. Great for blowing out speakers in your ride? You bet!

Martin Maenza said...

Ooo, I like this mix of songs. Good choices.