Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blind Vision by Blancmange

Blancmange is another band that was a purely British phenomena, being little known in the US. Given the name, that's not necessarily surprising. They formed in '79 and got some major attention when appearing on the famous Some Bizarre Album compilation that also made Soft Cell and Depeche Mode famous (among others.) Like Soft Cell (and many other outfits throughout the 80s, including Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Red Flag, Sparks and more) they were the classic "electroduo"--a charismatic frontman/vocalist and a more introverted keyboardist who hung out more in the background doing all the instrumentation.

After the success of Some Bizarre Album, Blancmange signed to London Records and had a string of hits from their first two albums, between 1982 and 1985 or so. Their third album flopped, however, and the band broke up. "Blind Vision" was always my favorite song of theirs (I don't have the three albums; I just have a greatest hits compilation) and it reached #10 in the UK in late 1983, and was included on their 1984 album Mange Tout. Although Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe are, of course, Blancmange, this track had many additional musicians, including three backing vocalists, a guitar player, a bass guitar player, an additional percussion player, and an entire brass group called The Uptown Horns.

Like many 80s bands, word on the street (and on Blancmange's official myspace page) is that they've reformed and our preparing some new material. We'll see how that goes. I'm somewhat sceptical of reconstituted 80s synthpop bands, but I often can't help but to see what they're up to anyway.

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