Monday, April 23, 2012

Russian Radio by Red Flag

Lately I've been reviewing some of my more "obscure" 80s CDs, and by "obscure" I mean merely that they don't belong to one of the early New Wave "supergroups" that put out tons of tracks during the decade and became emblematic of some of the early synthpop sound.  This mostly only excludes Depeche Mode, Erasure, New Order, OMD and the Pet Shop Boys (although I've been listening to some of their stuff too.)  Most of these bands were relatively short-lived, putting out only a few CDs in total--or even only one.  Some of them had some modest success, charting in the US on the Dance charts with a track or two, if not the pop charts.  Most of them also came along near the end of the era.  So, I just finished up with Seven Red Seven, and I'll probably also do a brief revisit of Cause & Effect and Camouflage too, but I'm inevitably led to Red Flag when I get in this mood.

I discovered, while on a retrospective of this blog, that my earlier Red Flag post probably needs to be edited since the video that I embedded has been taken down due to the user's account being terminated.  But I also want to post some other Red Flag material, including the first of their songs to catch my ear, "Russian Radio."

While Red Flag is always insistent that their name comes from a surfer warner symbol (they lived for some time in the San Diego area) their iconography, and the fact that one of their first successful songs was, in fact, called "Russian Radio", and the fact that the Cold War was still a fact of life in 1988, it makes that claim just a little bit hard to believe, and I admit that I'm skeptical that they didn't in fact milk the late-era Soviet iconography for attention in both their name, their song titles, and their image in general.

Anyway, without further ado, "Russian Radio."  This is a long version from their 12", which I won as a door prize at a dance once in 1988 or 1989.