Wednesday, February 1, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter D, Part 17)

The Dream Academy may not be for everyone, but I thought they were just swell, particularly the first two albums and related singles. Let's listen to a couple of my favorites from the period. From the self-titled debut, here is "The Edge of Forever." This was the followup to the worldwide smash "Life in a Northern Town." This one didn't bother the charts, but I think you'll find the song a real charmer. The first take is from the album. The second version, titled "Poised On The Edge Of Forever," feels a bit like a demo and can be found on the flip side of the "Life in a Northern Town" 12" single. Through the years, I have grown to like it almost as much as its polished successor. You lose some of that gorgeous instrumentation, but on the plus side, you also lose the saxophone solo. That instrument didn't bother me one bit in 1985, but it makes me cringe now.

"The Edge of Forever"
"Poised on the Edge of Forever"

I can't let a post on the Dream Academy pass without including non-album single "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." The cover of the Morrissey/Marr classic didn't even get a proper release here in America, but the instrumental version (available on the 12") more than got its due in the summer of '86 when the song was used (with nary a word of dialogue) in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.'

The famous scene shot at the Art Institute of Chicago has been a favorite in this house for a number of personal reasons, and it was a big moment for my then art-obsessed six-year-old when we walked into the hallowed halls of the museum in 2011. He has a giant coffee-table book of the permanent works featured there, and he used to take out his crayons and try to make his own versions of the paintings, particularly Van Gogh's "The Bedroom," Picasso's "The Old Guitarist" and Cassatt's "The Child's Bath." His favorite, though, was Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," and he took one of his renderings to the museum to compare it to the real thing... a moment I'll never forget. A moment I would like to forget: About 15 minutes later he left another work of art all over the floor in front of Chagall's famous "American Windows." We called it "Breakfast."

Here are both versions of the Dream Academy's "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." I'll take the instrumental every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want"
"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" (Instrumental)

12 comments:

George said...

Being a contrarian I have to say that the Poised version is the better, it's less reminiscent of Howard Jones (whO I'm sure will be featuring when you get the letter J).
Great pavement-pizza story, something you can bring up(!) when he gets to his late teens.

George said...

Jo loves the story and wonders if you took a picture?

Brian said...

George, I assume you don't mean a picture of his vomit. That's my son in front of La Grande Jatte at the bottom of the page.

Echorich said...

Great story and pic!!
There are times when you need a piece of magnificently orchestrated 80s pop music and you can't get much more on point than Life In A Northern Town. I also think it was VERY daring to attempt a Smiths song that could be seen as even being fairly current.

George said...

Brian, she did not, I'm afraid, mean your son.

Brian said...

George, Ha! In that case, you'll have to tell Jo in my panic I didn't think to snap a pic.

Echorich, I know there aren't too many that will back me up on the Dream Academy (man, the press hated them too), but I appreciate that you took the time. Surprisingly, through the years, there have been quite a few who have dared to take on Please Please Please... What's amazing with this band is the timing. DA's recording was in '85. The flip side to William, It Was Really Nothing came out in '84.

charity chic said...

Great story about your child prodigy and one to embarrass him with in his teenage years

Brian said...

That's the plan, CC!

C said...

I love that photo (and the story). Looks like a great pic your son has made there too - are his mum and dad artistic?

Brian said...

C, We don't have the gift. I don't know if my son does either, but he has passion for the arts in general. We are very pleased about that.

friend of rachel worth said...

Love the dream academy , thata all

Brian said...

Was hoping you would pop in, FORW. I recall you really liking Remembrance Days. Needed you to back me up with this one.