Thursday, April 14, 2016

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

I was a fan of Book of Love for about five minutes in 1985. The photo above shows the band's first two singles, and they are of the 12" variety. These are it for me. By the time their first album came out in 1986, I was on to other things. When you listen to them, it becomes immediately clear why. By the middle '80s they already sounded dated. These two A-sides scream 1982 to me, and that's probably why I was attracted to them in the first place. Well, that and the fact they were on Sire, but by 1986, New Order was just about the only band with a heavy synth sound that was working for me.

The one question I always ponder when I hear Book of Love is just how it's possible they could be from rough-and-tumble Philadelphia, the very same city that pushed glam rockers Cinderella and the mandolin-playing Hooters on an unsuspecting public at the same time. You never would have guessed Book of Love could be from anywhere other than the other side of the pond.

Their sound may be soft, but I have to give the band props for taking on issues. They sang about the AIDS epidemic and a girl-likes-boy-boy-likes-boy relationship triangle. Pretty heady stuff for the era. As you would have guessed, Book of Love did very well on the U.S. dance chart, and "Boy" was even remixed and re-released as a single in 2001 to coincide with the release of a hits collection. The song raced to No. 1 on the dance chart 16 years after it was first released. I had no idea about that before today.

"Boy" (Extended Mix)
"Boy" (Dub)
"I Touch Roses" (Long Stemmed Version)

Note: Mrs. LTL is in Germany, and we have been using Skype. In order to do this, I have had to mess with many audio and video settings, as well as disable quite a bit in Audacity, the software I use to rip my vinyl. What a pain in my bottom. I'm not 100 percent certain I have everything back to the way I did before. If today's recording sounds different than previous offerings, please let me know. Now I get to change it all back so we can chat in a couple of hours. Ain't technology great?


The Swede said...

Mrs LTL's out of town Brian? I'm surprised that you haven't skipped straight to the 'S' section :-)

Dirk said...

Skype her to come over to my place, so then she and Mrs Loser can do some nice bitching about how bad their husbands' taste in music is ... Mrs Loser will be WELL pleased, I tell you!

George said...

Dirk, after that, Brian's wife could catch a quick flight down to here for some more eye-rolling-what-the-hell-are-these-bloggie-boys-like with Jo. I think much wine would be consumed by the pair of them.
As for the music, Brian, I can hear no loss in quality of recording. As you say, there's no mistaking when these songs were made.

Brian said...

Swede, She has had to travel so much this year that the blog could easily become a Scritti fan page, but I do enjoy readers stopping by once in a while. So, no, I'll just wait until the letter S to scare everyone away.

Dirk, When I found out she was going to Germany I immediately told Mrs. LTL there was someone she had to meet. I mapped your address from the Hoboken to Athens mix that was mailed out, but she couldn't be much further from you. She is in Munich.

George, Hey, you never know. One of these days we may swing by. Thanks for letting me know about the sound. Seemed OK from here but wasn't sure. This post isn't one of my prouder moments, but Book of Love had its time and place... and that time was 31 years ago. Time to go back on the shelf. I'll do better next time.

charity chic said...

At least you were brave enough to put it out there Brian
If it's on the shelves it should go on!

JC said...

Never heard of this lot before. Have dipped in to play the extended mix of 'Boy' as I type these words.

Can understand why they were regarded in the could almost be seen as cutting edge over there back in the days. I bet at some point they will have appeared on the soundtrack of a John Hughes's that sort of sound I associate with his 80s movies.

Not awful but it has dated awfully.