246. warm leatherette

The Normal must have released more music than just 1978’s Warm Leatherette (and its b-side) but I’ve never heard any of it. Which makes them pretty much the perfect bit player in this ongoing pop apocalypse, working a one hundred percent batting average, because Warm Leatherette (a catchy hit of machine driven coolness about the car crash set, sado-masochism, the work of JG Ballard, other hip transgressions) remains entirely on the money and way ahead of its time.” (Philip Random)

317. requiem

“I still remember the first time I heard Requiem, track one side one of Killing Joke‘s self-titled debut album.  It was 1981 sometime, a friend’s place. I walked in and he had it cranked LOUD. Like nothing I’d ever heard before. Intense, violent even, yet not in a particular hurry. Like a genuinely dangerous metal band had embodied the vehemence of punk. Or whatever. The best music is always beyond words. Call it the future, I guess, lobbing us a wake up call. I remember it was stormy that day, great black clouds forcing the horizon.” (Philip Random)

KillingJoke-1980-gatefold

693. morning dew

In which Einsturzende Neubauten, barely four years on from tearing up condemned Berlin real estate and calling it Art (if not music), get traditional, dig up an old folk ditty (written by a Canadian) concerning the last man and woman alive after a nuclear war, and make it their own. Which is to say, they sharpen the edges, darken the shadows, pound some metal, and otherwise call out the banshees.

Einsturzende-1987

791. collapsing new people

In which the synth-pop weirdoes known as Fad Gadget tell a necessary truth: all those beautiful new people out there, they just keep collapsing. And thus the world gets a necessary anthem for that point in time (1984) when all the delightfully extreme fashions and hairstyles of the late 1970s, early 1980s finally collided with the mainstream. And yes, there were victims, innocent and otherwise.

FadGadget

836. wardance

Killing Joke were mixing metal with repetitive beats with their own unique apocalyptic take on life-the-universe-everything long before it was a thing, and to solid, intense effect as Wardance makes abundantly clear. “It’s a 1980 track but I didn’t hear it until 1982, with the Falklands War in full weird roar far, far away. An apparently civilized nation going enthusiastically to war for a more or less random chunk of rock in the remote South Atlantic. It had to be a joke, definitely a joke. And it would kill almost a thousand people before it was done.” (Philip Random)