Jun 21, 2017

RhoDeo 1725 Aetix

Hello, as the heatwave continues i decided to have some relaxed Aetix today, airy stuff to cool down to with from a group with a remarkably wrong name, it just didn't do them any justice, what is left is decent 80's output where i felt the last album in that series deserved space despite being the fifth.

Today's artists are an English pop/rock band formed in 1979 in Kirkby, near Liverpool, Merseyside with a core of vocalist/keyboardist Gary Daly and guitarist Eddie Lundon. They were part of a wave of new Liverpool acts in the late 1970s and early 1980s, led by OMD and also including Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, A Flock of Seagulls and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The group had moderate success in the United Kingdom in the 1980s with five Top 40 singles and three Top 40 albums. The band also achieved a modest level of commercial success in Western Europe and Australia, and some minor chart successes in the Americas........N'Joy

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Sharing an affection for Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, David Bowie, and Brian Eno, Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon played with various Knowsley post-punk groups. Daly then spent time tinkering with synthesizers and a drum machine, along with Lundon, they began writing songs. The pair eventually asked drummer and percussionist Dave Reilly to join them in 1981, and in 1982 they released their debut single "African and White" as China Crisis on the independent record label, Inevitable. In June 1982, they backed Tom Verlaine at The Venue in London..

The band were signed to Virgin Records and recorded their debut album, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It's Fun to Entertain, which was released in December 1982. A re-release of "African and White" became China Crisis' first hit in the United Kingdom, reaching No 45 in the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up single, "Christian", made UK No 12 in early 1983 and brought them to national prominence. By the time of this success; Reilly had left the band, but had remained with the band long enough to co-write and perform on "Christian", along with session musician Steve Levy playing oboe and saxophone. The album peaked at No 21 in the UK Albums Chart. During this period the band toured supporting Simple Minds.

Adding Gary "Gazza" Johnson (bass guitar) and Waterboys drummer Kevin Wilkinson to the line-up, a second album, Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two, was released in November 1983. Tracks included the singles "Tragedy and Mystery" (released six months earlier) and "Hanna Hanna" as well as the title track, "Working with Fire and Steel", which became a hit single in Australia. The album was a Top 20 success in the UK, and China Crisis spent 1984 and 1985 making their biggest chart run, beginning with their only UK Top 10 hit single, "Wishful Thinking", which peaked at No 9.

Their third album, Flaunt the Imperfection, was produced by Walter Becker of Steely Dan fame and reached No 9 in the UK Albums Chart in May 1985. China Crisis was so honoured to directly work with Becker that they officially listed him in the group as a quintet consisting of Daly, Lundon, Johnson, Wilkinson, and Becker on the album's credits. Becker was living on Maui, Hawaii, when he was approached by Virgin to work on this project, and he had to leave his expecting partner Eleanor to assist. He never formally appeared with the band (but made important playing contributions on the album) and the subsequent tour featured new keyboard player Brian McNeill. Johnson was now credited as co-writer with Daly and Lundon.

The album was promoted by the No 14 UK hit single "Black Man Ray", which also enjoyed critical acclaim and international success. The follow-up, "King in a Catholic Style (Wake Up)", was a Top 20 UK single at No 19, but it would prove to be the band's last substantial hit. A third release from the album, "You Did Cut Me", stalled at UK No 54. They simultaneously released a video compilation, Showbiz Absurd.

In 1986, the band collaborated with producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (who worked with Madness) on What Price Paradise, which included "Arizona Sky", the album's first single release and another Australian hit. All the band were now credited as songwriters. A second single from the album, "Best Kept Secret", made UK No 36 in early 1987. It was to be the band's final Top 40 hit single.

The five-piece band worked with Becker once more on 1989's Diary of a Hollow Horse, which earned critical acclaim though little commercial success. It fared slightly better than its predecessor, making the UK Top 60, and spawned the singles "St Saviour Square" and "Red Letter Day", both achieving the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart. Becker produced most of the album's tracks, but this time was not credited as an official band member.

The band's last studio album, Warped by Success, was released in 1994, following the band's parting of ways with the Virgin label. The album produced their final studio chart single, "Everyday the Same", which briefly edged into the UK Top 100. Although Johnson and Wilkinson both made small contributions, the band was now listed as comprising Daly, Lundon, producer Terry Adams and sound engineer Mark Phythian. In 1995 they released a live unplugged album and video entitled Acoustically Yours. This featured a live version of "Black Man Ray", and also saw a return for Johnson, Wilkinson and McNeill.

Since 1992, there have been four compilation albums of their work for the UK and US markets and three live DVDs. The first of these, entitled Collection: The Very Best of China Crisis, made the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart in 1990.

On 17 July 1999, drummer Kevin Wilkinson committed suicide by hanging himself at the age of 41. Wilkinson had played with a wide variety of bands including The Waterboys, Fish, The Proclaimers, Squeeze and with Howard Jones. In 2000, Daly contributed a track to a tribute compilation to Wilkinson, Green Indians.

Since the late 1990s, China Crisis has concentrated on live performances with only original members Eddie Lundon and Gary Daly being constant throughout; the band alternates between performances either as a duo or with a fluctuating line-up of backing musicians, the most notable of which is Manx guitarist Colin Hinds who spent more than ten years with the band in the early 21st century.

On 16 December 2013, the song "Everyone You Know" was made available as a free download on the Pledge Music website, when pre-ordering the album Autumn in the Neighbourhood announced for release in 2014. As of 5 February 2015, the band had achieved 235% of its pledgemusic target and the album was in final mix and production. Autumn in the Neighbourhood was released on 3 June 2015 via the Pledge Music website. It was their first studio album for 21 years, and contained 11 songs: The band undertook an extensive promotional tour of the UK from the end of September until December 2015, both as a trio and as a full band.

Oddly China Crises despite being a band with high production values has never been remastered yet, could it be they dazed of at Virgin or whoever owns that these days. That would be Universal our planets largest Music Group and China crises rings very different bells in their headquarter.

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Like fellow Liverpudlians O.M.D., China Crisis began life as a synthetic duo who performed brilliantly executed pop songs with quirky edges. And like O.M.D., they seamlessly mixed their love of guitar-based pop with (then) modern musical technology (i.e., synthesizers). Unlike O.M.D., China Crisis' legacy languishes somewhere between there and then with no sign of them ever being considered "hip." Not to say that that is their fault! Gary Daly (the quirky vocalist/keyboardist) and Eddie Lundon (the smooth vocalist/guitarist) made their fascinating debut, Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It's Fun to Entertain, on a low budget, and their magic was already in place, especially on the Steely Dan-ish "No More Blue Horizons," the upbeat groove of "Some People I Know to Lead Fantastic Lives" and "You Never See It," the gorgeous "Christian," and their early hit "African and White." Their quirkiness doesn't quite translate on a few tracks ("Temptation's Big Blue Eyes" and "Are We a Worker"), but the charm of this album will win you over if you like smart, yet slightly eccentric, pop songs. It is plainly obvious that, no matter how uncommercial a particular song may be, the boys in China Crisis put their heart and soul into it, creating something uniquely their own, and building upon it. They would finally work their quirks effortlessly into the music on their sophomore release, but there's plenty for synth fans and '80s fans to find here.

 China Crisis - Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms (flac  214mb)

Difficult Side
01 Seven Sports For All 3:18
02 No More Blue Horizons (Fool, Fool, Fool) 3:48
03 Feel To Be Driven Away 2:55
04 Some People I Know To Lead Fantastic Lives 3:33
05 Christian 5:37
Entertainment Side
06 African And White 3:46
07 Are We A Worker 3:30
08 Red Sails 4:43
09 You Never See It 2:57
10 Temptations Big Blue Eyes 3:25
11 Jean Walks In Freshfields 1:53

China Crisis - Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms   (ogg  89mb)

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China Crisis main men Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon were great songwriters searching for that one song that would make a difference. "Working with Fire and Steel" was that song. Although they had hits before, and they would have hits after, no other song defined China Crisis' essence more. With its percolating beat, Daly's hiccupping vocals, and a smashing chorus, it was the perfect modern pop song. With that said, there was also so much more to China Crisis than that one song. This, their sophomore album, features songs cut from the same cloth as "...Fire and Steel," including "Animals in Jungles" and "Hanna Hanna," but also reveals a band with deeper meaning and ambitious ideas. Lundon's sweet backing vocals (and lead vocals on the pretty "Wishful Thinking" and "When the Piper Calls") balance out the quirkiness of Daly's voice, creating a perfect combination. Although they were pigeonholed as a 'synth pop' band, China Crisis was much more. All that mattered to them was the song, and this album is chock full of intelligent, well-written pop songs. Producer Mike Howlett added much to the sonic blend, allowing the melodies to shine while toughening up the band's sound (the addition of a full-time drummer and bassist helped to thicken the sound as well). Even the softer moments, like "Here Comes a Raincloud," and "The Soul Awakening" are full of life and excitement. Apart from their own matured sound on this release, there are traces of rock, pop, and jazz floating between the lines. It was only a matter of time before they were compared to Steely Dan. But that came on the next album....

China Crisis - Working With Fire And Steel (flac 262mb)

01 Working With Fire And Steel 3:41
02 When The Piper Calls 4:04
03 Hanna Hanna 3:29
04 Animals In Jungles 3:39
05 Here Come A Raincloud 4:16
06 Wishful Thinking 4:42
07 Tragedy And Mystery 4:03
08 Papua 3:36
09 The Gates Of Door To Door 4:16
10 The Soul Awakening 4:36

China Crisis - Working With Fire And Steel   (ogg  96mb)

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China Crisis underwent a complete change in sound for their third album, completely ditching the heavy dub rhythms and challenging arrangements of 1982's Difficult Shapes & Passive Rhythms, Some People Think It's Fun to Entertain and 1983's Working with Fire and Steel (Possible Pop Songs, Vol. 2) with an altogether smoother and less aggressive sound. That doesn't equal a commercial capitulation, however; if anything, the choice of Walter Becker (of the then-unfashionable Steely Dan) as producer was a more commercially daring maneuver than anything the group had previously attempted. The overall sound is considerably prettier than before -- the placid Eno-like "Black Man Ray? is downright beautiful -- and the arrangements mix synthesizers with traditional instruments in what was for 1985 an unusually graceful way, with neither predominating. Another difference from the earlier albums is that the group's songwriting is much improved, the failed instrumental experiments and tiresome dance workouts that occasionally marred their earlier albums replaced with a newfound melodic sophistication and lyrical acuity. By the time of 1987's What Price Paradise, this sophistication will be unfortunately replaced by callow slickness, but Flaunt the Imperfection is the one album where China Crisis got the balance right.

 China Crisis - Flaunt The Imperfection (flac 238mb)

01 The Highest High 4:16
02 Strength Of Character 2:50
03 You Did Cut Me 4:18
04 Black Man Ray 3:39
05 Wall Of God 5:32
06 Gift Of Freedom 4:38
07 King In A Catholic Style 4:32
08 Bigger The Punch I'm Feeling 4:21
09 The World Spins, I'm Part Of It 4:12
10 Blue Sea 4:46

China Crisis - Flaunt The Imperfection   (ogg  94mb)

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After making a bid to become the '80s version of Steely Dan on the delightful Flaunt the Imperfection, China Crisis offered a fuller and more pop-oriented follow-up the next year. With the duo of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (replacing Walter Becker) sharing the producer's chair, the songs on What Price Paradise feature warm, intricate arrangements and prominent brass and strings. But while more than one Langer/Winstanley offering of this era overwhelmed its subject with such treatment -- Elvis Costello's ill-fated Goodbye Cruel World is a good example -- the sophisticated and melodic songs here prosper from the attention to detail. The Motown-ish bounce of "Worlds Apart" and "June Bride" is made even more infectious by punchy horn charts, while "Hampton Beach" offers sweeping melodrama, as Gary Daly's delicate vocals are surrounded with just the right touches. Even the songs that hint at the previous album's jazzy complexities, like disc opener "It's Everything," are more accessible and inviting here and, on "Arizona Sky," China Crisis seemed to have the big American hit that singles like "King in a Catholic Style" didn't quite deliver. Released at a time when many of the group's U.K. new wave contemporaries were being flushed off the charts -- most for good -- What Price Paradise was yet another strong outing from this too-often underrated band.

China Crisis - What Price Paradise (flac  290mb)
01 It's Everything 5:09
02 Arizona Sky 5:25
03 Safe As Houses 4:26
04 Worlds Apart 3:35
05 Hampton Beach 4:47
06 The Understudy 5:45
07 Best Kept Secret 4:08
08 We Do The Same 4:21
09 June Bride 3:50
10 A Day's Work For The Dayo's Done 4:17
11 Trading In Gold 4:27

China Crisis - What Price Paradise   (ogg   114mb)

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Reunited with producer Walter Becker, China Crisis made perhaps their most Steely Dan-like album with Diary of a Hollow Horse. Pristinely recorded and brimming with jazzy sophistication, it includes some of the U.K. quintet's best-ever material, including "Sweet Charity in Adoration," a satisfying, complex pop song of the first order that features a lovely flute cameo from sessionman Jim Horn. Yet beyond the FM perfection lurk a few surprises. The group also teamed with producer Mike Thorne (Soft Cell) for a trio of cuts that are among the most simple and direct pop songs in the their catalog. In particular, "St. Saviour Square" and "All My Prayers" have straightforward rhythms and melodies that connect instantly, drawing passionate performances from singer Gary Daly and offering a nice contrast to the more subtle surroundings. Harder to suss is the closer, the Becker-produced "Age Old Need," which sounds like it was lifted from the soundtrack to a medieval morality play. But the album did mark the close of a three-album period (begun with 1985's Flaunt the Imperfection and continued on What Price Paradise the following year) that saw China Crisis at their artistic peak, a summit reached by few of the group's late-'80s peers.

China Crisis - Diary Of A Hollow Horse (flac  256mb)
01 St. Saviour Square 4:08
02 Stranger By Nature 3:56
03 Sweet Charity In Adoration 4:51
04 Day After Day 5:07
05 Diary Of A Hollow Horse 3:15
06 Red Letter Day 4:37
07 In Northern Skies 5:02
08 Singing The Praises Of Finer Things 5:20
09 All My Prayers 4:03
10 Age Old Need 3:21
11 Back Home 3:55

China Crisis - Diary Of A Hollow Horse   (ogg   104mb)

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Pernt said...

Awesome choice for this post. I recently stumbled across your blog, and I've been blown away by the eclectic nature of your selections. Thanks for the awesome tunes!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, good to see some Chinese music on here!

Anonymous said...

Great group, there's a 2016 album (Autumn in the neighborhood) really good if you are into them. Thanks for bringing them back. Greetings from patagonia argentina.