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 BLANCMANGE (Synthpop/New Wave)

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Number of posts : 172
Registration date : 31/05/2008

MesajSubiect: BLANCMANGE (Synthpop/New Wave)   Sam Mai 31, 2008 3:31 pm



Origin: Harrow, England
Genre(s): Synthpop, New Romantic, New Wave, Alternative Dance, Alternative Pop / Rock
Years active: 1979–1986
Associated acts: The West India Company, Neil Arthur

Members:
Neil Arthur
Stephen Luscombe
Former member:
Lawrence Stevens (1979)

Taking their name from a type of cooked pudding, the electronic duo Blancmange interlaced the arty, exotic dance rhythms of Talking Heads with the quirky melodrama of early-'80s British synth pop.
Consisting of Neil Arthur (vocals, guitar) and Stephen Luscombe (keyboards), Blancmange formed in London, England, in the late '70s.

Originally called L360, Blancmange received immediate recognition when they sent the song "Sad Day" to DJ Stevo, who added it to a compilation LP of then-unsigned new wave groups including future alternative icons like Depeche Mode and Soft Cell.

Drummer Laurence Stevens was a member of the band for a short while, but they eventually replaced him with a drum machine. Signed to London Records, Blancmange released their first two singles, "God's Kitchen" and "Feel Me," in 1982. Both records were moderate hits in the U.K., the latter barely missing the Top 40 charts. Later that year, Blancmange's debut album, Happy Families, sold well on the strength of their first Top Ten hit, "Living on the Ceiling," which peaked at number seven in Britain. "Living on the Ceiling" captured Blancmange's unique take on synth pop, throwing heavy Middle-Eastern flavors into their very European style of club music. "Living on the Ceiling" was the beginning of a string of U.K. smashes; "Blind Vision" and "Don't Tell Me" both reached the Top Ten in England. Their cover of ABBA's "The Day Before You Came" was actually even more successful than the original, peaking at number 22.

Blancmange's 1984 LP, Mange Tout, further established the group as one of Britain's most popular electronic artists; however, unlike many of their peers, the band weren't afraid of experimenting with real instruments, incorporating sitars, strings, woodwinds, and horns into their synthesized sound. But Blancmange's third album, 1985's Believe You Me, was a flop. The group broke up a year later. Arthur went solo while Luscombe formed the West India Company.

Their first success was the Talking Heads influenced single "Feel Me", a minor hit in 1982, but later that year they broke through with the single "Living on the Ceiling" (below), which made Number 7 in the UK singles chart. Arguably their seminal moment arrived in 1984, when they elected to cover ABBA's single "The Day Before You Came" - a brave move, as ABBA were then unfashionable. The single reached No 22 in the UK. They were one of the New Romantic's biggest propagating machines for the movement emanating out of London and Essex. Eventually as synthpop became less fashionable, the band's fortunes declined, with the 1985 single "What's Your Problem" only reaching No. 40, and the same year's album "Believe You Me" spending only two weeks in the British album chart. Blancmange split up in 1986.

Luscombe later released an album of Indian influenced music, New Demons, with Pandit Dinesh, under the name 'The West India Company', in 1989. Arthur meanwhile released his solo album Suitcase, in 1994.

As stated on the band's official MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/blancmange2006, Blancmange have recently reformed and are writing material for a new album.


Discography

EP:
* "Irene & Mavis" (1980) - 33rpm 7" vinyl released on Blaah Records

Singles:
* "God's Kitchen / I've Seen The Word" (1982) UK #65
* "Feel Me" (1982) UK #46
* "Living On The Ceiling" (1982) UK #7
* "Waves" (1983) UK #19
* "Blind Vision" (1983) UK #10
* "That's Love That It Is" (1983) UK #33
* "Don't Tell Me" (1984) UK #8
* "The Day Before You Came" (1984) UK #22
* "What's Your Problem?" (1985) UK #40
* "Lose Your Love" (1985) UK #77
* "I Can See It" (1986) UK #71

Studio albums:
* Happy Families (1982) - UK #30
* Mange Tout (1984) - UK #8
* Believe You Me (1985) - UK #54

Compilation albums:
* Second Helpings (1990)
* Heaven Knows (1992)
* The Third Course (1994)
* Best of Blancmange (1996)
* The Platinum Collection (2006)

Session tracks:
* "I Would"
* "Living on the Ceiling"
* "Waves"
* "Running Thin"

Recorded for the BBC Radio 1 John Peel show and transmitted in February 1982.
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