Throughout this month we are going to take a look at albums regarded as classics from the 80s and one or two from the late 70s and give you our comments, and our rating of each album.
Each day, during November, we will focus on one album.
To rate the albums we rate each track on the album as either 3 (Outstanding), 2 (Good), 1 (ok) and 0 (Hate it). Those points are totalled up and then divided by the maximum points the album could get (EG 10 tracks would equal 30 points, 10 x 3). Then times the figure by 100 and that gives you your percentage rating. This is a very good indicator of how you rate an album.
Today's album under the microscope is "Happy Families" by Blancmange. Now Blancmange got my attention through the track "Sad Day", which was an istrumental track that was on the Some Bizarre" compilation that was released in 1981. The album featured bands that were unknown at that point, including, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and The The. I love the track "Sad Day" and still regard it as one of the best synth based intrumentals that has ever been released.
Purely on the fondness I had for "Sad Day" I bought the 12 inch double A side single "God's Kitchen" and "I've Seen The Word", which was released in 1982. I was n't keen on "God's Kitchen" (I still don't like it!) but "I've Seen The Word" I thought, was an awesome track, and as soon as the album "Happy Families" was released I bought a vinyl copy of it. It is a good, solid album, with some wonderful tracks on it. A month after the album was released they released the single "Living On The Ceiling", the rest as they say, is history, an essential track for any 80s compilation.
They released 4 singles in all from "Happy Families", the double A side mentioned above, "Feel Me" (A brilliant but bonkers track!), ""Living On The Ceiling", of course, and a re-recorded version of "Waves", I have never understood why they re-recorded it with an orchestra, the original album version is far superior.
Our track recommendations for this album are, "Living On The Ceiling", "I've Seen The Word", the new album version of "Sad Day" and the original album version of "Waves". The only track I don't like is "God's Kitchen". It is an album that has actually aged quite well.
Our overall rating for this album is 66/100
The album is available as a 3CD Deluxe Edition from Amazon here