Friday, May 20, 2011

30 Songs, 30 Days, Day Fourteen: Temptation by Heaven 17 and La Roux

This is a peculiar old new wave standard redone by the original act in collaboration with an act that can be considered its inheritor for BBC 6's Live early this year.

And it's...shrug. I do think there is something here about a passing of the torch--BBC 6 has apparently done a number of these old/new pairings, like when they threw Gary Numan together with Little Boots, and Paul Weller with Adele...but there's not much that makes this rendition anything other than a 'recreation', like a comic book cover redone by its original artist. If anything, it says more about the increasingly collapsing window of the original becoming a participant in its own cannibalization in the name of nostalgia. Heaven 17, much like INXS is doing with its upcoming album of 'reworkings' (mentioned here), seems to feel it can stave off the obscurity of the nostalgia circuit by being at the forefront of this wave of people who are emulating them now. Lord knows when this collaboration surfaced in January of this year, it was the buzz of the net's various music blogs...for a few weeks before this band melted back into the shadows of playing to their old fans on their website and festival dates. Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory, judging from their website, do seem to be doing a successful 30th Anniversary tour...but it seems to be primarily confined to the UK. And they seem to want to move into the future, promising an upcoming podcast--which seems at turns bizarre and quaint given the very 80's design of the site.

When all is said and done, this is prolly going to end up being a curiousity--something that plays to the fans of electropop, and not something that shocked the world into awareness of a new genre like the Run DMC collaboration with Aerosmith...and if Martyn and Glenn are thinking otherwise, they're fooling themselves. Here's a recording of the performance that started it all...

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