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CD REVIEW: Various – 12 Inch Dance: Australian ‘80s Pop

CD REVIEW: Various – 12 Inch Dance: Australian ‘80s Pop
Festival/Rhino/Warners
July 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8/10

David Nichols, former editor of Smash Hits Australia, writes an interesting short essay on the inside cover of this triple CD collection of Australian pop 12” dance mixes from the ‘80s, in which he explains how the dance mix evolved and its importance in the ever-changing world of pop music in those glory days when vinyl and nightclubs were a ubiquitous part of many of our weekends.

“The real story is in the quality of the music” he wisely decrees: music which, he notes, was sometimes manipulated by producers, sometimes by the artists themselves, either of whom would, “edit, replicate and rework sections of tape to create a huge montage. Sometimes the studio would see a whole new song be summoned up from the component parts. Sometimes the band would just play the song twice as long!”

The point is that at their best, extended 12” mixes were something new, almost a cover version adding new sections and feels to an already great song. Sometimes they could even make an average song stunning.

Many favourites of the Countdown era are featured here – Big Pig, Flowers, Do Re Mi, Yothu Yindi, Flash & the Pan, Jo Jo Zep, Icehouse, Dragon, Pseudo Echo, Boom Crash Opera, Hunters & Collectors, Kate Ceberano, Split Enz and The Models – and many more.

Of most interest to our readers will likely be the rockier artists, but one mixed appeal of the 12” single was its ability to take a rock song and make it danceable, and the contents herein will remind many of late nights shimmying in the hope of impressing an attractive young thing of your preferred gender. After all – that’s what music is all about sometimes.

CD REVIEW: Various – 12 Inch Dance: Australian ‘80s Pop

Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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