Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Record: Methods of Dance

Methods of Dance (and M.O.D. Vol 2) were two compilations released by Virgin in 1981 and 1982 respectively. The first one especially was like gold to me back then, and it still sounds great today. It included somewhat remixed, or just great sounding versions, of songs by B.E.F. (Groove Thang), Devo (Going Under), D.A.F. (Der Mussolini), Magazine (The Great Man's Secret), Japan (The Art of Parties 12"), Simple Minds (Love Song) and others. It was also notable for the "special edit" of The Human League's Do Or Die Dub which I'm pretty sure was unavailable otherwise at that time. There's also some entertaining sleeve notes by Paul Morley and as a compilation to sum up the times it's hard to better.

I was less excited about Volume 2 due to the inclusion of a bunch of bands I didn't care as much for (I-Level, Culture Club, China Crisis, Rip, Rig & Panic), but it still has DAF (Kebab Traume), Simple Minds (Soundtrack For Every Heaven), The Men (AKA - The Human League, with I Don't Depend On You) and British Electric Foundation doing Bowie's 'Secret Life of Arabia' - with guest vocalist, the excellent Billy Mackenzie.

A compiled CD has just surfaced in the UK, which features most of the tracks - but according to Amazon UK, DAF & Fingerprintz from the first album miss out, as do DAF and I-Level from Vol 2; instead there's some extras that were not on the original releases - Richard Strange (International Language), Devo (Speed Racer) and Allez Allez (with the rather lovely Flesh & Blood). I've read that the Paul Morley sleeve notes are also not included and it's good this is out, although a shame that the albums couldn't be preserved in their original formats (especially the DAF tracks which will be a big loss), but I guess that's music rights for you. Nice job on the cover though.

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