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Monday, August 21, 2006

"no, no, no, no, no, no / i don't want you to go / no, no, no, no, no / i don't want to lose your love"

Now, I realize it may seem that way, but I don’t mean to be hating on Blancmange. In fact, I’m pretty much a fan. Just not of that remake. How about I prove it with some Blancmange love?

”Lose Your Love” was from the synthpop duo’s final album, Believe You Me, and if memory serves me, it was their first for Sire Records. I get the feeling Sire had big plans for the twosome, who had spent the previous few years garnering some MTV play and underground dance hits with their instantly catchy melodies paired with some seriously histrionic vocals (“Blind Vision” anyone?). But with this album, Neil Arthur toned down the yelps and hysteria and we got a more polished vocal delivery, perhaps in preparation for mainstream success in the States, while instrumentalist Stephen Luscombe abandoned much of the third world flourishes that adorned previous releases for a more straight-ahead synthpop sound not unlike another keyboard based duo, Erasure. Basically, Believe You Me smoothed off any edges that made Blancmange, well, Blancmange. It flopped.

That doesn’t stop “Lose Your Love” from being undeniably catchy, if not a bit repetitive near the end. But if you think your patience is being taxed near the end of the four minute song, try the 12” mix, clocking in over 10 minutes. That’s right…ten minutes. It’s a bit of an endurance test, to be sure. The video, however, is hilarious, recalling the Art of Noise’s “Close (To The Edit)” (was it by the same director, Zbignew Rabzinski (sp)?):

The duo tried to salvage Believe with a second single, ”What’s Your Problem”, which ended up sounding like an Erasure outtake. I’m not sure why Sire wanted two Erasures on their label at the same time, or if Blancmange intentionally went out of their way to ape their sound, but the proof is there on wax (or digital numbers on aluminum, since Believe actually made it to CD for a brief period). Unfortunately, even with Erasure’s commercial clout during that period, it didn’t help matters any and the single and album sank. Shortly after, Blancmange called it a day.

Hmm…let’s see. I prove my love for Blancmange by posting two of their lesser singles from a final, derivative album that took away all that made them unique, all in the pursuit of a hit.

I really need to work on showing affection.

”Lose Your Love” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart in 1985.
“What’s Your Problem” did not chart.

Get Blancmange music at Amazon.
posted by John, 8:52 AM