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|2. No-one Driving|
|3. Burning Car|
|4. 20th Century|
|5. Miles Away|
|6. Europe After the Rain|
|7. Dancing Like A Gun|
|9. Your Dress|
|10. Like A Miracle|
|11. Stars On Fire|
|12. Enter The Angel|
|13. Sunset Rising|
|14. The Noise|
|16. Shifting City|
|17. My Face|
|18. He's A Liquid|
Foxx's early singles like "Underpass" and "Burning Car" conjured images of isolation and alienation, punctuated by a robotic delivery. While the themes would recur frequently, Foxx dropped the affected monotone after his first solo album, "Metamatic" (also the name of his label). However, another artist of the day would grasp onto that identity and make it his own. John Foxx founded all of the elements that would make Gary Numan a superstar.
Perhaps overcompensating for "Metamatic's" mechanical vocals, Foxx's voice veered toward the melodramatic at times on his next two albums, "The Garden" and "The Golden Section". His style had warmed up, with traditional instrumentation introduced back into the mix. Foxx's final album for Virgin, 1985's "In Mysterious Ways", was a more reserved affair, slightly foreshadowing some of his later ambient work. Foxx then took an extended break from music to focus on other artistic pursuits, including photography.Read more ›
Synth-based pop and rock had seen a few milestones along the
way during the seventies: Hot Butter's Popcorn (1972), Kraftwerk's Autobahn (75) and Moroder/Sumner's I Feel Love (77) all took the place by storm and yet synth music was still seen as the province of academics and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
(rest in peace as it's now closed).
Bands like Ultravox, The Human League and Joy Division began
to change this assumption. 1979 was the year zero of synth
music: as punk rock's velocity began to sag (Foxx lyric!) and
council estates across Britain thought ska music was the new beginning (it wasn't and boy does it sound dated now?!), synths
became big-time musically. The intervening years have seen
music technology become mainstream but Foxx was in at the start...
He's a great songwriter and very underated. Metamatic shimmered
with ice-cool visions of a post-apocalyptic world along the
lines of Huxley's Brave New World; the singles Underpass and
No-One Driving are killers. As a thirteen year old kid already
mad on synth music, seeing Foxx on Top Of The Pops doing Underpass helped me make up my mind to be a musician. Cool
wasn't the word!
This album is a great introduction to anyone unaware of his
musical past and it's also useful for all us oldies who have
all the early stuff on vinyl: you can now play it in the car!
What can I say except go and buy this now!
I scanned in great detail to ensure the offering was genuine and not release of cover versions by obscure, unheard of artists. I took the plunge and I am not disappointed. If you ever wanted to know the history of John Foxx, it is all here. I have most of the material in some form, but the newer stuff is not something I have kept up with.
The early stuff is all classic synth material. A must for any music journalist to study as part of a very moving period in music's history. I'd call this "classical music" in many ways! "Burning Car" still moves me - it has drama and energy unlike anything of it's era. It is both inspiratinal and chilling. Just think of the technology used to create these sounds and another word springs to mind; Pioneering!
During my fanhood(?) I kind of "lost the faith" shortly after the Golden Section was released. I did buy "In Mysterious Ways" but it never got much play time on my turntable as it seemed way off mark to me.Read more ›