on 25 May 2001
"My first reaction was a fear that it would sound so dated", states keyboard player Lyndon Scarfe in the sleeve notes to this CD. Bearing in mind the length of time that has passed since the Danse Society's demise in 1984. it is tempting to agree with the man and dismiss this release as irrelevant.
But you would only do that if you had not heard the music. This CD serves as a unique piece of documentary evidence for just how far ahead of its time this band was. Perhaps the only band that could be compared is Bauhaus.
The material on Seduction was recorded between 1981 and 1983, two years before the breakthrough of the Sisters of Mercy and the Cult, yet the sound is as archetypal of the goth genre as any of the aforementioned bands. Yet, at the time in question there was no genre as such.
The only obvious point of reference on the CD is Joy Division, with regard to both the rhythmic and vocal elements. But Joy Division were hardly a goth band. The Danse Society probably were, even if they may not have been aware of it at the time. Simply speaking, their influence on bands who went on to influence other bands seems to have been phenomenal, though I doubt many people would admit this.
I discovered the Danse Society somewhat late and approximately half of the material on this LP has been inaccessible to me until now. Yes, it sounds very 80s, but only seldom dated. This is the best record I have bought this year.
As a piece of alternative-musical history, this CD is a must. But it is also more than that.
Surely a re-release of the bands first proper LP "Heaven is Waiting" is just around the corner.
on 13 December 2010
With so many of the alternative bands of the early to mid 80's The Danse Society say they were not a goth band as such.I can't now remember if we actually called these bands goth then or not or if I was a goth of some sort at the time or if maybe we saw it as post punk,it was all mixed up then but I just don't remember being called a goth like I got called a futurist a few years earlier.
The goth with no name?
Now DS certainly still fit into what I think gothic was/is,then and now.I mean their first twelve inch single from 1981 was called 'There is no Shame in Death' and had a mainly black cover with a photo of a small boy placing flowers at a grave,how gothic can you get before you become a Gargoyle perched atop Notre Dame Cathedral?The band Play Dead,also claim they were not goth but they had a skull wearing roses in a coffin amongst their single covers,together some of the most gothic music related images of all time.
I would say it's safe to call DS goth as a descriptive term,more goth than some of the bands that influenced them like Killing Joke or Joy Division,who also got lumped in with goth.I'll stop using the word goth in a minute but I think DS's lush keyboards give them an extra goth touch and make the music epic and somehow otherworldy.
Anyway,DS are a brillant band and sound like not much else but themselves and had a interesting later career working with stock aitkin and waterman (I like their 'disco' single actually).The next album is another masterpiece of epic,baroque gloom-pop-rock.
What's wrong with being called goth anyway?
If you fancy yourself as a goth you need this.This is to modern goth what the beatles are to oasis.
on 1 April 2009
Danse Society were one of the very few bands on obscure Indie labels to benefit from getting to make records with a major label.
Like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry & The March Violets, they came from Yorkshire, and on this album, you'd be pressed to know it IS them & neither of the other 2 bands. You probably knew Red's lead singer never lost his Leeds accent in singing & that March's lead vocals are half female, but this album still slots in with those bands.
It's good, but it's formative, somehow not quite completed. The promise is there, but the Arista contract at least allowed them access to decent instruments and studios. The result was clear on Heaven Is Waiting-that themes were fully developed and the overall sound is ultra-dense and textured.
Seduction sometimes sounds like another amateur pub band, but it does have that winking green light visible in the distance; this band wanted to stretch itself beyond this material and did. The one problem was that the material here was much easier to reproduce live, and Society were not able to maintain their initially excellent live reputation later on.
But DO buy Seduction-it's too full of promise and good ideas to ignore. It's also lasted well, as it's now over 25 years old.
on 13 January 2014
I ordered 'The Seduction' album on the second day of New Year 2010. The order and delivery process of the CD from Amazon was very smooth. I got the CD within three or four days.
I discovered the music of Danse Society in 2008 although I had vaguely heard about the band a few years earlier. It was the live performances of their early 80s shows and some songs that were uploaded on You Tube that got me interested. There was a certain rawness and naivety combined with desire to be different in their overall music and image that I found appealing.
There are some really good songs on this collection. Danse Society's forte is two players in the band- Paul Gilmartin, the drummer and Lyndon Scarfe, the keyboardist. The drumming is one of the most innovative and powerful ones that you will ever experience. Lyndon Scarfe's keyboard work is very astute and excellent.
This collection is reflection of a band trying to find their sound and style. Some of the tracks in that process tend to be amateurish; some hit the right nerve such as 'Hide', 'Belief' and 'Ambition'. A few tracks such as 'Danse/Move' and 'Godsend' are excellent mainly because of the powerful drum and bass rhythm mixed with some eastern sounding atmospheres. I think the band's songs deal a lot with spirituality and a higher force- in both a spiritual and worldly sense ('Continents' is about the tensions between powerful nations at the time, The Arms Race, the Cold War, etc).
However, the highlights on this album are 'Somewhere' and 'In Heaven (Everything is fine)'. I think 'Somewhere' is about understanding and discovering the contradictions of life. Tim Wright's bass work is pretty much the highlight on this track along with memorable keyboard lines from Lyndon Scarfe. I can't stop praising about what an astounding track 'In Heaven' is. It is music for the subconscious and it really takes you to a place that is fantastic and dreamy but somewhat eerie as well. It conjures up all sorts of images- the snow capped terrains and two lovers enjoying their time together. All this mixed with fantastic piano work from Lyndon Scarfe and the repetitive but effectively atmospheric guitar lines from Paul Nash, dazed out vocals from Steve Rawlings, almost single note keyboard work, simple bass lines and robotic but ambient drum sounds make this song a strong candidate for a suspense/ horror movie soundtrack. At least for this one track, I think it is worth owning the album. I say this because the track is that astounding. Any artist or a band that writes such a song deserves some level of respect.
'Seduction (The Society Collection)' is a very interesting collection especially for fans of early post-punk music which some would call Goth in hindsight. The music does appeal to the Goth sensibilities although the band themselves would deny that (note Lyndon Scarfe, the keyboard player's remark in the liner notes of the album). It is worth buying for fans of Goth, Punk, Post-punk and Avant-garde Music. Also, this collection is introduced by Lyndon Scarfe. He did a great job of sharing the band's experiences during their early days of touring, recording albums, the music culture and the world they were living in before the internet days.
Danse Society is not an extraordinary band of any sort but I think they were far more refreshing than most of the so called Goth/Punk bands of the time that just seemed to copy David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison's vocal styles and the instrumentation of The Cure or Joy Division. Maybe those bands and artists had an influence on Danse Society's music as well but their music is at least not so obvious to instantly make such comparisons. This collection is clearly of a band trying to find their special sound and style.
on 21 March 2007
i saw Danse Society live four times in the early/mid 80s. A great band. I love their mood, jarring piano and atmospherics. some of the tracks from the original mini album, 'seduction' are pure pieces of driving drums and melody. there are clear links to many other fine british bands, from killing joke to joy division.I do not feel that time has done the sound any harm. it is still just as fresh and enjoyable. this was their finest moment. the second album, 'heaven is waiting' is still worthwhile too but pete waterhouse really let them down with pop-market mixes in their death thrones! please try this, its a fine album................