This review is for: Flash & The Pan - The 12 Inch Mixes (Repertoire 2CD)
This is an excellent 2CD set covering most of the Flash & The Pan 12" mixes, many of which are on CD for the first time. Flash & The Pan had already proved themselves to be no flash in the pan by already having had a music career. Harry Vanda & George Young were band members and writers in 60's group The Easybeats who had a top 10 hit with "Friday On My Mind" and they wrote the hit "Love Is In The Air" for John Paul Young. George was also the producer of heavy rock band AC/DC who were formed by his brothers Angus and Malcolm.
Flash & The Pan was a studio project and lacked a visual image which no doubt had an impact on their lack of success in the pop charts. I never thought about this before so I just Googled to see an image of them - No, I've never seen them before! This poor visual representation seems to be a theme carried over into the artwork here which is uninspired to say the least. Their music however is a different story, it remains underrated and this compilation really serves to unearth some gems that were largely only to be found on vinyl 12" singles released in Holland. The quality here is premium, the clean productions sound fresh and rather than being overly long, the extended versions allow these tracks to really breathe. So don't let chart positions influence you, this collection is superb - I would go as far as to say essential.
The opening track on CD1 is "Waiting For A Train" - The Extended Version from the German 12" Single which has more of a dub flavour with snippets of the verses rather than full verses and the "Choo-Choo-Cha" vocal rhythm element comes in at 1:52. Whereas the original UK 12" Disco Version from CD2 is more straightforward like a longer version of the 7" radio version starting with the "Choo-Choo-Cha" from the beginning - This is the first time on CD for this mix after a 29 year wait! But it's worth it, still sounding as good as it did in 1983. "Midnight Man (Extended Remix Version)" on CD1 and the instrumental version on CD2 are both remixed by legendary DJ/Mixer Francois Kevorkian, which no doubt helped this track to achieve popularity on the Ibiza club scene. "Early Morning Wake Up Call" chugs along at quite a pace and owes more than a slight debt to Robert Palmer's "Johnny & Mary". "Media Man" is a previously unreleased Club Mix available only on a promotional U.S. DJ-only vinyl 12" single. The 1996 Stonebridge remixes of "Walking In The Rain" are all from a CD single released only in Germany and sounds a bit like an Ibiza mix of Murray Head's "One Night In Bangkok". 4 mixes of this wears thin though. I would have preferred to see the 12" version of "Down Among The Dead Men" here. Admittedly it isn't a 12" mix as such, it is the album version pressed on a 12" single, however it is a longer version compared to the 7" single mix, so would have fitted the scope of this compilation. Also, none of the 1996 mixes of "Waiting For A Train" have been included although there would have been plenty of room. Over all though, this is a very welcome and enjoyable release.
Tracklisting with timings and correct details (NL = Netherlands, DE = Germany, ES = Spain)
Disc 1: 01) Waiting For A Train (Extended Version - DE 12") 6:43 02) Midnight Man (Extended Remix Version - UK 12") 6:59 03) Early Morning Wake Up Call (Extended Version - NL & ES 12") 8:11 04) Communication Breakdown (Remix - NL 12") 5:08 05) Ayla (Disco Mix - UK 12") 7:44 06) Money Don't Lie (Extended Version - NL 12") 5:46 07) Yesterday's Gone (Extended Version - NL 12") 5:57 08) Media Man (Club Version - USA DJ Promo-only 12") 4:45 09) Burning Up The Night (12 Inch Version - NL 12") 6:07 10) Walking In The Rain 96 (FX Recon 96 Mix - DE CD Single Track 2) 8:25
Disc 2: 01) Ayla (Outta Town Mix - UK 12" B1) 7:17 02) Waiting For A Train 89 (The Harrymeetskaplan Mix - 1989 UK 12") 6:12 03) Waiting For A Train (Disco Version - 1983 UK 12") 5:38 04) Waiting For A Train (Instrumental Version - 1983 UK 12" B1) 6:44 05) Midnight Man (Instrumental Version - UK 12" B1) 6:00 06) Walking In The Rain 96 (Phar Out Dub - DE CD Single Track 3) 8:24 07) Walking In The Rain 96 (SF Club Edit - DE CD Single Track 4) 7:55 08) Walking In The Rain 96 (Raw Club Mix - DE CD Single Track 5) 6:37
Just mentioning this for any Flash & The Pan fans who may have missed it: A longer version of "Waiting For A Train" from an Italian 12" was included on "Grand 12-Inches Vol.6" - This version is without the "Choo-Choo-Cha" vocal element and runs to 7:16.
***Update: 26/02/2013*** It has been brought to my attention that 2 tracks are identical: CD1 - 01) Waiting For A Train (Extended Version - DE 12") CD2 - 04) Waiting For A Train (Instrumental Version - 1983 UK 12" B1) Seems to be another mistake from Repertoire, just like on the Sparks extended CD *Sigh* - It's still a great collection over all, but it is unbelievable how many mistakes these companies make. I thought it was strange that the German 12" was more like a dub version. I wasn't interested in the instrumental version so I didn't pay close enough attention to notice it was the same and of course it was about an hour later than the first track so i wasn't comparing directly. Thanks to Arnaldo who left a comment about this and brought it to my attention