1 January 2017

seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

It's the New Year. Many may be glad to see the last year pass. Who can say if the one we face will go better. But I'll wish you a prosperous new year and try to hope for the best for us all. This week's feature from the near end of the 20th century is about as obvious as it can get, and will replace this month's usual "Third Sunday Throwback" as a "First Sunday Flashback":

Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)

U2 wrote and recorded their third studio album, War, in 1982, at a time in which the Polish Solidarity movement had been banned during Martial Law imposed by then-Prime Minister Jaruzelski. Solidarity, led by Lech Wałęsa (who eventually became President of Poland,) was a trade union opposed to communism, boasting over 9 million members at its height with the support of an international community. The strikes, negotiations, and activist efforts of the union are said to have had much to do the fall of their communist government and the rise of Poland's democratic state. But in the moment U2 wrote this album, the members of Solidarity were being severely persecuted by their government. Lead singer, Bono, has reportedly told that as the band completed work on New Year's Day, he had held an image in his mind of Lech Walesa "standing in the snow on New Year's Day, leading a workers strike."
New Year's Day was released as the album's lead single on January 1, 1983, a month before the full album. It was the band's first major success, the album going on to knock Michael Jackson's Thriller out of its number one slot on the charts.

Not the first known, but certainly the first notable cover of the track was included on Cleopatra's 1999 goth/industrial compilation covers album, We Will Follow: A Tribute to U2, which included artists such as Information Society, Dead or Alive, Mission U.K., Die Krupps, Electric Hellfire Club, and Front Line Assembly. The most outstanding thing about FLA's cover is that they chose 80's teen-pop icon Tiffany to do all their vocals for the track. No one seems especially clear on why, but the genius of it is beyond question. Since its release the track has been a staple in goth nightlife, especially around this time of year.

The original is a solid and driven post-punk rock song, though U2's Adam Clayton, whose baseline for the song was inspired by Visage's Fade To Grey, has called it "a kind of Euro-disco dance hit." Front Line Assembly version is more of a trance-industrial-drum&bass blend, simultaneously eerie and energetic.

So as we face an uncertain new year of our own, some 33 years after its introduction, perhaps now is a good time to consider some of the meaning in this song: "A crowd has gathered, black and white, arms entwined, the chosen few...The newspaper says it's true... And we can break through..."

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Second Sunday Slowly features a downtempo neo-medieval darkwave classic subtly restyled with a bit of steampunk flair!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I spin next on MLK weekend at a Con in Boston. Not really a "goth" thing, more of a "nerd" thing, so the music will go quite a few directions outside my norm. Later in the month I have my regular gig in Western Mass. As always, you'll find links to more details on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)
Dec 04 - Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Nov 27 - Crytek- Bullet (Covenant)
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies

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seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
DJ Xero, Operative of SeeDarkly™

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