The iJamming! Daily Download #5: Apocalypse
My major social event this year was the Apocalypse reunion in January, and so it seems appropriate to close out the holiday week of iJamming! Daily Downloads with a triple dose of rare Apocalypse MP3s.
Everything you need to know about Apocalypse (and way too much more) can be found from the Apocalypse home page here on iJamming! And my memoir of our January reunion serves to bring us all up to date… Except to say that a few months later, co-song writer Jeff Carrigan sent his former fellow band members a quadruple CD/DVD pack on which he appeared to have included everything Apocalypse had ever committed to posterity: scrapbook images, photos, videos, live concerts, TV shows, demos, all our releases, and both the edited and unexpurgated footage from our reunion. Did someone say ‘keen’?
From the vast collection of Apocalypse music Jeff and I have now successfully catalogued, I’ve chosen to bring you three versions of three singles. Our debut 45, ‘Teddy’ was recorded at Polygram Studios (later Solid Bond) both with and without a synth line. We preferred the version without the synth and that’s the one that opens our compilation CD Going Up In The World. But it was the version with the synth that was released on Jamming! Records in 1982 and that’s the one we’re giving you for free. Note to anoraks: it was produced by Paul Weller. (Collect your set!)
Eighteen months later and we spent Christmas, New Year, and what felt like half of January recording ‘Going Up In The World’ for EMI Records at Jacobs Studios down in Farnham. Had the punk-pop-mod “teen anthem” been blasted out in a day it might have sounded okay – even as good as the demo – but it was lifeless by the time Ken Thomas finished over-producing it. (Sorry Ken, it’s true.)
Still, EMI’s £30,000 studio bill didn’t go entirely to waste. Fascinated as we all were by the new technology of the day (we hired both an Emulator and a Fairlight for the project!), some of us worked up an Art Of Noise-style remix/edit, emphasizing the breathy vocals of backing singer Sylvia and hamming up the new version’s ludicrously elaborate strings, keyboards, gated drums and, yes, session singers. It’s called the ‘Sex Mix’ and you know what? I really like it.
While my song ‘Going Up In The World’ was being slowly tortured to death, Jeff Carrigan was birthing a bouncy version of his disco number ‘People,’ which he knocked out, start to finish, in a couple of days. Sure enough, EMI flipped our 45 in the middle of a marketing meeting and made ‘People’ the A-side. I don’t blame them. Jeff did a good job with it and should take much of the production credit. Here’s the 12” version, transferred by Jeff not off the vinyl by the sound of it, but cassette. It brings that 48-track studio sound back to basics.
That’s not entirely it for Apocalypse tracks. You can hear samples from the ‘Going Up In The World’ album here and we’ve made four MP3s available already over the last year and a bit. Then there’s that folder on my 4-CD/DVD package entitled ‘Z. Apocalypse After Split 1985,’ the Z cleverly placed to ensure it falls bottom of the alphabetical list of sessions. I haven’t gotten around to listening to it. And maybe I never will. I’m happy with what we had. And happy to share it. Enjoy.
Merry Christmas to Jeff, Chris, Tony and Kevin. Thanks for the memories. And happy birthday to Shona. Hope this is a fun little gift.