Monday, May 24, 2010

Classic 12-inch : COMBO AUDIO - "ROMANTICIDE"

First signed to the Secret Records label in 1982, Combo Audio (John Kellogg and Rick Neuhus) began what some thought would be a long and illustrious career in the burgeoning New Wave market. It didn't happen but EMI-America had high hopes for the group and they toured with TALKING HEADS, U2, BLONDIE and many others. The 4 song EP was the only thing to be released in America though as their record label pushed the group to create a more "radio friendly" sound. Then after years of litigation, before they even put out a debut album, in 1985 they dropped the group. Just another example of a record label tearing a promising band apart. Listen to their single ROMANTICIDE (12-inch mix) and you can hear echoes of Classix Nouveaux, INXS, Lords of the New Church and a host of others. It remains a classic single. There were some other promising sounds heard on their EP. Just listen to "HI-FIDELITY SITUATIONS" and just TRY not to think of the Fixx. You can't do it...It's Impossible. To a T......Perhaps this is the label pushing their agenda, perhaps not. The other 2 tracks on this EP also showed promise. "MILITARY ENGLISH" and "SHADOW OCCUPATIONS" are typical of the time. Better still, listen to where they started with the original UK version of "ROMANTICE" and it's B-Side "IT'S A CRIME". But do not shed a tear for leader John Kellogg as he help produce the very first 5.1 music mixes for Dolby Digital. Not a bad way to NOT make it in music.