Lost In Time – Day Three: YMO, XTC, UV

Lost In Time


Today I’m hopping back to 1980 and across to Tokyo for ‘Firecracker’ by Yellow Magic Orchestra. YMO always existed slightly on the fringe of early 80s electronic music, perhaps as victims of geography.

Their main claims to fame are  ‘Behind The Mask’ which was covered by Eric Clapton of all people, and being the first project of Ryuici Sakamoto, acclaimed film score musician for such films as ‘The Last Emperor’ and ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’ (check out the sublime ‘Forbidden Colours’ with David Silvian from that soundtrack).

They were so much more than just the Japanese Kraftwerk and you can see a clear lineage to Random Access Memories, particularly the opening track. Even the stage layout in this Budokan performance is very Daft Punk. Firecracker was re-released in the UK as ‘Theme from Invaders’ to attempt to exploit the new craze called ‘video games’ and got to number 17….

Meanwhile scroll down for Andy & Roy’s choices or catch up on the list so far here

7 thoughts on “Lost In Time – Day Three: YMO, XTC, UV

  1. Y.M.O. – another wonderful choice, I listened to their “solid State Survivor” album a couple of times at the back end of last year, and loved every minute.

    Right, for my Day 3 choice, I’m sticking with the ’80s, and I’m tackling the remit of “forgotten tracks by established bands”. For those of you who don’t know me, there’s no band I probably know more about than XTC. Most people have heard “Making Plans for Nigel” and “Sgt. Rock is going to help me”, but I’m going to choose a song of theirs which has kept cropping up recently. Lead singer Andy Partridge wrote it about a woman who came into his life at this time and would eventually become his second wife.

    Featuring the first euphonium to appear in the Lost Classics list, I particualrly love the “middle eight”…

    If you want her, you should tell her
    Take her by the hand If you hesitate
    If you wait, November wins her November will win her
    She returns to sand So get ahold of the girl

    Seagulls Screaming…

  2. Never heard this track before – definitely more in their psychedelia vein than their earlier, more angular New Wave stuff (which I prefer) – still its XTC, so its quality. My wife and eldest daughter can’t watch ‘The Birds’ as it scares the beejesus out of them.

  3. My day 3 choice is ‘Young Savage’ by Ultravox!
    Released in 1977 from their second album of that year ‘Ha, Ha, Ha’ it didn’t chart and got lost in the general maelstrom of the punk uprising, but the influence of this track (and the following year’s ‘System of Romance’ album) can still be heard today in any ‘Alternative Rock’ act who start messing around with synths.

  4. Great to hear that again, will give Systems of Romance a fresh listen later today. There is a whole genre of “albums that came before people were famous but have actually stood the test of time better than what made them popular” – Reproduction, Empires & Dance to name another couple. Meanwhile pre-Ultravox Midge was off being a Rich Kid, which narrowly missed my list so I will slip it in here. With Rusty Egan, Glenn Matlock and Midge, if ever there was a group that was less than the sum of its parts it was The Rich Kids…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s