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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Una Certa Proporzione

A couple of lesser known tunes from A Certain Ratio's back catalogue for you today, both real favourites of mine. In 1986 ACR were moving away from the clipped, army shorts, punk-funk of their early years. Force, released in 1986, found them edging towards a more commercial sound. And Then She Smiles is northern jazz/funk/pop but much better than that sounds. Martin Moscrop's clarinet keeps it all slightly discordant (and isn't a million miles from 808 State's Pacific). It's parent album Force was re-issued by LTM back in 2009 and is worth tracking down. I have a cassette copy in one of those cloth-bound boxes Factory went with for a while (Fact 166 fact fans).

And Then She Smiles

In 1987 they signed to A&M and put out several career highs which failed to sell (Good Together, acr:mcr, The Big E, Won't Stop Loving You) and migrated their way back to independence in the early 90s on Rob's Records (Rob Gretton's label). They then released a series of cracking dance/house inspired records including Mello in 1992. Mello came in a variety of versions, including M-People remixes and dubs.Part 1 was the radio friendly one. The 303 Dub is great too.

Mello (Part 1) 

Mello (303 Dub)


Echorich said...

And Then She Smiles is just a beautiful song and the template for a new side of ACR that explored a more sophisticated sound. I've never lost my interest in ACR, they are one of the most important bands in my musical collection and have supplied me with hours and hours of musical enjoyment and joy.
I really enjoyed the ACR:MCR era of the band. I thought maybe, just maybe, A&M could find a way to break a band that had their ear so keenly to focused on the sounds emerging around them, but once again, corporate music had no clue what they had in their hands. I will admit to having little time for Won't Stop Loving You, although I ALWAYS enjoy hearing Denise Johnson. The Big E, which it's based on is just so gorgeous, that it really didn't NEED to be reinterpreted for the dancefloor. The Big E should have the been the mega hit of their career and shame on A&M for not getting it out there.

Swiss Adam said...
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Swiss Adam said...

True words Echorich- although I do love Won't Stop Loving You.

Jake Sniper said...

I've said many times that ACR:MCR is a fantastic album that i've never got bored of. Won't Stop Loving You is a great track, that I have a lot of time for (ahem Echorich) yes The Big E should have been erm bigger.

Echorich said...

I took the opportunity to really listen to Won't Stop Loving You this evening - as your post SA has got me in a real ACR mood - and I still stand by The Big E being one of the band's brightest, most outstanding moments, but I am willing to admit I really don't have any issue with the rejig of Won't Stop Loving You. Time has had an effect of giving me new ears to appreciate the version.

Anonymous said...

Ah, wonderful band. Loved their Rob's Records period

Swiss Adam said...

The Rob's Records period is great and very overlooked.

Echorich- It's the crisp 808 beats and the stripped back vocals, after the En Vogue style start with WSLY. Sad dance music. Gets me every time.

Echorich said...

SA - I certainly hear that!
Acidted - that Rob's Records period was a reemergence of experimental/risk taking ACR...some killer work!