Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

B.E.F. - Music for Listening To (1981)


This release and B.E.F. are difficult to explain, so I'll just let Wikipedia do the work:

"B.E.F. (British Electric Foundation) are a band/production company formed by former Human League members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh who later became Heaven 17 (with lead singer Glenn Gregory). Ware and Marsh's first release as B.E.F. in 1980, a collection of instrumentals entitled Music For Stowaways, was initially available only on cassette and was inspired by the appearance of the first Sony Walkman (at first marketed in the UK as the Sony Stowaway). There was also a vinyl release, Music For Listening To, mainly targeted for export sales, which was slightly truncated (though with the addition of a track not found on the cassette). In the late 1990s, a CD release with this title contained the complete contents from both versions."

Being a fan of both Heaven 17 and Human League, I picked up this instrumental CD out of curiosity, but it isn't that good. I'm sure the synths and production were groundbreaking at the time, but when the writing isn't good, nothing else matters.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: Most of the music sounds like bad Kraftwerk (yes, I realize the phrase "bad Kraftwerk" is redundant to some of you). The only track that is remotely tolerable is Groove Thang, to which lyrics were later added and it became the Heaven 17 song (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang. Not surprisingly, the worst cut is probably the poorly named Music to Kill Your Parents By.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None, but it does remind me that I always try to buy CDs when I first see them because some releases, like this one, quickly go out of print and then you're left with the choice of not having the CD or paying exorbitant prices on eBay. I know I might be able to buy the songs on iTunes, but I'm still stuck in the past and have to have the physical CD.

1 comment:

  1. I'm gonna say "A Baby Called Billy" is also poorly named. And hurtful. Makes me sad.

    They did come out with another album that had guest artists performing vocals, didn't they? Was it a covers album? Trademark of quailty, maybe?

    It's tired and I'm getting late.

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