Note: Dare! was received as a gift as an LP, later replaced by the 2002 CD reissue.
For me, Dare ushered in the synthpop era and started a lifelong love affair with the genre. In other words, that free album has cost me a lot of money. As I listen now, I'm fighting the urge to pop this disc in the car player and ride around with the windows down, forcing classic synthpop on my unsuspecting (and, I would imagine, unappreciative) neighbors. Brilliantly produced by Martin Rushent, this is a stiff, cold collection of accessible, mediocre pop songs that are pushed over the edge and into legend by technology and a classic '80s #1 single. No guitars, no drums, just analog synths and drum machines.
In 1982, Rushent would take the Dare tracks, rework them using delays and phasers, then release Love And Dancing under the name The League Unlimited Orchestra, nod to Barry White's disco-era Love Unlimited Orchestra. It's a techno dance experiment and if you grew up in the era of 12" dance singles, you'll love hearing the variations on familiar songs. I can't believe I didn't own Love And Dancing when I was 16.
Ironically, Don't You Want Me is the band's biggest hit despite the fact that its producer and writer thought it was rubbish and didn't want to release it as a single. They should know better - just because a song is rubbish doesn't mean it can't be a hit. Ofttimes, quite the opposite.
|Musican, May 1982|
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Dare #3, Love and Dancing #135
Peak on Cash Box album chart: Dare #5, Love and Dancing #117
Tracks: For Dare, my picks are The Things That Dreams Are Made Of, Open Your Heart, Darkness, Seconds, Love Action, I usually skip Do Or Die and I Am The Law. For Love And Dancing, its full of fun trashy dance remixes so why would you want to skip any of that?
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: In June of 1982, I went on a trip to Florida with my high school band. I remember Don't you Want Me being everywhere we went, from bus stations to hotels to theme parks. 30+ years later, it is still fairly ubiquitous.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Original Remixes & Rarities (2005)
Greatest Hits (1988)