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 #16 

The sputnik group at yahoo is the oldest SSS forum on the net. Been running for almost 15 years. http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/sputnik/

The demobomb track notes are all available on soundcloud. You have to click through to an individual song page to see them.
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #17 
Thanks! Just registered on there now:-)

Just wrote a long post when my computer froze and I lost everything. Damn!
I will try to "re-create" some of it;-)
 
... You know that feeling when one of your heroes talks about stuff that you have been analyzing yourself and you find that he pretty much agrees with you? X.I. Thing doesn't even begin to cover it and to make it even cooler, I have proof as I have already posted several of the same statements weeks before Tony's last Demo Bomb update. The reunion thing I posted about in Phillip Gottfried's Online Petition thread severeal weeks ago (pasted at the bottom here) and the lyrics and SSS becoming more ordinary with Dress For Excess I did a bit about in my post in this thread about Success.
 
And before I start I'd like to state that I LOVE SSS! To me real love, for anything, is about aknowleding both it's strenghts and weaknesses and realize that you still love it to death. Anything less is just blind acceptance and ignorance and that is not the same as real love. So remember that I LOVE SSS and all my views are posted with the greatest love and respect for the band and it's members.
 
On the subject of "Staying true to who you are at the moment Vs. Staying true to your creation" this is something that depends on the artist. 
My view has always been that if you create something great and original, it's wise to develop within your own creation and make sure you hold on to everything that made it great in the first place and build from there. Rock'n'roll history is full of bands who developed very little and still delivered great albums and never came across as "fake" (AC/DC, Ramones, Motorhead etc.... to name but a few). These bands all had commercial ups and downs and ventures out into other things a little bit, but never lost touch of who they are/were musically. As a result their fanbase kept growing and the Ramones were never as huge as they were just before they broke up. Bands who strive too much to stay "hip," "new" and "exiciting" with every album tend to sound less and less original as times goes by and sooner or later they will have strayed so far away from their own creation, and all that made them great, that they will alienate their fanbase (David Bowie, Motley Crue etc are good examples of this). 
 
The biggest part of recreating something long after the fact is realizing what made it work and what didn't work. If you realize that, focus on it and have a clear goal, it's not that hard to make it work again. Tony seems pretty clear both in the history part and the writings on the Demo Bomb page about what he thinks made SSS one of the most brilliant bands in the world and Martin's fantastic new album Electronic DNA proves that he's still got it as well, so this could work and it could be real. What most of us would want is a true 85/86 live show. With those clothes, that stage set-up and those songs. No need for reinvention or updates of anything, as that was when SSS was purest and best... When that has been done a few times they can do what they should have done back then, leave Prince and all other distractions out of it and focus on building something from the great foundation they created. SSS started straying already with Dress For Excess and never really got it back until Electronic DNA. Terror Bytes etc... those are real SSS lyrics and songs and the whole feel of it is back. 
 
I worded all this so much better in my post that was deleted when my computer froze, but I can't be arsed to do it again. 
 
SCI-FI LOVER (ACOUSTIC DEMO)
The genesis of a song! There are billions of ways to write songs, so this is very cool to hear. Tony and Neil have obviously agreed on some chords and are working on the vocal melody with a little bit of lyric here. Probably playing what they've got over and over while trying to come up with an arrangement and more lyrics. The most enjoyable part of this for me is at 00:37 when they sing "Rock'n'Roll Heart" for the first time. They both chime in so loud and clear that I am guessing this is a part they just came up with that they are very satisfied with and sure that will be in the song. There is no hesitation there at all. Of course this is not one that will be on repeat on anyone's iPod's, but it's still very cool to hear it.
 
SCI-FI LOVER (DEMO)
This is one of those demos that have been widely circulated among the fans and one I'm sure most of us had heard from before.
I have always been a little torn about this one. On one hand I think the song has definitely reached it's full potential and it's brilliant for that, and on the other hand I can't help but feel that this is not one of the band's best songs. the chord combination is very rock'n'roll and could have been used by New York Dolls or any number of great rock'n'roll bands, but that is probably also the only thing that's rock'n'roll about it. The spacebass riff sounds a bit like that of Like A Virgin by Madonna, the song structure (like most of the post Flaunt It stuff) is more like an ordinary song than free form, the vocal melody is a nice pop melody, the tempo is slow and to soften it up even more there is a synth pad lying in the background through the whole song. Not a bad song, but not a favourite either. 
Then again, what could have been done to make this less Disco-Pop and more Rock'n'Roll?
More Bladerunner style lyrics?.... Nah, the lyrics on there are actually quite good with the mood the song gives off anyway.
Higher tempo?.... That would just make everything else sound a little rushed. The tempo is fine for the type of song this is.
Eddie Cochran spacebass line?... Could work brilliantly, but for that the tempo would have to be a lot higher and then the vocal melody wouldn't work. So NO!
Different arrangement to give more room to dub effects?.... (See my comment on Sicky Dub)
Take away the synth pad?... That would make it a little harder, but it would only be a minor change that no one would notice.
 
So all in all....Sci Fi Lover is a great Disco Pop song that reached it's full potential and it's no wonder a lot of fans love this song. 
Personally I don't mind it, but I would probably not sing along if I heard it live, like I would probably not sing along to Like A Virgin by Madonna if I heard that live either. 
 
 
My post from 19th January 2013 on Philip Gottfried's Online Petiton thread:
"I think if SSS are gonna reunite now it would have to be with all the original members and do it completely live as they used to in the 80's. Another reunion of Martin, X and Tony with a drummachine would be cool as well and I loved the gig I saw in 2000, but SSS is a REAL band and for that to come across live it needs live drums as well. 

I think a reunion like that would work best if they focused the set on songs the original line-up did. Mainly Flaunt It and the best tracks from Dress For Excess... If they were to do anything else I'm hoping it would be songs that are in the original SSS style... like stuff from Ultra Real and Electronic DNA. 
I like Piratespace and Blak Elvis etc as well, but to me that is not the SSS sound and what gets me excited about them. I like Electronic Rock'n'Roll and am not so much into techno, disco or whatever else they have been doing.

I think if they did a reunion it would also be cool if they did it with the original image amd recreated the Bladerunner feel of the early years. F.i. Tony's pink pinapple in the 80's looked so much cooler than the one he had in 2000.

I would also love it if they did one bigger show that could include as much of the madness there used to be as possible and then film it professionally with lots of cameras and release a real DVD with promo vids, the concert, Tony's films from the 80's EVERYTHING!:-)

I'm sure of it was advertised well in advance people would travel from all over the world to see it and they could play a fairly big venue. There are underground 90's glam punk bands who sell out 1 show a year like this because people travel from far to see it and not a lot of people have heard of those bands, so SSS would surely do alright.

I would LOVE to see a reunion like that! The real thing LIVE and I would buy every piece of merch they had on the table for something like that.

A drum machine reunion with just Tony, Neal and Martin would only make me mildly excited. Sure I would see it and I would be excited as fcuk and it might also mean that there would be more shows again, but I must admit that I'd be more excited about that a few years ago. Electronic DNA is quite possibly the best SSS record since Flaunt It. Lloyd is a fantastic producer and the sound of that album is quite possibly the best SSS has ever had..... so with that in mind a 3 piece SSS reunion now would feel like losing SSSE and the great new team Martin has got.

But with all that being said... I am a die-hard SSS fan and I am excited about anything SSS no matter what!"
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #18 
Since last week I have gone back and re-listened to Dress For Excess and Pirate Space. I still much preffer the 50's rockabilly SSS sound, but I have to admit that I found a new appreciation for those records and they are both a lot better than what I have been giving them credit for lately. 

When reading Tony's Demo Bomb blog this week one really gets a feeling of what it was truely like being a member of SSS after the Flaunt It train had stopped. Damn! Coming off an album where everything was GREEN LIGHT GO, press were supportive, all ideas went down a storm and everything seemed to be working so well, and then all of a sudden....nothing... well, at least nothing positive. I bet there was a whole lot of blame being shifted around at that time. "Martin's not really a singer," "It's Tony's fault who said this and that in the media","We need a hit and that's not it","why are we being left with all the work and the rest of the band not showing up for songwriting" etc.

Some of that stuff was probably grounded in reality, but in truth SSS had just played the tabloids so well when they first came out and got so much attention and well... the second part of the tabloids sinister job is always to rip you apart and crash you face first on the ground. That's the stuff that sells papers and it's bleeding obvious when f.i. comparing press reviews of the Royal Albert Hall gig (mostly negative, focusing on ticketsales and whatnot) to fan descriptions( "WHAT A GREAT GIG THAT WAS!") That that was all the feedback the media were prepared to give the guys at that time. Stuff like that can create rifts anywhere and it obviously also did with SSS. Unfortunately. 

One thing I never got a clear grasp on with SSS, that I hope Tony or someone else adresses at one point, is: Who wrote the songs? And when/why did that change? Does anyone know? If I remember correctly they are all credited Degville, James & Withmore, but from the snippets I get here and there it seems that Degville and X did the majority of work on the early songs (Tony: "I left them at home with the studio and told them to write songs") while Tony chipped in a little bit with lyrical ideas and titles here and there (+ of course Moroder doing all the music of Massive Retaliation and a lot of Atari Baby), while later in the story it seems that Tony and X are the ones writing everything with Martin maybe chipping in a little here and there. Is that correct, if so... what changed?

DISCOMANIA
I was not close to any speakers when this was posted, so couldn't listen at first, but read everything Tony had written and got excited. Initially I hated the title. To me Disco is a word that should be avoided in rock'n'roll and I thought we'd get another soft disco type track... Then someone commented "best one yet" on facebook and I started getting REALLY excited. I rushed home and turned up the speakers with the same anticipation I had when I was a kid and brought home a new tape of one of my favorite bands to play for the first time... And YES! This is the best one yet! No doubt. A brilliant song!

I haven't calculated, but this sounds like the 192bpm tempo that Flaunt It was all in... at least it's an uptempo rocker. The start and stop SSSpacebassriff is something SSS hadn't done before at this time (yeah, I know it was on Massive Retaliation, another great song, but that song is slower and it creates a totally different feel here.) and that creates something new, fresh and exciting while still staying perfectly true to what was so great about Flaunt It... a natural progression.

X's guitarriff is simply brilliant! Very rock'n'roll and very Sputnik. It's not a 3-high-strings-chuck-berry-riff, but rather based on 5 notes from the low end of the B chord. X did riff on the darker strings on Sex Bomb Boogie as well, and we all know that that worked out great, but this here simply blows me away. So simple, so exciting, so rock'n'roll... and still actually harder to play with the attitude X brings into it than one might think. 

The vocal melody is cool as F and, even if this song is mostly B - A - E (Typical 50's r'n'r chords), it seems most of the vocal melody is in a different harmony from that of Flaunt It and that also sounds new and exciting. The pre chorus (D - E - G - A) with 8th note spacebass is breaking up the mood perfectly and further underlines the different harmony! This is a bonafide SSS hit single and should have been the lead single from Dress For Excess. 

Sure it needs a bit of work, it's a rough demo after all, but it's already all there. Imagine this with an expensive looking video. No Marbella on the beach and the "lads" on holiday in the sun, but a straight up Bladerunner video of the band walking through narrow, dark, smokefilled subway stations and streets in a sci-fi Bladerunner city, heading for a HUGE illegal discotech where a lot of SSS looking people are engaging in all sorts of debauchery. The band looking brilliant with higher heels and hair than they ever had and some Tyrell Corp. replicant footsoldiers on their tails. Just think about it.... WOW!

I always thought SSS had run a little dry on song ideas for DFE, since Success, Rio Rocks and Orgasm is on there, but when hearing all this brilliant stuff from the Demo Bomb, it just seems that they kinda lost their direction a little bit, went with a few lesser songs and left some of the sheer genious ones on the cutting room floor.

This song got me so inspired that the first thing I wanted to do was to record a cover version of it and try to "finish" the song. Unfortunately my home studio set-up does not include a synth and an SSS cover without spacebass won't be any good. But as stated before this song is a diamond in the rough and just needs small tweaks to make it reach it's full potential and here are a few suggestions:

1. The intro doesn't really work. It starts out with bass and drums full on and X's guitarjam before he really starts playing the riff sounds kinda chaotic and not in a brilliant way... also the riff by itself, when it comes in properly, doesn't lift the power of the song enough since the drums and bass stays the same..... It's easy to pinpoint the "problem," but not so easy to work out how to solve it. The only 2 ways to go are to build the intro before X's riff really comes in down a bit, or to build the part where the riff comes in up a bit. There are several ways of doing both. One way of bulding the intro down would be the Ultra Violence trick: Have Tony's bass and X's guitar exactly as they are, but just do the bass drum for the first rounds and save the snare til X starts playing the riff properly. One way of building up the part where the riff comes in properly is to have the Spacebass do the same riff it does there, but play 8th notes instead and then go back to the start/stop riff when the verse starts... Or maybe both of these which would create a wall of dynamics. It is of course also possible to leave everything as it is and build up the part with external stuff like synth pads etc, but I really love the simplicity of this song and it's just so much more rock'n'roll without stuff like that. (When listening again now it would have to be 8th note bass when the riff comes in and full drums all the way!)

2. I understand what Tony is  talking about with the vocals. To me they mostly sound fine, but in a few places maybe not. Also it does sound like they were trying to get Martin to "sing" more with DFE and with this song I think it just needs more power. Not neccisarily shouting or screaming, but just more agression, power and attitude and not so much of the Elvis stuff. That's a general thing, but especially the MAAAAAANIA part could have been better with more sinister sounding vocals... although I must admit that I love the way Chrash/Trash on the chorus comes out. 

3. The vocal melody and song in general has sooo much brilliant space in it, that should of course be tastily filled up with SoundFX, Space eccho vox and guitar and other madness. It's perfect for that! That would also add to the dynamics of it. If this was to be the lead off single from DFE, they should also have made a movie trailler intro for it. Something to set the mood of the song and video... something like the intro on the First Gen CD or..... or the best none music piece they ever did: Dancerama Club.

4. I already touched on this, but I think the spacebass riff is screaming to be played with 8th notes at certain places in the song. It's a brilliant riff as it is, but it would be cool to have the variation of it going like it is here and then the full du-du-duu-du power of it in an 8th note riff. At first I thought this would be cool to use for the chorus (Discomania....etc), but when listening to it now I especially enjoy the start/stop riff on that part. I also especially enjoy the 1 bassdrum and snaredrum hits that play alone after the vocal and bass are done on that part "Discomaaaania...BAM-DISH, Disco Crash" Those hits alone sound brilliant and are also perfect for putting a bomb sample on the snare hit there every once in a while. Right now I am leaning towards haveing the bass play 8th notes at the end of each verse, just before the pre chorus. That would slightly f**k up the excitement of the 8th notes first appearing on the pre chorus, but I still think it would work..... another option would be to do the first verse as is and save the 8th note for the second half of each verse after that... (maybe even do the last part of the verses with 8th notes and then back to the original version of the riff on the very last round before the pre chorus)........ and another again would be to do the whole last verse with 8th notes. Ahhhh... the inspiration one gets when something is SOOOO brilliant to start with:-)

5. I think most of this song would be done with a tyding up of the arrangement to make it a bit more logical all the way through and make sure there is full power where it needs to be and other stuff where that needs to be, but I'm also hearing a middle 8th. Could either be a "take it all the way down" thing like that in Albinoni or just some rockabilly variation on A and B with a tail og E and A... not sure the song really needs it, but it could work splendidly. 

6. Another thing the song doesn't really need, but which could work is a "chorus of Youth Juice" type melody synth riff far in the background with lots of reverb on some of the later choruses.

7. I also have to point out how much I LOVE the way the chorus is done on top of the pre chorus chords at the end with the Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah backing vocals. Very untidy in this version, but a brilliant idea that would be so great on a proper version.

So, there you have it... probably a long ass boring post for those who don't care all that much about songwriting, but to my defense I will state that I did try to use refferences to other SSS songs as much as possible, to try and make my points as easily accessible as possible. 

One is not only left with the feeling that DFE and other later albums could have been even better if some of these Demo Bomb tracks were used instead of some of the weaker tracks that ended up on those albums... one is also left with hope that if the guys reunite and do a full on nostalgia 85/86 BIG show, that we are all hoping for.... That their next step after that will be to release a completely new album with properly recorded versions of the best Demo Bomb tracks. Tydied up and worked on to reach their full potential, Martin's great vocals that both Tony and all of us know that he has now, the real drum machine and not some Cubase softsynth thing, analouge space ecco... the works! That would have been the perfect logical next step after a brilliant reunion..... he he... but in the meantime let us all enjoy the Demo Bomb as is, buy the new vintage shirts as they are released and hope we give the guys a good enough vibes about this again that they will put aside their differences, reunite and give us that one big real live 85/86 reunion show.

Oh... and I just won a eBay auction for the Mohawk Waterman Success 12"! A GREAT day at the Dollhouse!


chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #19 
I'm on a bit earlier this week... and want to say that I have been humming the line "I maybe artificial" from the acoustic version of Sci-Fi Lover for the last 2 days. Maybe it's growing on me?

Is it just me or does Tony's last two Demo Bomb blogs harbour a bit more animosity towards Degville than the earlier ones and the Sputnik World History part does? I'm not pretending to be in the know about half of what has happened internally in SSS, it just hit me and I thought I'd mention it. If so, what's changed?

1. Did Tony write all the blogs before he started posting the Demo Bomb, and what I preceive as more animosity is just coincidental as that's what he remembers about the time of writing those particular songs? Or,

2. Is he writing the blogs every week as the Demo Bomb is posted and have just gotten a bit fed up at the moment with people contacting him about the SSSE Berlin gig being advertised as Sigue Sigue Sputnik and people complaining to him on the SSS Facebook that they think Martin is charging too much for downloads and CDRs or whatever. OR....

3. Is it simply that he feels he's allowed himself to dream publically a little too loudly about a BIG 6 piece SSS reunion? Maybe he's already started planning it, but feels too many of us might have "got it" already, so he needs to distance his blogs from that to make sure it's still a big surprise when it happens?:-)

I know I'm probably reading too much into everything, but that is half the excitement for me, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it's number 3.... or any combination of them leading up to number 3.

Wouldn't it be cool if Tony has already been in touch with everyone and told them to keep quiet about it? Like George Lucas did when he had meetings with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fischer and Mark Hamill a while back to discuss episodes 7 - 9 of Star Wars?

I will gladly buy a plane ticket, a concert ticket, a hotel in London (or on the second ring of Saturn for that matter) and all the merch on the table for something like that!

LOVE BYTES
I don't really get this song to be honest. I like some blues and this could very well turn out to be a cool bluestrack with a bit of work, but why would SSS want to do blues in the first place and how on earth would they work this demo into a SSS song? I don't really hear this with a drummachine and a spacebass. They could do it acoustic like Is This The Future, but I still don't see it turning into a proper SSS song. Sounds more like a warm up jam.

I'm thinking it was maybe posted to state that Tony came up with the Bytes/Bites thing which Degville has recently used for Terror Bytes on the Electronic DNA album... Just a guess... but since the Space Rider title which Martin used for a track off his World War Four album is also mentioned in this week's blog, there might be something to it. I'm not judging either way as I have no idea how any of that came about, but at least anything with bytes in the title gives me inspiration for more electronic/electronic rock'n'roll sounding stuff, to underline the wordplay, rather than this ultra organic bluesjam. 

Still fun to hear though and one can only imagine all the different styles of music those 3 guys probably had a stab at while being creative and writing songs. I wonder if they ever did any heavy metal?


SAY I LOVE YOU 1000 TIMES
When this started I thought "Oh here's another one," but that changed VERY quickly! This starts with a slow organic run of C - G - F - G (good rock'n'roll chord combination...also used successfully by a lot of the r'n'r era girl groups) played very loose, melodic and nicely... then the wet synth starts with a real driving 8th note riff and the icing on the cake is of course the fast drums going totally against the very slow song you thought this would turn into. It still sounds very much like a ballad and a good one too, but the fast drive creates a menacing Suicide feel that is priceless here. The title and vocal melody are both brilliant and creates a very cool dreamsequence feel that SSS got so good at. Atari Baby is a good song, but their later ones (Dancerama, Ultra Violence and what a finished version of this could have been) are, to me, far superior to that early gem. The band got really great at these type of songs! 

The song also gives a good insight into how many of the SSS songs were probably written. It seems similar to the process first shown with the acoustic version of Sci Fi Lover. I'm guessing that they agreed on the chords and the title, played around with it maybe on acoustic, then programmed the drum machine and the synth and just jam on the melody and lyrics until something comes out. It's fun to hear Tony singing his ideas in the background on top of what Martin is singing and it's definitley fun to hear Tony jamming on the synth LIVE. SSS synths and piano are usually programmed, so to hear it being played live, as it probably was on many songwriting occasions, is very cool. And all the charm of it taking quite a while until he hits the right key for that second note;-)

This is one of the more unfinished songs we've gotten from the Demo Bomb so far, but it shows great potential. Great feel, cool chords, cool melody and a brilliant title... I'm left wondering why this was never finished and why it didn't end up on the Next Generation CD.

A perfect update of the old Stevie Wonder line and a perfect SSS valentine song!
Lloyd
 #20 
Chris, just to stop any speculation about the use of Bytes in song titles, Terror Bytes was actually a title I came up with for the E DNA album. I'd never heard of the Love Bytes track so it really is just a coincidence.

Lloyd
sputnik
 #21 
got a agree im hoping now tony has finished side projects with mick jones etc he will sit down with martin and come up with something there was a real buzz about sputnik last time when they got back together and released pireatespace cd and he clearly state he want notning to do with ss electronic etc so lets hope they get back together all 5 of them and do something even a 1 off gig in london....... 
sputnik
 #22 
got a agree im hoping now tony has finished side projects with mick jones etc he will sit down with martin and come up with something there was a real buzz about sputnik last time when they got back together and released pireatespace cd and he clearly state he want notning to do with ss electronic etc so lets hope they get back together all 5 of them and do something even a 1 off gig in london.......
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #23 
Thanks for the insight, Lloyd! I don't think any of us had heard the title Love Bytes before, as it's not a demo, or title, that has been circulated (at least not to my knowledge). Don't think many people, probably Tony included, knew that you came up with the Terror Bytes title either, but very cool to know:-)
That of course has the added bonus of the Terror/Terra twist:-) One of my favourite tracks on the album!

I hope they do a full blown reunion too, as I have stated several times. When reading what Tony has written in the history part and the Demo Bomb blogs on Sputnikworld it's clear that he still has a rea√ł passion and love for SSS and Martin has stated several times that he wants to do it, so hope they "do the right thing."

The coolest would of course be a full blown reunion starting with a couple of big 85/86 type shows (those songs, that image etc) and then an album with new tracks, or properly recorded Demo Bomb tracks, and more big shows... But even one big reunion show would be brilliant.
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #24 
2 questions:
1. Anybody else looking forward to new Demo Bomb tracks on Monday?
2. Before the Demo Bomb, when was the last time you looked forward to a Monday?

Finally got around to putting the Demo Bomb tracks on my iPod this week and really enjoying it. 
I used to love my Walkman in the 80's, but never got around to getting a Discman... But the iPod is the best product of all of them. Using the publics, walking the streets... anything is better with music.
Discomania and Surfin' In The City are the 2 tracks that have gotten the most airtime this week:-)
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #25 
It's been Demo Bomb Monday again for all the Sputnik fans out there and I am here in my great looking Rambo Child shirt as I write this!
 
Yet again Tony paints a wonderful picture of the setting this recording was done in. Sometimes it's almost like I don't want to see pictures (even if I do!), cause it all seems so brilliant in my head when I read it. The song in question this week, is a title I have heard... I think it was mentioned a few SputnikWorlds ago when Tony wrote about so many of the unreleased songs... but it's definitley a song I haven't heard. 
 
 
TRANSVISION TRAMP
It's hard not to smile a bit at the title and lyrical idea here. I can just imagine the boys, being largely unimpressed with Transvision Vamp at the time, coming up with this at rehearsals. Probably having a good laugh too.
 
Musically it reminds me of 70's glam rock with it's stomp beat and boogie riff and the sleaze and energy of Johnny Thunders, which I guess would be a bit of "back to our roots" for the SSS boys. It's hard to desipher the chords correctly, but it sounds like the main part of the track is the boogie riff in D and then it hits C and G for the break in the verse and the chorus. The middle eight is Bm/G and A. 
 
The sound quality of the recording is horrible, but it's easy to hear that this could be the beginning of a very cool song. The vocal melody has a good ring to it and the chords work well. It already has 3 different musical parts and just need lyrics and a bit of arrangement. 
 
I wish there was more bass on it though, as that is the part that puzzles me a bit. The songs is too slow to work well with a rockabilly spacebass-line and that makes me unsure about whether this track could be a good SSS song, so I am very curious to hear what Tony would play on this, but can't hear it on the recording.
 
The real icing on the cake here is of course to hear the band playing live! You can hear what a good and thight liveband SSS really was at this point. Such a shame that so much of the  music media are too unskilled to report accurately on the field they're supposed to be experts in and too unprofessional to admit it. Had they been journalist in politics or something else more "serious" there would have been public outrage, but since they're "just" writing about music it's obviously perfectly acceptable to write, and make people believe, lies and rumors. A real shame cause SSS didn't deserve to be presented with the "but you can't play, can you" all the time. 
 
If this is your first time hearing SSS with live drums I encourage you to get hold of some 80's live bootlegs or check out links on youtube. SSS was a real band and all the madness of it was captured so good on some of those live recordings. 
 
I like this song, even if it's not the SSS sound I'm most fond of, but I doubt it will be a repeat song on my iPod due to the quality of the recording. I absolutely LOVE that Tony is putting everything out there for all of us to enjoy, but at the moment I have gone from wishing for a triple vinyl set of the Demo Bomb, to thinking that free downloads is probably the perfect way to release this. 
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #26 
DEMO BOMB! ...and it's a double feature! 
 
This week the blog is talking about the creation, and importance, of the "full package" of a band.
What direction the band is supposed to go in, musically, imagwise and all the rest.
A lot of this stuff is an underlying feeling, a hidden world that is hinted at and grows into a complete universe for those who "get it." Sigue Sigue Sputnik were so brilliant at all this. The sound, the look, the ideas, the statements... everything was so well put together and created that movie-like magic we all know and love.  
 
Tony starts with London SS which is cool because anyone who has ever been through this process will know that when you start your first bands, you'll be completely caught up in getting the band together and writing songs.  
 
It's hard to be the visionary in that first band when it already has an established "band dynamic." It's almost given that some members will be content looking the way they already do, have no desire for true greatness and feel that big ideas very easily become uncomfertable. I don't know if this was the case with London SS, but I know it was like that with my very first band and for a lot of other bands too. Great ideas being turned down all the time... 
and that's what makes your next band SO brilliant!
 
...Because when a band is started on a foundation of all those brilliant ideas and you get members that are not only "willing to do it," but excited and want to contribute their own ideas (which will fit perfectly a lot of times, if the  vision is already strong enough) That's when truely amazing things happen. You fill in the blanks together and create the band of your dreams.
 
Just imagine all the ideas Tony must have collected prior to starting SSS, the band that had been looming in his subconciousness since the beginning.... the best rock'n'roll band ever! Luckily he found members who fit perfectly and  together they created the magic of SSS, steered by that clear vision.
 
SSS would never have been as great as they were if they didn't have that vision there right from the beginning. 
 
Today's blog also made me bring out my Suicide records (a band SSS introcuded me too). When listening to Ghost Rider you hear what "best pieces" SSS took. The frantic bassdrum was used in Atari Baby and several other songs. The rockabilly guitarriff (played on a synth here), the hypnotic spacebass-like line, the vocal effects... even some of the sentence-buliding. I only have the 3rd and 4th Alan Vega solo albums, so can't really compare them to the first one unfortunately. 
 
STILL SSS were very original. Why?
Because they added a billion other influences!
Drum machine style terminator drums (gotta love the double hits on the snare), rock'n'roll chord changes, real live rock'n'roll guitar, sound fx, pieces of movies, brilliant slogans and of course the glamourized Mad Max 2 image... and that's just the tip of the iceberg!
 
It would be so fun to have the exact dates of the Demo Bomb recordings, but we can still guess. 
Both these songs have normal bass, so let's assume that they are from before the First Generation demos. 
The thightness of the recording suggests that they were done after Be Bop A Dub. 
 
OUTA SPACE KID
This track is all in 1 chord (an A). SSS did several brilliant songs using just 2 chords (Jayne Mansfield, Sex Bomb Boogie), but a 1 chord song is quite an accomplishement! There are several times I scream for them to hit a D, to open it up a bit, but the fact that they never do is part of what makes it great. This song has great potential and could have been a good B-side. Maybe not as good as Hack Attack, Buy EMI or Dancerama '86, but a finished version could definitley have been included on one of the 12" as an extra track.
 
I would love to hear this with spacebass. Especially since it's a one chord song, it would get that hypnotic feel a normal bass can't create.  The sound quality is quite good for a demo. Lets hope we get a later version at some point as well. 
 
Oh... and I saw the title before I heard the music, or read blog, and had to laugh when Tony wrote at the end that you could see Sputnik's world right there in the title. Of course we can! At least he got me there!
 
 
ROCKIT MISS USA (Bass)
The finished version is one of the few SSS rockers in a minor chord. Since the guitar doesn't play chords, the minor is not obvious until the chorus. The finished version is in Dm.... with the chorus being Dm - C - Dm on the first round then Dm - C - A# on the second round.... and it isn't until it hits that A# that you notice...and what a kick that is! (the A# is the chord that comes after the second USA in the choruses).
 
The song also has an amazing build-up to the chorus. It's hard to put a finger on exactly what causes it, part of it is the vocal, but there's just an energy building up which is released so fantastically when the chorus starts and again with that all important A#. Rockit Miss USA also has one of X's best solo licks ever!... the one that starts at 4:17 on the First Generation version. 
 
The song is somewhat of an enigma, as all the recorded versions are brilliant, but none are the definitive one (Kinda like all the different versions of Bladerunner). I have read that the band is not crazy about the Flaunt It version. In his eagerness to make all the songs sound different, Moroder did a lot with the mix. He made it darker and heavier by trading in the spacebass for lots of low-end synths. It works, but it also takes away the hypnotic drive and some of the excitement of this being a bonafide SSS rocker with that one A# chord that makes it just a little bit different. 
The spacebass is not there until from 2:58 to 3:07, then it comes again way in the background from 3:39 - 4:22 and then for a second or two at the very end. Still a great version though, as all of them are.  
 
The Death Wish 4 remix (found on the Sci-Fi Sex Stars 7" and 12", the 21st Century Boys CD compilation and an extended version on the Sci Fi Sex Stars Sputnikworld CD), has the spacebass right upfront as it should be, but with a stereo-pan type effect that makes it kinda jump from speaker to speaker. It works, but takes away some of the hypnotic feel the "solid" spacebass sound brings to the songs. 
 
The First Generation version has a solid spacebass all the way through, and is a great sounding demo, but it's still a demo and lacks a lot of the finess the other versions have. So there you have it... One of the best SSS songs ever and all brilliant versions! 
 
Easy to get lost in talking about the different versions and forgetting the gem at hand today.
 
I am very surprised at how complete this version is! I read somewhere that it took a while til they got a chorus for this one, but it's already here! The bassriff is not the brilliant finished riff from the other versions, but it works well anyway. A lot of the lyrics and phrazing seem to be done already AND at 1:13 you hear an early version of the fantastic X solo lick I mentioned earlier. 
 
This song has exactly the same chorus as the other versions, except it's in E, but instead of  the verse being in the same chord as the chorus, they do the whole verse in A. Not so easy to notice at first, but it creates a very different feel, especially when the the song goes from verse to chorus and back and hence the amazing build up that came later isn't yet present. I am glad they decided to skip that chord all together and create the masterpiece they did with this song, but apart from that it's amazing to hear how many parts are all there at such an early stage.
 
Very cool Demo Bomb this week!
 
Does anyone have a clue when the next vintage shirt will be available from Sputnikworld and what it will be?
Seems about time for another one now:-)
 
BTW... are people still reading these posts?
sputnik
 #27 
apart from me and u chris theres not much blogging going on mate looks like theres not alot of fans out there now,ive been counting recent blogs just into double figures,
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #28 
I always appreciate any reply, sputnik, so good to hear from you. Yeah, it's kinda silent out there but this thread has had A LOT of hits since Monday evening so I guess people are reading it at least.
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #29 
Someone commented on SSS Facebook that he hopes Tony writes a real book about this.
I have bugged him about that for ages and wholeheartedly agree. I love these snippets of the hiSSStory online, but a real book (600+ pages) with lots of pictures and everything in there from start to finish would be so brilliant. Tony seems to have a good recollection of everything and the way he writes paints perfect pictures... even when he occasionally writes about the rough times, you can imagine it all so easily. I'm sure anyone who was ever to the Kensington Market, like myself, recognizes the feel of this week's blog. Hell, I got most of my Trashcan Darlings stageclothes from different stores at that place... even if that was long after Ya Ya had closed down and SSS had long since broken up. 
 
This week we get a triple feature. The evolution of Be Bop A Lula and the SSS sound. 
I mentioned the synth bass in last weeks post, so this is of course right up my alley.
As Tony posted in the history part, the final part of the SSS music puzzle was of course the voiceovers and moviesamples that he stumbled upon while putting together the demo video for Love Missile, but there is no denying the bass is one of the most important elements of the SSS sound. Those riffs, staying on 1 note as long as possible, together with the terminator drums are what creates the menacing, threathening and hypnotic drive of SSS and in those early freeform live shows, when the drums dropped out it was that bass sound that kept it all together. 
 
BE BOP (Slow Version)
I have this version from before and it's obviously very early SSS. It's hard to guess if it came before or after the Be Bop A Dub version we got in the very first DemoBomb, but I'm guessing it was probably just before. It's a guess though and this version sounds a bit more "together" than the Dub version, but it lacks a few of the SSS elements. This version has that Suicide style bassdrum on the 8th notes and a shaker on a 16th note beat, instead of the more terminator style drumsmachine drums of the Dub version. The vocals are without the famous space eccho effect, which is sorely missed. X is jamming away rock'n'roll riffs on the guitar and it's easy to hear that he's nearly got his style down... but they did simplify the guitar a bit before they got their true sound You can hear X playing full chords here in a few places which is something he didn't do on Flaunt It. By then it was "all riffs, no chords" and in the one or two places they needed chords (chorus of Rockit Miss USA etc.) they used a synth pad instead.
The Rickenbacker bass guitar on this is played so thightly that it almost sounds like a synth bass. I'm guessing they knew what sound they were going for, but didn't have the synth yet. Sounds like Tony has his right palm on the string to get that slightly muffled sound where every note is audiable. I preffer the Dub version to be honest. I like the drums on that version more + the space eccho is what makes it so shambolic and it needs to be like that.
 
 
FOURTH REICH BABY DUB
This version utilizes the space eccho on the vocals and guitar to the max, which sounds very SSS and it has a brilliant title. It's a little slower than the other Dub version which makes it kinda laid back and the drums are further back in the mix. The walking rock'n'roll bassline creates movement, but it also makes it a little "nicer" and it doesn't go over so well with the title, which promises a harder and colder version. The bass also sounds more ordinary in this one. Not so "almost spacebass" as the other version. It's very cool to hear the evolution of the songs like this, but I think this might be my least favourite of the 4 versions we have gotten so far.
 
 
BE BOP (Electro)
This, however, is simply brilliant! The menacing spacebass fading in at the intro. A slight saw curve on it to get that distorted sound, very short and "jumpy" notes, but still massive and full. Martin's first "Be Bop" shows a very different attitude in the vocals to that of the earlier versions. This is Triple Mohawk Elvis on GO GO GO! His voice is sharper, full of attitude and straight to the point. Martin sounded so brilliant in this era and on the first album, before they tried to get him to "sing" with the second album and this voice is also a big part of what makes the vocal effects so menacing and great.The space eccho on that Be Bop is brilliant! So sharp, lasts forever and perfect in every way. Then the terminator drums start and from THAT moment it's obvious that this is one of the best songs we have gotten from the Demo Bomb so far. The albums never sounded as hypnotic or dangerous as this! This is brilliant! Pure perfection...
 
The riff is in D with the 2 other notes being F and G. Classic SSS! And already at 00:30 we get another stroke of genious and pure perfection. The release.... and what release it is. The bass playing D - F - G - A. Still the same menacing short, saw notes (we wouldn't want it any other way), but it breaks the monotony of the main riff perfectly without taking away any attitude or agression.  
 
Apart from the title this song, has very little to do with the original Be Bop A Lula and I can't believe they never used it. It would have been a perfect B-side from one of those early singles. It's at least as good as Hack Attack and it blows Buy EMI away (and I LOVE those songs, mind you!). 
 
Clocking in at 7:33 you would think this might be a bit too long and I am usually a fan of short songs myself, but when the aim is an hypnotic beat it just becomes that much more so when it's this long. It's almost so you don't notice the total lack of guitar on this version, but that would have been very easy to do something about. A million great Chuck Berry riffs can be played in selected places here and would all harmonize so well over the release part. Lots of room for movie samples in here as well.
 
This, together with Discomania, are my absolute favorites from the Demo Bomb so far!
Great work!
 
I will be off for more than a month now, so will be a little while before I post any more comments, but will be sure to play catch up when I get back and looking very much forward to all the new songs that will be waiting for me then.
And possibly a new vintage T-shirt to buy as well. 
 
chrisdamien

Registered:
Posts: 96
 #30 
Nearly 5 weeks in the states and every Monday I'd be sure my phone was on WIFI, so I could listen to the DemoBombs as they detonated. 
Not the way I wanted to hear them, on an iPhone in some hotel lobby, but couldn't wait.
Tony's blogs have been wonderful too. Lots of crystal clear snapshots of the SSS story. 
Not much to comment on in them, just great reads that always make me hope he does the right thing and writes that 600+ pages book.
 
I am a bit dissapointed that the next vintage shirt hasn't been released on Sputnikworld yet. I was expecting to at least have one new one to order when I got home, but no such luck. Was hoping they'd be released more regularily, but I guess more of you need to buy the ones already available first.
So, here is the catch-up:
 
OUTRAGEOUS
Even if I own a Best Of Soft Cell CD (of which I like about 3 songs), I would never have gotten the Memorobilia link if Tony hadn't posted it.
Memorobilia is one of the tracks I am not particularily fond of. Just early exstacy bullshit in my ears. This track, however, reminds me a little more of Suicide. 
With the one chord walking bassline and the synth-like Chuck Berry riff in the background and is miles better than Memorobilia. The track is pretty straight forward with one riff all the way through and without a real chorus, except for the "Outrageous" backing vocal. It's a decent track, but not favorite. The backing vocal lacks punch. That might be intentional + this is a demo after all, but I thought I'd point it out. I'm also not too keen on the bassline just doing that one riff the whole track through. This could have been done with a more traditional rockabilly spacebass, but I am not sure it would have added anything to the song. As stated this is miles better than Memorobilia, which was a hit so maybe it's just me that don't get this stuff, and it's a cool song but it doesn't sound finished. 
Sounds like they need some more chords and parts in there for it to reach it's full potential.
 
 
IT'S MY PLANET (live demo) + (Bonus solo)
When the First Generation 2nd edition CD was released, this was one of the "new" demos on there. Apart from the brilliant early demos of the Flaunt It tracks, my absolute favorite on the FGen CDs has always been Ultra Violence. The single best ballad SSS ever did! On the 2nd edition Techno Krash got the most plays, but I also always liked this song. Another good ballad. I remember smiling widely at the title It's My Planet And I'll Die If I Want To, which of course plays on It's My Party. I never paid enough attention to the lyrics to get that it was an enviroment song. I've never been too much into those type of lyrics.  
What I especially like about this live demo is Martin's vocals. He's singing his heart out on this one and sounds really great! In a few places it's a bit on the boarder, as it should be on a live demo, but damn the vocals are great on this one! Also it's another cool snapshot of how SSS jam out tracks organically before they become the syntherzised masterpieces we all know and love. I wonder if there is a recording like this of Love Missile?
The track sounds finished, so I am guessing this is probably the last recording before it was programmed and became the version we've all heard.
The Bonus Solo is fantastic! Simply fantastic! SSS hardly ever get the credit they deserve as musicians and this is another proof of just what a great guitarist X really is. It has all the 70's big rock licks and also some fantastic melody lines in there. I'm glad this solo was included in the DemoBomb! Hats off to X!
 
 
I can't work out which songs where in DemoBomb 13? Are they not on the Sound Cloud? Any help is appreciated!
 
 
SUCCESS (in A)
Yet another version. This proves that Tony was NOT kidding when he said that they lost the original demo and spent forever trying to re-capture it.
How many versions of Success have we got so far? I bet we only scraped the surface as far as recorded versions go. I have commented on the song before, so no reason to do it again. This is a rather chaotic demo version in A. I like the way this version only uses 2 chords on the chorus. There might be just 2 bass chords on the finished version as well, but that is kinda buried in the synth and guitar using 3 chords. It sounds more rock'n'roll this way, which I like. 
I also like the way this is more bass-heavy in the mix and the way it switches between a full beat and the just bass-drum beat. 
Very chaotic in here, but the mix sounds more powerful than the finished version. 
 
 
SATELLITE (Space Speech Mix)
This is a mix I have only heard about, so very cool to finally hear it. Sattelite is one of the poppier songs from Dress For Excess, but I still always liked it. Very dreamy and floating, but still very Sputnik. The chord sequence was stolen from Lou Read's Walk On The Wildside and is the same chord sequence SSS used on Atari Baby (Atri Baby and Walk On The Wildside = C - G - F - G... here A - E - D - E). On Atari Baby it's more obvious as that is more laidback and also utilizes almost the same female backing vocals as Walk On The Wilside (the first part of it is identical), on this song it is not that obvious because of the double drum beat that makes it move along much faster. The female backing vocals have the same effect here as on the 2 other songs, but is still different.
I love the way Sattelite just floats along and still sound very cold. I can picture a video of being on a space ship and looking out the window at the stars, sattelites and occasional pleasure-planets. The synth bells in the background and X's guitar is brilliant. The Space Speech is perfect for this song! It sounds cool and just adds nicely to the feel of the song. This would have been a perfect b-side to any single. 
 
 
REBLLIOUS MAN + BABBLE BABBLE LEVINE  
Not releasing a cover of Rebel Rebel as the first single after Flaunt It was exactly the right move. I quite like the song and SSS do a good version of it, but as Tony states it sounds "ordinary." There is nothing really SSS about it and it isn't very exciting. The main reason releasing it as a single would have been wrong though is that for a band who had played down their musical talent in order to get press attention with the first album and was looking to make a comeback with the slogan "this time it's music," releasing a cover as a first single would have been devestating. Can you imagine the reviews? "The band that can't play and don't care about music have to rely on someone else's song to try and get a hit." The Drag/Transsex theme of Rebel Rebel works very well for SSS. The guitarriff is cool and it's a good song, but not one of Bowie's best and I doubt the late 80's would have been the right time for a re-release of this. Rebellious Man sounds a lot like the First Gen version (without having gone back and relistened to it). Babble Babble sounds different with all the effects and the jumpy stereo bassline, but it isn't well glued together. Sounds more like a lot of unneccicary chaos with a tune buried somewhere in there than a real song. It's a demo of course, so that would probably have all been fixed by the time it would have been finished, but all in all I am glad a SSS version of Rebel Rebel was not released as a single and I prefer the version on First Gen. 
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