Friday, April 17, 2020

Ecce Homosapien: Pete Shelley 65

I am kicking off the weekend with someone I've meant to cover for years, but because of the difficulties constructing this little motion picture I had put it off until now.
Our hero du jour passed away at the too young age of 63 a couple of years ago, but woulda been 65 today.
His storied career divides into two distinct personalities, one firmly in a band kind of concept and the other as a solo artist in a completely different, yet equally as hitmakingly influential, vein than the other.
He first burst upon the world as the leader of one of the most revered and lasting Punk bands, alongside the Sex Pistols and The Damned in 1976 London.
One of the few Punk groups to have consistent chart and radio play, they broke up for the first time as the Eighties began.
He went solo just as MTV exploded, and the striking videos he created helped him have even bigger success, principally with one of the most hilarious -- and oft-banned -- songs ever to brazenly celebrate one's lack of heterosexuality.
He was one of the first Rock types to come out as bisexual, and I have looked up to him since I can remember.
After spending the 1980s pioneering the use of dub in pop music and heralding the advent of house and EDM as the thriving forms they are today, he reunited The Buzzcocks and toured the world to triumphal packed houses.
They got back together a few more times, and our birthday boy contributed to a bunch of benefit projects both with them and on his own.
He left us at the end of 2018, inspiring a whole slew of tributes from a whole boatload of musical luminaries.
I've loved the music of Pete Shelley since I first heard Orgasm Addict by The Buzzcocks on the radio -- there's a song that would never get airplay today, but which in 1979 was perfectly OK! -- and his Eighties stuff is among my favorite electronic music ever made.
Which is why I spent the last several days playing the selector, compiling the man's seminal, tribal and in most cases unreissued and rarer-than-shit 12-inches and other hard-to-find singles into a neat playlist that encapsulates what his '80s stuff is all about.
Pete Shelley
Aural Stimulator
Steady Going Singles, 1981-89
2023 expanded edition

01 Designer Lamps (12" single)
02 Homosapien (alternadub)
03 One One One (12" single)
04 Give It to Me (extended)
05 Qu'est-Ce Que C'est Que Ça (NsNs flexidub insert mix)
06 I Surrender (dub)
07 It's Hard Enough Knowing (UK 'Homosapien' LP)
08 On Your Own (New York dub mix)
09 Keats' Song (UK 'Homosapien' LP)
10 I Don't Know What It Is (dub)
11 Telephone Operator/I Just Wanna Touch/If You Ask Me/No One Like You (dub)
12 Blue Eyes (extended)
13 In Love with Somebody Else (US 'Homosapien' LP)
14 Witness the Change (extended)
15 Many a Time (dub)
16 Pusher Man (UK 'Homosapien' LP)
17 Your Love (extended)
18 Please Forgive Me... But I Cannot Endure It Any Longer (extended)
19 Homosapien II (Icon mix)
20 Nelson's Riddle (extended)
21 Never Again (extended)
22 Waiting for Love (extended)
23 Maxine (B-side)
24 Love In Vain (US 'Homosapien' LP)
25 Yesterday's Not Here (Special Dance Mix)

Total time: 2:32:45
disc break can go after Track 13

continuous playlist constructed out of Pete Shelley's rarest 1980s 12", 7" & CD singles, many of which, in terms of the vinyl, have never been reissued in the digital era
vinyl denoised where necessary by EN, April 2020 + December 2023
expanded, with 10 tracks added and 5 upgraded to digital sources, in December 2023
This tape is truly something else... I was reading online about how popular these sides were to trip out to with psychedelics back in the day 30-40 years ago, and lemme tell you that is no surprise whatsoever. 
Honestly I was borderline hallucinating just from the titanic beats and primordial wails in some of the more abstract pieces, which beg so hard for legitimate reissue I lay awake nights lamenting.
I shall return sometime over the weekend with the latest, tragic COVID casualty, but Pete Shelley was born this day in 1955 so I made you all a 99-minute playlist present.
I hope all you alleged homosapiens take off your masks -- aw, heck, take it all off! -- and dance around your isolation area in his honor this weekend. Witness the change!--J.
4.17.1955 - 12.6.2018