Bands we miss – Blancmange

British duo Blancmange never got the appreciation they deserved in their day. They got their start with an instrumental track on Some Bizzare Album, which also featured the first work from Soft Cell, The The and Depeche Mode, but never quite broke through in a meaningful way. Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe released three albums between 1982 and 1986 – Happy Families, Mange Tout and Believe You Me, each a little more rich and complicated than the previous. They never really enjoyed much in the way of mainstream success but each album sported a single that ended up getting some airplay, “Living on the Ceiling”, “Don’t Tell Me”, and Lose Your Love”, respectively. A 1984 opening slot for Depeche Mode was the highlight of the band’s exposure to the masses, but it was short-lived.

What was unique about the band was their willingness to embrace unusual musical styles, particularly Indian motifs (which Luscombe continued with his short lived post-Blancmange project West India Company, which also briefly featured Vince Clarke of DMode/Yazoo/Erasure fame). They made a number of left turns that surprised and made the band stand apart from the rest of the electronic bands that populated the Golden Era. Baroque stylings, a capella tracks, ABBA covers, nerd-smart lyrics, across the board they continually surprised and were a welcome addition to the movement, and today, sorely missed. 

Watch: Don’t tell Me:

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Bands we miss – Blancmange”

  1. They don’t really qualify as electronic, but boy do I miss Cocteau Twins.

  2. Blancmange are still making music – see:

    http://www.myspace.com/blancmange2006

    There’s a great new version of “Living on the Ceiling” on their player atm.

  3. Michael Says:

    Wow, love Book of Love (esp first 3 albums) , Blancmange and Cocteau Twins. Sadly, there are so many electronic bands that were overlooked at the time. Here are a few of mine and the album that should have done better….

    Alphaville: Forever Young
    Red Flag: Naive Art
    Anything Box: Peace
    The The: Soul Mining
    Propaganda: A Secret Wish
    Pete Shelley: Homosapian

    and currently there is…
    Marsheaux: Peek a Boo
    Ladytron: Witching Hour/Verocero

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: