Long Was The Morning

I may have posted this song before, or at least one of its versions (there are a few), but it was a few years back and it bears repeating. Arena II is a song by mid 80s samples, electronics plus instruments band Colourbox. They made a lot of reggae influenced stuff and some BAD style sample-driven instrumentals but this song is a piano ballad. It has factory settings drum machine, some clicky percussion, great big piano chords and a superb vocal. It is a bit proto-house music. It is about love lost. The bottom line- it is a piano ballad.

Arena 2

As I was listening to this song (while trying to type this post) Mrs Swiss came in and said ‘what 80s nonsense is this? It is 80s isn’t it?’ ‘1985’ I replied. I was about to type the words ‘I don’t think this song sounds thirty years old’, but maybe I’d be wrong.

Just Give ‘Em Whiskey

I dug out a Colourbox album the other day while tackling a mound of ironing that Hercules would have balked at. I managed to burn myself only twice as well (left forearm and right thumb), which for a cack-handed, left-hander isn’t bad. The album was the two disc vinyl version with the second mixed disc of offcuts and versions, including the monumental Arena II which I’ve put up here before. Some of their stuff sounds a little dated but there’s a load of goodness in it. There’s a boxed set out (released back in May also called Colourbox like the albums were, just to make it all a little confusing). This song is a killer, driving bass and guitars and BAD style samples littered throughout. Tip top, ahead of the curve stuff. They went on to make Pump Up The Volume and you can hear why in this song.

Just Give ‘Em Whiskey

We are off to a campsite near Tewkesbury for two nights, being time rich/cash poor in August, camping with Mrs Swiss’s best friend P and her family. Weather forecast looks reasonable. Back on Wednesday.

>We’re Gonna Shake Up Your Sleepy Mind

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Having already posted three Colourbox songs recently I wasn’t going to do anymore but the mp3 player keeps chucking this up, as if it’s urging me to share it, and who am I to ignore the God of the portable music device?

Arena 2 is a brilliant mid-80s, proto-house torch song- huge piano, skittering and rudimentary drum track and massive soulful vocal. It makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. Stunning.

>MARRS Attacks

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Pump Up The Volume by MARRS is surely one of the greatest singles ever made and a number one single to boot. From 1987 it was a one-off collaboration between members of AR Kane and Colourbox, both Bagging Area favourites, with extra input from djs Dave Dorrell and CJ Mackintosh. Does it sound twenty four years old? I’ve lost track of how things should sound after that amount of time. Made up mainly of samples it still shakes dancefloors- well, the floor in my front room anyway. I don’t know if anyone would play it in a proper club anymore. This is the B-side Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance), made up of an AR Kane track with Colourbox programming the drum machine.

>Baby I Love You So

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I couldn’t let Colourbox go by without posting this, the A-side to the 12″ single with Tuesday’s postee Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse on the flip. Baby I Love You So is a cover of an Augustus Pablo track. This is electronic dub at it’s best- big, swirly sound with swathes of colourful synths, a massive bassline, reverby guitars, samples and vocals from Lorita Grahame. Seven minutes or so of wonder. Play it back to back with Looks Like… for full effect.

02 Baby I Love You So 12_.mp3

>Breakdown

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And back again…

Here’s some more Colourbox, this time their debut single Breakdown from 1982, with guest vocals from Debian Curry. There’s much less dub and none of the Western samples on Breakdown, just some very 80s leftfield electronic pop but I believe this kind of thing is all the rage with young folk today. Funny how bands then could go from pop to weird, a journey bands tend to do in reverse, if at all. The fact they had a variety of influences and used them all to make their own music that changed and developed over five years, is something to be applauded.

Breakdown.mp3

>Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse

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One of the records Weatherall played when warming up for the Screamadelica live show on Sunday night was this- Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse by Colourbox, a magnificent piece of electronic dub with an extended and very dubby outro. Sounded even better booming through Primal Scream’s PA system. Looks Like… was released as the B-side to Colourbox’s 1986 single Baby I Love You So. On the same day they released their Offical Colourbox World Cup Theme single. Colourbox went on to collaborate with A.R. Kane as MARRS and hit the number one spot with the mighty Pump Up The Volume. This is subtler and spacier but no less good.

No-one- that’s no-one, not one single soul- has downloaded yesterday’s live version of Come Together. This is a Bagging Area first, a completely unwanted track.

12 Looks Like We\’re Shy One Horse.wma