Showing posts with label Red Box. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Box. Show all posts

Sunday, 22 October 2017

For America - Red Box

One of the best CD releases of recent years is undoubtedly Red Box's 'Plenty'. Red Box are better known, of course, from their Eighties hit 'For America'. This blog already featured the 7" single and the rare 10" single, so obviously the 12" single has to appear here too.

I've already had it for a couple of years, so it's one of those collection pieces that simply never made it to these pages yet. Perhaps because it features a rather strange 12" version. The 'Bazooka mix' - as it's called - was made by Red Box with Phil Harding.

My collection: 12" single [unnumbered]
Found: 2014
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'For America (Bazooka mix)' / 'Ain't got no... I got life', 'R 'n A'

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

For America - Red Box

When Red Box released 'The circle and the square' as their debut album on WEA records, it was critically acclaimed. The record company worried about the lack of mainstream appeal of the band's material and was further provoked by the song 'For America', written by Simon Toulson-Clarke after WEA's request for something to appeal to American radio.

The lyric lambasted what he saw as the style-over-content approach of the American media. The song also alluded to the American military involvement in Grenada and Nicaragua. The song was not a hit in the USA, though it did worldwide outsell the previous single 'Lean On Me', reaching number one in six countries and the top ten in several others including the UK, where it spent twelve weeks in the chart including two at number nine.

My collection: 7" single no. 5253
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 19, 2011
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'For America' / 'R 'n A'

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Enjoy - Solid Gold Easy Amex featuring Red Box

'Enjoy' started its life as the B-side of Red Box's single 'Heart of the sun'. Three years after its release, the track was remixed by Paul Oakenfold. This 12" single was the result: a track credited to 'Solid Gold Easy Amex featuring Red Box'. Side A featured the remix, the B-side was the original 1987 track.

The remix became a club hit, charting at number 75 on Independent Radio's Network Chart, although failing to reach the official UK singles chart.

My collection: 12" single no. 599
Found: Discogs.com, received November 1, 2011
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'Enjoy (Paul Oakenfold future mix)' / 'Enjoy (Original Golden Lay)'

Monday, 17 October 2011

For America - Red Box

The biggest hit from the duo Red Box is undoubtledly 'For America'. For some reason, neither the 7" single nor the 12" single have made it onto this blog so far (but I am sure they will) - but this 10" single is quite a rare find.

It features a different mix of the track, although it is only slightly different from the album mix. Both B-sides also turn up on the 12" single.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 14, 2011
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'For America (Boys Own mix)' / 'Ain't got no... I got life', 'R 'n' A'

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Heart of the sun - Red Box

This picture disc version of the 12" single of 'Heart of the sun' by Red Box must have been confusing at the time for fans: the A-side of the disc (shown here) carried a picture that was also used on the sleeve of the album 'The circle & the square'.

The disc itself was a good package: interesting remixes of both 'Heart of the sun' and the previous single 'Lean on me', plus a weird B-side. Red Box fans should rejoice: a new album has just been released by Cherry Pop records.

My collection: 12" single no. 552
Found: Esprit Mailorder, received 2000
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: 'Heart of the sun (Slash & Burn)' / 'Enjoy (Solid Gold Easy Amex)', 'Lean on me (Vera's Husband's mix)'

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lean on me - Red Box

Red Box had their first hit single in 1985 with 'Lean on me'. It took me some time to realise that this was actually a good song, but when I did, I decided I wanted to have the 12" single as well. By that time, it was pretty hard to get, and so I had to resort to mail order in order to get it.

This 12" single actually contains two different versions of 'Lean on me' plus a remix of the B-side track 'Stinging bee'. Packages like this are always value for money.

My collection: 12" single no. 548
Found: Fun records, received 2002
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Lean on me (Dogmatix)' / 'Stinging bee (Catmatix)', 'Lean on me'

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Train - Red Box

I was very familiar with Red Box's debut album 'The circle and the square' and its singles by the time I saw this single in a shop somewhere in London. I didn't now about this single, I'd never heard of it, so my curiosity kicked in and I bought it.

I was so glad I did - this track was in many ways quirkier and more original than the earlier singles - and those were pretty inventive anyway. 'Train' was the only single from Red Box's second album 'Motive'. It took me another 13 years to find that one on cd.

My collection: 7" single no. 2026
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 19, 1993
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Train' / 'Hello, he lied'

Friday, 10 July 2009

Lean on me - Red Box

After Red Box signed to Sire Records and released their single 'Saskatchewan', there must have been some doubt whether this band would actually make it. The single did not chart and some record company executives must have felt panic. These days, the band would probably have been dropped immediately.

But they followed through with 'Lean on me', which proved the be a more successful track. It would prove to be the biggest hit of their career, peaking at number 3 in the UK Singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2140
Found: Grammofoonwinkel, Utrecht, August 2, 1994
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Lean on me' / 'Stinging bee'

Monday, 18 May 2009

Heart of the sun - Red Box

'Heart of the sun' was another single released from Red Box's debut album 'The circle and the square' (1986). After the chart success of the single 'For America', the record company was hoping for another audience favourite. Unfortunately, even with this limited edition double single which literally included that single 'For America', this release stalled at number 71 in the UK singles chart.

Due to increasingly strained relations between the band and their record company, Julian Close left to work in A&R and Simon Toulson-Clarke took time out from writing and recording in order to travel.

My collection: 7" single no. 2013
Found: October 18, 1993
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Heart of the sun' / 'Enjoy (Solid Gold Easy Amex)' // 'For America' / 'R n' A'

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Train - Red Box

After the success of 'The circle and the square' and its singles in 1985, things went rather quiet for some time. Due to increasingly strained working relations between the band and the record company, Julian Close left to work in A&R and Simon Toulson-Clarke took time out from writing and recording in order to travel. In the late Eighties Toulson-Clarke was persuaded to record a second album. Together with new partner Alastair Gavin and producer David Motion he made the album 'Motive'.

'Train' was released as the first (and only) single from that album. The 12" single features four versions of the track, some even more eccentric than the original track.

My collection: 12" single no. 263
Found: Record Exchange, London, 1995
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Train (Fantasy Island)', 'Train (Traveller fare)' / 'Train (Mr. Chandra is upstairs)', 'Train (7" version)'


Saturday, 28 February 2009

Saskatchewan - Red Box

Besides the 7" single 'Saskatchewan' there was also a 12" single. The buyer got his money's worth, because he didn't just get an extended remix, but also an alternative 7" mix.

I got this 12" single from a friend, who wanted to get rid of it and had heard about my newfound obsession for Red Box releases. I didn't have much at that time (just the LP 'Heart of the sun' and a single or two), so I was very surprised when I heard the strange versions of 'Saskatchewan' on this disc. It was one of the nicest gifts I'd had in a while.

My collection: 12" single no. 224
Found: Beverwijk, 1992 (present)
Cost: nothing
Tracks: 'Saskatchewan (Crew's testing mix)' / 'Speeches', 'Saskatchewan (Alternative 7" mix)'

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Chenko (Tenka-io) - Red Box

'Chenko (tenka-io)' was the fifth single to be taken from Red Box's debut album 'The circle and the square'. An early version of the track had already appeared on an independent label (see also this entry), so the album version of 'Chenko' was remixed.

For the longest time, I believed this single did not exist. I'd seen the video on television some time after Red Box had some commercial success with 'For America', but when I bought the album in the second half of the Eighties, the song 'Chenko' was different from the video version I'd seen. It was a relief when I finally did find this single.

My collection: 7" single no. 3184
Found: Esprit Mailorder, UK, 1999
Cost: 4 pounds
Tracks: 'Chenko (tenka-io) (remix)' / 'Speeches'
Download: here

Friday, 16 January 2009

Saskatchewan - Red Box

'Chenko' is not the only single released before Red Box's debut album 'The circle and the square'. 'Saskatchewan' also appeared in a more rudimentary form as a 7" and 12" single. By then, the band had signed to Sire Records. The single was recorded in the summer of 1984 and released soon thereafter. Like 'Chenko', the single wasn't a hit. Fortunately, they were able to record their album after this, otherwise the world might never have heard the wonderful songs that followed...

My collection: 7" single no. 2381
Found: House of Rhythm, London, July 1, 1995
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'Saskatchewan' / 'Speeches'
Download: here

Monday, 29 December 2008

Chenko - Red Box

Simon Toulson-Clarke formed his first band at age thirteen with school friend Paddy Talbot, playing covers of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple as well as some self-penned material. On leaving school he moved to Middlesborough and formed another band in the vein of the New York Dolls. In the late Seventies he went to study at The Polytechnic of Central London, where he formed a band with Julian Close. This band took on the name Red Box after a while and included further band members Paddy Talbot, Rob Legge and Martin Nickson. The group released their debut single 'Chenko' on the Cherry Red label in 1983.

I bought the single in 1996, after having collected all the later releases on WEA Records. This version is very different from the one that ended up on their 1986 debut album 'The circle and the square', which makes it all the more interesting.

My collection: 7" single no. 2783
Found: London, November 1, 1996
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Chenko' / 'Valley'
Download: here
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