Saturday, 13 February 2010

Heart of Glass

Aaaah.... Valentine's Day is nearly upon us! True Love Always? Shattered Dreams? Broken Hearts? What better day to do a wee post about the second most multi-formatted Associates record of all time. Back in 1988 I astonished myself by purchasing five versions of "Heart Of Glass" when it came out. Normally a bit of a tightwad, I simply couldn't resist splurging out time and again for the various versions of what was the first Associates record in nearly three years. Perhaps I thought that my Uber purchasing would catapult the single to the top of the charts? Nope. Truth be told, I wasn't very keen on the track. I'd heard it performed live a few years before and had a version they did for a Radio One session (which is still the version I prefer to this day). I mean there was nothing wrong with the track... it just seemed a bit... well... pedestrian. However, the slew of different formats meant a treasure trove of remixes, otherwise unavailable B-sides, demos and alternate versions of other songs.

The seven inch had the regular single edit of "Heart of Glass" and a very dark piece of work on the B-side called "Her Only Wish" which never made it onto the Perhaps/ Glamour Chase re-issue set. A pity because it is a rather bitter, snarling bite of a wee song produced by Billy MacKenzie.

The 3" CD Single had a clutch of goodies. The regular single edit of "Heart Of Glass", "Her Only Wish", the original demo of "Breakfast" (produced by Martin Rushent) and a new version of "Those First Impressions" with a Linndrum intro and some quite sparkling production from Martyn Ware. Associates on CD for the first time too!

Three 12" versions of "Heart Of Glass" appear in my collection.

The Auchterhouse Mix (5.11) 12" (remixed by Robert Gordon from Sheffield's Fon Force) also had an "Auchterhouse Instrumental" version (4.46) of "Heart Of Glass" plus "Her Only Wish".

The Temperament Mix 12" was extended (6.46), remixed by Francois Kevorkian and Goh Hotoda, had lots of extra drummy bits and a weirded out ending (the track stops abruptly with a crash of breaking glass). Kevorkian had previously remixed tracks such as PSB's "Rent", U2's "Two Hearts Beat As One", The Smiths "This Charming Man" and Yazoo's "Situation" and was resident deejay at the likes of Studio 54 in NYC. He remains to this day a house and electronic music legend. This 12" version had its sleeve remixed into a 3D sleeve and came with a pair of Associates 3D glasses to look at it through while you listened to the record. On the B-side lurked "Her Only Wish" and another track "Heaven's Blue" - a fragile minute long piano piece which did make it onto the Perhaps/Glamour Chase reissue (so you wont find it in my batch of goodies here).
I also got my hands on a white label promo of The Auchterhouse Mix 12". It doesn't say what the song is on the label. My copy is mis-labelled with the actual tracks being the opposite of what the labels say.

I've also tossed in the "Heart Of Glass" (Dub Mix) which appeared on the "Country Boy" promo only 12" and CDEP.

All the best

Sid Law


  1. Wow. I thought I’d never get to hear the Heart Of Glass dub mix.

    I was a latecomer to Billy MacKenzie. Sure, I’d heard about Associates “back in the day,” yet they remained one of the post-punk bands I’d read about but crucially never heard. I don’t even remember seeing any imports in the bins, and by 1981 I was watching those bins like a hawk. True, I was a fan of B.E.F. and Yello. I loved Billy’s cuts on “Music of Q&D vol.1”. It takes a real talent to blow away Bowie on one of my favorite tunes of his! When I got the “Goldrush” 12” I heard Billy again in a new context. The next several years saw more MacKenzie vocals gracing Yello cuts but if you can believe this, just hearing him sing did not necessarily make me a fan. Truth be told, I typically discount highly adept singers. My favorite singers are usually more perverse. Bear in mind that tracks like "Kitchen Person" were still years out for me in the mid-80s!

    It remained until the US release of the “Popera” CD in 1990 for me to buy it just to see what the band had been like. The disc was a used copy, so I got to listen to it in the store. I saw a track called “White Car In Germany.” That’s a pretty loaded title! It sets an expectation in my mind that’s ridiculously high. So I popped the disc in and went straight to it. Not only was the track successful at fulfilling my expectations for a song called “White Car In Germany,” I daresay that my ears were graced with the best conceivable song with the audacity to call itself “White Car In Germany!” This was truly post-punk perfection. I should gave been all over Associates. They truly would have been one of my favorite bands in 80-81, had I but heard them. Well, from that point on, I wasted no time in buying anything by Associates that I happened upon. One record store in Pittsburgh, The Collector’s 12”, was a motherlode in 1992. I picked up what must have been 20% of the Associates catalog there.

    When “Outernational” and the “Colours Will Come” CD single was released, I immediately special ordered them. Little did I know at the time that I was one of the lucky few. Another even better cache of records was at a store called Underground Sounds in New Orleans in 1996 during my honeymoon. I must have gotten 25% of everything there. Apparently the former owner of the store was an Associates fan. I even got the “Dogs In The Wild” Flexipop disc there!

    Then in January 1997 I saw the horrible news. I was devastated that this talent who I’d become a huge fan of in the musical dry period that was the 1990s had taken his life. It now became more imperative to hear everything. At least with the internet, it became possible to find out what I was missing and find places to buy it. Over the last 20 years I managed to buy a copy of almost everything.


    The Yahoo group generated some nice CDRs for a few years when I was part of that mailing list. But I’ve not been part of that list since moving 10 years ago and changing e-mail addresses a few times. I’d given up on buying a copy of the “Country Boy” CD single. I’ve long been willing to pay dearly for them but the demand is so high, even my requests at Esprit (I have no qualms at paying a lot for music I want, obviously) go unfulfilled. It was with a resigned sense of failure, that I sat down at my computer the other morning and thought I’d search on the term “Heart Of Glass (dub mix)”+”Associates” to see if any music blogger had ever posted the track. That led me to your blog.

    While it’s a painful last resort for me to download a track, I recognize that the odds of my finding a copy for sale of “Country Boy” are slim to none. But it’s true. I am very old school. I didn’t even tape my friend’s records in the 70s and 80s! I strongly prefer owning my music physically. And even purchased downloads are much less than buying a record or CD, if possible. But the posting of the “Heart Of Glass” dub mix was a sight for sore eyes.

    Now I'll ask you if you would possibly be able to post my other holy grail, "Outernational II?"

  2. Now that I think of it, I seem to remember hearing HOG in an actual dance club in Florida. At the time I had never heard Associates and was wondering who had recut this gem in such a lovely way. I will admit that I consider this to be the definitive version of Heart Of Glass*. I never heard it again until I bought Popera, but reading your reminiscing has jogged my memory.

    * I am in full agreement with your dismissal of "Wild + Lonely," however. It is the only completely perfunctory record Billy ever made. I find everything else from good to brilliant in degrees. It's not bad, per se, but it is drab as the day is long. The only track from those sessions that merits the Associates name for me is "Fever In The Shadows."

  3. No problem Revo. If you contact me here

    I will be happy to forward the track for you. By the way I don't dismiss "Wild and Lonely", it just doesn't have the spark of the others. I think it is the production really. There are some great songs with cracking melodies, lyrics and vocals. However for me the only track with any real "life" for me was "The Glamour Chase" which was not a JM production, but was produced by Billy MacKenzie and featured on the original UK Wild and Lonely CD (and Fire to Ice 12", 10" CD single and the W&L CD re-issue).

    All the best

    Sid Law

  4. I have been looking for the Francois Kevorkian remix of Heart Of Glass for months, had pretty much given up but for some reason gave it one more try on google today and came across your site, thanks so much for posting this, its as good as I hoped it would be.

    Now that I have found this wonderful site, I have to ask, do you have the Kevorkian remix of Yello Call It Love, from what I can tell, it appeared on a US 12" only and has never appeared on any of the re-releases.

  5. I'm afraid I don't have the Kevorkian remix. The two vinyl versions I have are the "Trego Snare Version 2" promo 12incher and the regular 3 track UK 12incher (with 7.02 Extended Version and Trego Snare Version 1) on yellow vinyl.
    Good luck with your quest.

  6. There is one more pressing for the completists out there. WEA 12" SAM497 is a 2 track pressing with the A side "Temperament Mix' while on the B side is the 'Orchestral Accapella' track which is unique to this pressing.

  7. CMYK - you are absolutely correct. This version slipped from my addled brain at the time of this posting. The error has been corrected and the version of the track you refer to can be found in the St Andrew's Day posting bundle (30 November 2010).
    Thank you for correcting this.

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