Song of the day – 419: Susan
This song entered my life via an NME cassette, Dancin’ Master. It felt fabulous. All the minor chords and chiming synthetic tones one could hope for: a melody-line so strong and resonant and joyful it created instant nostalgia. It was all very French coldwave, coldwave and minimal pop electronica … if only I’d known of the genre back then. (I didn’t.) Synthetic percussion crashes. Melody lines bubble up from nowhere and then evaporate. It’s very, very early Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. (Yes, I’m talking ‘Electricity’ minus the nods to melancholy.) It’s even more so very chart-period Altered Images (a band that I of course loved at the time, and would’ve done even without Clare Grogan’s heart-stopping performance in Gregory’s Girl). As Isaac cheekily remarked, “Listen mum, it’s the Chipmunks” (he knows how much she hates them). It’s just glorious. Glorious synthetic 80s coldwave. Like my new (old) heartthrobs) Humpe Humpe. I really don’t want to know anything more about it.
For sure, I went out and purchased the album pictured above. That’s where the sum total of my knowledge around French-Japanese singer Susan rests. That, and the fact she recorded The Girl Can’t Help It (1981: which I also owned) with members of Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Funny what stays with you.