The Buggles/The Age Of Plastic

Age of Plastic (+3 Bonus Tracks)The Buggles[1][2] were an English New Wave band consisting of Trevor Horn (vocals, bass guitar, guitar) and Geoff Downes (keyboards, drums, percussion). They are mostly remembered for their 1979 debut single “Video Killed the Radio Star” that was #1 on the singles chart in 16 different countries.[3] Its music video was the first to be shown on MTV in North America at 00:01 on 1 August 1981.  [Wikipedia]

Living In The Plastic Age—-Perhaps one of the defining release of the early 80’s for me, I still have this n vinyl and it sounds as refreshing in 2010 as it ever did. Encompassing new sounding synths and the rhythmic quality of 80’s New Wave, this will sink into your skin and live there successfully for the next 30 years. The remarkable melodic quality of the music set against a machine generated sound is remarkable. Truly classic.

Video Killed The Radio Star—-Perhaps one of the defining songs of the decade and a true seer into the ultimate outcome of the music industry, this was of course…the first video ever played on the virgin MTV and has been repeated more times that I care to remember. Masterfully combining the best of machines and instrumentation, the vocal an odd mix of robotic sounds only solidifies the path that the decade would take. This is still magical and an important part of music history…still sounding brand new …..even now.

Kid Dynamo—-With a wonderful segue from the previous song, we are treated to even more synth based New Wave that set the mark for many of the bands that would become not only one hit wonders, but also mainstays in the industry. This is lush and magical as it builds to a Devo like quality of synth lines. the vocal is so machine oriented, you ask yourself if there is really someone singing or if it is just generated…this is real……and manipulated in a remarkable way. The pace of the song is at times manic…leaving you thirsty and wanting even more. This is fantastic.

I Love You [Miss Robot]—-With a nice ‘real’ bass line, the song quickly becomes a synth/autotune masterpiece that also allows for a very pleasant manipulated vocal that really is one of my favorite songs on this masterpiece recording. The pace of the song is lazy and sunny, the instrumentation in minimal and the machine generated sounds remain on overload. This is the best Kraftwerk song that Kraftwerk never made. Fantastic!!!

Clean Clean—-At the onset, this has a really nice chugging bass line that sets the pace for the entire song. The vocal is pure and not manipulated like most of the release. this is brilliant….although it is rather silly at times, this set the bar for all of the New Wave bands that were waiting in the wings to make their mark on the world. This is pleasant pop music that showcased new technology and masterful knowledge of what the public was looking for. Brilliant!!!

Elstree—-Full of every element that made ‘Video’ such a big song, it is beyond me why this did not get much more attention. the pop hook on this song is so addictive that you will find it circulating in your brain hours after you have listened to it…this is remarkable…one of the few really perfect pop songs of the beginning of the excessive decade. Pure magic!!!

Astroboy [And The Proles On Parade]—-With elements from every song all rolled into one huge masterpiece of  a song, the surprising thing for me on this track is the vocal. Clear and with out machine manipulation, this is so damn pleasant and accessible you have to listen to it at least twice in a row to get it out of your system. the synths are huge and carry familiar sounds of songs past but the standout remains the vocal. Magnificent!!!

Johnny On The Monorail—-Flourishing with magical keyboards and a vocal that is almost 60’s retro in its delivery, this little ditty is a perfect close to a release that was brand new and fresh to a teen like myself that was looking for something besides AOR radio to quench my thirst. Between the Buggles, Devo and The B-52’s, a musical monster was created….still roaring all of these years later.

****1/2 out of 5


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