Bronski Beat/Hundreds & Thousands

Hundreds and ThousandsHundreds & Thousands is a remix album by Bronski Beat (Jimmy Somerville, Larry Steinbachek, and Steve Bronski), released in 1985 (see 1985 in music). The album was the last to feature Somerville as the group’s vocalist.
The album was assembled after Jimmy Somerville’s departure, with what should have been the band’s next single (“Run From Love” b/w “Hard Rain”) and four newly remixed tracks from The Age of Consent (the remixes of “Why ?” and “Smalltown Boys” being different from those issued on 12″ singles).
The CD edition of the album added 3 b-sides and the “I Feel Love” Medley in its main 12″ version. Four other b-sides (“Red Dance”, “The Potato Field”, “Puit d’ amour” and “Signs & Wonders”) have been left out.

Heatwave/Remix—-Beginning with a nice Jazz, it takes a bit for the song to really begin…the dance instructor at the onset of the song making me think of Debbie Allen. When the slow and mellow Jazz flavor begins and Sommerville enters with his vocal you are lost in the Birdland feel of the song. This is wonderful and pretty classic Bronski. The saxophone on this is incredible…not really lending itself for the dance floor the song is a great example of the wonderful Sommerville vocal though!

Why?/Remix—-Super charged with a BPM that is off the charts, this is more my style. Just listening to this brings back so many memories and reminds me of a band that I really looked to through my own coming out process. This is so fast and filled with such great synth that it moves even faster than I can type…and I’m a pretty fast damn typist. Sommerville enters with his vocal…full of a slight echo that seems to add even more emotion to the song. There are huge instrumental breaks that allow for mixing with other versions or other songs…this is a DJ dream. The high energy flow of the song far surpasses the original just in the speed and energy department. This is wonderful!!!

Run From Love/Remix—-This is synth pop at its finest…the underlying rapid fire beat of the machines drives the song and creates a magic mood all of it’s own…and that is before the vocal is anywhere close to beginning. When Sommerville joins in on the song it takes it even a notch higher…giving you an almost euphoric feel that will stick with you forever. Jimmy enters and delivers a voice that is almost seductive and sexy…that short little guy used to really do it for me…so sexy!!! This is masterful…when Sommerville hits those huge high notes, you are lost in it..combine this with the swirling synths and you don’t give a damn who you are dancing with. Just fantastic!!!

Hard Rain/Remix—-Sticking fairly close to the recipe that made this trip huge in the UK, the synth lines are delivered with mastery….the added bass beats give the song a much larger feel than the original and the synth swirls allow you to lose yourself in the atmosphere. The chant of Hard Rain Falls….builds and builds allowing the slow and masterful introduction of Jimmy and when the song breaks loose it is with a wonderful euphoric feel that you can not resist. This is masterful synth pop that will live on for decades just for the controversy…none the less, the song stands on its own very well. This is wonderful!!!

Smalltown Boy/Remix—-Perhaps the best known track from this trio, this remix takes a classic 80’s synth pop song and turns it into a Disco laden dance floor classic that manages to retain its integrity and grow even larger than the original. This is wonderfully energetic, with hear felt emotions and lyrics to match and a delivery that is possibly the best of Somerville’s career. This will live on for many years in clubs that specialize in 80’s nights and gay clubs that pay homage to our forefathers. This is beautiful, heartbreaking and a damn masterpiece!!!

Junk/Remix—-With a really nice deep synth line, this song keeps intact the rapid fire Disco inspired line of most of this band’s songs, but the incorporation of the deeper sound in fresh and exciting. this travels at a speed that is remarkable…Jimmy enters with a rather sedate vocal…he sounds just as masterful when he sings in his deeper voice…this is incredible. I have never really paid to much attention to this track before, but this remix gives it a huge push of life that invigorates my interest and makes me fall in love all over again. Fabulous!!!

Infatuation/Memories/Remix—-Beginning with a rather simple bass synth line, this song has the propensity to grow and you just feel it from the very beginning of the track. The build-up is slow……it takes forever to get to the true meat of the song. There is a lot of synth atmosphere…I never quite realized how much emotion could be produced by subtle pulsing beats…this is nice, but misses the mark for me…not a favorite:(

Close To The Edge—-Returning to full frontal synth mastery, Jimmy delivers another vocal that belongs in the history books. If it were not for the overt sexual nature of many of the songs, I think this band would have gotten much more credit than it did. This borders on Moroder style Disco that is huge and driven by a magical synth bass. I love this…the vocal although present is understated and allows for all of the little musical nuances to really be heard…a wonderful remix!!!

Love To Love You/I Feel Love/Remember Me [featuring Marc Almond]/Remix—-This is a freakin’ tour de force that would make any dance floor lose their mind. This combines the great synth capabilities of the 80’s with Disco classics of the 70’s and interjects Marc Almond in the process. Jimmy sounds in his element and he has NEVER sounded better than he does on this trio of songs. This remarkable remix takes this trio of songs and injects them with the best ecstasy that you could imagine…the tracks swirl around you and make you want to grab poppers and dirty dance your way into heaven. This is perhaps the greatest remix of any and all of these songs known to mankind!!!

Cadillac Car/Remix—-Melding wonderfully from the previous song and delivering some kind og quasi-Beach Boy sound that is almost shocking, the song has a clear 50’s sound that is rather surprising. Although I like this, it is so far removed from the things the band is known for it is almost a shock. Of course, Jimmy sounds brilliant, but this seems a bit misdirected…not a favorite!

**** out of 5


2 Responses to “Bronski Beat/Hundreds & Thousands”

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