On “Push It,” all-gal Queens hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa made pop magic by way of a seemingly easy combination of Casio beats; a number of huge, dumb keyboard stabs; and plenty of impassioned, steamy cries of “Ooh, baby child.” Even that sampling by MC Hammer can’t diminish its greatness. Turning jaunty Motown influences into icy synth pop might sound like sacrilege, however that is exactly what English duo Soft Cell did when it covered Gloria Jones’s 1965 funky stomper in 1981. Ditching the unique’s vitality for Marc Almond’s cut-glass tones and unashamedly machine-pushed melodies, Soft Cell’s model soon became big, paving the best way for the ’80s synth-pop explosion that followed. Before Vanilla Ice famously ripped off, er, was inspired by the work of Queen bassist John Deacon, that delicate, infectious plucking heralded the assembly of two wildly influential rock icons.
This level of management could appear eccentric to American readers, … Read More