Retro Cassette Friday!

Cassette

Slap your wristbands on and get your mojo working for an extra-bodacious Valentine’s Day edition of Retro Cassette Friday! This week we take our musical journey from Sydney all the way to Broadway right here in the OUTinPerth office using the transportative powers of our very own ears!

INXS

Dekadance

1983

Our first offering to the gods of sound and lycra is an extra special super rare cassette tape that goes by the alluring title of ‘Dekadance’. This charming little number features remixes of INXS’s best songs. The physical artefact is a love letter from the 80’s in and of itself. ‘Dekadance’ is spelt triumphantly with a ‘K’, its roguish disregard for correct spelling is accompanied by a pattern that bears resemblance to technicolour television static, and the whole seductive little number is seductively packaged in an adorable little box that opens up like a cigarette packet, packaging that, if used today, would spark a number of complaints from parents and various health organisations. If you’ve ever thought that ‘Original Sin’ was a great song but needed more drum solos, this is the album for you. This cassette would be a hit for any halfway decent 80’s dance party, as both hardcore INXS lovers and musical imbeciles can appreciate a good bit of sax and some sweet synthy beats. The extra special treat for mega-fans is the band’s cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Jackson’ with Jenny Morris.

Various Artists

The Songs of West Side Story

1996

Our next magical treasure unearthed from the vault of time is ‘The Songs of West Side Story’, an album comprised entirely of German language Lionel Richie covers. I jest! ‘The Songs of West Side Story’ does in fact include songs from the  musical ‘West Side Story’ however if anyone knows of any German language Lionel Richie covers please alert me by writing a comment or posting a mix tape to the OUTinPerth office. All I know about ‘West Side Story’ is that it has that song about America and that people fight by snapping their fingers at each other. That’s ‘West Side Story’, right? Anyway, this album features some pretty big artists, including Lisa Left-Eye Lopez of TLC, Phil Collins, Salt-N-Pepa and Aretha Franklin. For fans of ‘West Side Story’, this is probably a pretty big deal, but even if you’re not, there are enough majorly talented musicians on this record to make it worth listening to. A particular highlight is ‘I Feel Pretty’ sung by Little Richard.

Pet Shop Boys and Jonathan Harvey

Closer to Heaven

2001

I’m not sure that 2001 really qualifies as retro but this record had a heart on the cover so it seemed appropriate for Valentine’s Day. This is the original cast recording of the Pet Shop Boys’ musical ‘Closer to Heaven’, a ketamine-fuelled electro rave tornado. With ballads in it. This record is simultaneously cheesy, touching and catchy, like all good musicals should be. I would love to see this onstage. People singing about how meaningless their existences are in cockney accents is my jam. Also I got weirdly emotionally involved in the romance between ‘straight’ boy Dave and drug dealer Miles End Lee. There’s something so very wrong and yet oh so right about the vacuous, drug addled social landscape of 1990s club scene Britain being explored though the medium of musical theatre.

Sophie Joske

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