Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The jury is perhaps still out on Blackpool's Section 25: dismissed in some circles as a pallid version of Joy Division/New Order for their electronica dance music, hailed by others who heard in them an innovative band well in the vanguard of post-punk dance pop.
Sharing a label with Joy Division/New Order and A Certain Ratio (also with whom they were also sometimes unfairly compared) as well as having Joy Division producer Martin Hannett work the desk on their debut album Forever Now inevitably meant comparisons would be made.
Oh, and Ian Curtis was a fan so . . .
The success of labelmates Joy Division meant that Section 25's career never quite took off as perhaps it could have and they broke up -- for the first time -- after their second album.
Their finest moment according to many -- not the least being Peter Shapiro who wrote Turn the Beat Around; The Secret History of Disco -- was this, the remix of Looking From a Hilltop by New Order's Bernard Sumner and Ratio's Donald Johnson.
An emotionally cool and distant dancefloor favourite, it featured the vocals of founder Larry Cassidy's wife Jenny Ross.
Even now it possesses an indefinable something which makes it part disco, part Kraftwerk and part something even more remote.
In Shapiro's words, "despite al the electronics, it was almost pastoral with the little-girl-lost vocalist Jenny Ross giving it a kind of wind-sweeping-across-the-moors mystery".
That's a lot for an electronica dance single to encompass, but Section 25 -- albeit very briefly -- managed to pull it off.
For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.