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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'The Politics of Dancing: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Re-Flex

For those not in the know, Re-Flex were a (highly underrated) British new wave/synth pop band active from 1981 to 1985.

They are most often recognized for their hit, 'The Politics of Dancing', the title track from their debut album, as well as the singles 'Hurt', 'Hit Line', 'Couldn't Stand A Day', 'Praying to the Beat', 'Sensitive', and 'Flex It'.

Re-Flex were formed in the early 1980s by musicians John Baxter on vocals and lead guitar and Paul Fishman on keyboards and backing vocals.

The band's earliest line-ups also included Francois Craig on bass, vocals, John Hodges on guitar, and two successive drummers: Phil Gould and Mark King, who would both go on to form Level 42.

Following King's exit, Roland Vaughn Kerridge took over on drums and later, after Craig's departure, musician Thomas Dolby introduced the band to ex-Gloria Mundi bass player Nigel Ross-Scott.

Hodges departed at some point before their first album was recorded. Re-Flex's final and best known line-up consisted of Baxter, Fishman, Kerridge and Ross-Scott.

In late 1982, the band recorded their debut album, The Politics of Dancing, which was released in 1983 through EMI. The album, produced by John Punter of Roxy Music fame, was a moderate success, charting at No. 53 in the United States, No. 58 in Germany and No. 34 in New Zealand.

The album was later re-released in 1993, in CD format for the first time, by One Way Records and has now undergone a rather fabulous expanded second CD release by Cherry Red Records (UK).

The 1983 album's title track was a successful single in many territories and yes, a planned second album entitled Humanication was rejected by EMI (which actually did see the light of day back in 2010 as part of a 6CD box-set entitled Re-Fuse).

Anyway, and back on track, this expanded 2CD version of The Politics of Dancing contains a selection of extended mixes and are construed as new-to-CD offerings (which is rather lovely).

CD 1:
1. 'Praying to the Beat'
2. 'Hitline'
3. 'Hurt'
4. 'Couldn't Stand a Day'
5. 'The Politics of Dancing'
6. 'Something About You'
7. 'Pointless'
8. 'Jungle'
9. 'Sensitive'
10. 'Keep in Touch'
11. 'Cruel World' (12" Extended Version)
12. 'The Politics of Dancing' (7" Version)
13. 'Cruel World' (7" Spanish Version)

In truth, I've loved this band and their sound from day one. Yep, I was hooked the very first moment I heard the uber catchy 'The Politics of Dancing' on the radio and so not only purchased the 12" (vinyl) single, but soon thereafter the vinyl LP.

Have to admit though that I haven't listened to it for the past 20+ years, but now this expanded edition 2CD set is here before me, enticing me back to and era where everything was safe in my world (and revolved solely around music such as this), it was my privilege to not only listen to this new set, but break out the vinyl album too!

Kicking off with the pure rock punch of 'Praying to the Beat' and they back that up with the funky, bass slappin' beauty 'Hitline', the synth-tastic 'Hurt' (which sounds like a Gary Numan outtake), and then the mid-tempo ballad 'Couldn't Stand a Day.'

Up next is the brilliant-to-hear (even today) chartbuster 'The Politics of Dancing' (just check out the hectic video for it, along with their very own nod to Re-Flex Radio!), and that's backed by the frenetic synth work of 'Something About You.'

The airy Yes-esque sound of 'Pointless' is next and is followed seamlessly by one of my album track favorites, the hearty 'Jungle.' The original album then rounds out with the light touch of 'Sensitive' followed by the, at times, hauntingly stoic 'Keep in Touch.'

The bonus tracks on this first disc include the poppy, slap bass 'Cruel World' (12" Extended Version), a sounds-the-same-to-me 'The Politics of Dancing' (7" Version), and a rather interesting 'Cruel World' (7" Spanish Version).

CD 2:
1. 'Flex-It' (B-Side of 'The Politics of Dancing' U.S. 12" Version)
2. 'The Politics of Dancing' (U.S. 7" Single Version)
3. 'Flex-It' (U.S. 7" Single)
4. 'Hitline' (12" Extended Mix)
5. 'Hurt' (U.S. 7" Version)
6. 'Hurt' (U.S. 12" Promo Rubber Dubber Mix)
7. 'Hurt' (U.S. 12" Promo Emotional John Luongo Re-Mix)
8. 'Hurt' (Emotional Pete Smith Re-Mix)
9. 'Cut It'
10. 'Praying to the Beat' (12" Extended Version)
11. 'Cut It' (12" Extended Version)
12. 'What You Deserve' (7" Single Version)

This second CD is chock full of rarities and stuff that I've only heard bits and bobs of (given that I own their 12" (vinyl) singles, of course. The synth attack of 'Flex-It' (the B-Side of 'The Politics of Dancing' U.S. 12" Version) and 'Hitline' (12" Extended Mix) are nice touches, as are both 'Hurt' (U.S. 12" Promo Emotional John Luongo Re-Mix) and 'Cut It' (12" Extended Version).

The other 7" Single Version's are much the same as the album track versions, and with four different workings of 'Hurt' provided, that even starts to lose its power after a while, sadly. That said, 'Praying to the Beat' (12" Extended Version) sure makes up for that, trust me.

This expanded 2CD version of the original album release contains a comprehensive selection of extended mixes and B-side bonus tracks many which are appearing on CD for the first time as well as a deluxe 16pp booklet using the fully restored original album artwork.

2CD Purchase Link

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