Saturday, March 17, 2012

"My Heart Goes Bang" by Dead or Alive - March 17th 80's Quest Song/Band of the Day

Oh my God!! Dead or Alive is one of all-time favorite bands from the 1980’s. My Senior year of high school me and a group of high school friends saved our money from our after school jobs all year, and in April 1985 took a trip to London, England with The Foreign Language Club. (I know…England is an English speaking country, and so is the United States, so it doesn’t make much sense). That week in London lives in my memory and is still one of the best week’s of my life. I already had Dead or Alive’s Youthquake album and it played over and over on my turntable. While I was in London I went to HMV (their record store) and purchased a 12-inch-single of the song "Lover Come Back to Me" among numerous other albums I was excited to get my sweaty little mitts on in London! We also went out dancing at The Hippodrome. They had a big bouncy house type of thing on the dancefloor there. They also played Dead or Alive there. Dead or Alive’s next album, Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know also received tons of play on my stereo.
Any time I hear Dead or Alive I am put in a good mood. I have their Rip it Up CD and still play them in adulthood and sing and dance all over the apartment when I put them on – especially to today’s 80’s Quest song of the day, "My Heart Goes Bang" was not one of Dead or Alive’s most known singles, but it is one of my favorites, and so much fun to sing and rock out to. I also have Dead or Alive on my iPod and when I listen to them on the subway and when walking to work, I start the day with a little more pep in my step!
The lead singer of Dead or Alive, Pete Burns was a gender bender along the lines of other androgynous singers who were coming out of England like Boy George, Marilyn, and even to a lesser degree Annie Lennox. I think Pete Burns was the wildest of them all, and for that reason in staid American, he did not personally go over very well with the mainstream (it was a more homophobic time), but Dead or Alive’s song "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" was enormously popular with everyone.
Dead or Alive (sometimes known as DOA for short) was formed by Pete Burns in Wirral, England and came to initial notice in Liverpool. Burns had an outrageous appearance. Because of his look local music promoters advised him that he should start a band.
His formed his first band, The Mystery Girls, with friends Julian Cope, Pete Wylie and Phil Hurst. Their only gig was in November 1977 opening for Sham 69 at Eric’s in Liverpool. In 1979 he started a new goth/punk band called Nightmares in Wax. They recorded one 7-inch, 3 song EP called Birth of a Nation which was released in 1980 on Inevitable Records. The EP featured a cover of KC and The Sunshine Band’s hit song "That’s the Way (I Like It)".
The band went through numerous line-up changes. Just before they were due to appear on John Peel’s BBC Radio Sessions Burns changed the name to Dead or Alive, because he thought it sounded better. Over the next three years, more line-up changes occurred.
Dead or Alive’s singles began charting on the U.K. independent music charts. In 1982 "The Stranger" charted at #7. Epic Records noticed them and in 1983 signed the band to their label. At this point the band consisted of Pete Burns (vocals), Mike Percy (bass), Tim Lever (keyboards and saxophone), Wayne Hussey (guitar) and Steve Coy (drums). Their first release on Epic Records was a single called "Misty Circles". Two of their other singles, "What I Want" and "I’d Do Anything" were club hits, but failed to crack mainstream radio. The emerging New Romantic music movement, hampered the bands progress, and Burns also claimed that Boy George stole his look, and the spotlight.
In May 1984 Dead or Alive released their debut album, Sophisticated Boom Boom. The album contained their KC and the Sunshine Band cover of "That’s the Way (I Like It)" and it became a Top 40 single in the U.K. and the album charted at #29. Hussey left the band shortly thereafter.
Dead or Alive soldiered on as a four-piece band and released their second album, Youthquake, in 1985. Their biggest single, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" went to #1 in the U.K. and Canada, #3 in Australia, rose to #11 in the United States, and cracked the Top Ten in numerous countries around the globe. Other singles included "Lover Come Back to Me", "In Too Deep" and "My Heart Goes Bang".
Dead or Alive released their third album, Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know in 1987. "Brand New Lover" became the lead single from this album. Surprisingly, this album did better in the United States (#15) than the band’s native U.K. (#31). The other singles released from this album stirred up some controversy. When "Something in My House" was released the sleeve for the single was very gothic and featured Pete Burns in front of a satanic looking altar that had an upside-down crucifix. The third single "Hooked on Love" did not create controversy, but was not promoted well. The fourth single, "I’ll Save You All My Kisses" was released in a sleeve that featured Burns with a metal belt buckle over his lips that read "Sex". Epic records had to cover up the belt buckle with a sticker that said "Kiss" when stores raised a stink. The video for this song was also banned from MTV because they felt the content (Burns in tights and a leather jacket singing the song in a baseball diamond while men clung to a fence ogling him) had too much suggestive homosexual content. In 1987, the band embarked on a world tour including shows in Europe, Japan, and the United States. They also released a compilation album called Rip it Up in Japan.
In 1988 Lever and Percy left the band to pursue careers as mixers and producers. They now own and operate Steelworks Studios in Sheffield, England. This left Dead or Alive down to a duo of Burns and Coy. They self-produced an album called Nude which was released in 1989 which featured singles "Turn Around and Count 2 Ten" which was the band’s biggest hit in Japan, and "Come Home With Me Baby" which was #1 in Brazil. Overall, however, the album failed to be played significantly on the radio.
1990 brought another Japan-only release, Fan the Flame (Part 1). This album had a very 70’s disco and lounge style, and contained the very first ballad that Dead or Alive ever performed, the holiday song "Blue Christmas". The band intended to release Fan the Flame (Part 2) in 1992, but it was never released. The band was exploring new musical directions with this album and many tracks featured only piano as instrumentation. Some tracks recorded for this album later appeared on future album (1995’s Nuketopia), and has since surfaced on the internet.
Dead or Alive was quiet for a number of years until Pete Burns did the vocals on a 1994 single for the Italian techno band, Glam. Burns and Coy released a cover of David Bowie’s single, "Rebel Rebel" under the name International Chrysis (named for the late transsexual nightclub performer).
Dead or Alive resurfaced in 1995 with a new bandmember, Jason Alburey on keyboards, and the album Nuketopia was released. The album included the pre-mentioned tracks, as well as a cover of Blondie’s hit "Picture This". The album was originally only released in Japan, but also saw release in Australia, Singapore, South Africa, France and the United States. Each country’s release featured different cover art.
In 2003 a greatest hits album was released called Evolution: the Hits. In 2004 The Pet Shop Boys (see 80’s Quest post) produced a single called "Jack and Jill Party" , a Pete Burns solo-effort which was only released on The Pet Shop Boy’s website. It reached #75 on the U.K. charts.
In 2006 Pete Burns appeared on the U.K. reality television program, Celebrity Big Brother and finished in fifth place. His altered appearance from plastic surgery was shocking, and his explosive personality made him a noticeable stand out on the show. At the conclusion of the show "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" was re-released as a single in the U.K. and charted in the Top 5 there. In an interview with Lorraine Kelly/GMTV Burns expressed his disgust about the re-release of the song saying "it’s like wearing a school uniform at the age of 46."


My Heart Goes Bang
The other night a close friend told me
Never let my heart falll into careless hands
I said, "thanks, that's very nice
Appreciate your good advice
But things don't always go the way that I planned,"

Oh you, you, you
Take my heart and shake it up
You, you, you
Take my heart and break it up
Get me to the doctor
My heart goes bang, bang, bang, bang
My heart goes bang, bang, bang, bang
My heart goes bang, bang, bang, bang
My heart goes bang, bang, bang, bang

When I get in close to you
I do the things I never do
There's no depression
Doctor put me to the test
I've heard your lovin' is the best
Well he is right
You know I need affection


Doctor, doctor, give me the cure
Doctor, doctor, give me the cure
Doctor, doctor, give me the cure
Doctor, doctor, give me the cure

Doctor, I'm consulting you
I wanna put myself
Into your careless hands
All I need's a lovin' dose
I feel much better when you're close
I really hope things go
The way I planned


My heart goes bang bang bang bang
My heart goes bang bang bang bang

When I get close to you
When I get close to you
When I get close to you
When I get close to you

My heart goes bang bang bang bang (Repeat)

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