Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present The Tears Of Technology Various Artists (Saint Etienne)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
XXQLP2 068

This product is also available in these versions:
Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs Present The Tears Of Technology, CD (£12.56)

At the turn of the 80s, a new generation of musicians appeared who saw synthesisers not as dehumanizing machines but as musical instruments that could be coaxed into creating modern, beautiful and decidedly emotional music. It was almost as if the musicians were intentionally creating this music to prove the doubters wrong. 
Compiled by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, “The Tears Of Technology” celebrates this brief period when scruffy synth duos from the provinces broke through and took over British pop. Like mellotrons before them, synths could project a strange and deep emotion; listen to OMD’s ‘Sealand’, or the Human League’s ‘WXJL Tonight’, and it was clear that something in the wiring had an inherent melancholy.
In the 60s and 70s, the synthesiser had mostly been regarded as either a novelty or a threat. Tomorrow’s World warned us that the cold, heartless synth would soon make orchestras redundant. But by 1980, Korgs, Moogs and Rolands were becoming affordable for all, and post-punk had created a safe place for new groups to experiment with these new toys.
The influence of Kraftwerk – who had made a landmark appearance on Tomorrow’s World in 1975 – is all over this collection. Big names rub shoulders with obscurities by Turquoise Days, Electronic Circus and Illustration, all highly prized recordings among ‘cold wave’ and ‘minimal synth’ afficionados. There are pioneers like John Foxx and Thomas Leer, alongside unexpected synth sadness from Simple Minds and the Teardrop Explodes.
“The Tears Of Technology” celebrates an era of electronic melancholia, synthesized intimacies and insights – even Tomorrow’s World didn’t see that coming.
The double LP is available on 180g vinyl and contains a bonus track – the Turquoise Swimming Pools’ ‘The Winds’.

Limited Edition white vinyl edition available from Rough Trade.

Album launch details: The Record Cafe, Bradford


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Jean Walks In Fresh Fields - China Crisis

  • 02 Preview Grey Skies - Turquoise Days

  • 03 Preview Real To Real - Simple Minds

  • 04 Preview Tidal Flow - Illustration

  • 05 Preview An Evening In The Ray - Care

  • 06 Preview The Winds - The Turquoise Swimming Pools

Side 2

  • 01 Preview Youth - Soft Cell

  • 02 Preview Europe After The Rain - John Foxx

  • 03 Preview Personal Loss - Patrik Fitzgerald

  • 04 Preview Lights Of April - Eyeless In Gaza

  • 05 Preview Sealand - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Side 3

  • 01 Preview Private Plane - Thomas Leer

  • 02 Preview Direct Lines - Electronic Circus

  • 03 Preview Unless - The Pale Fountains

  • 04 Preview October (Love Song) - Chris & Cosey

  • 05 Preview A Map Of You - New Musik

Side 4

  • 01 Preview WXJL Tonight - The Human League

  • 02 Preview Christiana - Paul Haig

  • 03 Preview Tiny Children - The Teardrop Explodes

  • 04 Preview Behind The Shades - Oppenheimer Analysis

  • 05 Preview Feather Bed - Trevor Bastow

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