Friday, November 28, 2014

Philip Oakey Quotes

1. I love club culture. I became single about ten years ago, so suddenly I wasn't forced to be home at a certain time any more and it was just when Gatecrasher was on its second wave. When Paul Van Dyk and people like that were huge. We got to know the guys who owned it and all the DJs and this connected me back to the music I used to buy when I was younger…even to Terry Riley and Philip Glass. I think clubbing music is the most exciting ever but clubbing music now is only really the same as when the Bee Gees came out. It was so exciting when disco started. It meant that much to people, that they could dance to it. The first single that we released ("Night People") from Credo was not designed to go on the radio; it was designed to go into clubs, to have remixes but suddenly it's a single and it got played on Radio 2. What's the point? There's no one listening to that kind of music on Radio 2. It's really strange.

2. (on Nelson Mandela) He's given a lot more credit than he deserves really. During most of the time he was in his cell there were other more worthy people doing things outside. We released "Don't You Want Me Baby?" which was a massive hit.

3. Our first tour was with Siouxsie and the Banshees and they were from Bromley. They were very, very supportive, there was the Banshees, Spizzoil and us. That was when we were getting our ideas together. We had nothing at that stage. Even if we went as far as somewhere like Bristol we'd have to go back to Sheffield that night so The Banshees would pay for us to have a hotel room. It was really incredible. And immediately after that tour we went to Europe with Iggy Pop. It was the Soldier tour. It was an eye-opener. It was while all the drugs were still going on. You'd come to breakfast in the morning and there'd be a couple of people missing. And the others would be like: "Yeah, they got taken to hospital." We had no money. We'd be in places like the Munich Hilton and on the days that we actually played a show we'd get £15 but sometimes we only played two shows a week so it was quite tough. It was before Joanne and Suzanne joined!

4. (quoting a newspaper headline from 1980, in UK Channel 4 TV documentary Top 10 Electropop Pioneers) The Human League, Someday all music will be made like this! - and it is!

5. We were culture freaks. We loved music but we also loved film. 

6. What was interesting to me about the Kraftwerk and Donna Summer records was the fact that they could not have been made a few years earlier. But to be honest, we were a 70s group; we came out of progressive.

7. We were kind of like the first commercial pop dub group. People were doing extended remixes and extended instrumental versions (in the early 80s). And while we were doing our biggest album (Dare) our producer was in New York listening to Grandmaster Flash. We ended up doing an album called Love And Dancing (credited to The League Unlimited Orchestra) which was so innovative. Martin was splicing in empty tape so the music would jerk, and no one had done stuff like this before. The guys mastering the album were saying: "You can't do this." It was that original. But that's why we signed to Wall Of Sound this time. First of all Mark is incredibly enthusiastic and knows music but after that he knows DJs and can get remixes. To get a Cerrone remix after 30 years… and it's good.

8. (on The Beatles) When they came on the music scene there hadn't been anyone like them before which helped a lot with their record sales. Except for me. I was there before and I did music just like them. They all copied me and they did a poor job in comparison.

9. We couldn't possibly have done what we did without punk. Until then, the bands that we really liked, the Curved Airs and the Yeses and the Genesises, they were skilled musicians, they were people who'd read the Bert Weedon songbook for eight years. And punk came along, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, but the point was that they just went out and did it. They learned how to do it, they were on a stage doing it. And without them we couldn't have thought about doing it, we assumed you had to learn all the chords and so on. We were a punk band.

10. (on Michael Jackson's "Thriller") Zombies at night really wasn't all that inventive and there are a great many parallels with the video to our far better hit of the same year: "Don't You Want Me Baby?" which was also set at night, included a film set, and featured excessive make-up.

11. Occasionally, when I'm drunk in bars people ask me to sing on their records and I say yes.

12. We were looking around for something that would suit us, and we really liked Genesis, although not as much as we liked Van der Graaf Generator. Led by Peter Hammill, Van der Graaf Generator were one of the most intellectual progressive bands, throwing hooks and melodies out of the window in favor of lengthy keyboard solos and metaphysical agonizing.

13. They had an extrovert saxophonist who played two saxes at the same time, and the LPs were massive journeys into your brain. Curved Air was another good band from that era, and we really liked Yes, partly because they started out being a bit glam. Most of the progressive bands, although they had long hair, were absolutely determined to be macho.

14. I didn't think that I would be in my fifty-fourth year annoying my girlfriend because I'm staying up till two in the morning editing vocals. I used to be able to pay someone else to do it, now you seem to do a hundred things for the money instead of one thing to make the money. You do it yourself or it doesn't get done.

15. (on George Michael getting caught with his trousers down) I remember all the fuss about this at the time and I remember thinking that the fascination that everyone had for George's private life was just like the fascination in our 1981 hit "(Keep Feeling) Fascination." If you check the lyrics out to our song you'll see that I accurately predicted exactly this event decades in advance.

What do you think of Philip Oakey's quotes?

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