11-5-08 12” Singles
From reader Jim D: “12" singles/remixes. What's your history with them? I was baffled by the first import 12" singles I saw.”
I think the first one I ever actually saw / heard of was by the Salsoul Orchestra, in the mid-70’s. “This type of music does not apply to my experience”, I remember thinking. Who the hell wants a 12” single when you can have an LP or a 7” single? Oh, it’s a DJ thing – easier ‘handling’ for a DJ? Whatever. Still doesn’t apply to me.
I think the first one I ever got was “Slow Down” by John Miles – from his brilliant “Stranger In The City” LP. I do not remember how / why I ‘tried’ it. I remember slapping it on and – BOOM – dang, it was loud! Uh, no cover art – just a generic “London Records Disco 12” Single” sleeve. Yeah, whatever.
I was working at a record distributor from 1978 onwards. It was the time that I started seeing promo 12” singles – “We really want you to try and hear this song!” type of stuff. Again, doesn’t apply to me. Uh, unless it’s a group that I like. By 1980, I was being offered 12” singles from
The best advantage of 12” singles from
I must’ve tried to decide which groups to collect – who do I want everything by? I continued to buy both 7” & 12” singles by The Stranglers, for instance. I would buy whatever I could find by Frank Zappa, Gruppo Sportivo etc.
I was always most taken with 12” singles that offered at least 2 or 3 non-LP tracks – never so much into a 12” that was ‘merely’ a “remix” – Remix? What the hell is that? Louder drums? Some silly ‘intro’? Boom boom boom – is it just about the beat?
Later, the game became “Get the 12” single! It has a B-side that didn’t make it to the CD!!!” How many of those can you name in 2008? Plenty, I bet. Non-CD/LP XTC, Stranglers etc. Oh, and 7” singles started having B-sides not on the 12”! Yikes!
As the 90’s approached, the 12” seemed to wane. I was only getting 12” singles by A Certain Ratio – a more dance-oriented group, I might add. It would be another decade before 12” singles made it to the ‘used’ bins, for $1-$3. Now I buy ‘em for the aesthetic value – and I still enjoy the B-sides, big sound, cover art etc. Complete the set! “I never saw this before!” etc.
So, humble 12” single – thank you for the many decades of loud entertainment.
Labels: 12" Singles