Plastic Bertrand - Ca Plane Pour Moi - (Generic Sleeve) - Sire - New Wave
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|Title||Ca Plane Pour Moi - (Generic Sleeve)|
|Format||Vinyl 7 Inch|
Other Titles by Plastic Bertrand
Information on the New Wave GenreNew Wave is a genre of music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, and disco and 1960s pop music, as well as much of the original punk rock sound and ethos, such as an emphasis on short and punchy songs. The 1990s and 2000s have seen revivals, and a number of acts that have been influenced by a variety of New Wave styles.
The term "New Wave" itself has been a source of much confusion and controversy. It was used in 1976 in the UK by punk fanzines such as Sniffin' Glue, and then by the professional music press. In a November 1976 article in Melody Maker, Caroline Coon used Malcolm McLaren's term "New Wave" to designate music by bands not exactly punk, but related and part of the same musical scene. For a period of time in 1976 and 1977 the two terms were interchangeable. By the end of 1977, "New Wave" had replaced "Punk" as the definition for new underground music in the UK.
In the United States, Sire Records needed a term by which it could market its newly signed bands, who had frequently played the club CBGB. Because radio consultants in the United States had advised their clients that punk rock was a fad, they settled on the term "New Wave". Like those film makers, its new artists, such as the Ramones and Talking Heads, were anti-corporate and experimental. At first most American writers exclusively used the term "New Wave" to describe British punk acts. Starting in December 1976, The New York Rocker, which was suspicious of the term "punk," became the first American journal to enthusiastically use the term starting with British acts, and later appropriating it to acts associated with the CBGB scene.
Talking Heads performing in Toronto in 1978.
Music historian Vernon Joynson states that new wave emerged in the U.K. in late 1976, when many bands began disassociating themselves from punk. Music that followed the anarchic garage band ethos of the Sex Pistols was distinguished as "punk", while music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity, or more polished production, came to be categorized as "New Wave". This came to include musicians who had come to prominence in the British pub rock scene of the mid-1970s, such as Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Eddie and the Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood; and according to allmusic "angry, intelligent" singer-songwriters who "approached pop music with the sardonic attitude and tense, aggressive energy of punk" such as Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, and Graham Parker. In the U.S., the first New Wavers were the not-so-punk acts associated with the New York club CBGB, such as Talking Heads, Mink DeVille and Blondie. CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, referring to the first show of the band Television at his club in March 1974, said, "I think of that as the beginning of new wave." Furthermore, many artists who would have originally been classified as punk were also termed New Wave. A 1977 Phonogram Records compilation album of the same name (New Wave) features US artists including the Dead Boys, Ramones, Talking Heads and The Runaways.
Talking Heads set the template for the New Wave sound of this era. This sound represented a break from the smooth-oriented blues and rock & roll sounds of late 1960s to mid 1970s rock music. According to music journalist Simon Reynolds, the music had a twitchy, agitated feel to it. New Wave musicians often played choppy rhythm guitars with fast tempos. Keyboards were common as were stop-and-start song structures and melodies. Reynolds noted that New Wave vocalists sounded high-pitched, geeky and suburban.
Power Pop, a genre that started before punk at the very beginning of the 1970s, became associated with New Wave at the end of the decade because their brief catchy songs fit into the mood of the era. The Romantics, The Records, The Motors, Cheap Trick, and 20/20 were groups that had success playing this style. Helped by the success of the power pop group, The Knack, skinny ties became fashionable among New Wave musicians.
A revival of ska music led by The Specials, Madness and the English Beat added humor and a strong dance beat to New Wave.
Later still, "New Wave" came to imply a less noisy, often synthesizer-based, pop sound. The term post-punk was coined to describe the darker, less pop-influenced groups, such as Gang of Four, Joy Division, The Cure, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, some of which did later adopt synths. Although distinct, punk, New Wave, and post-punk all shared common ground: an energetic reaction to the supposedly overproduced, uninspired popular music of the 1970s.
Allmusic explained that New Wave's stylistic diversity occurred because New Wave "retained the fresh vigor and irreverence of punk music, as well as a fascination with electronics, style, and art". This diversity extended to the numerous one hit wonders that came out of the genre.
The term fell out of favour in the United Kingdom during the early 1980s because its usage had become too general. Conventional wisdom holds that the genre "died" in the middle of the 1980s. Theo Cateforis, Assistant Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University, contends New Wave "receded" during this period when advances in synthesizer technology caused New Wave groups and mainstream pop and rock groups to sound more alike.