tremble clef

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Two Of Us, "Blue Night Shadow (Special Dance Version)" (1985)

When I was your age, to get to school I had to trudge ten miles in the snow naked while a pack of wild coyotes snapped at my frost-bitten ass all the way. Now you ingrates just call that a "circuit party." And in my days what music we had was on vinyl. Sometimes the vinyl was even colored or made into these things called "picture discs." Not that I could afford any of them. All the money I had went towards my snow shoe fund.

I first heard this song on some BBC radio show. Back in the 80s listening to the BBC was laborious: I had to tune my shortwave radio just right, and not move a muscle in case anything interfered with the reception. My ears had to be glued to the set; even when the tuning was on, the reception was faint and static-filled at best. But I somehow managed to hear this song, once, and then never again on the radio. It's a slightly odd but wildy catchy number: ominous, shivery violins giving way to a finger-snapping rhythm that imitates a plucked double bass, almost doo-wop vocals, and dramatic orchestral stabs. It's like, in your modern parlance, Koop mashed up with Yes's "Owner Of A Lonely Heart."

Three or four years later I was in Princeton Record Exchange, and found the 12", priced steeply at 99 cents. I sold a liver to buy it, played it quite a lot, and then, after I stopped having a functional turntable circa 1992, never again.

Through it all, I know little about Two Of Us. We didn't have these interwebs back then, and there was no mention of Two Of Us on the stone tablets passed down to us. They are German, that much I gathered. Now I see that they consisted, logically enough, of two members (James Herter and Thomas Dörr), atrociously used to be called "Kiz," and released two albums (Twice As Nice and Inside Out).

The thing I remember the most, aside from the song itself, was that the record was pressed on blue transparent vinyl. Not flimsy vinyl either: all twelve inches were thick and solid. My favorite piece of vinyl was probably my Frankie Goes To Hollywood "The Power Of Love" picture disc, but this clear blue record was still pretty damn cool. At some point I weepily had to make snow googles out of the record, but, when it was mine and intact, I totally dug it.


  • Why can I think of nothing but "Doop" when I hear this?

    By Anonymous esque, at 7:20 AM  

  • Doop! Haven't thought of that record in years! I rather liked it then. Of course, Koop should now cover it (before Xtina gets her dirty mittens on it).

    By Blogger Brittle, at 12:03 PM  

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