It’s tough to dedicate a mere sliver of space for this one, for Fad Gadget were above and beyond, true pioneers. The brainchild of the late Frank Tovey, Fad Gadget were the first outfit to be signed to Daniel Miller’s Mute label, hot off the heels of Daniel’s own single ‘Warm Leatherette / T.V.O.D.’ (under the Normal moniker).
Over the course of four records and several single releases, Fad Gadget grew under a budding performance art and new wave movement, inspiring a series of musicians to come in both the industrial and wave genres. His lyrics were bleak yet laced in sometimes goofy sarcasm, while the music pulsed with electric rhythms and the sounds of whirring machinery.
This brand of unique intensity translated well into the live setting with an abundance of theatricality, Tovey covering himself in tar and feathers, hanging upside down from rafters, and often shaving himself completely with a razorblade.
In 1984, Tovey shed the Fad Gadget moniker and continued to explore the avant garde realm under his own name rather than the pseudonym, withdrawing from the music business in 1993. In 2001, Tovey picked up the Fad Gadget moniker once more to play a series of shows with former proteges Depeche Mode. He continued to perform until April of 2002, when he died of a sudden heart-attack.
As for the today’s downloadables, I’ve selected one of the outfit’s first singles as well as a deep cut from 1982’s Under the Flag:
and for your viewing pleasure, here’s a video for ‘Collapsing New People,’ Fad Gadget’s best known tune:
Fad Gadget’s discography is more readily available than most of the artists usually posted here, so just take a peek at the local Amazon website for a start: