Stick with me on this one folks. Any fan of new wave should already be familiar with Berlin, the Los Angeles based band led by Terri Nun and John Crawford. If you are unfamiliar with the band, please direct your attention here. While it’s their later ballads and more commercial wave tracks that seem to be remembered, it’s prudent to note that the band’s first few releases were fantastic and rare entries to the US minimal synth scene. Information, the band’s first LP, was the closest thing to Ultravox in the west coast scene, while songs like “The Metro” and “Sex (I’m A)” from 1982′s Pleasure Victim were fast paced, sexually driven synth tracks that still remain classics to date. It’s the kind of sound also explored on the SSQ LP, another personal favorite female-led new wave smash. Fun fact: Both Berlin and Q/SSQ shared labels throughout their tenure, and Jon St. James of the latter outfit is credited as an engineer for Berlin’s Pleasure Victim LP. Incestuous!
I had originally purchased this 1981 issue of The Metro to DJ, not just for the foxy picture of Terri Nun on the back, but also figuring it’s far easier to pack a 7” than a 12”. When it comes to wax, real estate is key, so it just made sense to purchase, spatially. Just yesterday, I needed a fix for “Tell Me Why” and went for Youtube, only to be presented with a much more raw and driving mix than I remembered. Lo and behold, it’s the same version on this 7”, released a year before the EP cut! A little bit of research quickly told me that this Berlin single I purchased ages ago was actually quite the rarity in their catalog, as both tracks appear in an earlier form. The differences are most notable in “Tell Me Why,” though “The Metro” also features a different intro and what seems to be a different drum track. Either way, I’m happy to include this single here, and hope you kids enjoy it!
Berlin- The Metro 7”
1. The Metro
2. Tell Me Why
*download it here* (re-ripped 5.30.13)
Also, for those who want to try to own this obscurity, there are currently a few copies for sale via discogs. Buyer beware, wink wink!