Here’s one on the synthpop side of things, a mild obscurity on the otherwise popular Factory imprint. Some may be familiar with this tune via the club circuit, where it enjoyed massive success in The States and Berlin, despite a relatively cool reception in the UK.
Shark Vegas was a German supergroup of sorts, featuring ex-Die Unbekannten members Mark Reeder on synths/tapes/guitar and Alistair Gray on vocals with two other members of pop band Soif de la Vie. The original version of this 12” was recorded in 1984 and released on Totenkopf Records (Abwärts, Die Toten Hosen). After a tour with New Order in 1984, the band decided to rerecord and remix the single with Bernard Summer in to assist on the decks (a very common practice at the time, if you consider New Order’s involvement with Section 25, Thick Pigeon/Stanton Miranda, etc.). Sumner would also play guitar at the end of the track, while co-producer Donald Johnson (A Certain Ratio) sang backup. A real family affair! The Factory version of the 12” (complete with an iconic message on the cover) became a dance club hit overseas.
These two singles would make up the majority of Shark Vegas’ discography, though the band would contribute a handful of tracks to soundtracks and compilations, most notably the track “Pretenders of Love,” which appears on Young, Popular, and Sexy (1987) and was reissued on the FAC.DANCE compilation in 2011. I just now discovered “Love Habit” on Youtube, and it continues to push the band’s slightly ironic sound to the extreme, with some rather of-the-time synth lines… If anyone has an mp3 of that one that isn’t sourced from YouTube, feel free to send it my way. I’m also interested in hearing “11th March”- which apparently hails from an independent film called The Party. With that in mind, here’s both versions of this excellent 12” for your listening pleasure.
Shark Vegas- You Hurt Me 12” (1984)
1. You Hurt Me
2. You Hurt Me For the First Time
3. You Hurt Me For the Last Time
Shark Vegas- You Hurt Me 12” (1986)
1. You Hurt Me
2. You Hurt Me Version
3. But Now Your Flesh Lies Rotting In Hell
…and here’s some rare footage of the band performing the track in Berlin in the mid-1980s! Enjoy!