Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Running... very far away from this CD.
Donovan Ware | Pacifica, CA United States | 07/20/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"DON"T BUY THIS!!!I'll get back to that in a minute... first, the Facts.Tracklist:1) Calderone Leather Radio Edit 3:52 2) Robbie Rivera Diskofied Vocal Edit 3:49 3) Calderone Leather Mix 10:25 4) Robbie Rivera Diskofied Vocal Mix 9:10 5) Robbie Rivera Smooth House Mix 8:49 Okay, now on to why you, as a music lover of discernable taste and impeccable style, should not purchase this CD single.First of all, who the hell is Robbie Rivera, who gave him a mixing board, and by what right does he trash such a good song? Layering flanged disco-esque samples over formulaic house beats apparently ranks as imagination in the corridors of Tommy Boy. But I'll get to them later.Robbie Rivera's style shows less talent than a glass full of non-fat milk. We are treated to three tracks, yes 60% of this CD, of soulless noise. I got the distinct impression that Robbie had never heard of InSoc, had never heard a song by InSoc, and simply assumed that he had been handed the accapella from a demo recording of the latest [...] male pop vocalist. He acted accordingly. So we are forced to listen to over-processed samples of disco-guitar, cheesy strings, and a drum track that me and my DJ friends used to call "Generic House Beat #2". For 22 painful minutes, we are treated to yet another "retro" stylized remix that is neither retro nor contains style.However, at the very least these 22 minutes are interrupted by the capable work of Victor Calderone. Apparently, he heard "Running" sometime in the past, and decided that maybe there was a reason it was so popular (and remains to this day). So we experience a beafed-up "Running", with harder bass and more musical intervention. Yet, the focal point of the song remains the lyrics, as in the original, and this version becomes passable to the ear, and certainly to the dance floor. And before anyone asks, yes, this is the same version found on the "Strange Haircuts..." CD, only slightly shorter (or longer, depending on which mix you're referring to). An annoying detail present in all remixes is the change in the vocals during the line: "Hot, steamy night alone I wait for you". The "you" ends on a high note, as in the finish of the next line, rather than using a low note on the first "you", and ending high on the second, as in the original. A small detail, but irksome when I'm used to the original. I didn't feel this change was necessary, as it subtracted from the building tension of the lyrics.So... why two stars? Well, first off, it's InSoc, so one star just for that. Throw in another couple stars for Victor Calderone's well done mix. And take away a whole bunch for the inept Robbie Rivera. We've gone beyond the 70's my friend... the 80's deserve better than this.And of course, why do I say "don't buy this"? Easy... Tommy Boy is the only beneficiary of this recording. InSoc isn't going to see any money. And, no offense to Mr. Calderone, the remix talent was below par, even for Tommy Boy's standards. So I say, if you really want to hear a decent mix... find an MP3 of Victor Calderone's mix, or buy "Strange Guitars..." and hear it there (along with an excellent mix of "Lay All Your Love On Me", which was previously only on a Japanese 3" single). Don't waste your money on this CD, and send a short message to Tommy Boy to stop milking it..."
Walk, do not run.
J. Derek Reardon | KC, MO, USA | 05/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The remixes from Information Society's self titled debut were brilliant pieces of dance ecstasy (see my review of the "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" single). I bought "Running" with high hopes but some trepidation since I wasn't exactly thrilled with this minimalist pop electronica track from their debut album. However, I did buy it, being a huge InSoc fan, hoping for perhaps some of the brilliance I had heard on their other remixes. Anyone with these expectations will be sadly disappointed. The first track is entitled the Vocal Remix, however this is the exact same track that is on InSoc's debut album, which is quite disappointing for us remix hounds. The Percapella, while cool on "What's on Your Mind," is lifeless here since the percussion is so minimal and shallow on the original track, and no new percussion is added. If you liked the vocals, though, and don't mind losing the dancability, you might enjoy this nearly 4 minute track. "The Nest" Remix is dull soulless dancing material. During the nearly 5 and a half minutes, all you really get are the beat. Some bass and instrumental are thrown in occasionally, and at least the ending features the samples used in the original. And finally there's the Instrumental, which is pretty much the original with the vocals and the samples (the most interesting part of this track) removed. There is no challenge to this CD, to either the listener or the remixers. Nothing new was added, nothing was really remixed or rearranged, and the audience isn't presented with anything new or interesting to enjoy. They just pretty much took the original and removed parts here and there, and I can do that myself mentally. Plus, given the fact that the track was shallow to begin with, why would you want to remove anything from it? But still, it is InSoc. I give it a low 3 star rating; I only own it to say I have the whole collection, not to listen to it. My recommendation is to pass this up, unless you are a die-hard InSoc fan and must own everything they have ever put out. But even in the latter case, I would strongly recommend saving your money and putting some effort into finding the rare "Lay All Your Love on Me" and "Walking Away" singles that are as brilliant (if not more so) as the "What's on Your Mind" remix single. [See my "WoYM" review for comments on these hard to find remix singles.] If you love InSoc and have to have this, then buy it. Otherwise, walk away from this single and listen to your "What's on Your Mind" single instead - you're ears, body and mind will thank you for it."
A great track and a history lesson, all on one CD
W. Mccammon | Seattle, WA United States | 07/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The classic. Information Society's first real release was a 12-inch inch single of 'Running' (Vocal and Instr. mixes) on a small indie label. Expected to appeal to the new wave and underground crowd, it went almost nowhere (besides Minneapolis). Surprisingly, it did catch on with the Latin Freestyle club DJ's and crowds in New York. NYC's Tommy Boy records (with major label distribution) picked up the track and added a new set of mixes by remixers Joey Gardner and "Little Louie" Vega (now famous as half of Masters at Work). With their help, the song went on to be a hit with it's original intended audience and exploded as a cross-genre club smash. This disc is the Tommy Boy 12-inch with 4 mixes.'Running', along with New Order's 'Blue Monday', was one of the defining 12-inches of what at the time was called "alternative" dance music. Dance music that owed as much to Kraftwerk and the Velvet Underground as to Chic or the Commodores.Two items of trivia:- The vocals on Running are by Konar, who subsequently left the group and was replaced by former member Kurt Harland who stuck around and sang all their later hits ('What's on Your Mind', 'Walking Away', etc.). Kurt Harland records under the INSOC name to this day.- The Percapella and "The Nest" mix (which is essentially a Bonus Beats remix) are vintage 80's club trick-mix examples. Tracks like these are directed mainly at DJ's, so (by using two copies of the 12-inch) they can customize the song to their style and crowd. These types of DJ-trick mixes have been essentially extinct since the late 80's."