Various Artists / Musik Music Musique: 1980 The Dawn of Synth Pop

Musik Music Musique: 1980 The Dawn of Synthpop

3CD synth-pop set explores the very beginnings of the movement

Cherry Red will issue Musik Music Musique in July, a new three-disc various artists compilation that explores the arrival of synth-pop.

This collection – subtitled ‘1980 The Dawn of Synth Pop’  – focuses on that one year and songs by household names (OMD, The Human League, Ultravox, Toyah, Spandau Ballet, The Buggles) rub shoulders tracks from the likes of Fad Gadget, Dalek I Love You, The Residents along with some forgotten gems and lesser-known curios.

There’s 58 tracks in total and this 3CD set comes with sleeve notes by Mat Smith (who writes for Electronic Sound magazine).

Musik Music Musique will be released on 31 July 2020.

CD 1
1. Messages – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
2. Musik, Music, Musique – Zeus
3. Coitus Interruptus – Fad Gadget
4. Computed Man – Xynn
5. Metal Love – Rod Vey
6. Performance Vendor’s Box – Gina X
7. Lawnchairs – Our Daughter’s Wedding
8. Tokyo – Science
9. Only After Dark – the Human League
10. Victims of the Riddle – Toyah
11. DCT Dreams – Nick Nicely
12. Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne – Suicide
13. Waiting – Ultravox
14. Money – Moebius
15. Falling Years – the Fallout Club
16. Da Vorne Steht Ne Ampel – Der Plan
17. No, Nothing, Never – Dark Day
18. Sons and Lovers – Hazel O’Connor
19. Sympathy – Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls

CD 2
1. Glow – Spandau Ballet
2. Official Secrets – M
3. Chip N Roll – Silicon Teens
4. Galactica – Rockets
5. Tuning in Tuning on – Kim Wilde
6. European Man – Landscape
7. Can’t You Take a Joke? Ha Ha Hi Hi! – Henriette Coulouvrat
8. A Circuit Like Me – the Metronomes
9. No One Driving – John Foxx
10. Kebabträume – D.A.F
11. Harmonitalk – Gary Sloan and Clone
12. Yellow Pearl – Philip Lynott
13. Dalek I Love You (Destiny) – Dalek I
14. Mannequin – Taxi Girl
15. This World of Water – New Musik
16. Quiet Life – Japan
17. Chase the Dragon – Kevin Harrison
18. Diskomo – the Residents

CD 3
1. Astroboy (And the Proles on Parade) – Buggles
2. Mannequin – Berlin Blondes
3. A Certain Way to Go – the Passage
4. Between – Sic
5. Bimbo – Yello
6. Images of Delusion – Genocide
7. The Lonely Spy –
8. Lori and the Chameleons
9. Lucy – Craze
10. I’m a Computer – the Goo-Q
11. Doctor…? – Blood Donor
12. Brushing Your Hair – Alex Fergusson
13. Drawn and Quartered – the Korgis
14. Mind of a Toy – Visage
15. D’ya Think I’m Sexy – British Standard Unit
16. Living Wild – Mataya Clifford
17. Private Lives – Systems
18. The Eyes Have It – Karel Fialka
19. Suis-Je Normale – Nini Raviolette
20. China Blue Vision – Eyeless in Gaza
21. The Russians Are Coming – the Red Squares
22. Dampfriemen – la Dusseldorf

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This is a typical half-arsed compilation from Cherry Red, glosssing over the superior material they couldn’t license, and trying to hype what they could get hold of as “essential”. Their quality control has gone way down over the past couple of years. Off the top of my head, I can think of a “complete” Fall singles collection, and a “complete” Rezillos collection, both of which were anything but, both having tracks missing and using incorrect mixes. It is becoming a label run by amateurs, and catering (it hopes) for the less discerning music fan. A shame.

Bald Eagle

What no vinyl box set? How annoying. Still a very interesting compilation thankfully not sticking to tried and tested too much repeated tracks.

Paul English

@ Bald Eagle

Do you not own a CD player?
Are you a Born Again Vinyl Junkie?

Putting this out on vinyl would cost in excess of £100. You’d need 6 – 8 LPs.
Plus it would defeat the purpose – many of the tracks are already obtainable on vinyl but rare or otherwise unavailable on CD.

I have bought both formats (vinyl since 1981, CDs since 1986) but for a project like this, CD is the optimum delivery method. For many years, people recognised this fact. But lately every time a CD box is announced, somebody will throw a “WHY ISN’T THIS ON VINYL” tantrum.

Juergen Hassle

The ‘optimum delivery method’, heh….

Calm down, not everyone prefers the optimum delivery method….

Juergen Hassel

No doubt, but the stamping of little feet apparent in the ‘ Do you not own a CD player? Are you a born again vinyl junkie? Every time a CD box set is announced, somebody will throw a WHY ISNT THIS ON VINYL tantrum’ comments are a bit much.

Let Bald Eagle express his disappointment.

Rob Kirby

Slightly puzzled. Glow is from 1981 – the double A-side to Spandau Ballet’s Musclebound single from March that year. Even if it was recorded the previous year, that would still be a bit of a cheat.

Nice Ultravox choice, though. Always had a soft spot for Waiting.

It would be nice if this set actually has the version of Landscape’s European Man released on 7″ that year too – the one with the rapid, electronically treated count-in instead of the lovely instrumental intro that later replaced it on the Tea-Rooms album. The 7″ version has never been on CD before, so that would make this an essential purchase for me – anyone got any track timing info that could confirm which version it is?


I would have thought Simple Minds I Travel or the standout This Fear of Gods from 1980’s Empires and Dance might have been included.
Decent comp though.


If I was Gary Numan I’d be doubly peed off. 1979 is the dawn of commercially successful synthpop. Cars and Are Friends Electric, Pop music by M, Number one song in Heaven by Sparks, etc.


Agreed – Are Friends/Cars were game-changers, at least as far as the charts were concerned. IF you want something that represents the “new movement”, all you need is The Pleasure Principle, basically.

John Reed

I think even the label couldn’t decide about Buggles/The Buggles. The sleeve for ‘Video…’ lacks the definite article but the label very definitely includes it:


This remind me that Dalek I’s Compass Kumpus is way overdue a reissue on CD, that too is crazy expensive (if you can find it)

Wayne Olsen

Ordered! Oh, to be 22 again….

John 79

I can’t believe that they have left out anything by Gary Numan, he was one of the most important artists of the time…. And for me THE most important !
However there are some good and interesting tracks on this compilation.

John Reed

Sorry John 79 – licensing restrictions.

adam shaw

My favorite here is DAF Kebabtraume . I was living on a kibbutz with one of the first NME give away tapes and there was a live version of this on it . Great track , great tape and great memories.

Jon K

Good track listing but I’m immediately put off by “The Buggles” on the cover, just as I would be if a compilation referred to “The Eurythmics”. They were called Buggles. Poor mistake.

Chris Squires

Carpenters and Eagles are also recipients of an errant definite article.
It’s odd why they should always get one whereas no-one would ever think of saying “The Queen” or “The U2”.

John McCann'.

The captain sensible!

Aaron G

any chances of the remastered/expanded version of the 2nd Buggles album ever being reissued? Its crazy expensive!


Hello Aaron, you can have it for 40£ in mint condition on Discogs.

Matthew Sparkes

Aaron. I snapped a cheap copy on vinyl and had it sent to my office just prior to lockdown; and their it sits! Hopefully we will get access before too long and I can listen to it for the first time.

Craig Hedges

Pity Telex have been overlooked, Noticed there was no mention of them on the recent Eurovision programmes, Even though they are the only act to do a song called Eurovision.

Joel Moalem

Glad you mentioned Telex! I thought the same thing when I saw this compilation on the Cherry Red website.
Does anyone know why the Telex catalog is no longer on Spotify and other services? They used to have all the albums available, then at some point last year only the final album was still listed on Spotify.

Adrian Swatridge

Brilliant! I bought the two Lori and the Chameleons singles on 7inch and recently got Touch on CD for the first time in their last compilation. Now they have the follow up single on this set…awesome…buying it just for that but also some great tracks and many unknowns I’m looking forward to hearing.

John McCann'

David rudden of Berlin blondes later formed endgames,!, Great band,we feel good (future looking fine) and first last for everything, brilliant songs, worth checking out!

Ian Scott

I loved the recent Tears of technology compilation so this is a definite yes for me. Anyone interested in this should definitely check the Tears comp. out


Just checked the tracklist and seems cool! Shame its a 1 only cd for 15€. Tks for the hint, I am a collector of 80s compilations

Dean F

I’m surprised there’s nothing from Gary Numan or Cabaret Voltaire in there (but I guess you can’t include everything even on 3 CDs)


Rights issues, I would imagine. No sane person could imagine such a compilation without those two otherwise.


On reflection, it wasn’t really a vintage year for either, and this compilation really is about a specific year. The material that showed off both artists at their best came either before or after 1980. The rights may still have been an issue, however.

Dean F

Yes, you’re spot on about the year not being the best for them, Mark but it probably is rights.

John 79

I’m afraid I disagree with some of your statement, regarding Gary Numan he released Telekon, the album went straight to No 1,his trilogy of number one albums,and the Teletour,I think he had a pretty good year, Numan was on top of the world at this time and before you say anything,yes I am a Numan fan!
However you are probably right regarding getting permission to use tracks for this compilation…..

Richard Cosgrove

I may be biased as a fan, but I’d say I Die You Die and We Are Glass are definitely vintage Numan, and both from 1980 :-)

Must have been rights issues!


I thought exactly the same!

John Reed

Impossible to license Cabaret Voltaire, sadly.


At least Mute tried with the earlier material but it’s the ’90s and Crepuscule era CV that would sell nowadays, some of which fetches hefty money on Discogs.

Chris Squires

I was about to say “what no Quiet Life?” which seems to appear in the same form whichever of the multitude of 3cd compilations it always appears on. 12″ers, New wave, Top of the Pops, extended remixes, School disco, New Romantics, R&B soul classics……
Ok one of those is obviously wrong. I never counted Japan as part of the New Romantic scene……

It seems to be on everything.

Also my head is in a spin this morning as, 40 years late, I just discovered that the perennial Chinnichap classic by Toni Basil “Mickey” was recorded two years earlier by Racey as “Kitty”.
Every day is a school day, Chris, every day is a school day. Oh and “Some Girls” also by Racey was originally written by Chinnichap….for Blondie…. my head is going to explode with things that you just can’t imagine ever happening


Chris, back in the day I would approach Nick Rhodes his early-days dj set at The Rum Runner and ask him to play “Boys.” He would look askance, then shove Quiet Life on the turntable.
How we laughed when I later told him I knew he had the prescience to play that and not Bowie’s ‘Swinging’ ditty.
Happy daze.

Paul Sinclair.
I have an Uncut mag compilation cd ‘Birth of Electronica’ which is worth hunting down as the forerunner of this present compilation.
Also Rhodes and Taylor’s ‘Only After Dark’ Runner compilation of a few years back.

Chris Squires

Don, nice anecdote. If you ever bump into Nick or the guys who run Swordfish, tell them to sort out the recordings of pre-Simon Duran. I know recordings do exist (they confirmed it to my face in 1988) in the same way that the “Dark Circles” material existed and was found in an old school desk before finally being re-recorded and released in 2002. I have the full 14 track recording of the unreleased (Subterranean) Hawks album but would love to hear what came before. I won’t hold my breath!


Whilst a good selection it’s a pity they have gone with the usual tracks from the likes of Japan, New Musik and OMD. They all have interesting less well known tracks from that year.
The Kim Wilde b-side track stands out like a sore thumb! Ricki used synths but they are not what I consider synth pop.
But I have ordered it anyway if only to have Karel Fialka’s Eyes Have It on CD for the first time!

Chris Marsh

Was it actually Ricky Wilde playing on this? A lot of Kim’s music was performed by The Enid (though uncredited).


Karel Fialka’s “The Eyes Have It” has been released on CD before.

Blade Runner

One titel that is very essential and is missing here is Liaison Dangereuse – Los ninos del parque

Tim H

Isn’t that from 1981?

Blade Runner

@Tim H

it seems so! I‘m sorry