Throwback Thursday: China Crisis and Working with Fire and Steel (1983)

The early 80s were an interesting time in music. Synths, drum machines, and sequencers were brand-new tools for composers. Sampling was about to transform an emerging new sound from New York called hip-hop. And both artists and record companies were willing to take a chance on new post-punk sounds.

This is where we encounter China Crisis, a Liverpool-area band, that first came together in 1979. Their sound was definitely in the New Wave tradition and blended well with Simple Minds, Talking Heads, and Scary Monsters-era David Bowie.

I stumbled upon them while working at the now-defunct KX-96 FM in Brandon, Manitoba. It was probably the coolest and most-forwarded thinking station for a city of that size (36,000) back then. Their album, Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two, arrived one day featuring an insanely catchy single with an amazing groove.

Listen to this one loud so you can pick out everything that’s happening in the mix. It’s quite brilliant.

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