Album Of The Week - ABC - The Lexicon Of Love
After last week's debut from Keane, we'll go to another one, this time from 1982 to find ABC's loved-up The Lexicon Of Love.
Being honest, I've grown up with The Lexicon Of Love and having seen ABC and Martin Fry a fortnight or so ago, this is a rather lovely column to write. The obvious talking point is The Look Of Love Pt. 1, the album's most well-known offering, with its utterly brilliant music video, inspired by the days of Edwardian music hall and wonderfully repetitive refrain.
One lovely bit of trivia I've heard was that ABC needed someone to do a "Goodbye" backing vocal on this track, and since some lyrics are inspired by a breakup Fry had gone through, legendary producer Trevor Horn suggesting roping in the girl Martin Fry had broken up wth to provide it.
Opening song Show Me is typically eighties, especially with its funky undertones that take place across the whole album. Its thumping bassline soundtracks one of the album's best songs bar none. Indeed, Many Happy Returns continues this theme, keeping a tight sound and an especially funky backing. It showcases Martin Fry's fantastic vocal range and his exquisite depth of voice, as well as the works of Mark White on keyboards.
Poison Arrow is another of the record's most notable songs, taking on a sound that Nile Rodgers and CHIC would be proud of. It replicates that same sound and does it fantastically. In addition, beneath all of the rhythmic backing, there's this brilliant attitude that takes centre stage on the refrain leading up to the chorus, with Fry blatantly pointing the finger at the girl this song is directed at. Pure class.
Valentine's Day's string backing substantiates what is an already tremendous tune, only furthered by the percussion backing and magnificent vocal. It's a real showcase of what ABC are, only helped along by the production of Trevor Horn, who shouldn't go unnoticed in any of this.
The Lexicon Of Love is one of the eighties' most iconic albums. With its well-embedded groove and sumptuous instrumentation, there aren't many better debut albums out there. If you haven't heard it, go and listen to it. If you have, listen to it again! It's a record no-one could get tired of listening to.
More musical magnificence to come next week!