A SMALL PORTRAIT OF LANDSCAPE

The bloke who sat in the producer’s chair and helped propel Spandau Ballet to initial fame was Richard James Burgess. What many folk probaly don’t realise (and I include myself in that vast number) is that way before the Kemps put their band together, the man in the producer’s chair was a wannabe pop star.

Landscape formed in 1974, playing pop and jazz tunes and released a couple of low-key EPs in the late 70s. They turned to synthesisers and electronica in 1979 but with little commercial success….until Burgess’ name became famous thanks to his imprint on the Spandau Ballet singles and other emerging acts like Visage.

Cleverly cashing-in on the fame, Landscape then enjoyed some minor success in 1981 with a Top 5 hit in Einstein A Go-Go and a Top 40 hit with follow-up Norman Bates. Subsequent singles and LPs were not hits, and by 1983, Landscape had split-up.

Richard James Burgess worked with quite a number of successful chart acts in the early-mid 80s, and also released some more jazz-influenced material. He is highly respected in the world of academia thanks to his pioneering work with electronica when it was just emerging, and has taught and lectured in a number of high-profile educational establishments in the USA. But most of us I suspect know him best through this:-

mp3 : Landscape – Einstein A Go-Go

Note the recording and mixing of various telephone calls in the opening part of the mp3, which I’m sure must have been one of the first such examples of sampling on any record. Interestingly, the info on the record label advises that the song is 3 minutes in length, but the intro is 32 seconds long….thus allowing radio DJs to cue the record up properly so that listeners got to hear only the actual music.

JC

9 thoughts on “A SMALL PORTRAIT OF LANDSCAPE

  1. Not heard this for ages. Remember buying it when it came out. That lead synth line is so immediately catchy

  2. “From The Tearooms Of Mars [To The Hellholes of Uranus]” was quite excellent! I bought that album after hearing the track “European Man” on a compilation I was hot to buy it and it did not disappoint. Landscape by album #2 were a unique blend of Kraftwerk and jazz with a full horn section that also used rare for the time, electronic horns and wind control synths like the lyricon. The dry, puckish sense of humor that the album proffered was very witty and I love it to this day. I didn’t care too much for the third Landscape album, and never heard the first one, but I will always love “Tearooms.”

    Burgess was a drummer and technician who developed the Simmons Drum; the sound of the 80s. He used prototypes on “Tearooms” and the first production models reached the public ear on Spandau’s iconic “Chant No. 1.”

  3. Landscape’s Andy Pask went on to write the theme tune to ITV series, “The Bill”. Don’t think he ever had a hit with that though.

    Still have a vinyl copy of “Tearooms” although not played it in years. I recollect liking a tune called “Face Of The 80s”.

  4. LOTS of bands aspired to be “the English Kraftwerk” but I suspect that Landscape came closer to hitting that mark than all of the others.

  5. There are definitely quite a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a nice level to bring up. I supply the ideas above as common inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you carry up the place the most important thing shall be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a good game. Both boys and girls really feel the influence of just a second’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives. http://boxermath.com/

  6. My love of Kraftwerk steered me to Landscape’s European Man. Burgess deserves quite a bit of credit for what he influenced as far back as that song. You can hear his imprint on Human League, Heaven 17, quite a bit of the early ZTT stable.

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