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.