Liaisons Dangereuses just made one record, but, good Lord, what a record it was, to be sure! To me, it pretty neatly sums up the definition of ‘cult’.
Also the band (and the record) match the other requirements: “(…) released on an indie-label, from a band or singer who never enjoyed mainstream success and is a piece of music that in a parallel universe would have been a smash hit and made a fortune for the composer and/or performer(s).”
Liaisons Dangereuses were founded in 1981 by Berlin’s Beate Bartel and Chrislo Haas, who, before Liaisons Dangereuses, already worked together under the moniker of CHBB. CHBB released four cassettes, untitled, limited to 50 copies, each 10 minutes long. I have never heard one of those and you haven’t either, I guess. But not to worry, the record in question is by Liaisons Dangereuses, not by CHBB.
Liaisons Dangereuses released a self-titled album in 1981, which – again – I never heard (you probably might have done so though, congratulations) on TIS Records in Germany and Roadrunner Records in the Netherlands. One song from said album was released as a 7” and a 12”, but this time only on Roadrunner Records. Never heard of TIS Records? Roadrunner Records? Perfect: in compliance with the first requirement!
Beate Bartel formerly played with Einstürzende Neubauten and also Mania D (“My Queens of Noise”, as John Peel styled them back then) whereas Chrislo Haas was a founding member of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (or DAF, if you’d rather) and Der Plan, but also played together with Minus Delta t and Crime & The City Solution. Back in those days he was known as t.h.e. German synthesizer guru. German readers of a certain age will most probably be aware of his genius, the rest of you might still know the synthesizer line in DAF’s ‘Der Mussolini’ … that’s this bloke, y’know ….
I don’t know exactly what Beate Bartel is earning currently, she’s doing some experimental art performance projects. I’m sure you agree with me that these things tend not to make you rich rich rich or enable a shopping-topless-in-Biarritz sort of lifestyle and thus don’t really lead to mainstream success … and Chrislo Haas drank himself to death with 47 years in 2004 anyway, so: second requirement fulfilled as well!
The record in question, at least as far as I can tell, never hit the “big” charts back in the days. But in Germany it was a dancefloor filler (@ any underground club with at least a bit of taste in music anyway) throughout all of the Eighties. Also, so I read quite a while ago, the techno scene as well in Detroit as in Chicago seem to have fancied it when they started up. For me it isn’t techno though, then again I am way too old to differentiate between all these dance things anyway. It is a very fine mixture between EBM, Postpunk and New Wave perhaps … then again who gives a fuck for those definitions in the first place, right?
One thing’s for sure: any inhabitant of a parallel universe who doesn’t normally listen to U2 would dance to it like mad (or whatever you do instead of dancing in parallel universes) … and enjoy the tune mightily whilst doing so. So there you go: third requirement also met!
So here’s to you an iconic classic from 1981, friends, a cult record in the truest sense of the word, at least for me: eins-zwei-drei-vier and ….. enjoy!
Take good care,
Dirk from Sexyloser
mp3 : Liasons Dangereuses – Los Ninos Del Parque
(JC adds…………this one was totally new to me. And it is highly highly highly recommended!!!)