The Buggles, in 1979, had massive success with The Age Of Plastic. So much success, that they had hopped back in the studio to record a follow-up. However, before they could seriously start, fate stepped in and offered them a spot in a new line-up of the progressive rock band Yes. Both Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes being big fans of Yes, they hopped to it, and in 1980, they released Drama to... poor reviews, and a tour that Horn still has nightmares about.

The Buggles seemed to be dead, as Downes started his project Asia, and Horn went to producing. However, in 1981, MTV went on the air, and its first video was The Buggles' own Video Killed The Radio Star. Sales of The Age Of Plastic picked up momentum on the American side of the pond, and The Buggles decided to do that follow-up album after all.

Okay, well, half of The Buggles. Downes was too busy with Asia to be heavily involved in the sessions, and ended up being credited on only three tracks: Vermillion Sands, I Am A Camera, and Lenny. Downes also plays on Beatnik, as well. Because of Downes' involvement, the entire album sounds like a Trevor Horn solo project, and this is not a bad thing at all. Horn is responsible for some of the most impressive productions of the mid 80s, and even today most of Adventures In Modern Recording sounds ahead of its time.

Adventures In Modern Recording was released in 1982, to rather poor sales. It is a shame, as it is better in most aspects than The Age Of Plastic. The Buggles' sound is much fuller, and much more experimental. Vermillion Sands brings in elements of 30s and 40s swing music, while On TV is full of a manic energy that The Age Of Plasic lacks. Other standout tracks include I Am A Camera, a toned down remake of Into The Lens from Drama, and the powerful title track - a thematic sequel to Video Killed The Radio Star.

Sadly, Adventures In Modern Recording is out of print. It is best to look for the Japanese import version, as it contains three excellent bonus tracks, the B-Sides Fade Away and Blue Nylon, and the 12" mix of I Am A Camera. Unfortunately, it omits the 12" mix of On TV, but it has surfaced in MP3 form.

Following the release of Adventures In Modern Recording, The Buggles parted ways for good. Downes went to focus on his own solo projects, and Trevor Horn would start producing full time, including Yes' next album, 1983's 90125. Adventures In Modern Recording, despite a few personnel problems, stands up as one of the best albums of the 80s New Wave revolution.

Tracklist:

  1. Adventures In Modern Recording
  2. Beatnik
  3. Vermillion Sands
  4. I Am A Camera
  5. On TV
  6. Inner City
  7. Lenny
  8. Rainbow Warriors
  9. Adventures In Modern Recording (Reprise)
    Japanese import bonus tracks
  10. Fade Away
  11. Blue Nylon
  12. I Am A Camera (12" Mix)


The title track for Adventures In Modern Recording picks up where Video Killed The Radio Star left off in its attack on the music industry. It decries modern music acts as simply fashion plates, able to be changed at a whim of an exeuctive for profit. It holds even truer today than in 1982.

There's a kid in a band
Got an axe in his hand
He's been learning all the chords
and he's writing all the words
Today you bought a new face
Tried it on for size
Now you see the world through
Different coloured eyes
They're not playing
They're not playing
They're just having
Adventures in modern recording
Adventures in modern recording
Adventures in modern recording
So carefully directed
For modern mass appeal
Look just like a poster
Got yourself a deal
Let's begin promotion
This boy has got it made
Media exposure
It will make him all the rage
But he's not playing
He's not playing
He's just having
Adventures in modern recording
Adventures in modern recording
Adventures in modern recording

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