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DEPARTMENT S – ’45 Revolutions: Singles 1980 – 2017′ Review

DEPARTMENT S – 45 Revolutions: Singles 1980 – 2017

Department SJust released on Westworld Records, Department S are best known for there is Vic There? Single from 1980 that reached number 22 on the UK Singles Chart. This compilation contains their most famous single as well as other popular hits.

Clap Now has a danceable beat, deep voiced vocals and some funky guitar work all combining with keyboards to craft that signature indie/goth sound of the 1980s. There are fifteen tracks on the compilation and they range from the melodic and lengthy On My Own Again to the eclectic, Devo like, Going Left Right.

On I Believe, the addition of female vocals and gospel style backing chorus gels with B-52s approach to create an epic sound dripping with melody and the band follow this track with My Coo Ca Choo, covering the Alvin Stardust 1970s classic! They put a unique spin on the song that is close to their signature sound and the Glitter Band style drum introduction of She’s Expecting You is another nod to seventies influence with a spoken word approach creating more variety.

God Squad Saviour hints at Department S branching into full on goth/punk/indie territory with ominous backing to the Bowie-esque lead vocal. Passing the half-way point of this compilation, we are treated to the more upbeat When All Is Said And Done where the pace is matched with a strong melody and soaring vocal. The first of three versions of Is Vic There? comes next and reminds us that time in British music history where the first wave of punk was being replaced with the melodic indie stuff with keyboards a major feature. It’s a clever song with some great guitar work and super melodies. The next track, Wonderful Day opens with tribal drums, strange electronic sounds and then launches a powerful riff leading to a melodic rival to the prior famous song!

I Want combines a piano/keyboard, brass instruments and a guitar lick with fast paced drums and adds a set of protest lyrics. The compilation features two more remixes of Is Vic There? and one of I Believe and each remix adds a unique twist to the originals featured earlier on the album with Tubeway Army vibes on one remix and Fiona McCluskey adding to the latter songs remix.

The album also features a remix version of Age Of Control with an electronic synthesizer creating deep and scary backing to a choral like vocal. It would go down well in the clubs and, like the rest of the album, shows Department S ageing like a fine wine.

For 45 Revolutions: Singles 1980 – 2017 by Department S, go here: http://www.westworldrecordings.co.uk/index.php/artists/department-s/