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SO - 1988 Horseshoe In The Glove

ALBUM: Horseshoe In The Glove
LABEL: EMI/Manhattan
SERIAL: CDP 7-46997-2
YEAR: 1988


LINEUP: Mark Long - guitars, lead & backing vocals * Marcus Bell - keyboards, piano, percussion, bass, background vocals

Additional Musicians: Steve Ferrone - drums * Neil Taylor, Alan Murphy, Clifton Houston - guitar * Graham Edwards - slap bass * Peter Vettesse - keyboards, piano * Walyer Turbitt - keyboards * Gary Wallace - percussion * Pete Thoms - trombone * Chyna, Janice Hoyte, Linda Hall, Annie Conway - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Are You Sure * 02 Dreaming * 03 Burning Bush * 04 Horseshoe In The Glove * 05 Capitol Hill * 06 Tips On Crime * 07 Villians * 08 Would You Die For Me * 09 Are You Sure (12" Mix) * 10 First Of May * 11 Dreaming (Cocktail Mix)

Here's an odd one-off comprised of members of The Opposition; a London based post-punk outfit in the style of The Cure who released several albums to a mid-range cult following before packing it in and moving to America. In a complete one-eighty including a handle change to the rather forgettable 'SO' no doubt inspired by the Peter Gabriel blockbuster; Mark Long and Markus Bell created an unabashedly commercial album slotting neatly into the dazzling MTV hi-tech pop sounds of the day. Three singles and obligatory videos later, the duo was back in the UK as The Opposition returning to their usual cold wave experimental fare as if 'Horseshoe In The Glove' never happened.

The Songs
Not the most appealing of titles, its significance is unknown but for fans of Go West, Wang Chung and post 'Sparkle In The Rain' Simple Minds it's definitely a disc to keep an eye out for. Hugely melodic and steeped in late in the decade overindulgent production styles, songs like the first single 'Are You Sure' and 'Dreaming' are undeniably catchy counterweighted with attractive dark noir edginess and offering playfully creative extended dance mixes of both tracks towards the end of the album is a sweet bonus. Elsewhere Long and Bell's need to experiment come to fruition with 'Villains' utilizing the then new sampling technologies picking off bits and pieces of the Michael Caine classic film 'The Italian Job' while 'Would You Die For Me' picked as the last single is my favourite of the lot reminiscent of The Human League and their vastly underrated 'Crash' album.

In Summary
Apparently the duo were fed up with the commercial side of pop - hence their dismissal of SO in post album interviews, but they came very close to breaking the U.S. market with 'Are You Sure' reaching #41 on the Billboard charts and earning a fair amount of rotation on MTV; one wonders where a second album might have taken them.

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