Wednesday, April 09, 2008

China Crisis rarity...


Over 20 twenty years ago, back in the mid-'80's, the Philippines wasn't as all-open market as it is now, and imported vinyl was still the music medium of the true afficionado.

It was during these times when a cousin of mine eagerly awaited his father to come home from Hong Kong on brief trips (business or holiday, i was too young to notice and don't really give a damn...). His father always seemed to manage to find the time to check out record bars and bring him home the latest music still unreleased here, mostly of the new wave sort. These he generously shared with me, and we made tapes for our walkmans and other players.

It was always a badge of absolute cool, when one knew songs not yet on the airwaves. And my cousin was one of the guys on top of the heap. At least until his friends manage to "borrow" these records and never bother to give them back...

One such record that fell on our eager laps was the single for China Crisis' "Black Man Ray," about some imaginary weapon that wipes out non-africans or something... some said it's about Ray Charles... some said it was pure gibberish... but most agreed that "Black Man Ray" wasn't a bad melodic follow up for their over-played "Wishful Thinking," which has by now become a staple in musical time capsules of 80's new wave music.

And then we flipped the record to try out the B-side, and found this gem called "It's Never Too Late (for You and Me)." The melody got me hooked, the atmospheric "Asian-ness" of the arrangement was fresh for me back then... until one day, having forgotten to copy the record on tape, I found out that the single record had already been "borrowed." Further searches for the "Black Man Ray" single online and abroad yielded further reinforcement that what my cousin had was a limited edition copy with the limited edition B-side.

Two decades, the advent of the now-ubiquitous internet, and endless peer to peer searches later, I found it.

Here it is...
video

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