Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The End of the Eighties, Track 16

“I Melt with You (Tokes’ Rock the World Mix)”
Modern English
I Melt with You CD Maxi-Single

Modern English started out as labelmates of Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Pixies, and Bauhaus. The original three founding members were even a part of the rotating cast of musicians that participated in 4AD label founder Ivo Watts-Russell’s supergroup This Mortal Coil. But it was the synthpop confection of “I Melt with You” that finds the group treading one-hit wonder territory for the casual music fan. The original 1982 version of the song secured a spot in the pop culture consciousness by being featured in and playing over the closing credits of Valley Girl. The band re-recorded and re-released the song numerous times throughout the years that followed, but were never able to really cash-in on it.

I remember my friends Jen and Nancy humming along with the song on drives home from Thursday’s. And I remember Jeff having a copy of the original After the Snow 4AD release at Bowling Green. But by the time we were on campus, Modern English had broken up, left 4AD, reformed, and were now on the TVT label with a new album – Pillow Lips. The playlist version here is one of the remixes from that latter era found on the 1990 CD maxi-single release of “I Melt with You”. More percussive-based than other versions and drawn out to nearly six minutes, the “Tokes’ Rock the World Mix” is relentlessly optimistic.

Running counterpoint musically and thematically to the funeral dirge The Cure’s catalog occupied in my music library, “I Melt with You” brims over with unstoppable buoyancy. From the iconic humming breakdown to the jangly synths, it all comes back to the sentimental simplicity of a new wave love song.