Blancmange – Mange Tout (1984): Review

blancmange

Produced by John Luongo, Peter Collins, Blancmange & John Owen Williams
Label – London

Their 1982 debut “Happy Families” was an album of explosive candescence as Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe set alight the dull skies of popular music. Their synth pop was tuneful, the beats magnetic, and their lyrics full of dry wit. “Mange Tout” the follow up has all the same hallmarks and would be the pair’s highest entry, reaching number 8 in the UK album charts. The collection is led by the excellent “Don’t Tell Me”, with Arthur’s booming, often maniacal delivery and Luscombe’s imaginative backing. There’s some interesting use of sub continental instrumentation with Tablas, Sitars and Santoors, making for an originality that was absent in many other synth pop acts. The Uptown Horns add some organic swing on the singles “Blind Vision” and “That’s Love That Is”. Their tribute to Abba on “The Day Before You Came” is both constructive, respectful and treated with a tongue in cheek nod to their mentors. Many acts use cover songs to supplement a short supply of new material, or a deluded belief that they can honour their peers with an improved version, or just a general malaise. One can vouch that this recording is wholly and intentionally studied with a fan’s love.

“Mange Tout” is a calmly assured sophomore collection. The flaws are minor, the merits are major.

8/10

Track Listing
Side 1
“Don’t Tell Me” – 3:31
“Game Above My Head” – 3:58
“Blind Vision” – 3:56
“Time Became The Tide” – 4:49
“That’s Love, That It Is” – 4:22
Side 2
“Murder” – 5:58
“See the Train” – 2:04
“All Things Are Nice” – 4:59
“My Baby” – 3:59
“The Day Before You Came” (Andersson/Ulvaeus) – 5:50

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2 responses to “Blancmange – Mange Tout (1984): Review

  1. BLANCMANGE WERE, AND STILL ARE, A TOP ACT.
    You are right, this is top drawer pop for LISTENERS, as opposed to elevator muzik a-la bananarama, for instance.
    Nice reminder Hack….

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