Saturday, October 29, 2016

In Memoriam: Pete Burns (1959-2016)

Dead or Alive was a New Wave band led by Pete Burns whose androgynous outlandish image drew heavy (and often unfair) comparisons to the kind of look worn by Culture Club frontman and fellow contemporary Boy George even though the former was said to be the first to sport such a style. Fashion statements aside, Dead or Alive became best known for their chart-topping hit "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)".

If that song sounds overly familiar to anyone born after 1986 who hasn't heard of it at all, that would be due to rapper Flo Rida copping its chorus for his own smash hit "Right Round"

I could care less about a lot of Flo Rida's other songs[1] but it was actually "Right Round" that made me check out Dead or Alive and I haven't looked back ever since.

Dead or Alive wasn't always a high-energy synthpop band though. I had this long-standing intuition after first hearing about Dead or Alive that the band most probably started out as a deathrock band band in the vein of Christian Death and Southern Death Cult because of their name and upon doing my own fair bit of research for this post, I was more than pleased to find out that I was right all along[2]. As a tribute to frontman Pete Burns' untimely death just last week[3], I decided to share not just the entire discography of Dead or Alive but of Burns' other bands - the pre-DoA band Nightmares in Wax[4] and 90's side project International Chrysis - as well.

Click on the images below to download.

Nightmares in Wax

Birth of a Nation

Dead or Alive

I'm Falling

Number Eleven[5]

The Stranger

It's Been Hours Now

I'd Do Anything[6]

Sophisticated Boom Boom[7]


Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know


Fan the Flame (Part 1)[8]

Been Gone 2 Long



International Chrysis

Rebel Rebel

1 Let's not even talk about "Low" or "Whistle", jeez...
2 Dead or Alive's first four singles completely blew me away and made me realize at the same that things would've probably turned out different for them if they stuck to their deathrock sound instead of trying their hand at making more dance-oriented stuff.
3 Interestingly enough, a comprehensive Dead or Alive boxset called "Sophisticated Boom Box" was released just a month prior to Burns' death.
4 Not to be confused at all with British DJ Nightmares ON Wax.
5 Number Eleven, heheheh.
6 This single marked a shift in Dead or Alive's musical style from the deathrock sound of pre-DoA band Nightmares in Wax as well as DoA's first four singles to the more danceable sound they would eventually become most known for.
7 The admittedly cheeky album title was taken from this song by 60's girl group The Shangri-Las.

8 In case anyone is wondering why there is a Part 1 in that album title, a Part 2 was originally supposed to be put out after but got shelved for reasons we may never know now that Burns is gone.

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