The Fixx / Ultimate Collection

Ultimate Collection

The Fixx are a rock and new wave band formed in London in 1979. The band’s hits include “One Thing Leads to Another“, “Saved by Zero“, “Are We Ourselves?”, and “Secret Separation“, all of which made the U.S. Top 20, as well as early MTV Video hits “Red Skies” and “Stand Or Fall” and Mainstream Rock chart hits “Driven Out” and “Deeper and Deeper,” the latter of which was featured on the soundtrack of the 1984 film Streets of Fire.

The Analysis—-

Stand Or Fall—-The amazing thing, to me, is that many of the songs that are on this release…could be released today and met with the same relevancy that they had during the Reagan Cold-War era…..we are just a society prone to repeating our mistakes…and this collection seems to prove my point.  Much of the sounds from these early sound indeed define the 80’s….the remarkable thing about the whole thing is the urgency to the words and the power of Cy’s voice….there remains a clear and crisp sound to the music….The Fixx perhaps one of the first 80’s Alternative Rock bands. This has a mournful and powerful message.

Red Skies—-With a direct political message to the era of Nukes and such, this is one thing I always loved about this band. They always remained entertaining while delivering a message to any one that would listen…avoiding much of the synth laden drivel of the 80’s. This means as much today as it did in 1983. Listen to the words and take some good advice. All the while…..revel in the fantastic vocal delivery….the growl and the intensity…I love this band.

Lost Planes—-Cy delivers another stellar vocal delivery….full of urgency and strength. The music sounds a bit dated…..falling into a more traditional 80’s sound…but remember this was really actually the first single the band released. I like that the guitar elements are in full effect and that the drumming is so strong……really nice.

Some People—-A bit more abrasive in sound and showing the age of the song, this is not a favorite…but still manages to play well. I don’t care for the jaunty feel of the vocal….the track only comes alive and sounds authentic to me when Cy actually sings on the chorus. Still….not a throw away track.

Saved By Zero—-Perhaps the most well known track from this band, there is nothing to find at fault here. This was when the band really began to enter the political era and deliver solid messages in the songs that were being produced. Curin sings with a pleading urgency at times that swallows you up. I like the overlays toward the end of the song…my favorite part…I never get tired of listening to this.

One Thing Leads To Another—-Incredibly popular and radio driven, this remains one of my least favorite tracks from the band. Seeming to produce a song that would capture the masses, indeed they succeeded but the new wave elements forced by the record company never played well with me. I can’t believe I still play this album on vinyl!!!

The Sign Of Fire—-A fog and a jaunty guitar plays while the drums lead the track with an urgency. Curin delivers a vocal that is almost pleading for attention. The song lacks a heavy message…but the feel is there. Not sure if this is about love or politics….a fine line right there…lol.

Going Overboard—- I’m at a bit of a loss as to where this track even came from. I think it lacks quality….the vocal is pushed to the back of the mix and sounds hollow…the guitars are tuned very high. The drums sound tiny and the synth lines are to mechanical in sound…..

Deeper And Deeper—-This seems to be a bit of an extended version. I love the staccato delivery of the vocal. Not to mention the damn catchy melody of the song…that always seems present no matter when you are positioned in the song. Curin growls at times….giving his vocal an urgency. There are more synth lines on this track…but it does not suffer from them. This is nice!

Are We Ourselves?—-This version that was pressed on this release sounds odd…there is no fullness to the sounds small and under-produced….unlike the other  versions of the song i have heard. Even the vocal sounds under-whelming. Too bad…..this is a favorite of mine but this version is awful!!!

Sunshine In The Shade—-Reclaiming the classic Fixx sound from the early years, this track is damn catchy and pleasant. The melody that runs underneath the whole thing is rather addictive…and combined with Cy’s vocals add up to a great, great track. The break that introduces the synth line is fantastic… this.

Less Cities, More Moving People—-This track has a huge synth feel to it…designed to gt you moving perhaps. This track is just as relevant today as to the release date. The synth line allows for the drums and guitar as well…giving the song a very large feel. This is a nice reminder of why I fell in love with this band.

A Letter To Both Sides—-Slowed down a slight bit and filled with introspective lyrics, I’m not very familiar with this track. I love the notes Cy manages to hit….and the melody plays right into them. This is damn pleasant. I like the message and the delivery. Letters are needed to both sides…..right now.

Secret Separation—-Perhaps my favorite track ever released by this band, The song has the ability to both make me think and smile….there is a happiness o the musical track that is infectious. I love the vocal…relaxed and natural and the guitar sounding very British and authentic. A crowning moment.

Built For The Future—-At this point, the band was beginning to wind down in its original form. The sound of the music seems a bit lacking in enthusiasm. I think everyone involved at this point needed a break and it was beginning to show in the quality of the out put. Not that this track is bad….I love the sound….but it does not stand the test of time as well as others.

Driven Out—-Trying to deliver an ultra modern sound, the band looses some of the power that it had established with its original sound. This track does not sound like a hit…it sounds forced and mechanical. The vocal is great…but the lack of urgency in the music is obvious.

How Much Is Enough?—-Returning to a more retro guitar sound and jerky drum, this is much more what I’m accustomed to. Cy delivers an anthemic vocal that gives you a sense of peace and enthusiasm at the same time…this was when the band should have stopped.

No One Has To Cry—-Sounding way to modernized and fa removed from the roots of the beginning, the band accomplished in driving me away from the later releases as they just were not very good. This is swirly and foggy….even Cy lacks a vigor in his voice. I don’t care for this.

Two Different Views—-Another disappointing track right from the onset, this sounds like an aged band trying to sound relevant in the wrong way. Cy lacks intensity and power in his vocal…the music almost swallows him up. No…..

****out of 5

3 responses to “The Fixx / Ultimate Collection

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