A few singles later, and they've consolidated their dance-edit success with their pop cruise even more deftly-- now they're sitting down and writing smash singles in the Pop Way, new Common-Culture icons like "Bizarre Love Triangle" and "True Faith".God knows how, but it makes it even better to hear them fail in between peaks like that-- note the 12" mix of "Sub Culture", which turned out iffy enough that regular designer Peter Saville supposedly declined to do a sleeve for it.The English seem to have a soft spot for anyone who can credibly fit the everyday white guy into dance music, which is usually assumed too futuristic or "soulful" (read: non-white) to accommodate him-- see also Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, "Born Slippy".
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(And not just them: the guitar and bass sounds here are the basic DNA at the core of a massive chunk of indie.) The not-very-good single from this period, in fact, is "Everything's Gone Green", in which the band discovers a) Computer-based sequencers, and b) Almost the exact vocal line from "Blue Monday", and stumble their way through an awkward dry run-- i.e., for a second, they were actually doing better trying anything new.
Then they embrace dance music: the drum machines and sequencers, the extended 12" mixes, the single as something totally distinct from the album version, the iconic "Blue Monday".
(One of its problems: Bernard evidently getting self-conscious about the white-guy thing and recruiting Actual Black Women to double his lines, which never works for anyone.) It's good context for those highs, and some of the lesser-known singles are just a testament to the sound: Even when the songwriting's formless and Bernard's using the same chants you heard on the last track, the results are still terrific listening.