Adventures in Modern Recording


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Adventures in Modern Recording Review

by Jeri Montesano

It wasn't surprising that the Buggles' second release, Adventures in Modern Recording, didn't meet the expectations that 1980's internationally successful The Age of Plastic set. Both Horn and Downes had been working on several outside projects, including Yes' 1980 release Drama, which severely limited their time, and for the most part, Adventures was a Trevor Horn solo project; Geoff Downes only appears on three tracks. However, many of the criticisms leveled against this outing were unfounded and there is still much to like; several songs, such as the infectious title track, equal The Age of Plastic. Both "Adventures in Modern Recording" and "Inner City," with its lush arrangement and engrossing melody, show off Horn's remarkable production savvy. Horn and Downes collaborations like the sultry "Vermillion Sands" and "I Am a Camera" -- a melancholy, stripped-down version of "Into the Lens," which appeared on Drama -- are top-notch. Meanwhile, "Lenny" is a shot of adrenaline that could have fit nicely on Drama as well; actually, a good portion of that album is as much a Buggles recording as anything you'll find here, so to consider Adventures the second Buggles release would be unfair. Instead, Adventures and Drama should be seen as a collective statement. Buggles fans should look for the Japanese import of Adventures in Modern Recording (Flavour TFCK-87577), which has been remastered and includes unreleased tracks like the bubbly "Fade Away" and the unusual "Blue Nylon," and a 12" mix of "I Am a Camera." Both of the Buggles albums still sound fresh, especially compared to the '90s unimaginative pop. The only disappointment here is that it is unlikely there will be further adventures for the Buggles.

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