DOUBLE COMPILATION MUTE, PLAYGROUND RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER 3, 2001 (SCANDINAVIA), OCTOBER 15, 2001 (UK) REVIEW: SEPTEMBER
I first heard Fad Gadget, I was very curious about what "Ricky's Hand"
was about. I
guess I must have been maybe ten or twelve years old. And extremely fascinated.
I remember putting the live version of "Ricky's Hand" and "Sleep"
on one of the "Best of" tapes I recorded in those days. At the
time, Fad Gadget seemed a very peculiar character to me, and that has
always been a huge part of his overall appeal.
When word came out about a "Best of", I was immediately transported
back thirteen or so years, to a room with walls pasted with Depeche Mode,
Fancy and Den Harrow posters. I really didn't think old Fad could have
anything to add in today's music climate. It became obvious after a while,
however, that I had not given the man enough credit. The majority of the
songs on this double album compilation are very, very interesting and
way ahead of their time. "Back to Nature", "Collapsing
New People", "Fireside Favourite" and "Life on the
Line" are incredible little weird pop gems. As are many of the other
songs on the first disc, which consists of all Fad Gadget singles and
some of the B-sides.
The second holds twelve remixes of his material,
most of which are very successful as well. Only a few of the songs sound
a bit dated and foolishly naïve today, over twenty years after he
released his first vinyl single.
Frank Tovey, aka Fad Gadget, was a madman, a perfectionist and a performer
all at the same time and his synthetic, twisted pop-rock with lyrics oozing
of dark, bizarre humour will hopefully be remembered for a long, long
time. What the new Fad will sound like is written in the stars, though.
Some of the Depeche Mode fans who attend their "Exciter" tour
and show up in time for the support act will probably find out.