It was Bernard Sumner’s birthday on the 4th January, and I thought I’d celebrate it by reviewing a song that he collaborated with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys and Johnny Marr on – they are the key players on this but there is more on this later on in the review.
If you don’t know who Electronic are, let me break it down.
Electronic are Johnny Marr, virtuoso guitarist ex of The Smiths and Bernard Sumner of New Order, with guests Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys who featured on this, the debut single of the band. Articles at the time deemed them to be a supergroup, a phrase I’m not a fan of, but in this case will use given the era. They came together to create one of my favourite songs of the 80s.
This song is “Getting Away With It”, and keeps with the 80s vibe, house piano, in the intro, synth bass, programmed drums, and a lush orchestration over the top of the whole thing to hold it together. This was released in December 1989, and rounded off a big decade for all involved. The Pet Shop Boys had had 3 hugely successful albums, collaborating with Liza Minnelli and Dusty Springfield, New Order with “Blue Monday”, a track remixed by none other than Quincy Jones the previous year, and Johnny Marr, fresh from his split with The Smiths still riding the crest of the wave with their success.
The thing I like about this song is the deadpan delivery of the vocals over that groove, Neil’s vocals in the background unmistakeably, and Johnny’s guitar lines he plays a really lovely guitar solo too…
Chris Lowe, although his part is downplayed contributed the bass line to this, and it’s my favourite part of the song arrangement wise, as well as the strings arranged and conducted beautifully by Anne Dudley of The Art Of Noise. I told you there were more key players than were listed.
I love Bernard’s vocals on this especially hence why I chose it, it’s when he sings the chorus and it reminds me you don’t have to have a big soulful voice to make an impact, this is a fab track and will always hold a special place in my heart.