Just a Million Dreams was Alan Vega’s second shot at mainstream stardom on a major label, but whereas his previous album, Saturn Strip, was an impressive distillation of his best ideas, Dreams is an unconvincing disappointment. The sleek production sounds dated rather than fresh and vibrant as it did before. The energetic playing and singing can’t conceal the fundamental weakness of the material. None of the songs are truly bad, but they are a deeply misguided attempt at mainstream stardom that, this time, sounds forced and contrived. Though Vega once again shed his experimental tendencies on Dreams, this time, it’s to no end, since he replaced them with surprisingly drab lyrics and banal melodies. Worst of all, the material, lacking any compelling hooks, fails even as an attempt at mainstream synth pop. The result was the second commercial flop in a row for Vega, who parted ways with Elektra and returned to Suicide and experimental synth-noise. Dreams is not the best introduction to Vega’s music, and will be of interest only to hardcore fanatics. [Source]
James Murphy: Cover of an amazing Hot Chocolate song by the singer of Suicide? Check. Can it be ten times faster? Done. [Source]
Saturn Strip is an album by Alan Vega, released in 1983 on Elektra Records. The album was produced by Ric Ocasek and features musical contributions from Al Jourgensen. “Kid Congo” is a homage to Kid Congo Powers. The album was reissued on CD in 2004 by Wounded Bird, which also included the Just A Million Dreams album.
Footage of The Strokes’ collaboration with Jarvis Cocker during their Reading Festival headline slot over the weekend (August 26) has emerged online. The Pulp frontman appeared onstage with his co-headliners to provide vocals on a cover of The Cars’ ‘Just What I Needed’. The New York band’s frontman Julian Casablancas introduced Cocker onto the stage by saying: “We love and respect them, give it up for Pulp. And here he is, the Jarv, please welcome Mr Jarvis Cocker.” [Source]
“Just What I Needed” is a song by the American rock band The Cars from their self-titled album in 1978 on Elektra Records. “Just What I Needed” is sung by The Cars’ bass player Benjamin Orr. The song peaked at 17 in the UK and 27 in the US. This song first appeared in 1977 on a Boston radio station, WBCN, as a demo tape for The Cars. Shortly thereafter it became one of the station’s most requested songs.