This week on “The Rewind” we bring you an unreleased Neneh Cherry track from 1983 which was unearthed in a dusty corner of the On-U tape archives. Taken from SCIENCE FICTION DANCEHALL CLASSICS, a curated selection of classics, rarities and unreleased tracks from the On-U Sound vaults by DJ & Audio Visual artist Trevor Jackson.
On-U-Sound founder Adrian Sherwood spoke to Pitchfork about the song:
This is one of the first tunes I did with a drum machine, working with Steve Beresford. I think it was a LinnDrum, which they’d just got in at Berry Street studios in 83, they were really expensive at the time. I met Neneh in 1979 because the band I was working with, Creation Rebel, got invited on this ‘Simply What’s Happening’ tour, which was pretty groundbreaking in the way it mixed up different styles of music. It was Don Cherry, Happy House (Lou Reed’s backing band at the time), The Slits, and Prince Hammer. After that me and Neneh ended up squatting a place together in Battersea in 1980, and we’re still friends to this day. In some ways predicting the electro-fied sound of Neneh’s worldwide pop success with the Raw Like Sushi album, “Dead Come Alive” stems from a mid-80s period when Adrian took a production hiatus from his beloved reggae, deeply upset by the murder of his friend Prince Far I (he would later rekindle the dub flame when the opportunity arose in 1986 to work with hero Lee “Scratch” Perry). Instead he explored the possibilities of new studio technology. Early samplers and drum machines were put through their paces on work for the Tommy Boy label and remixes for the likes of Depeche Mode.
The album features rarities and unreleased tracks plus 6 songs that have never been reissued on CD or digital (inc. the amazing debut recording by a pre-Massive Attack Shara Nelson).
Listen to the track and watch a short video for the compilation created by Jackson below.