Gone to the Moon

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Gone to the Moon
Studio album by Kajagoogoo
Released May 2008 as MP3 -
forthcoming in CD format; February 2009 free
Recorded 2007-2008; 2006-2009
Genre New wave
Pop rock
Electronic
Synthpop
Length 47:04
Label Spectra Records
Producer Mark Downie
Kajagoogoo
Kajagoogoo chronology
Crazy Peoples Right to Speak
(1985 - studio album)
The Very Best of Kajagoogoo and Limahl
(2003 - compilation)
Gone to the Moon
(2008)
/

Gone to the Moon is an album by British pop rock / new wave band Kajagoogoo. It was recorded in 2007 and early 2008, by the Kaja trio shortly before the original band was officially reunited. The tour for the album featured the entire original band. The album was downloadable on MP3 format for free until February 2009 and released shortly after on CD-R. The record seems to follow the tracks of 1984 Islands, also realized without Limahl; and it bears strong resemblances to the latter Love Is Blind (Germany only - 1994).

History Behind the Album[edit]

The Kaja trio is formed by bass player and vocalist Nick Beggs, guitarist Steve Askew and keyboard player Stuart Croxford Neale. The album was recorded before the other two members of the original five-piece band rejoined the group: lead singer Limahl and drummer Jez Strode, who made the Kajagoogoo reunion possible in early 2008, exactly 25 years after the release of the only one long playing ever realized together, 1983 White Feathers, which produced, moreover, the UK and international Number 1 single "Too Shy", which became one of the classics of the 1980s. Following Strode's departure in 1984, the band used drum machines in the studio and session musicians for live concerts. After repeated changes in the line-up, the 5 original Kajagoogoo came to a first major turning point in 2003, in a live concert, then broadcast by U.S. TV channel VH1 in 2004, within the famous Bands Reunited series, which put back together several groups of the time, which had split up years before by then. After a previous failed try in 1998, the British band has definitively reunited for a joint photo shoot, in February, and, officially, in order to sign up the brand new contract, in April 2008.

Before this hugely waited for event (requests towards which never failed, during the years, from both fans and critics), the post-VH1 period has witnessed an early reunion of the 3 members that, in 1985, formed the Kaja trio of then last (now latest) studio album Crazy Peoples Right to Speak and of single "Shouldn't Do That", i.e. Beggs, Askew & Neale. In 2007, in reduced line-up, but with complete name Kajagoogoo, the trio successfully participated in Retrofest, a festival which was opened by themselves in the morning, soon realizing the brand new song "Tears", an easy listening track, already included in a compilation of 1980s tunes, and also featuring on the new album, along with a brand new single, "Rocket Boy", heavily oriented to rock moods and sound, accompanied by an exhilarating videoclip, shot by Nick only, with a Webcam, in front of his computer, singing the song in a hairbrush instead of a real mic! The track was hailed by critics as a smash song. Critics, as well as fans, have always appreciated Kajagoogoo's original music, though the band was accused at the time of being a satellite group of Duran Duran, for a number of reasons which never went further than a formal comparison: Nick Rhodes's production, their look, the early title of "Too Shy" - originally entitled "Shy Shy", which, in many's opinions, would recall the name of the band from Birmingham - and so on.

The record[edit]

The drummer for the latest album is Jonathan Atkinson (who also plays in the Kim Wilde band, and he is also soon to appear in the Electronic Band for Howard Jones), though he does not play on all 12 tracks. The album also features a couple of instrumental tracks, a constant tradition throughout Kajagoogoo works, as well as Beggs playing his chapman stick (peculiar instrument he made a whole solo album with) on "Springs Eternal Dance", and also keyboards, a less unusual instrument for him, while the only guest musician is Anna Conti, who plays flute on "The Last Day". On "Rocket Boy" (closing track and first and only single so far), Nick and Steve experiment an interesting role exchange, as for their respective main instrument: besides lead vocals and keyboard again, Beggs actually plays guitar, while Askew deals with basslines. Other peculiarities include the piano played by Stuart Neale on "Moon in Motion": on this and all other tracks (except for the mentioned solo performance by Nick on "Springs Eternal Dance", with his chapman stick, and "Excerpt from the Falling Man", another solo instrumental, this time performed by Steve), Neale plays keyboards and deals with programming.

Though the complete credits of the new work were only recently included on their forum, the titles of the 12 tracks were already available, a long time before the possibility to download the complete record for free, on the official album page, within the newly reformed group's Website, under the beautiful cover art, the front sleeve image of which was wholly realized with the computer, picturing two children vaguely resembling two aliens, with breathing helmets, playing with water-shooting guns, partially hidden in the tall green grass of a meadow, underneath a violet flying saucer, hanging in midair, before a peaceful night sky full of stars.

The fact that the record, in fact ready to be marketed in CD format, was put on hold just before release, due to the quick and unexpected reunion of the original five-piece band, makes it undoubtedly clear about the latter's sound health, especially thanks to their new manager, Bradley Snelling (the Retrofest organizer, by the way), who thus preferred avoiding the circulation of false rumours concerning supposed breaches within the band, whereas, as it were, the old issues which, for years, have opposed the three Kaja members, on one side, to Limahl and Jez, on the other side, are definitely history (as a matter of fact, the first split all began with then manager of the band, previously the group's roadie, who suggested that Limahl left and that the remaining four continued without him, with Nick Beggs, who already wrote many of the lyrics and did the main background vocals, taking on the lead vocals).

Promotion[edit]

While the five guys, more than grown up by now ("but we all still have our teeth and hair, which is wonderful", said Limahl on the official site of the band; and on his own solo site), after some 25 years, are now working recording a new studio long playing work all together, the date of their first live concert is getting closer. The first concert should have actually taken place in Bratislava, in the Slovak Republic, on May 23, 2008,[1] but shortly before the event, for reasons neither the group members nor their manager were liable for, the concert was cancelled (and then the whole festival also was), so the actual first live date has become the one which was scheduled as the second date, i.e. June 14, at Esbjerg Rock Festival, in Denmark,[2] followed by the one on August 30, again at Retrofest, in Scotland,[3] this time with the complete line-up. Obviously, besides the hit singles of the group and, maybe, some new tracks, the new album songs will also be presented, including those on the latest 2007 single, i.e. "Rocket Boy" and "Tears", which were already composed by the Kaja trio, a fact which cannot - but witness the renewed harmony of the five-piece band. Strange as it is, this album really seems to caulk over the dishomogenous path of 1984 Islands. Outstanding tracks seem to be "Tracy", "Smile" & the title-track "Gone to the Moon." Much treated promotionally as 1985 Crazy Peoples Right to Speak used to be at the time. Once again, songs written by Beggs & co. to highlight Limahl's incredible range of voice do seem to put him in the shadows, as they seem to keep on doing. High octaves that share that pitch leading the band to that blur which still makes a great good group live. From the point of view of the recording issue, a comparison is again most improbable, but the sound of Islands as an album seems to be cleaner than that displayed by Gone to the Moon as an album; this also displays an extremely difficult rendition live. Let alone the fact that that was their own sole opportunity to promote the new material. Never before dishomogeneous as it always were. An interesting matter of fact could be constituted by the VH1 Bands Reunited concert of the (more or less!) same period. All leading to the decidedness of the next piece of work, namely: Death Defying Headlines.

Late Track[edit]

As a temporary conclusion to the story told by the album, Nick Beggs performed with stick the fourth instrumental track that should have been included within the work, "The Darkness In Men's Hearts". Written by himself, it was inserted within the Stefano Ianne Project Tour, and performed at Conegliano (Italy) on April 23, 2010. As for the future, 2011 instead saw the release of the new E.P. from Kajagoogoo, Death Defying Headlines featuring Limahl & new material from the lead singer, including the singles "1983" & "London for Christmas".

Track listing[edit]

Music and lyrics by: Nick Beggs/Stuart Neale/Steve Askew. Recorded before Limahl and Jez Strode rejoined the band.

  1. "Gone to the Moon" - 5:32
  2. "Smile" - 4:00
  3. "Tracy" - 5:19
  4. "Moon in Motion" - 1:45 [instrumental]
  5. "First Girl on Mars" - 4:39
  6. "Tears" - 4:11
  7. "The Last Day" - 5:31
  8. "Excerpts from the Falling Man" - 1:23 [instrumental]
  9. "Table for One" - 4:35
  10. "Nighingales" - 4:16
  11. "Spring's Eternal Dance" - 1:33 [instrumental]
  12. "Rocket Boy" - 4:20

Singles from the album[edit]

  • "Rocket Boy" / "Tears"

Promotional videoclips[edit]

Full credits[edit]

"Gone to the Moon"[edit]

"Smile"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars, programming
  • Nick: vocals, bass, programming
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming

"Tracy"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars, drum programming
  • Nick: vocals, bass, programming
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming
  • Jonathan Atkinson: drums

"Moon in Motion"[edit]

  • Steve: programming
  • Stuart: piano, keyboards, programming

"First Girl on Mars"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars, drum programming
  • Nick: vocals, bass, programming, telephone
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming
  • Jonathan Atkinson: drums

"Tears"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars, programming
  • Nick: vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards, programming
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming

"The Last Day"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars, programming
  • Nick: vocals, bass, guitar, programming
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming
  • Jonathan Atkinson: drums
  • Anna Conti: flute

"Excerpt from the Falling Man"[edit]

  • Steve: acoustic and electric guitars, programming

"Table for One"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars
  • Nick: vocals, bass, programming
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming

"Nightingales"[edit]

  • Steve: acoustic and electric guitars, bass, programming
  • Nick: vocals, whistling
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming

"Springs Eternal Dance"[edit]

"Rocket Boy"[edit]

  • Steve: guitars, bass, drum programming
  • Nick: vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming
  • Stuart: keyboards, programming

Staff and production[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ www.ntc.sk
  2. ^ Esbjerg 80'er Rock Festival
  3. ^ Retrofest - August 30th & 31st, Strathclyde Country Park, Scotland

Related pages[edit]

External links[edit]