The sound never quite dies

“Echo Beach,” as described by Martha and the Muffins in their 1980 New Wave-ish hit, isn’t an actual location with sand and such; it’s some place “far away in time” where your mind can wander while your workaday self endures yet another day at work. It was a fair-sized hit in Canada, where it won a Juno Award; it was mostly a nothingburger in the States, though I snapped it up quickly enough along with a couple of subsequent M+M albums. These days, when I mention M+M, it’s usually in the context of the song “Be Blasé” from their second album, Trance and Dance, which contains a description of a Creepy Older Guy trying to pick up a young woman:

Riding on the streetcar,
Not going very far,
Someone pats me on the head,
Someone who I thought was dead.
Says: “It’s time to go to bed.”
This is what I said:
“You were thirty when I was three,
What the hell do you want with me?”

In later years, I took that as a potential personal rebuke.

Over the years, M+M — Martha Johnson and Mark Gane, the two mainstays of the original band — did what they could to keep the name alive. In 2010, they came up with Delicate, their first new material in 18 years, and separately from the album, a “30th Anniversary” version of “Echo Beach,” smooth and silky and slinky instead of the pogo bounce of the original. It was a stunner:

There’s about a 30-second clip of 1980 video to finish it off.





2 comments »

  1. Wombat-socho »

    8 January 2018 · 9:38 pm

    I wonder if they were inspired by Ultravox’s “Hiroshima Mon Amour”, released in 1977:

    Riding inter-city trains
    Dressed in European grey
    Riding out to echo beach
    A million memories in the trees and sands, oh no
    How can I ever let them go?
    Hiroshima mon amour

  2. January rambling #1: A Patriotic American Liberal | Ramblin' with Roger »

    14 January 2018 · 7:16 am

    […] Echo Beach (2010) — Martha and the Muffins […]

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