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Information Society

Information Society Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.87
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Product Details

1. What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)
2. Tomorrow
3. Lay All Your Love On Me
4. Repetition
5. Walking Away
6. Over The Sea
7. Attitude
8. Something In The Air
9. Running
10. Make It Funky

Product Description


The earliest incarnation of this Minnesota band of tech-geeks was essentially a rock band with a deep love for club music, and their first widely distributed record splits the difference. The hit "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)," featuring a Leonard Nimoy sample, is essentially the great lost Duran Duran single, but the rest of the album is pleasingly all over the place. "Walking Away" owes as much to Latin freestyle as it does to mainstream dance-rock, "Lay All Your Love on Me" lights a fire under Abba's tailbone, and the last few tracks slow the tempo way down to an electro crawl. The album is inconsistent and fillery, but it demonstrates a bunch of routes dance music might have gone in the late '80s and didn't quite. --Douglas Wolk

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! June 11 2004
Format:Audio CD
It was 1988. After years of playing in small clubs, Kurt Harland (who was known as Kurt Valaquen back then), Jim Cassidy, Paul Robb and, later on, Amanda Kramer, struck a record deal with Tommy Boy/Warner Bros and recorded their first album without realizing that it would be their ticket to this crazy roller coaster ride called fame. Of course, they had to make some sacrifices : their electronic, Kraftwerk-influenced music, in order to be more top-40, radio-friendly, was turned into a brilliant blend of pop, funk and dance that would propel Information Society to the top of the charts. The first single off their eponymous effort, What's on your mind (which has one of the catchiest choruses ever in my opinion), was an instant success in the summer of '88 and still remains one of the most memorable songs from the synth-pop era. With a profusion of Star Trek samples and infectious beats, the rest of the album is equally satisfying, with Walking Away and Something in the Air among the highlights. InSoc was never able to repeat the success of their first album, but it was enough to give them a loyal and still surprisingly-large fan base and make people dance for decades to come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new wave classic Jan. 22 2004
Format:Audio CD
Information Society (1985.) Information Society's first album
In the eighties, new wave became a wildly popular musical genre. Unfortunately, most of these bands only had one extremely popular song, and were written off as one-hit wonders by most people. It's a shame that Information Society is among those that were written off as such, because they were so much more than "just another new wave group." While most new wave artists came from Europe, Information Society was a rare example of an American one. But their sound is so similar to that of Human League, Duran Duran, and countless other acts that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference if you didn't know otherwise. Although their sound was similar to that of other new wave acts, there's no denying that the band had a sound all their own. In 1985, the group released its self-titled debut. Read on for my review of it.
The album kicks off with What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy), the song that gave the band their supposed one-hit wonder status. This is eighties pop at its very best, and it's not surprising that this song gets radio play on eighties stations on a regular basis. But, just because it's the only popular song doesn't mean it's the only good one on here. The band's new wave ballad, Repitition is nothing short of excellent. Why didn't this song become more popular than it did? The synth-heavy Walking Away is another masterpiece of a song that never got the proper recognition. Other songs worth mentioning are the Duran Duran-styled Over The Sea, the ever-so-catchy Attitude, the bass-heavy Something In The Air, and the memorable closer Make It Funky. All in all, this is a good album.
Information Society's debut is a new wave classic, and there's no denying it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tell me what�s on your mind. Pure energy. Dec 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
It's a crime to put Information Society with the likes of industrial corporate music like Depeche Mode, Camouflage, or Xymox. OK, so lead singer Kurt Valaquen does sound a bit like Dave Gahan or Phil Oakey of the Human League, but with that rooster quiff of his? And the contrast given to the backing vocals with Amanda Kramer singing? They're unique. And since when did DM put dialogue samples from the original Star Trek in their songs? Their debut album contains songs that are mostly inquisitive songs of longing, all coated with an exciting melange of sound.
Dr. McCoy's "It's worked so far, but we're not out yet" introduces "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)" made it to the Top Five on the Billboard charts, accompanied by an exciting video and Mr.Spock's "pure energy" quote throughout. The bouncy and rubbery synths, along with the metal striking metal sound effects have a lot more personality, as does the violin-like synth that comes in later. The single edit did not contain that sample from the computer, "destruction." Love that guitar-like sampling effect at the end.
"Tomorrow" could've been another single, the catchy way the title is stretched out in the chorus. Definite Human League-type vocals and stylings.
Their cover of Abba's "Lay All Your Love On Me" strips the original of its 70's disco synth material, but gives it an 80's flavour without dishonoring it. Some ST samples would've been hilarious here.
"Repetition" is a ballad with a slowed drum machine beat. I think this became a single, but I'm not sure. The airy feel here echoes what the Pet Shop Boys were doing at the time, but the despairing sense of returning to someone over and over because a life spent alone means nothing is felt here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The U.S. Human League April 12 2002
Format:Audio CD
Anyone who hasn't heard of Information Society is to be pitied. Alas, the pitiable are many.
Information Society's first album is very worthy of Human League, too. Almost every track has a very strong percussive foundation.
Interestingly, and probably for the reason above, this is a CD that one is likely to appreciate a great deal on first hearing. On a large minority of the tracks, the other components of the song are not as impressive as the background, and one tends to notice these more after a few hearings. Perhaps in this regard, they differ a little from Human League, whose strengths are not in background to as great an extent.
"What's on your Mind" is very reminiscent of Human League (and, as someone pointed out, of Duran Duran) and a very good track indeed. But other fine contributions abound: "Over the Sea", "Running", "Walking Away" and the well-conceived version of Abba's "Lay all your Love on Me". (Indeed, it is instructive to compare their version of the last with Erasure's of 2 years later).
A final strength is that all tracks but one are over 3.5 minutes in length, with several well over 4 minutes. Well worth purchasing, especially 12 years later.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Insoc in it's early days
Information society proved to the world that synth pop was not just british but american as well.This group from minneapolis had several chart toppers including what's on your mind... Read more
Published on March 25 2005
3.0 out of 5 stars great late 80's synth pop
If you are buying this cd for the song "what's on your mind" you will be very pleased to know that the rest of the album is on par with that song. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by insoc
5.0 out of 5 stars insoc rules
Being a huge insoc fan i think they are an excellent band and the best in techno funk. i highly recommend it
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This is an enjoyable album by Information Society, It features many dance songs and club songs. "Walking Away" is a pretty good song. Read more
Published on March 1 2003 by "gibraud"
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable pop tart.
"Pure Energy" and "Walking Away" remain the standouts on this promising debut by Information Society. Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by Andy Williamson
4.0 out of 5 stars The U.S. Human League
Anyone who hasn't heard of Information Society is to be pitied. Alas, the pitiable are many.
Information Society's first album is very worthy of Human League, too. Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by The Blue Man
1.0 out of 5 stars this stuff is so cheesy you could make pizza with it
I absolutely LOVED Information Society when I was, oh, 14 or so. Along with Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Lords of Acid, and T99, they were one of the main groups that got me into... Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2001 by Travis Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars This is GREAT stuff
I first purchased this on cassette about 10 years ago. I loved it so much I later bought it on CD. I find this CD to be great driving music. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars In every revolution, there is one band with a vision
The timing couldn't have been better. It was my senior year in HS, and "What's on Your Mind" came out as I was prepping for the debate tourney season. Read more
Published on July 18 2000 by J. Derek Reardon
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