I must stop my constant references to Tony in these reviews. "The Office" was actually written by Clive, proving there was indeed at least one other very talented ideas man behind NM. And what a great instrumental track this is too. Dare I say it, one would actually never know this wasn't written by T(he) M(aster) - and believe me, that's the biggest compliment I could ever give!
This is a really energetic synth tune - the pace of which is perfect - not aggressive yet powerful. The addition of great melodies really gets the foot tapping! Actually there are few synth instrumentals like this, which makes it even more special. It has a kind of 'driving' quality to it and is very refreshing. My bro' once described it as sounding like a soundtrack from a film where the camera glides over beautiful countryside. I wouldn't describe it as filmic, but I can understand his point, as it has an evocative quality to it.
I like that unusual bass effect - how was that done?
And does anyone else think there is a hint of Wurlitzer in those synths, or is it just me?
But... What's wrong with the mastering on the CDs? Its the same on my Edsel copy as my 1994 CD. I'm sure Tony and the engineers would never have intended to have those synths dropping in and out of the stereo soundstage like that.
Just a final thought - shame the BBC didn't use this as a ready-made theme tune to their hit comedy show of the same name. Just think of those $$$$s in royalties :)
Mr Gates, I salute you!
Clive Gates, keyboard master of NM, gives us this instrumental gem which originally appeared on the B side to 'Luxury'. If Clive had an image, to me it came across as either "mad professor" or "suited businessman". If I'm right with the latter, then 'The Office' would seem to fit. Musically it has the NM DNA stamped all over it, and why wouldn't it? I'm convinced NM would not be NM without Clive.
It's a very busy track, synth laden as expected, lots of twists and turns, and it does portray the "hustle bustle" of a working day in the city very well.
Everything seems to be right with it, and yet - it's not a track I've listened to with regularity. I'm not quite sure if it's the absence of Tony's vocals. Or perhaps that it doesn't quite hit the infectious highs of other NM tracks. I think "hustle bustle" and "infection" probably are mutually exclusive. Don't get me wrong, it's a splendid track which gives a mere glimpse of Clive's prodigious talent. A solo album should have followed!
I get the feeling they struggled with the master tape with this one - the choral synths at 2:52 certainly struggle for a number of seconds. I've got a feeling sound quality is a theme which will be discussed even further on other bonus tracks to come!