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Martha and the Muffins — Mystery Walk [30th Anniversary Edition] (September 15, 2014)

Martha and the Muffins — Mystery Walk [30th Anniversary Edition] (September 15, 2014) Martha and the Muffins — Mystery Walk [30th Anniversary Edition]
Ξ   Originally released in 1984, the fifth studio album co–produced with Daniel Lanois featuring The Brecker Brothers on the US dance hit 'Black Stations / White Stations' has been remastered and reissued as a 30th Anniversary Edition CD.
Ξ   Mystery Walk is a 1984 album by M + M, produced by Daniel Lanois. The opening tracks, "Black Stations/White Stations" and "Cooling The Medium" were both released as singles, with the first track being the more successful of the two, achieving hit status in Canada and reaching #2 on the U.S. dance music chart.
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Album release: September 15, 2014
Record Label: Current / RCA (credited to M + M)
Duration:     66:37
Tracks:
01. Black Stations / White Stations      5:12
02. Cooling the Medium      3:44
03. Come Out and Dance      4:50
04. I Start to Stop      4:36
05. Big Trees      1:12
06. In Between Sleep and Reason      3:18
07. Garden in the Sky      4:00
08. Nation of Followers      5:08
09. Alibi Room      3:53
10. Rhythm of Life      3:14
11. Xoa Oho      3:48
12. Black Stations / White Stations (Extended Dance Remix)      6:30
13. Black Stations / White Stations (Instrumental Remix)      5:01
14. Cooling the Medium (Dance Remix)      6:22
15. Cooling the Medium (Dub Version)      5:49
Personnel:
Ξ   Martha Johnson — guitar, keyboards, vocals
Ξ   Mark Gane — guitar, keyboards, vocals
Ξ   Daniel Lanois — guitar, pedal steel, treatments
Ξ   Dave Pilch — bass
Ξ   Eluriel Tinker — bass
Ξ   Yogi Horton — drums
Ξ   Fred Maher — drums
Ξ   Martin Deller — percussion
Ξ   Dick Smith — percussion
Ξ   Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Wayne Mills — horns
Ξ   Rufus Cappdocia — cello
Ξ   Julie Masi, Brian Patti, Shawne Jackson, Sharon Lee Williams background vocals
Album Notes
Ξ   In 1983, Martha and the Muffins principals Martha Johnson and Mark Gane returned to the studio for a third time with Daniel Lanois to start recording what would become the ‘Mystery Walk’ album. Originally released in 1984 under the abbreviation ‘M+M’, the first single, ‘Black Stations/White Stations’, with its Brecker Bros. fueled horn riff, became a #2 dance hit in the U.S., attracting a lot of attention for openly challenging mainstream radio stations to break down the playlist formats that divided “black stations” from “white stations”. With other notable tracks like ‘Cooling The Medium’, ‘Come Out And Dance’, ‘Garden In The Sky’ and ‘Nation Of Followers’, the writers of ‘Echo Beach’, ‘Danseparc’ and ‘This Is The Ice Age’ made yet another stylistic change while at the same time attracting a wider audience.
Ξ   Now, three decades after its initial release, ‘Mystery Walk’ is available on CD, remastered by Peter J. Moore, complete with a 20 page booklet of album notes, lyrics, photos, band and press quotes as well as five bonus tracks from the same recording sessions.
What reviewers have said about 'Mystery Walk':
Ξ   "This is a great album with a wide diversity of sounds, tons of hooks, tunes you can dance to...the kind of thing we could use more of today... Anyone who ever liked this band should definitely get their mitts on this anniversary edition." — Mark Rheaume, CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, December 2, 2014
***
Ξ   "Without a doubt the best abum Current Records ever released..." — Gerry Young, CURRENT RECORDS, December 2, 2014
***
Ξ   "The album sounds fresh. It eschews the post–New Wave and New Romantic fadism that preceded it and delves into more mature musical themes being established by Bowie and Gabriel at the time... it's got staying power — especially on tracks like 'In Between Sleep and Reason' or 'Rhythm of Life'".Jamie Vernon — THIS IS 1984, SEGARINI: DON'T BELIEVE A WORD I SAY / WORDPRESS, December 6, 2014
***
Review by Aaron Badgley;  Score: ****
Ξ   Stripped down to just Martha Johnson and Mark Gane, and assorted studio musicians, M + M worked closely with producer Daniel Lanois for the third time. And, once again, it was a very successful combination. Incorporating more funk and dance sound, perhaps due to being partially recorded in New York City, M + M continue their growth and expand their dimensions as a band. Once again, the album is full of melodic, well–constructed songs. "Cooling the Medium" and "Black Stations/White Stations" have some wonderfully memorable hooks; the latter also features the amazing bass of Tinker Barfield and the horn playing of Michael and Randy Brecker. Ξ   The incredible beat structures throughout the album (provided, for the most part by Yogi Horton) make it almost impossible to sit still. But as with their previous two releases, this album is sound. M + M create sound through layering, and excellent producing and arrangements. Martha Johnson uses her voice quite effectively on this release, especially on "Come Out and Dance," and the wonderful gem "Rhythm of Life."
Ξ   "Five stars." — MUSIC EXPRESS, December 10, 2014
***
Ξ   "This classy reissue reveals the record has stood the test of time..." — Kerry Doole, NEW CANADIAN MUSIC, December 12, 2014
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Ξ   "Still sounds remarkably fresh today." — Leonard Nevarez, Favorite Music of 2014, MUSICAL URBANISM Blogsite, December 29, 2014
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Ξ   "To many, the Martha and the Muffins story begins and ends with the still omnipresent 'Echo Beach', but the good stuff kept coming long after that, perhaps never more so than on 1984's 'Mystery Walk'... World class..." — Ben Rayner, TORONTO STAR, January 4, 2015
Ξ   "Mystery Walk…is by far the best Canadian pop album of the year…Gane and Johnson have managed to last beyond the latest musical trend, and in the same process, offer us challenging new music… Buy two copies." — Benoit Dufresne, SUNDAY EXPRESS, February 26, 1984
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Ξ   "…the 10 tunes on Mystery Walk demonstrate yet again that Martha and the Muffins are far and away the best group on the Canadian rock scene." — James Adams, THE EDMONTON JOURNAL, March 8, 1984
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Ξ   "Black Stations/White Stations…Becoming one of the most talked–about records in the U.S.A…." — IMPACT, May 14, 1984
***
Ξ   "Mystery Walk still bears many of the original and desirable characteristics of the Johnson/Gane partnership — notably Martha’s sweet, fluid vocals, the abundance of highly stylised but melodic guitar chord structures and a certain wistfulness of lyrical content — but there's much more feel, much more emotion in evidence now." — Tony Mitchell, SOUNDS, August 11, 1984
***
Ξ   "Following ‘This Is The Ice Age’ and ‘Danseparc’, ‘Mystery Walk’ is their third fine record of the ‘80s… Ms. Johnson… sighs and sings with a breathy, almost secretive knowingness… M+M eschew the clichéd cul–de–sacs, they engage and spark." — Danny Kelly, NME, September 1984
Website: http://marthaandthemuffins.com/#index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marthaandthemuffins
Martha Johnson
Born: December 18, 1950
Ξ   Canadian pop singer and songwriter. She is best known as the vocalist for the 1980s new wave band Martha and the Muffins, which had a major international hit single with "Echo Beach". She also released a solo children's album, Songs from the Treehouse, in 1997, for which she won the Juno Award for Best Children's Album at the Juno Awards of 1997. She is married to her Martha and the Muffins bandmate, Mark Gane.
Ξ   In 2001 Johnson was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, but continues to perform and has used this platform to raise awareness in her shows. In 2013 Johnson announced plans to record a project called "Solo One" with a portion of the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
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Martha and the Muffins — Mystery Walk [30th Anniversary Edition] (September 15, 2014)

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