What are your favorite albums from the 70s or 80s that feature synthesizers or electric combo organs?
March 19, 2010 4:33 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite albums from the 70s or 80s that feature synthesizers or electric combo organs (think Farfisa or Vox)?
posted by MaryDellamorte to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A little early, but Beach Boys Smiley Smile (1967), which included Good Vibrations.
posted by beagle at 4:46 PM on March 19, 2010

I have way too many answers for this one as is. Is there a particular application of the organ/synthesizer sound which has triggered your interest? A certain song? A certain player?
posted by philip-random at 4:49 PM on March 19, 2010

Plan 9's Dealing With The Dead, 1984. Obscure but, errr, findable in the usual ways.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 4:49 PM on March 19, 2010

Beagle, I don't think the Beach Boys used synths. Philip, I'm just looking for some new music. I lean mostly towards post punk and new wave that's heavy on the synth. Nothing in particular triggered my interest but I have been listening to Flock of Seagulls today.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:54 PM on March 19, 2010

DEVO - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!

Well, it has synths, and some organ.
posted by SansPoint at 5:31 PM on March 19, 2010

Also, pretty much every Elvis Costello album from the 70s and 80s.
posted by SansPoint at 5:51 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Argy Bargy by Squeeze
posted by interplanetjanet at 5:55 PM on March 19, 2010

Suicide / Half Alive

get it, you won't regret it.
posted by The_Auditor at 6:18 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Any 'Blondie' album features the awesome Farfisa stylings of Jimmy Destri. My favorite is the pre-megafame 'Plastic Letters.'
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 6:24 PM on March 19, 2010

I can assure you that all of these feature a prominent keyboard sound (at least some of the time) and are more rewarding than Flock of Seagulls.

SIMPLE MINDS - real to real cacophony, empires and dance, sons and fascination
MAGAZINE - secondhand daylight, correct use of soap
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK - Organization, Architecture + Morality
B-52S - The B52s
KRAFTWERK - Trans-Europe Express, Man Machine, Computer World
THE THE - Soul Mining
STRANGLERS - Rattus Norvegicus, No More Heroes, Black and White, The Raven
WALL OF VOODOO - dark continent, call of the west

Have fun. Go for a weird haircut.
posted by philip-random at 6:24 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well, a pretty broad request to be sure, but I'll throw a few out there that might fit the bill:

Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure, features some prime Eno noodling (not sure if it really counts as synthesizer, but what the hey):
The Bogus Man
In Every Dream Home a Heartache

Magazine Real Life: The Light Pours Out Of Me, Shot By Both Sides

I loved Pictures at an Exhibition as a kid, Emerson Lake & Palmer's electro-interpretation of the Mussorgsky suite, that's got some synths for sure:
The Curse Of Baba Yaga

...which would lead you, maybe, to Brain Salad Surgery: Karn Evil 9, or perhaps to Tarkus

And of course the usual suspects:
Kraftwerk Autobahn
Tangerine Dream Love on a Real Train, The Dream Is Always The Same, from the Risky Business soundtrack.
posted by Bron at 6:30 PM on March 19, 2010

Felt's Poem of the River/Forever Breathes the Lonely Word rises above the mopey, introverted lyrics almost entirely through Martin Duffy's Hammond organ playing. It's some of their best music. Example: Gather Up Your Wings and Fly; Grey Streets
posted by ardgedee at 6:39 PM on March 19, 2010

Yes, Soul Mining has heavy but wonderful synth in it.
New Order
Early Talk Talk though they're kind of poppy, like Naked Eyes or China Crisis.
Gary Numan is pretty good, or how about Missing Persons?
Maybe the Cocteau Twins?

I'm stopping, because I have ADD and you're reminding me I need to find "After the Snow".
posted by Red Loop at 7:46 PM on March 19, 2010

Check out New Musik. All three of their records qualify as genuine lost synth-pop gems.
posted by mintcake! at 8:12 PM on March 19, 2010

Late 70s: In Through the Out Door and Going for the One
posted by turbodog at 10:15 PM on March 19, 2010

Shriekback - Oil and Gold

Early XTC - Drums and Wires, Go 2, White Music
posted by umbĂș at 9:58 AM on March 20, 2010

Beagle, I don't think the Beach Boys used synths.

I think he was talking about the organ you mentioned in your post. But, the Beach Boys DID use syths in the 70s, most notably on The Beach Boys Love You. Sounds bizarre, but it's a really great record. Check out Good Time.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:00 PM on March 20, 2010

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