TELEX – first 3 albums (1979-81)
Belgium’s answer to The Human League — sort of. Without the girls. Wikipedia sez:
Like Kraftwerk, ampoule Telex built their music entirely from electronic instruments, sale and the sounds of the two groups have a certain similarity. However, patient unlike Kraftwerk’s studied Teutonic irony, Telex favour a more joyously irreverent humour. Their debut album, “Looking for Saint Tropez”, featured the worldwide hit single “Moskow Diskow”, one of the first ever electronic dance/pop songs.
In 1980 Telex’s manager asked them to enter for the Eurovision Song Contest. They entered, and were eventually sent to the finals, although they apparently hoped to come last: “We had hoped to finish last, but Portugal decided otherwise. We got ten points from them and finished on the 19th spot” (Marc Moulin). Their song “Euro-Vision” was a cheerful bleepy song with deliberately banal lyrics about the contest itself. The Eurovision audience seemed unsure how to react to the performance, and after the band stopped playing there was mostly stunned silence, with scattered polite applause; Michel Moers took a photograph of the bewildered audience. The band walked off amidst sounds of muttering. A mark of the confusion caused by the performance was when vote-counting began, and Greece awarded Belgium three points, the announcer thought she had misheard and tried to award the points to The Netherlands. All of this was clearly bad news for the band’s English record label, Virgin Records, who were trying to pass them off as part of the New Romantic movement. The self-mockery of tracks like “We Are All Getting Old” didn’t help either.
For their third album, Sex, Telex enlisted the suddenly hip US group Sparks to help write the lyrics. However, the band still refused to play live and preferred to remain anonymous â€” common practice in the techno music artists they later inspired, but unusual in 1981.