Yes, it’s the ‘Ann Summers’ post. The twelve-incher which gave birth to a million ‘fnar, fnar”s in the playground.
The twelve-inch. Conceived I seem to recall for DJs in the clubs in the 70s, by the time I was old enough to buy records, you could end up with the 7″ and 12″ versions of the same single. The canny bands released 10″ singles which never really caught on.
Author’s note: some of what follows could be historically inaccurate but it’s how I remember it!
There was an art to buying the right 12″ single; bands and labels rarely brought in expensive DJs to do remixes until Frankie Goes To Hollywood, a band who, like the Happy Mondays, were made for the ‘remix’. When I started buying
When I started buying 12″ singles, remixes were less sophisticated. You got the ’12” inch version’, ‘extended version’, or if the record label really can’t be arsed, ‘long version’. Pretty much they were a few loops of the music added in, stringing out the track for another 3 minutes.
You might not even get that. It could be a 12″ EP, with one or two extra tracks to make it worth paying the £1.99 (yes, kids, £1.99). These are where the astute record buyer avoided duplications, or like myself, hunted down picture discs or coloured vinyl versions of the smaller format.
Amid this was the perversity of Factory Records, who preferred the longer format, certainly for Joy Division and New Order. They got the hang of it as well. The singles were meant to be 12″ records rather than the 7″ version, including Blue Monday, the biggest-selling 12″ record of all time and Factory still lost money on every copy sold.
Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart was another highlight: the 12″ version being some 10 seconds shorter than the 7″!
But then, as with everything, the record industry got greedy. The charts became skewed to the point where they banned some sales of 12″ singles from counting toward chart places, I believe. That, coupled with an increase in purchasing power meant I stopped buying the 12″ single.
These were some of my highlights from the format. Tacked on the end are two great examples of why it will never die out entirely. Arthur Baker’s mix of Low Rider is superb as is the full 17-minute version of Elegia, by New Order.
If the playlist doesn’t work, click here to listen in your browser.
|This Charming Man – New York Vocal||The Smiths|
|Never Stop – Discotheque||Echo & the Bunnymen|
|Love Like Blood – Extended 12” Mix||Killing Joke|
|Ghost Town – Extended Version||The Specials|
|Heartbeat – New York Remix (Clean Version)||The Psychedelic Furs|
|In A Big Country – Pure Mix||Big Country|
|My Ever Changing Moods – Longer/ Extended/ 12 Inch Version||The Style Council|
|Two Tribes – Annihilation||Frankie Goes To Hollywood|
|White Lines (Don’t Do It) – Long Version||Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel|
|Teardrops – Extended Remix||Womack & Womack|
|Rat In Mi Kitchen – 12″ Version||UB40|
|Call Me – Original 12″ Mix; 1999 Remastered Version||Blondie|
|Blind – Extended Mix||Talking Heads|
|Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) – 12” Version||Spandau Ballet|
|Money-Go-Round (Parts 1 & 2) – Original Full 12 Inch Version||The Style Council|
|Love Will Tear Us Apart||Joy Division|
|A Forest||The Cure|
|Precious – 12″ Version / Extended Version||The Jam|
|Spellbound – 12″ Mix||Siouxsie and the Banshees|
|Talk About the Past – 12″ Mix||The Wake|
|This Is Not A Love Song – 12” Remix||Public Image Ltd.|
|Low Rider (Remix) – Remix by Arthur Baker||War, Arthur Baker|
|Long Hot Summer – Extended/ Full/ 12 Inch Version||The Style Council|
|Elegia – Full Version||New Order|