The first single from Fad Gadget’s last album, 1984’s Gag, was “Collapsing New People,” Frank Tovey’s tribute to Einstürzende Neubauten (whose name means “Collapsing New Buildings”). It seems to have been a relationship of mutual respect. Tovey also took part in that year’s famous “Concerto for Voice and Machinery,” during which Neubauten attempted to dig through the stage of London’s ICA into the tunnels rumored to exist underground.
While it is often reported that Neubauten played on “Collapsing New People,” the seven-inch sleeve only credits the band as guest musicians on the single’s B-side, “Spoil the Child.” (At least one copy of “Collapsing New People” was pressed with Lionel Richie’s “Wandering Stranger” on the flip side; it’s safe to say Neubauten didn’t play on that.) And it’s hard to tell from the ambiguous credits on the twelve-inch whether Neubauten also contributed to the “Berlin mix” of “Collapsing New People,” though Blixa Bargeld makes it sound that way in the oral history No Beauty Without Danger. He mentions the collaboration with Fad Gadget while explaining how Neubauten started recording with producer Gareth Jones, and how sounds from that session turned up on Depeche Mode’s “People Are People”:
We got together through a chain of coincidences. Fad Gadget did a record with Gareth at Hansa Studio and the lead singer Frank Tovey wrote the song “Collapsing New People” with the line: “Sat awake all night / But never see the stars / And sleep all day / On a chain link bed of nails.” That was a direct reference to the Neubauten. Now Tovey had the clever idea to ask the Neubauten whether we’d play on it, so that the whole thing wouldn’t be misinterpreted as a criticism. That’s when we did our first recordings with Gareth. At the same time, those were also the first recordings that the Neubauten did at Hansa Studio. After all, in this session Gareth was confronted with our instruments for the first time. That had sweeping consequences because directly afterwards he recorded Depeche Mode, also at Hansa, and used our overdubs from the Fad Gadget reels for “People Are People.” He once later told me about that.
More Fad Gadget after the jump…