Favorite Electronic Songs #10 - "The Friends of Mr Cairo"

@teamfreak16 (40917)
Colorado Springs, Colorado
July 15, 2017 10:08pm CST
There are people out there that are of the frame of mind that synthesizers have no place in rock music. I am not one of them. Some of my favorite songs were created using the machines. Hence, my Favorite Electronic Songs series: songs that are electronic in nature. As always, we begin with #10: "The Friends of Mr Cairo," by Jon and Vangelis. Between 1980 and 1991, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and synthesizer musician Vangelis (Chariots of Fire) collaborated on four albums together, the second being 1981's The Friends of Mr Cairo, which saw it's title track released as a single, complete with accompanying video. The song is a nod at classic gangster films, and even features actors doing imitations of stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet (a spontaneous in-studio idea that Anderson says came to him after Vangelis did a Douglas Fairbanks impression as the pair worked.) The song, according to Anderson, is based upon The Maltese Falcon (hence, actors portraying the actors mentioned above.) "The Friends of Mr Cairo" reached #1 in Canada, though did not, according to Wikipedia, chart elsewhere. I find this a bit odd, as it did receive airplay, at least here in Colorado Springs, and the album itself went Top 20 in four countries, including #6 in the UK. You would think a song with an entertaining video, from a fairly successful album, would have charted SOMEWHERE, wouldn't you? It's a fun song. And it was made using synthesizers. (Info verified by Wikipedia, All Things If)
Music video by Jon & Vangelis performing The Friends Of Mr. Cairo. (C) 1981 Universal Music International BV / Polydor (UK) Ltd. http://vevo.ly/TGiw4L
7 people like this
7 responses
@andriaperry (48796)
• United States
16 Jul
I like this kind of music too.
3 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
I'll be giving the loud guitars their due next.
• Preston, England
16 Jul
A great homage to the film noir era - great use of the Greenstreet / Lorre voices too
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
Very creative, that's for sure.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
16 Jul
@teamfreak16 as with all Vangelis music
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
@arthurchappell - He really should be more popular than he is. He's great. !
1 person likes this
@crossbones27 (19233)
• Redlands, California
16 Jul
I believe in Germany they play around with this sort of stuff, trying to find the most original sound. This song has a lot of theater to it. Pretty interesting.
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
Speaking of Germany...
2 people like this
@dgobucks226 (11592)
16 Jul
Nice info on John Anderson. One of my first concerts I attended was Yes. Blew me away. Rick Wakeman on synthesizer was memorizing! Prog-rock at it's best
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
They are a great live band. I've seen them twice. The first time they showed Bugs Bunny cartoons as an opening act, the second with Alan Parsons.
@dgobucks226 (11592)
16 Jul
@teamfreak16 Alan Parsons, lucky you! I think I saw them with Rod Stewart and Faces, before he went all disco on us rockers. A great rock voice not fulfilling his potential and wasting his talent...Can you say sell out! Bugs Bunny cartoons? Not sure how to respond to that one?
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
@dgobucks226 - You haven't lived until you've heard 17,000 people cheering Bugs on. It was awesome.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13346)
• United States
23 Jul
Superficially an interesting combination, but not really if you look at some of Yes's later material.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
23 Jul
Vangelis was in line to replace Rick Wakeman, but they went with Patrick Moraz instead. That would have been interesting.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13346)
• United States
23 Jul
@teamfreak16 -- a roundabout chariot of fire????
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (75708)
• Banks, Oregon
16 Jul
Yeah, you would think it would have had to of charted some where else, chart position does surprise me at times for songs though.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
I know. Like "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" not charting at all, yet it's one of Van Halen's most popular songs.
2 people like this
@TRBRocks420 (75708)
• Banks, Oregon
16 Jul
@teamfreak16 Perfect example.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (54506)
• Los Angeles, California
16 Jul
I haven't heard this song in ages. It played on KROQ naturally.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (40917)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
16 Jul
Even our AOR FM played it all the time because of Jon Anderson.
1 person likes this