Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

23 December 2015

Back to Alphabet City

Got both Fad Gadget & Frank Tovey under F, so let's go.

Francis John (Frank) Tovey is Fad Gadget.

He was an early practitioner in the melding of New Wave & Industrial into skewed pop songs filled with his black-humor lyrics regarding dehumanization in the modern Industrial age & the mass media's enslavement of modern society.

Fad Gadget's music was synth-driven but augmented by the sounds of electrical appliances such as electric drills or razors. The vocals were satirically deadpan.

Fad Gadget was the first artist to sign to Daniel Miller's Mute Records. "Back to Nature" was recorded as the second Mute Records release at RMS Studio in London.

Side A –
Back to Nature

Side B –
The Box

"Back to Nature" was a great success for Mute Records so the follow-up record titled "Ricky's Hand" was recorded. The recording included Tovey's wife, Barbara, singing a vocal part near the end of the recording; the vocal part is then mixed with a synthesiser part into the outro of the song.

Side A –
Ricky’s Hand

Side B –

By the time Frank/Fad recorded the album Fireside Favourites at Blackwing Studios, he had decided to record the album without Daniel Miller's assistance. He wanted the final say to be his alone. Tovey recorded two more albums for Mute at Blackwing, Incontinent & Under the Flag. During the recording of Under the Flag Frank began using a Roland MC-4 Microcomposer. This made it easier for him to create a more controlled style of music. This style was carried on with the recording of the album Gag.

The recording of Gag was a change of direction for Tovey. It was the first time he used a band of musicians to record an album. Before he had recorded most of the musical parts himself. He also moved the recording from London to Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin. This recording included many acoustic instruments (like Joni Sackett – viola & David Simmonds – keyboards). Frank had utilized synthesisers before they were fashionable, now he moved away from electronic instrumentation which was the trend at the time. At this same time, Einstürzende Neubauten played a show with Fad Gadget at The Loft in Berlin & Tovey was moved by the use of heavy machinery for percussion. He had heard a large printing press nearby & got recording engineer Gareth Jones to record it. This was looped & would become the basis for "Collapsing New People".

Here Fad Gadget was assisted by: David Rodgers – guitar, double bass, & bass synthesizer; David Simmonds – piano, synthesizer, organ, celesta, bottles, & marimba; Joni Sackett – vocals & viola with additional vocal chores by Tovey’s wife Barbara Frost & daughter Morgan Tovey-Frost as well as guitars by Rowland S. Howard.

Fad Gadget – Gag, Mute STUMM 15, 1984.
all decryption code in comments

Side 1 –
Ideal World (featuring Rowland S Howard – guitar)
Collapsing New People
Sleep (featuring Morgan Tovey-Frost – baby vocals)
Stand Up
Speak to Me

Side 2 –
One Man’s Meat
The Ring
Ad Nauseam (featuring Rowland S Howard – guitar)

After recording Gag, Tovey began recording under his own name, Frank Tovey. In 1986 he released Snakes & Ladders. The dancefloor success of the Fad Gadget single "Collapsing New People" led to the song's inclusion on both the U.S. & Canadian versions of Snakes & Ladders as it was the first Frank Tovey or Fad Gadget album released in North America. This special edition French version includes a free limited issue 12" maxi EP with songs selected from all four previous Fad Gadget albums.

Frank Tovey – Snakes & Ladders w/bonus 4-song 12" 45, Mute STUMM 23, 1986.

Face A –
The Cutting Edge
Snakes & Ladders
The Cutting Edge (reprise)
Shot in the Dark

Face B –
Small World
Luddite Joe

Maxi Face A –
Coitus Interruptus
Innocent Bystander

Maxi Face B –
Sheep Look Up
Ideal World

In 2001, Tovey resurrected his old pseudonym to support his former colleagues & Mute label-mates, Depeche Mode on their Exciter tour. Tovey suffered from heart problems since his childhood & died of a heart attack on April 3, 2002 at the age of 45. He was working on a new album at the time of his death.



  1. Gag
    Snakes & Ladders

  2. I have both 'Gag' & 'Snakes & Ladders' lp's but a very dead turntable. I Haven't heard them in years. These will be fun to hear again! Many thanks.