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Hard Machine


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Audio CD, August 8, 1988
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 8, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000091KYG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,407 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on July 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Finally, a chance to fill in the previously missing chapter of Stacey Q's brief history on the charts! Ms. Q, aka Stacey Swain, followed up Better Than Heaven, which yielded the #3 hit "Two of Hearts," with Hard Machine in 1988. While nothing there hit the Top 40, the material there is more distinctive rather than the filler that plagued the latter songs of her debut. Much of her vocals is mid-range, little of the high-pitched girlishly cute vocals that made "Two of Hearts" a hit. It does help in establishing her in a more serious mode.

Many of the songs had single potential, but not "Don't Make A Fool of Yourself," whose rather pokey and uninspired rhythms only made it to #66. So much for the advice of that song.

Why not release "Favorite Things," which opens with some sound effects of stuff clattering on the floor, which is then followed with a cute strolling rhythm? Probably because it would have been perceived as a clone of Madonna's "True Blue." It's still enjoyable, given the joy one feels at finding someone whose interests are mutual. Yes, there is a list of what are some favourite things, albeit more of a materialistic bent.

"Kiss It All Goodbye" was also a much better choice as a single, with its perky synths and upbeat rhythms. However, the best song here hands down is "The River," beginning as it does with a racing drum section, a rock guitar keeping up in pace in this entry of early 80's techno, and keyboard chords.

The second single, "I Love You," didn't make the Hot 100 singles chart, but is basically "Two of Hearts Part II-Deuces are Wild," synths and girlish vocals. Seriously, this too was a better chart contender despite any accusations that this was more of the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jared Jennings on February 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I stumbled upon this album while looking at an 80s site that references really obscure stuff. If you were to look at this album alone and not look at her hit single, this would easily put her at the top of the heap. For fun, great melodies, this hits on every song. As allmusic guide mentions that her singing "shortcomings" are handled well, they are, but to go a step further, this is a great work where her voice is part of her personality, so it is great to hear in that context. Along with the stellar production, it's a perfect fit. I LOVE IT!!
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Format: Audio CD
Definitely not a one hit wonder. People remember her well for her huge hit " Two Of Hearts", but I guess they didn't follow her music after that to actually see the stuff she was still making. Some hits and misses really, but in today's music scene?...... She's gold standard with an album of this calibre. So, to this album.. Stacey Qs second release following the Better Than Heaven album. This was released in 1988 and it peaked at 115 on the Billboard 200 Albums list and contained no Top 40 hits. This does not necessarily mean it's a bad album. This was a time when peoples tastes in music were also changing and the Hi-NRG stuff was beginning to sound dated. This is also a factor that eventually caused bands such as Dead Or Alive to eventually run out of steam by the 1990s. In my opinion, the album seems to gather momentum up until track 7 after which it goes a little downhill, hence 4 stars. I especially loved Don't make A Fool Of Yourself. Brilliantly done more in the stylings of early Madonna. This track reached no. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it's remixed version hit No. 1. Good stuff! She takes it a notch further with the next track The River, this is hi-nrg heaven Stacey Q style! You see the R n B side to Q in Hard Machine but again, she pulls it off so well. The album closes on a soft note with Another Chance, a nice ballad to end an interesting album. Produced by Jon St. James, this album is well worth a listen. I was lucky to find this album at Amoeba records in the US for just $8.00. An album with much more innovation and style. Strongly recommended if you like Stacey Q and 80s dance pop.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Jay on December 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent CD it sounds great all the songs sound cool,great to buy for your collection if your a fan of her music.
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