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Social Dancing

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 10, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Bis is a revelation. Their in-your-face combination of disco and punk rock may confuse the feet--they don't know whether to boogie or stomp--but it sets the blood, and ultimately the brain, on fire. While the Scottish trio's earlier albums have a cheeky, cartoonish take on life, Social Dancing actually has an agenda, one that begins with a musical epiphany and culminates in a millennial cultural revolution. "Trying to keep up with the DJ / he has no voice and no say," they decry in "Action and Drama"; soon they beg, "I just want some personality / give me action and drama." They further rail against the faceless bleeps and whistles of techno on the frenetic "Eurodisco," then later on the LP's standout cut, "Detour" (featuring a cameo and cowriting credit from Lois Maffeo), they ask, "Do you wanna go my way?" Bis is forging new ground and they know it, and with discovery comes responsibility (a lesson one wishes more trailblazers had learned). What use is a trend or fashion or even dance music in the face of a crazy, inhumane world? A previous generation of disco kids once declared, "Fuck art, let's dance," but Bis understands that's just empty posturing. Their slogan would be: "Don't just dance, take action." The title of the album isn't referring to a gaggle of ravers squirming into oblivion. On the stunning final cut, "Listen Up," a snarly vocal reminiscent of vitriolic Johnny Rotten cries, "You've never thought about power," as a disco pulse urges listeners into a frenzy. Then comes the coup d'etat: "The power / to riot / is anger / united." Turns out, the social dance is the one an empowered crowd steps to. Don't forget: when Paris burned, people danced in the streets. This time the revolution has a back beat. --Tod Nelson

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Making People Normal
  2. I'm A Slut
  3. Eurodisco
  4. Action And Drama
  5. Theme From Tokyo
  6. The Hit Girl
  7. Am I Loud Enough
  8. Shopaholic
  9. Young Alien Types
  10. Detour
  11. Sale Or Return
  12. It's All New
  13. Listen Up


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 10, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00000JPXY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Bis Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bis returns triumphant with a more mature, polished sound. This CD is significantly less gritty and in-your-face as "New Transistor Heroes," but the sound is more polished and pop-y, just like the Pop Music they try to inject some life and meaning into. Bis have also matured in the lyric department, with a cry for meaning in "Action and Drama," and a clever nod to Devo in "Young Alien Types." "Social Dancing" is a commentary you can dance to, and a fine addition to the CD rack of anyone who thinks pop music should choke on its own excess :)
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By A Customer on December 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
YES.. this album will make you dance and sing and shout and have fun. That's the point of Bis. It's POP music. End of story. Excellent album, too bad the majority of people can't stomach the jangle tunes because the majority of this album is very likeable. Kudos to Mike D. for picking up these guys on Grand Royal.
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Format: Audio CD
The second full length album from the Glasgow, Scotland trio Bis shows marked growth in all areas: lyrics, vocals and musicality. The album is like a mixed bag of styles. There are harder, driving rock/punk oriented songs like Manda Rin's 'The Hit Girl', a trip-hoppy, Portishead-esque song, 'Detour', as well as their all out pop blasts like 'Shopaholic' and 'Action And Drama'. Again, Rin has one of the album's strongest songs...Equal parts whip-smart and witty, 'Social Dancing' is the best pop album of the year. All others can only pale in comparison to the burgeoning talents of Manda, Steven and John.
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Format: Audio CD
I was surprised when listening to this one, produced by Andy Gill (of Gang of Four). I know Bis has youth and energy on their side. All the more reason to hate them. But by the time you hear songs like "I'm A Slut" and "Eurodisco" you want to be jumping around the room high on E too. The enthusiam is catchy. I saw this woman stumbling on the corner of 10th and C this afternoon, high on some non-motivating drug. She obviously hadn't heard this Social Dancing record. This Scottish group is all about looking good and buying the right accessories. Even by the end, Social Dancing is inventive and doesn't let up. I know Bis has released many EPs in the past. I know many people wrote off Gang of Four when they came out with "Hard." Not me. Hats off to them for giving us a long playing delight!
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Format: Audio CD
This is so great! I am really picky with my music, and I must say, "Social Dancing" is a must-have for fans of pop, electronica, or just downright fun music. Bis have really refined the sound of their music. While "The New Transistor Heroes" was the band's pure sound, "Social Dancing" is more refined and even. Wether it is the fast tempo of "Eurodisco" or the clever use of the violin in "Theme From Tokyo," Social Dancing shines. That's it!
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By A Customer on November 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album because of a review, not ever hearing a single note beforehand, and I have to say it has become one of my favorite albums ever. This is a departure from the (...) on the radio. The sound is a cartoony-80's pop...and it's a perfect cd for long trips. Everyone I play this for ends up buying their own copy!
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Format: Audio CD
I loved Bis' "New Transistor Heroes" and "Intendo", and now I'm pleased once again with cute-sounding, fun songs that are deep and mofo funny. I reccomend this CD to anyone who finds being taken seriously both a threat and a joy.
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Format: Audio CD
I had the good fortune to come across this album in a bargain bin at a local trendy and "indie-cool" used record store. I'd heard from a friend with (mostly) remarkable taste in music that the Bis are a band worth checking out. Actually, I had heard a couple of their songs before I even knew who they were: "Plastic People", and "Pop Star Kill", which I really dug, and I was more than pleased when I popped this CD in on my drive back home. This isn't even supposed to be their best album-- and, admittedly, I don't know too much about the Bis-- but it's damn good enough for me. Love it. They are a great fusion of poppy electronic music and interesting and quirky lyrics. (Many bands attempt to do this, yet fail miserably, and end up recording insufferable "teeny-bopper" tripe). This album is absolutely fun, yes, and "danceable" (the title doesn't delude), yet it has enough substance, style, and quirkiness to keep (or even captivate) the audiophile's attention, and for him/her to actually care about what they have to say. Another thing that strikes me about this band is their ability-- nay, their talent--to merge the female and male voices in their songs to create really unique and catchy harmonies. I played this album for my boyfriend, who adheres more to the "acoustic set", and he told me his honest opinion, which was something to the extent of the Bis' sound being that of a electrotrashy/eurotrashy party band. I was insulted, but he's more than entitled to his own opinion. One of his favorite musicians happens to be Chris Isaak, so I realize that I shouldn't take his assessment of the Bis' talent too seriously. So, basically, if you're into Chris Isaak, you might not like the Bis, unless your musical tastes are really diverse and all over the map.Read more ›
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