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System 56 | Retrospective: 1982-84

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Rock: 80's Rock Rock: Modern Rock Moods: Type: Compilations
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Retrospective: 1982-84

by System 56

Independent 1980s synth-pop that layers synthesizers, guitars and textured vocals into tight, driving arrangements.
Genre: Rock: 80's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Metro-Metro
3:58 $0.99
2. In the Old World
3:34 $0.99
3. Brave New Toys
4:24 $0.99
4. Through Other Eyes
3:27 $0.99
5. Hands of a Stranger
3:29 $0.99
6. You're Only Dreaming
5:09 $0.99
7. Life On a Cool Curve
4:31 $0.99
8. The Other Side of Science
5:02 $0.99
9. A Man Needs a Motor
3:18 $0.99
10. The Sounding
5:45 $0.99
11. Your Car is Waiting
4:22 $0.99
12. Next to X
3:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Long ago, and far away, in a decade known as the 80s, there once was a band from Cleveland called System 56. Most people in the northeast Ohio area would remember us from the generous amount of local airplay that we received for songs like Metro-Metro", "You're Only Dreaming", "Life On a Cool Curve" and "A Man Needs a Motor". In all, we released three singles and a 12" EP, over the course of about three years.

Unlike most bands, our reputation was built primarily in the studio, as we only gave five live performances in our entire existence - two shows at the old Bank in Akron in 1982, then one at Cleveland's Phantasy Theatre, and two at the Phantasy Nightclub in 1984. This led the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Jane Scott to once describe System 56 as the Howard Hughes of local bands, as our profile with radio listeners far surpassed our public exposure as a live act. Despite our reclusive public posture, Cleveland Magazine invited the band to be included in its annual Most Interesting People for 1985 issue. And that was just about where our story ended. Shortly thereafter, for a variety of reasons, the group quietly disbanded, and we all went our separate ways.

Now it's about 20 years later, and I've finally managed to get most of our original songs remastered onto one piece of plastic, entitled RETROSPECTIVE: 1982-84. Those who were around with us for the first time will hear all of the familiar radio favorites, along with three previously unreleased tracks, that have been sitting "in the can" lo these many years. These new tracks were all regular staples that we included in our live shows, feature the 1984 version of the band, and were recorded during the same studio sessions that produced our final single "A Man Needs a Motor".

The early 80s were a great time to be an indie musician, and both the print and radio support given to local bands was a major factor in bringing many of us to a larger audience. The Cleveland-Akron area had developed a healthy reputation for indie bands, and in many ways we were lucky to have been around when and where we were, as the whole music business has changed so dramatically since those days.

Although the creation of System 56 was, admittedly, the musical vehicle for my own songwriting, I am especially grateful to all of my old band mates, whose own unique talents and efforts went into the making of these 12 songs. That said, I like to think this CD is as much a tribute to them, as it is a document of my own adventures. Finally, thanks to everyone we met along the way, whose support was always most appreciated. This is where we left off.

Hope you enjoy the music.

Steve Simenic



to write a review

Mark Orndorff

Synth-Pop. Excellent. I want this music back. System 56 should have made it much
The C.D. is GREAT just like the Cars Music of the 80s
I worked with Vince at tux shop he introduced me to the band and I became an instant follower of them. If possible
this band needs to reunite and do a show or get there asses back in the studio you can do it guys.
Mark Orndorff

Michael Faudree

This CD is KICK ASS! MySTeRiOUs music. Electric waves of color. More people need to know about this music. Especially where I live here in Japan where synth pop is always cool.