Sometimes, for whatever reason, great art slips past audiences and remains woefully underappreciated. Which is why we’ve created an essay series called Fossil Records, devoted to helping people discover lost and obscure work that never got its due.
Let’s be real: not every out-of-print album is going to be a profound work of heartrending majesty. Sometimes, for whatever reason, straightforward, good-ass music is simply lost to the tides of time. Such is the case of Stone by My Mine (a play on “my my,” perhaps? The ‘80s were stupid). An exemplary slice of early Eurodance, Stone is one of the most consistently entertaining records you can hear from its era despite (or maybe even because of) its silliness and childish whimsy.
Mix the New Wave theatrics of ABC’s The Lexicon of Love with the dancy storytelling chops of The Human League and set the whole thing to a groovier, more heavily disco influenced low end and you’ll get a decent idea of what My Mine is laying down with this album. “Crime of Passion,” with its billowy horns and cheeseball lyrics, is the greatest song that never got its due in an ‘80s teen movie dance party scene, and “Sexo Rico” (yes, seriously) is a shockingly catchy Hi-NRG number about growing old as the kids outdance and outfuck you at every turn. The album’s highlight is likely “Hypnotic Tango,” a cut that’s still played regularly by DJs who revel in this era of dance music: as perfect an electro-disco track as ever was made, it makes perfect use of a driving bassline, weirdly mesmerizing space-synth melodies (hence the title, I suppose) and a chorus that’s infectious beyond all reason.
If the album was “only” silly and fun it would be as nice-but-disposable as many of its contemporaries, but the production here is incredibly varied and intricate. The tone of the music might be goofy, but the craftsmanship smacks of practiced pop professionalism: The aforementioned “Hypnotic Tango” makes ingenious use of castanets in its introduction, and “Triangle” is a perfect slow-burner that’s driven by a koto-esque keyboard line. As consistently fun and happy as Stone is, it also feels like there was real thought put into making it sound diverse enough to support an album-length runtime (a crisp 38 minutes that never wears out its welcome). Considering how many Eurodisco singles get tiresome even before you have to flip the disc, this is a notable diversion in terms of how this type of music was and is generally made.
My Mine isn’t exactly New Order; lyrically, they’re not going to leave you with much to think about, and to some the production here might come across as dated or fluffy. That said, there’s no album I’ve heard that more quickly brings to mind a pair of shoulderpads brought to life and taught to play the keyboard by a benign disco wizard than Stone, and I mean that as an absolute compliment. This is terrifically joyful and fun music, and if you’re hosting a throwback party or just need a soundtrack for trying on a pink leisure suit, it’s hard to think of a better album for the occasion.
Christopher M. Jones is a comic book writer, pop culture essayist, and recovering addict and alcoholic living in Austin, TX. He currently writes for Loser City as well as Comics Bulletin and has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators for his minicomic Written in the Bones (illustrated by Carey Pietsch). Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter.