The Art of Noise: “Paranoimia” (1986)

Feeling tense? Then step back into the future past with Max Headroom. At the time (the 1980s), the choppily edited talking head anticipated the future of television. Unfortunately, the future wasn’t scary so much as annoying, and the idea never really gained any traction beyond a novelty. On “Paranoimia” (in which Max wakes up in the middle of the night), the video-only experience doesn’t translate so effectively to the ears. However, it’s an interesting single, some of the best dance-rock this side of the alphabet, the other side residing near the Ws in the guise of Was (Not Was). The B side is a nonalbum instrumental of no consequence. In my pursuit of information on Max Headroom, I did find a brilliant site on science fiction & fantasy programs, clivebanks.co.uk, which you should totally check out.

Original 7-inch Single
A1. Paranoimia (Anne Dudley/Jonathan J. Jeczalik) (3:18)
B1. Why Me? (Anne Dudley/Jonathan J. Jeczalik) (2:56)

Original 12-inch Single
1. Paranoimia (extended version)
2. Paranoimia
3. Why Me?
4. A Nation Rejects

The Plastic
Released on 7-inch and 12-inch single in June 1986 in the UK (China, WOK/WOKD/WOKX 9), in August 1986 in the US (China, VS4 43002/AV9 43017) and in 1986 in Australia (China, X 14298), Canada (China, CS 43017) and Germany and the Netherlands (China, 108/608 339) with picture sleeve; reached #12 on the UK charts and #34 on the US charts (charted on August 16, 1986 for 12 weeks). Also released as double 7-inch single in 1986 in the UK (China, WOK D9) with earlier “Legs” b/w “Hoops And Mallets” single (WOK 5).

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