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Come Away With ESG (1983) by ESG

Come Away With ESG

Come Away with ESG (1983) by ESG, widely regarded as a classic of the New Wave era, hasn’t dated a bit. Is it because so many artists have either sampled ESG or been influenced by their sound? Maybe the music is just so elemental that it fits with so many genres. The Band at this time were the Scroggins girls (Renee, Deborah, Marie and Valerie) and Tito Libran on congas. Producer Ed Bahlman of 99 (nine nine) Records got them into the studio shortly before the the label shut down after a legal dispute with Sugarhill Records.

Three of the tracks had previously been released and the feel of the entire album doesn’t differ much from the Martin Hannett produced ESG EP (1981) issued by Factory and 99. The album is largely instrumental and the few vocals you’ll hear are simple call and response or encouragements to dance. The focus here is on basic extended funk breaks and interweaving drums and congas. There’s a deliberate absence of guitar and synthesizers, aside from a haunting piece of surf -rock guitar on Chistelle, and hold on… Is that Dr. Dre playing synths on About You?

Come Away With ESG is a compelling listen all the way through, but unusually has it’s strongest efforts in the second half. Stand out tracks are Moody (Spaced Out Mix), Chistelle, Tiny Sticks (which I’m fairly certain I heard used in a UK Etch a Sketch commercial), The Beat and My Love for You.
I love this album but I must point out that the compilation Dance to the Best of ESG contains nearly all of the tracks here—You Make No Sense is missing for reasons unknown, and The Beat is presented in a continuous mix, as on the 1982 EP ESG Says Dance to the Beat of Moody—and brings together the early EPs and most of the 1991 album ESG.

Come Away With ESG :

  1. Come Away
  2. Dance   ♥
  3. Parking Lot Blues
  4. You Make No Sense
  5. Chistelle   ♥
  6. About You
  7. It’s Alright
  8. Moody (Spaced Out)   ♥
  9. Tiny Sticks   ♥
  10. The Beat   ♥
  11. My Love for You   ♥

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