Jon Savage on Looking from a Hilltop by Section 25

Have been enjoying Jon Savage’s occasional column on the Guardian Music Blog. Lately he’s been celebrating the best of early eighties dance music. Here he is on Soft Cell’s Bedsitter and Fingers Inc’s Mystery of Love, here on Cybotron’s Techno City. Today he chose Section 25’s simply wonderful Looking from a Hilltop (megamix) remixed by New Order’s Bernard Summer and A Certain Ratio’s Donald Johnson. He’s right, but the vocal mix was always the one for me.

“In the end, Looking from a Hilltop (Megamix) is all forward motion. At eight minutes, the track isn’t a second too long: all the elements are subordinate to the irresistible Moroder-esque modulations, which give a framework over which the group and the remixers pour backwards synths, wailing rock guitar, and all manner of ambient noises. With this epic – one of the best tracks from a great year for electro – Section 25 finally achieved the grandeur that they had always sought. Released in June 1984, the 12″ – with a bright orange sleeve – made waves in the UK and was a club hit in New York. It was also picked up by black radio stations in the Chicago area, and consequently fed into the early house scene.”