This weeks memorabilia of the week is this rare advert for the Drum Machine as featured in Sweet Dreams.
The Movement Drum System I/II (generally referred to as the Movement MCS Percussion Computer) was a very rare British-made drum machine produced approximately 1981 (MKI) and 1983 (MKII). Both retailed at £1999.00 ex vat at march 1983 from ‘Movement Audio Visual’, 61 Taunton Road, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3LP, UK. Both models combined two technologies; analogue synthesized drum sounds similar to Simmons SDS-V and basic digital digitized 8-bit drum samples. In total 14 independent voice modules could be played (5 of which can be digital). Also notable for its computer-like design and its ability to display drum notes and sequencing graphically on a green black cathode ray tube display unit perhaps similar to page R on the fairlight CMI. The Movement Drum Systems are known to have been expensive upon release, and it is estimated that approximately thirty were made.
The original designers was John Dickenson (owned the company Movement) and Dave Goodway. John Dickenson supplied sounds and the idea (the Design, Look, how it should work, layout etc.) and Dave Goodway did the electronic side of the drum machine.
Its most famous user was David A. Stewart of Eurythmics, who excelled in the use of this Drum Computer on their 1983 worldwide hit, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).” The machine (MKI) makes an appearance in the video, in a scene in which singer Annie Lennox is seated on top of a table in a meadow, as Dave Stewart types on the Drum Computer’s keyboard. Note in this video the version used is a two-piece type base unit and separate monitor (perhaps a prototype or the MKI model). Phil Collins used an orange smaller ‘one piece’ MKII. David Stewart also used this machine on the following two albums, Touch and soundtrack album 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother). The last commercial track release Eurythmics used this machine was on Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four). At this time the Eurythmics chose to use a lot of heavy ambient audio outboard processing to ‘beef-up’ and update perhaps the rather mild and dated sound of this classic machine.
In 1984, MIDI was added to create an additional 8 track sequencer. Other hardware modifications, like battery backed memory and disk drives were added, but the operation was small (only a two man team). Eventually, the big companies reigned supreme.
Vince Clarke currently owns a black version of the MK2 which was originally owned by David A. Stewart of the Eurythmics.