Body Electric

Not to be confused with the New Zealand electronica group that existed around the same time period, Vancouver’s Body Electric was formed after the Juno Award nominated Straight Lines had run its course in 1983.

The core of Bob Buckley (originally from Brighton, England) and David Sinclair were looking for a new project to tackle, and by chance hooked up with Frank Ludwig (ex of Brutus, Trooper, Ironhorse, and Union), whom Sinclair had known since they were in UBC studying music. They even had a short live group together, where they’d tried their hand at writing a few songs.

Ludwig and Sinclair ran into each other at Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, where Sinclair was doing guitars and Ludwig was providing vocals on the same commercial, unbeknownst to each other. One thing led to another and they began writing some material to shop around for a record deal with. They soon signed with Attic Records, via Ludwig’s connection with their A&R man, Walter Zwolinsky. He was the lead singer of Brutus, who Ludwig had played with a few years earlier. They went to Vancouver’s Little Mountain Sound with producer Ron Obvious, and in the spring of ’84 released their self-titled debut album. With Buckley and Ludwig on keyboards and Sinclair on guitars and bass, they utilized a treasure trove of talent to fill out the recordings, including Daryl Burgess, Doug Edwards, Ken Chalmers, and Marc LaFrance.

Keyboards laden synth-pop, three singles were released over the course of the next year – “Don’t Take Me For A Fool,” “Somewhere in Time,” and “Stop The Music,” the latter of which also had a video that got decent airplay on MuchMusic. They added drummer Ross Friesen and Kelly Cook to the lineup for touring purposes, and found themselves on the road for the better part of a year.

With new bassist Brian Newcombe, they kept Friesen on board for their sophomore release, TWO WORLDS – a five-song EP produced by Bill Henderson (Collectors, Chilliwack). Sinclair was now handling the bulk of the lead vocals, where it was pretty much a 50/50 job with Ludwig on their previous album. Another pair of singles was released over the next year – “Do You Think They Can Tell” and “All Through The Night.” Along with appearances on late night TV variety shows like the CBC’s “Downtown Saturday Night” and an exhaustive tour schedule, the band wasn’t making significant strides, and because of musical differences, Ludwig packed it in on the eve of opening up for Corey Hart for a series of dates across Canada.

Believing new management and a new label might be the answer to their woes, they signed with Scott Andrews and Gordon Sinclair, owners of Parallel One Records. Jerry Adolphe was brought in on drums to replace the recently departed Friesen, and they soon released the single “Strangers in Love” in the summer of ’86. After the accompanying video got favourable reviews, the album WALKING THROUGH WALLS followed. With Bob Rock producing, it generated two more singles, “I Don’t Know Why” and “Out of the Blue.” But another North American tour was cut short in the middle of ’87 when the label folded. The band followed suit shortly after. Everyone went on to other projects, with Buckley gaining notoriety as a music songwriter and producer, with dozens of film and TV projects to his credit, as well.

In 2000, Unidisc re-released the debut album with a new jacket and added TWO WORLDS to it. In ’03, Escape Music re-released WALKING THROUGH WALLS, complete with five previously unreleased tracks done during the band’s TWO WORLDS recording sessions.

  • With notes from Frank Ludwig, Walter Zwolinksy

brutusironhorsestraight linestrooperunion