Book Of Love: S/T (1986)
As someone who doesn't listen to a lot of electronic dance music -- New Order is probably the closest I get, and because of that band's Joy Division post-punk roots, it never feels to me like "mere" dance music -- I can't say how this might stand up next to like-minded bands. I hear a bit of Yaz (Yazoo) in the mix, from singer-songwriter Susan Ottaviano's confident, sultry vocals to co-songwriter Ted Ottaviano's (apparently no relation?) keyboard hooks; though, despite a seemingly European feel (Depeche Mode was an early backer), they actually hail from Philadelphia.
Initial single "Boy" remains the centerpiece, with its gender politics, a killer beat, and a swirl of infectious synths. While the whole album screams eighties, the song feels timeless, as fresh today as it was on first listen. A few other tracks are nearly as great: "Modigliani (Lost In Your Eyes)" is stellar new wave pop, while "I Touch Roses" tosses in a bit of (simulated?) guitar electricity, adding some edge to the mix. A bit of goth darkness slips into a few tracks, like the moody "Lost Souls," sounding like a hybrid of Cocteau Twins and New Order.
The CD reissue adds a few nifty alternative versions; while the compilation MMXVI cherry-picks the highlights from the debut and the three like-minded follow-up albums.
Here's the video for "Boy":