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Album: Creatures Of InfluenceReleased: 1984
This was Information Society's first single; it was issued in 1984 by the Minneapolis label Wide Angle Records and included on their 1985 debut album Creatures Of Influence, distributed by Wide Angle's parent company, Twin Tone. Wide Angle was part of a "record pool," which was a service that distributed new tracks to club DJs around America. Some DJs ran with it, and the song became a freestyle favorite in New York clubs.
A producer named Joey Gardner heard the song and brought it to Tommy Boy Records, a forward-thinking label that specialized in rap and freestyle. Gardner remixed the track for Tommy Boy, which released the song as a single in 1986. The song did well in dance clubs and on radio, earning the group an album deal with Tommy Boy. That self-titled album was released in 1988 and included the track.
Group founder Paul Robb wrote this song with Murat Konar, who was associated with Information Society for just a short time but was key in putting together Creatures Of Influence. Like most of the songs on the album, Konar handled the lead vocals. When Tommy Boy Records remixed the track they replaced Konar's vocals with Kurt Harland's, since Harland had emerged as lead singer and Konar had moved on to other pursuits.
The longing lyric finds the singer in real pain and feeling very alone. In our interview with Paul Robb
, he explained: "It's basically someone who is in a relationship where it's not working, and you have a sense of things falling apart. You're doing your best to keep it together, but it doesn't seem to be working.
There's also a certain level of nostalgia in that song, too - that's what really hooked a lot of people. It does have that monstrously huge dance beat, the electro feel, but the song that's laid over the top is very romantic and nostalgic sounding."
The original 1984 single runs 8:13; the 1986 remix goes 7:41.
"What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)
" is by far Information Society's most popular song, but in New York dance clubs, "Running" is their magnum opus. "In the world of the clubs and the DJ culture, we're also kind of known as a one-hit wonder, but the hit is 'Running,'" Paul Robb told us. "So that's a little amusing and gratifying."