On 2 February, 1980, “I’m Alive” by Gamma peaked at #60.
I’d never heard of Gamma before this week, and I expected them to be a rockin’ band that was trying to grab onto the new-wave sound without actually being new wave. Based on “I’m Alive“, that’s exactly what they are. As the song itself goes, there’s not much to it. It’s a pretty straight-forward rock song about a guy who has been liberated spiritually by the girl of his dreams. What’s “special”, at least by the standards of February of 1980, is the sci-fi sound effects Gamma sprinkles liberally into their track, from the robot-like voice filter responses to the vocal hooks in the chorus to the space-age fade at the end that promises more to come. Listening now, it sounds like a hodge-podge mess that barely holds together, lacking smooth transitions among verses, chorus, and guitar solo. But at the time, this must have been something of a mild revelation, inspiring greater things.