In early 1980 a song paying homage to the new gaming craze Space Invaders was unleashed upon the Australian charts. The song “Space Invaders” by the artist Player [1] debuted on the Oz charts in early February 1980 and made it eventually to the #3 position. The song was recorded in 1979 at Albert’s No.2 Studio in Sydney NSW (not far from Centrepoint Tower).

Player [1] was a studio collaboration between Russell Dunlop and Bruce Brown. Dunlop was a respected drummer formerly with the band Ayers Rock. He had also worked with the likes of Renee Geyer. He combined forces with Bruce Brown to produce albums for The Reels and Mental As Anything, among others.
Player [1] was probably the first group to make use of the new facilities then in place at Albert’s studios in 1979. For their Space Invaders album project, Brown and Dunlop recorded drum tracks on up to 20 tracks of the 24 track. They then spliced these into 2" tape loops. Some of these loops were quite large, being strung between bobbins on microphone stands half way down the corridor. They recorded up to four automation tracks on these loops and simply used the selector on the console to switch between verse, chorus, etc. These drum mixes were then recorded onto a second 24 track to form the final drum tracks. For the project one of the engineers designed a device which would trigger a sequencer from an audio drum track. This enabled Russell to control sequencers and drum machines with his percussion tracks.

For the American release the 7" single was remixed and lengthened to 4 minutes for the dance floor crowd. The group’s name was also repackaged as “Playback” as there was already a group with the name “Player”. The remixed version has a spot in the middle where the commanding words “Player One” were added for effect.

For the Australian single market they were just known as “Player [1]” and the 7" single was about 3 mins 15 seconds long.

Later when the song charted overseas the Maxi 12” Dance Mix was created and released under the “Player [1]” name. It is all too confusing but who cares, as the song was a hit on various continents! The vinyl flipside on the various releases was a non album cut called "A Menacing Red Glow In The Sky" which tells the story of an invasion from space similar to "War of the Worlds" but only in a dance mix! It is presented below in an extended Tom Mix format.

Presented first are 2 Maxi versions of the "A" side song "Space Invaders":

1) The Playback 12” Tom Mix (from CD with extra sampling etc):


2) The Player [1] 12” Tom Mix (from the original 12" with extra overdubs):


The flip side "A Menacing Red Glow In The Sky" presented here in an extended dance mix 12" (made by Tom Mix):


  1. Whoow! Loving these tracks - thank you very much for posting them. The B-Side I had not heard until now. I was only a wee boy in '79, but sure did love this track. Straight into the ipod! Thanks!

  2. Thanks so much for clearing up the mystery as to why the album is by 'Playback' and the 7 & 12 Inches are by "Player 1"...I only came across the album a few months ago and I have been playing it to death, parts of it sound so fresh...speaking of fresh, I love the edits you have done, they sound just as good as the originals and are definately far more mixable...Coming from the UK, its great to discover seventies and eighties electronic/cosmic disco releases like Playback/Player 1 and it looks like your blog has some great material from this genre....also thanks for posting in high quality audio, its so annoying when you hear something great and its in 128 bitrate....space invaders...space invaders....my gods, it as infectious as the original game isn't it!

  3. if you are still around, I would love to find the whole album, rather than just the 2 songs.. are you able to help on that?

  4. andrew here from way up north in Canada, looking for the whole album to try to download to test:P, if you have any ideas or know of any links, my email is andrew_carling@hotmail.com

  5. Hi, loved reading your blog.
    I found the 45 of this the other day while digging in a shop in Sydney (with that cover, how could I not), and came across this while trying to figure out what it was. Blown away that is Australian too, I was a little too young to remember it first time around.
    Personally, I prefer menacing glow, there's certain parts of it with a nice groove.
    It may also interest you guys to know that Jesse Saunders, from Chicago, sampled this on his first track, On and On, one of the earliest if not the first House Music records http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUeMFG4wjJw
    Thanks again for the killer site, look forward to reading about more forgotten gems. Lac