Record Review: The Teardrop Explodes – Wilder

Mercury ‎| UK | CD | 2000 | 548 284-2

Mercury ‎| UK | CD | 2000 | 548 284-2

The Teardrop Explodes: Wilder UK CD [2000]

  1. Bent Out Of Shape
  2. Colours Fly Away
  3. Seven Views Of Jerusalem
  4. Pure Joy
  5. Falling Down Around Me
  6. The Culture Bunker
  7. Passionate Friend
  8. Tiny Children
  9. Like Leila Khaled Said
  10. …And The Fighting Takes Over
  11. The Great Dominions
  12. Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns
  13. East Of The Equator
  14. Rachael Built A Steamboat
  15. You Disappear From View
  16. Suffocate
  17. Ouch Monkeys
  18. Soft Enough For You
  19. The In-Psychlopedia

Early last year, I happened across a copy of the debut album by The Teardrop Explodes in the used bins of Harvest Records, and having long desired a copy of “Ha Ha I’m Drowning” in my home, I bought it to general delight. Since it was sitting next to a copy of their second album, I made a mental note to pick that one up if the first one delighted. Since it did, late last year I bought their sophomore CD – also in a fine DLX RM – packed with bonus tracks; spuriously credited to a non-existant American mini-album this time.

teardrop-explodes-coloursflyawayuk7aI recall hearing “Bent Out Of Shape” on college radio at the time and liking it, albeit not as much as “Drowning.” The skittering rhythm that snaked through the song gave it an insouciant bounce that marked it as a missed single opportunity, to these ears. Instead, the second cut was a single; one I had indeed bought some time in 1981 in my failed attempt to but the song “Ha Ha I’m Drowning,” whose title I did not know at the time. Listening to it again after decades, I was reminded of the later period, horn driven sound of The Jam. It wouldn’t sound too out of place on “The Gift.”

the-teardrop-explodes-7viewsofjerusalemoz7aThe sublime afropop of “Seven Views Of Jerusalem” marked another missed single opportunity… except for in Australia, where the song was given a chance on the charts. The tune slots right next to Robert Palmer’s “Pride” on my mental iPod. The following “Pure Joy” once again harkened back to the stinging, sharp sound of The Jam ca. “Sound Affects.” The incisive guitars and thrilling tattoos of drums have a similar air of focused intensity.

the-teardrop-explodes-passionatefrienduk12a“Passionate Friend” was probably the first song to feature a sitar in at least 15 years. I recall my shock at hearing one the following year in John Foxx’s first recorded version of “Endlessly” but that’s only because I had not yet heard this song. The horns and sitar marked this one as an unabashed 60s pastiche; one that didn’t think twice about stealing the melody to “As Tears Go By” for a backing vocal line in the song’s outro.

teardrop-explodes-tinychildrenuk7aThe next song, “Tiny Children” made for an unlikely single since the delicate number was comprised of only Julian Cope’s sweet vocal touched with delicate synth washes and the barest hint of guitar until the song’s conclusion, when some drumbeats shockingly manifest. From here on out the closure of the album proper attains a dreamlike-vibe with “…and The Fighting Takes Over” and “The Great Dominions” attaining a closely matched, elegiac tone of contemplation.

The bonus tracks here were an eclectic lot with many strong songs exiled largely for reasons of sequencing and pacing. “Window Shopping For A New Crown Of thorns” was perhaps the least of these; a Velvet Underground pastiche that perhaps too strongly referenced “The Murder Mystery.” The long, winsome instrumental “East of the Equator” was spirited, but perhaps a minute longer than it needed to be.

Things got more interesting with the arty sea shanty “Rachael Built A Steamboat.” David Balfe was sole music composer with Cope strictly offering lyrics, but the methodical composition pulled me in effectively. The provocatively titled “Christ vs Warhol,” the B-side to “Passionate Friend,” was conspicuously absent here. For some strange reason, it has only made the CD format in a 2004 Japanese re-issue of the third Teardrop Explodes album, “Everyone Wants To Shag.”

teardrop-explodes-youdisappearfromviewuk2x7aThe rest of the bonus tracks date from the 1983 posthumous EP “You Disappear From View.” The five songs here included the atypical A-side with the slap-bass funk of the title track reminding me of nothing so much as the group Modern Romance! Fortunately, the rest of the tracks from that EP were much better. “Suffocate” had a studied dignity and “Ouch Monkeys” strongly reminded me of some of Trevor Horn’s production gambits from the first Buggles album with Copes vocals filtered over insect-like rhythm box chirps.

The closer “The In-Psychlopedia,” was like nothing else the band had offered previously. The jerky, pixilated rhythms were unlike anything in the Teardrop Explodes canon, while the synthesized jaw harp make for an amphetamine-fueled technopop experience like little before or since. The only thread of continuity were Cope’s vocals, which were like anything I’d heard from Julian’s solo pop period, which I used to try to keep up with. Ultimately, both Teardrop Explodes albums make for an exciting sidestep to the major trends that were cutting a swath through the UK during the ’79-81 period. Most of this music mixed pop and art approaches for a robust, yet surprisingly unpopular sound. Both albums sold silver in the UK, but “Reward” was their only top ten UK single. A shame, since The teardrop Explodes were definitely plowing their own furrow in this time period, with fecund results.

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Record Review: Positive Noise – Positive Negative

positive-noise-positivenegativeuk12a

Statik Records ‎| UK | 12″ | 1981 | STAT 812

Positive Noise: Positive/Negative UK 12″ [1981]

  1. Positive/Negative [ext. remix]
  2. Positive/Negative [instrumental]
  3. Energy

This was a record I’d wanted ever since 1982. That year, I’d purchased what for decades was my only Positive Noise record, “Change of Heart.” When I played that disc, the brief but fiery song “Positive/Negative” fairly leapt out at my throat from the rest of the vinyl. For many years afterward, the 2:47 song was something that found its way to many a mix tape, as the song’s notoriety existed in inverse proportion to its electric sense of dynamics.

When I saw this bad boy in Wuxtry, Decator last October, I was more than happy to purchase it and report on my findings. For 34 years I had been waiting for the experience of this song to last longer than the scant running time of the album version. The remix of the A-side by Tony Cousins is mixed a bit strangely. Elements of the mix sound like they were recorded “in the red.” None moreso than the fat oscillating tone that under lied the song’s pixilated intro, gradually building up enough steam so that it threatened to take the whole song down with it when it peaked.

The vocals sounded crisp, but the music bed threatened to overmodulate at various points in the mix. This was disappointing at first, since it’s the vinyl mastering equivalent to brickwalling, but after more than a few spins, I’m somewhat used to the somewhat brash sound. The tightly coiled energy of the familiar LP mix was largely absent, save for the sequencer pattern that cut through the entirety of the song. In its place, were more expansive, dub-influenced spaces where the elements of the song aired out in a way such that all of the players got a chance for the spotlight in the 6:43 running time. I particularly noted that the kyperkinetic sax solos on the tune gave it a real jolt of energy redolent of Ian Nelson’s vibrant runs from Bill Nelson’s Red Noise.

The Instrumental B-side is more properly, a dub mix, that gives a good emphasis to the rubbery bass line driving this song. The 3:42 running time makes it longer than the 3:16 7″ mix, which is still 30 seconds longer than the always brief LP mix. The A-side tune was driven by drum machine, by the sound of it, but the B-side let drummer Less Gaff actually strike the skins for a more lively effect. Positive Noise were the sort of New Wave band I enjoyed in that synths were on equal footing with conventional instruments, but it’s true that guitar was mighty thin on the ground here, thought the dreamy synths anchoring the excellent “Energy,” needed to predominate the airy tune.

My first exposure to what Positive Noise did on a 12″ single was pretty satisfying, thought at the end of the day, I suspect that I will always carry the brightest of torches for the more tightly coiled energy of the rather brief LP mix. Given that the 7″ mix is 30 longer than that, I may have to grab a copy to compare and contrast, especially before I remaster “Change of Heart” and add the requisite bonus material.

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Record Review: Shriekback – Peel Sessions + Singularities

Shriekback | CD-R | 2016

Shriekback | CD-R | 2016

Shriekback: Peel Sessions + Singularities UK CD-R [2016]

  1. My Spine (Is The Bassline) [BBC]
  2. All The Greek Boys (Do The Handwalk) [BBC]
  3. Feelers [BBC]
  4. Suck [BBC]
  5. Newhome [BBC]
  6. Under the Lights [BBC]
  7. Fish Below the Ice [BBC]
  8. Faded Flowers [BBC]
  9. Everything that Rises (Must Converge) [BBC]
  10. Sexthinkone (Exotic Mix)
  11. Accretions (Original Mix)
  12. Mothloop II
  13. Lined Up (InstruMENTAL Mix)
  14. Closework
  15. Nightwork
  16. Accretions (Monstrous Dance Mix)
  17. Despite Dense Weed [live]

Given that their BBC sessions have never see the commercial light of day, I was more than interested in Shriekback’s recent self-released compilation of their Peel Sessions. All three of their Peel Sessions are here, but the other two sessions for Kid Jensen or Janice Long are conspicuous in their absence, so when the term “Peel Sessions” was bandied about here, that was exactly what was at stake. The sourcing of masters for these are mostly optimal. The first and third trio sound particularly robust; as if mastered from at least 7.5 i.p.s. safety copies. The three that dated from the “Jam Science” era were obviously taken from FM recordings, with all of the noise bed that implies.

The real joy of these session are like the devil; they lie within the details of the takes. The big difference here was that the drums on each of these sessions are all live examples of Martyn Barker hitting the skins. That alone gives the sinuous funk groove of this material a more chaotic animal power that lifts them up into enchantment. That alone makes the studio version of “Feelers” here the go-to studio take since the concert versions I’ve heard of this have long since eclipsed the more tentative studio version on the “My Spine Is The Baseline” 12″ single.

Another highlight was the should-have-been-a single that was “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” A deep cut from the take-no-prisoners “Oil + Gold” period, the shining, logarithmic synths rise in a powerful portamento arc into the stratosphere while Carl Marsh pontificated wildly over the throbbing bass of Dave Allen. As ever, the live drumming here courtesy of Martyn Barker accrued new powers to this already potent track.

shriekback - workingonthegroundUK12AThe remainder of this disc is a curation of loose remixes, already missing from the band’s recent “Jam Science” and “Care” self-released CDs. All of these are vinyl rips, but none of them egregious in their provenance. I was particularly thrilled to get the “Mothloop II” previously only on the NME tape “Racket Packet.” Two of the B-sides here [“Closework,” “Nightwork”] were from the “Working On the Ground” 7″/12″ and since I still don’t have any Shriekback 7″ material, I got to hear Closework” for the first time ever! Both tracks are metronomical dubs of “Working On The Ground,” one of their most methodical cuts ever.

shriekback-myspine-baselineger12aAnother highlight was the appearance on CD of the “Accretions [Monsterous Dance Mix]” from the “Lined Up/My Spine” 12″ single. The exuberant dubspace in this one where the breakdown occurs has always been a knowing excursion into the spaces between the sounds that always lay under the surface of Shriekback. It’s to my essential regret that I was never in a club where this one was playing. The best I got was overplays of “Nemesis” [as if such a song can be said to have been ‘overplayed’] back in the day. A pity, since this disc reveals only strengths from the careful hand of Shriekback. All of his material should have propagated more widely out into the world. The strength of this disc is as such that if it were the first Shriekback album virgin ears had ever heard, then I daresay it would have found acolytes for life.

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Midge Ure Mystery

midge-ure-thegiftukrmcdaAs I’m less than two weeks from a return match with Midge Ure in Nashville, thoughts are turning to the upcoming concert as well as a mystery that’s centered around the Scot icon. On the occasion of my birthday last September, I ordered a large amount of CDs from mostly Amazon dealers attacking the want list before it got to be too late and expen$ive OOP discs would forever haunt my dreams. I try to do this at least every several years. This time, I turned to the Ultravox 2xCDs of “Vienna,” “Rage in Eden,” and “Quartet.” I received the wrong 2009 pressing [single disc, not double] of “Quartet” but straightened that out and after my refund, ordered it from another source to successful fulfillment. Over the end of September through October, there were a lot of CDs arriving in the mail. Some of them Ultravox CDs. Some not. None so puzzling as the copy of Midge Ure’s “The Gift” [1995 EMI Gold RM] + 4 bonus tracks as shown above. It was puzzling because I never ordered it!

I’ve owned the 1996 bonus track version of “The Gift” since it came out in 1996, and I had no need of this CD for a second copy! Nevertheless, it is in my house; a complete mystery as to how it got here. It was mailed on October 3rd, from Palm Harbor, Florida. I have already mailed a letter of inquiry to the person on the return address on the envelope, which I kept. I received no response to date as to my query how this CD came to be sent to me. Tracking info reveals that on October 3rd, it was mailed from a post office in  Dunedin, FL 34698. More, I cannot say.

I found it amazing that the timing of this had it coming among a large swath of similar merchandise mail-ordered around that time. It’s not the worst CD I could receive unbidden. While not as strong as any of the Ultravox albums that preceded it, about half of it is pretty good, and the mastering has served me well for 20 years on. I am just stymied as to how it all came down. I was just thinking that I should post this to the blog, as it’s conceivable that someone out there may have a clue, but it’s not as though I share my mailing address indiscriminately with anyone else for that matter. So what do you do when you receive CDs in the mail that you already own? The first thing I can think of is to blog about it.


B.C. Taylor on drums and Tony Solis on bass/keys support Midge Ure for another leg across North America

B.C. Taylor on drums and Tony Solis on bass/keys support Midge Ure for another leg across North America

It’s Friday the 13th and Midge Ure is halfway through his 2nd North American tour leg. Against my nature, I’ve checked out set lists and there have been a few songs added to the typical set. Now “Reap the Wild Wind” is a fairly regular feature and the best tune off of the last Ultravox album, “Flow” have begun making inroads. I hope that when I see Ure in 10 days time, that the additions are not at the expense of “Call of the Wild.” If either of those took the place of “Beneath A Spielberg Sky” I’d manage to cope, somehow. Will I review another leg of ostensibly the same tour? I’m unsure about that. Let’s just keep our options open.

Midge Ure | North American Tour 2017 Remaining Leg

  • Jan 13 | Roxy | Los Angeles, CA
  • Jan 14 | Casbah | San Diego, CA
  • Jan 16 | Grand @ The Complex | Salt Lake City
  • Jan 18 | Soiled Dove | Denver, CO
  • Jan 20 | 3Ten | Austin, TX
  • Jan 21 | Dan’s Sliver Leaf | Denton, TX [Dallas]
  • Jan 23 | City Winery | Nashville, TN

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Posted in Core Collection, Live Music, Mid-80s Malaise, Scots Rock | Tagged , | 2 Comments

2016 – The Year In Buying Music [part 2]

monk-in-wuxtry

Wuxtry, Decatur was all that and more in 2016.

[…continued from previous post]

So the influx of new music was almost too much by year’s end for me. I have still yet to have given some of the things that i got in the last four months of the year a good listening. Nevertheless, a year-end-list is required by law, yes? Even though 95% of all I buy is decades old? Well, I comply!

2016 Album List

A mighty thirteen albums released this year were purchased and here’s how I rank them.

  1. David Bowie: Blackstar – This one caught my ear and would not let it go for at least three months straight. Never have I been so happy to buy an album on the day of release – a decadence for me. This time, for one last time, it allowed me to hear this album as something other than David Bowie’s final album. Money can’t buy that sort of experience ever again. It didn’t hurt that Bowie went out on a real artistic high water mark. This album was the achievement after the warm-up exercise that was “The Next Day.”
  2. Visage: Wild Life Ltd. CDX – If I’m now missing Bowie, I’m still missing Visage! Their late-in-the-game burst of growth and achievement [which was almost frantic in its intensity] let forth a final burst of radiation with this consolidating “greatest hits” package. The primary disc had the only blend of Visage singles, both new and old, on the market. It was the other six discs that cleaned out the archives! I’m still in the midst of listening to these recordings and remixes, but I remain dazzled by the results.
  3. Shriekback: Peel Sessions + Singularities – This self-released archival disc was strong enough to the point where if it was the first Shriekback one had heard, that it would serve to instill fandom in the neophyte listener.
  4. Mari Wilson: Pop Deluxe – Pop thrush Mari Wilson made an album of covers that deserves a place on the shelf next to the last British Electrical Foundation album in terms of having a number of game-canging, definitive interpretations on it.
  5. John Cale: M:FANS – John Cale was going to reissue his challenging 1983 opus “Music For A New Society.” He then realized that there was more to do than just remastering and pressing it up. He next re-recorded the album in a radically different version. Fascinating.
  6. Brian Eno: The Ship – Warp Records – A different blend of the ambient and the vocal on the same record from Captain Eno. His cover version of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free” has been a long-time coming from this artist who famously cited the VU as the flashpoint for innumerable bands.
  7. Dr. Robert: Out There – Andalusian solo excursion from the Blow Monkeys singer. The casual vibe with a handful of local sidemen still manages to pack a punch outside of his usual band environs.
  8. OMD: Dazzle Ships/Architecture + Morality Live @ RAH – OMD have issued a live recording of their best/worst selling albums. Andy McCluskey manages to imbue “International” with all of the heartbreak it deserves, even after 32 years.
  9. Billie Ray Martin: The Soul Tapes – The normally electro BRM took a side trip into early 70s soul sounds with a pair of covers sitting snugly amid the modern ringers.
  10. John Foxx: 21st Century: A Man, A Woman and A City – The John Foxx compilation that shone a spotlight on the current century’s output from the tireless electro pioneer. All this and the first John Foxx/Gary Numan teamup – finally.
  11. Bryan Ferry: Live 2015 – Ferry finally made a live solo album from his latest “Avonmore” tour.
  12. Various: Electronic Sound Covers Collection Volume.02 – CD came with a magazine and featured some amazing cover versions that I was unaware of – sometimes in either sense.
  13. Tiga: No Fantasy Required – I’d read a strong review of this on The Quietus, so I took a chance…and found it wanting. Pleasures so minor they didn’t exist.

2016 EP list

There were a lot of EPs this year. More than in longer than I can remember. Let’s hear it for the format that always keeps ’em wanting more!

  1. John Foxx + The Maths: The Bunker Tapes – Dazzling electro-kosmiche live soundtrack work that heralded the return of JF+TM.
  2. Various: He’s A Liquid – A Foxx-curated cover project that allowed Benge’s other band, Wrangler, to have a crack at the classic Foxx canon!
  3. ПРЕДСМЕРТНАЯ КАДРИЛЬ: ГОРЕТЬ КРАСИВО – This Ukrainian band contacted me by the form on this blog. Wisely, as it turned out since I felt that their take of Post-Punk with threads of goth pointing to the path taken by The Chameleons was just the sort of tonic I had been needing.
  4. Steven Jones + Logan Sky: Maria – The ex-Visage keyboardist teamed up with fellow electro fan Steven Jones [as well as ex-Visage vocalist Lauren Duval] for this neat slice of DM-influenced synthpop. The cover of “Strangelove” was much deeper and stranger than any that had come before.
  5. ABC: Christmas…With Love EP – Shocker ABC xmas EP dropped the ball on the A-side, but came through on the acoustic live tracks like a champ.
  6. LP: Death Valley – This lady opened up for Bryan Ferry and had her EP at the merch table. The big-voiced Laura Pergolizzi has written hit material for others, but her own career was served this go-round.

2016 Reissue List

  1. It’s Immaterial: Life’s Hard Then You Die DLX RM – This is how a DLX RM is done… to perfection! Fascinating band, stimulating era, and thorough curation…together equal the Apollonian ideal of a reissue.
  2. The Cucumbers: The Fake Doom Years – Thanks goodness The Cucumbers themselves took matters into their own hands to give us the Fake Doom Years! Their skewed pop has not dimmed in the slightest in the intervening decades.
  3. John Foxx: The Complete Cathedral Oceans – Not necessary to Record Cell unless one wanted a complete John Foxx collection – and I’m guilty as charged. Stunning package enhanced by my wife managing to get one of the 30 artist proof copies!
  4. John Foxx: Burning Car – A newly expanded version of the Japanese EP of “Metamatic” era rarities, given another fantastic Barnbrook cover.
  5. John Foxx: Electronic Sound Presents 12 Original Tracks By John Foxx – Another magazine CD. A rare Foxx comp with nothing previously unreleased on it, but it’s in the Record Cell, thanks to my wife.
  6. Various: Sherwood At The Controls Volume 2: 1985-1990 – On-U Sound – While I have loved everything touched by Adrian Sherwood and all of the On-U Sound work I’d heard in the past, this compilation failed to gel for me.

What shocks me as I review this was that there were no new 12″ singles last year. Actually, Heaven 17 released one I am dying to hear, but since I had not bought in it 2016, it won’t make my year-end-list at this point. Alas, much of the best material I buy each year is ages old, and therefore verboten for the infamous “year-end-list.” It sort of renders them moot in the grand scheme of things, but I persist. Going into 2017, I’d like to see a slight paring back of music bought in the upcoming year. Last year I bought a release for every post made in the year [210] and that’s a bit too much stuff. I know for a fact that I can be just as satisfied having spent half the money that I did last year, so let’s see if we can move it in that direction a little. If I look at 2016, there were many months with few titles balanced by months of drowning in music. I’d like to reign in the focus a bit and spend more effort getting the things on my want list in lieu of cheap available thrills.

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2016 – The Year In Buying Music [part 1]

2016-yearinreview

This shot of the 7″ storage is shot through with the year’s date set in the font named Caustic Biomorph – it was that kind of year

2016 sucked wind in a vacuum any way you care to slice it. The world got smaller, meaner, colder, and decidedly crueler. Next, The Reaper took took what I consider four classic performers from us: Bowie, Colin Vearncombe, Prince, and Leonard Cohen. At least Cohen can be said to have had a full life. Bowie’s death was shocking, then I had to twist in the wind to cope with Vearncombe’s death after a brief vegetative state following a road accident days later. This surprise was surpassed only by the post-mortem revelations once Prince expired. Given Prince’s clean living rep, his death due to painkiller abuse completely blindsided me. I at least maintained my music to cost ratio that took off dramatically last year. In fact, I had to adjust my graph scale to account for the purchases this year. What that means was there was a lot of music entering the Record Cell. As usual, the prices of these items, some deep in the want list, were minimal. I maintain that the cost of physical music is diminishing. I bought one “expensive” used title this year, Visage’s “Orchestral” which now appears to be OOP. Finally getting a copy cost me $30, which was definitely on the low end for that title.

My mail order excursions leaned heavily on Beautiful World Records in Philadelphia due to their deep reach of titles and generous postage costs. It boggles my mind how far into joyland $25 can go with them. By far my favorite store visit last year was when I went to Wuxtry, Decatur when seeing Midge Ure in Atlanta last October. Harvest Records Anniversary sale was a modest thing this year. This has not always been the case, but by now I expect my mileage to vary. I probably got more good stuff at local used media emporium Mr. K’s this year.

Stats

Total titles purchased: 210
Total cost: $1235.00
Average cost: $5.88/title

CD: 167
Vinyl: 70
– LP: 23
– 12″: 28
– 10″: 1
– 7″: 18
DVD: 3
– bundled: 2
Downloads: 17

Here’s the cumulative purchasing data on a graph from the beginning of this blog in mid-2010. The Y-axis this year gained 25%! The greater the distance between the two dots for each year, the lower the music cost overall.

buying-stats-2016

Next: …Deeper into the data

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It’s 35 Years later – What’s Still Not On CD? [part 9]

Sony's compact digital audio disc, 4.75-inches in diameter, is loaded into a laser disc cd player during a demonstration for the press in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 31, 1982. The system, developed by Sony with the Dutch Philips, uses a laser beam to read the music on the compact disc, on which information is stored digitally. No conventional stylus is used. The manufacturer claims superior sound reproduction. It will appear on the Japanese market in October at about $700, an in the U.S. and Europe market a year later. In the foreground is a remote control unit for the player. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)

Sony’s compact digital audio disc, 4.75-inches in diameter, is loaded into a laser disc cd player during a demonstration for the press in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 31, 1982. The system, developed by Sony with the Dutch Philips, uses a laser beam to read the music on the compact disc, on which information is stored digitally. No conventional stylus is used. The manufacturer claims superior sound reproduction. It will appear on the Japanese market in October at about $700, an in the U.S. and Europe market a year later. In the foreground is a remote control unit for the player. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)

We now [hopefully] finish out the alphabet of still-desired CD titles. RED = I have already made a CD of this. GREEN = awaiting remastering in my Media Empire Room. BLUE = I still need to buy this on LP to make a CD of it. And now to the list…


the-tourists-uklpaThe Tourists – The Tourists [REVO 008]

I still find it hard to believe that the only Tourists album to never be released on CD was their first one, as produced by Conny Plank! True, it was the second one that was the biggest success, but given that Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox made the leap from The Tourists to Eurythmics; you’d think that there would be some interest.


the tourists - realityeffectUKLPAThe Tourists – Reality Effect [UK edition REVO 009]

Of course it was the second Tourists album that caught my ear. “Reality Effect” was a tremendous revisit of the 60s with a sparkling coat of New Wave paint. Alas, the original Logo Records UK edition of the album has never made the leap. There was a US small-label CD reissue of the US Epic Records edition of the album, which was resequenced and the two less than stellar cuts swapped out for much better tunes from the first album [as US labels are wont to do]. I never bought it, since I was holding out for the UK version, and now the US 2007 CD is a $50 CD! I should have bit, since the US edition is actually a perfect object, and how I came to be such a fan in the first place.


the-vels-velocityuslpaThe Vels – Velocity

The Vels were a synthpop band that I had not thought much about back in their heyday since I was too busy obsessing over the UK variety of this particular strain. But This Monk is all about New Wave archaeology, and when I came across the band’s more scarce second album in Mr. Kane’s discard bins, I jumped at the chance. Thereby activating interest in album one. Two 12″ singles exist to provide the necessary bonus tracks.


the vels - house of miraclesUSLPAThe Vels – House Of Miracles

The Vels second album has only a single 12″ [“The Girl Most Likely To”] from it to make bonus tracks for my mooted REVO DLX RM. I should buy it soon since my friends at Beautiful World Syndicate have copies of the 12″ and the first album, for sale…cheap!


david-werner-whizzkiduslpaDavid Werner – Whizz Kid

I was happy to see that when I met my wife, she already had copies of all three David Werner albums in her collection! I had only ever heard “What’s Right” from his awesome third album in scant plays on my local FM-ROCK station in 1979 [back when I was still in that environment]. I never see the first two for sale anywhere. I think I once read that 90% of the pressings were cutouts within six months, but Werner was a rare US-based glam rocker.


david-werner-imagination-quotauslpaDavid Werner – Imagination Quota

Thank goodness my wife has a copy of this. Since the first one was such a huge flop, RCA barely released this one into the wilds.


david-werner-sameuslpaDavid Werner

Werner is definitely rockin’ that New Wave action, judging by the cover, but the song that hipped me to this record in ’79 was the best, latest-in-the-day glam rock classic these ears have ever heard. 70s words like “tough” and “muscular” were coined just to describe this sound!


david-werner-live-uslpaDavid Werner – Live

I bought this live, FM-Promo album by Werner a few years back to add bonus tracks to album three, once I make the DLX RM of my dreams. It sports half a side of live tracks and studio chatter.


zones-underinfluenceuklpaThe Zones – Under Influence

The Zones were what was left of Scot poppers Slik after Midge Ure split for The Rich Kids. They had a vibrant New Wave/pop sound judging from the single “Mourning Star” which is on a favorite Rhino D.I.Y. Series edition [“UK Pop vol. 1”]. Once you think you have everything, you have to dig a little deeper.


That concludes my list of still m.i.a. albums on CD, and the progress made in 35 years has been substantial. Most of these titles have not spent 35 years on my CD want list. Instead, they are a largely result of research and connecting the dots. The A-list material on this list would probably be the following:

  • Kraftwerk
  • Torch Song
  • The Tourists
  • Metro/Peter Godwin

Those acts would have been on the list from day one. That they are not on CD probably has more to do with the stubbornness of Ralf Hütter and William Orbit than anything else. Why BMG hasn’t exploited the first Tourists album is something of a mystery to me. The lack of people beating down Peter Godwin’s door stymies me. The rest of this material is largely down to the search for kicks in this ever more illuminated world. A world where obscure alternatives just keep getting harder to hide among the fewer and fewer dark corners of the internet.

– 30 –

 

  • D’oh! I forgot this one:

correspondence-coverPeter Godwin – Correspondence [REVO 066]

This one thankfully exists as a homegrown disc, but I would not look askance at a glass mastered version!

Posted in Core Collection, Scots Rock, Want List | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments