New Order – ‘The Perfect Kiss’ UK 7” (Factory, FAC123, 1985)

May 28th, 2020

Rounding out May’s posts is the standard UK 7” issue of New Order’s first single release of 1985, ‘The Perfect Kiss’.

On first sight, and in comparison to many other New Order singles of the ‘80s in particular, it looks quite uninspiring and bland, taking minimalism all the way by being packaged in a high gloss plain black card sleeve, with minimal silver print typography on plain black labels. In the grooves though we find two edits that are unique to only this 7” single and which have never found there way on to any later CD releases.

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" front sleeve and label design.

^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ front sleeve and label design.

Side one features a 3’50” edit of ‘The Perfect Kiss’ unique to this 7”. Warners had a couple of attempts to get their ‘Singles’ compilation to actually feature the versions as used on the singles themselves instead of album versions. Took a while! – that compilation first appeared in 2005 – it was the version released in 2016 that finally fixed things. But it was the 4’23” edit of ‘The Perfect Kiss’ that was used on that remastered compilation, not the edit from this single. To be fair, as you’ll see further down the page, that 4’23” edit found on that compilation was the most commonly used edit on 7” singles from other territories.

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" rear sleeve and label design.

^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ rear sleeve and label design.

Meanwhile, side two features ‘The Kiss of Death’, which turns out to be a different mix of the A side under a whole new name. This edit clocks in at around 3 minutes here, again unique. Some US copies on 12” had an extra sticker added to the rear cover which described ‘The Kiss of Death’ with an additional subtitle of ‘Dub Version’ (and the short, extra track ‘Perfect Pit’ as ‘Dub Beats’).

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" label side 1.

^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ label side 1.

There was also promo-only UK 7” issued as well and that featured different mixes, with the standard album mix of ‘The Perfect Kiss’ featured on side one (4’ 50” approx.) and ‘The Kiss of Death’ at a longer 5’09” mix (though still a couple of minutes shorter than its equivalent version on the 12”, which spreads out to a duration of 7 minutes.

New Order - The Perfect Kiss UK 7" label side 2.

^ New Order – The Perfect Kiss UK 7″ label side 2.

Other territories also issued ‘The Perfect Kiss’ on 7”, some in differing picture sleeves modelled after the LP sleeves portraiture, such as the Belgian Factory Benelux editions. The US and Canadian 7” issues had a plainer sleeve design. All of these issues had similar edits with ‘The Perfect Kiss’ at 4’23” duration and the 5’09” take of the b Sid, which varied in title – the Belgian singles titled it ‘The Perfect Dub’, while the US and Canadian singles titled it ‘The Perfect Kiss (Instrumental)’.

I have never come across a copy as yet, but there is an interesting US 12” promo (Qwest, PRO-A-2342)  that features the 4’23” edit that was used in most other 7” releases on the A side while featuring the  version of the track that was featured in the Jonathan Demme produced promo video for the song.

Side by side: Hard Corps – ‘Metal and Flesh’ album versions

May 14th, 2020

This post will look at the various releases of the Hard Corps compilation album, ‘Metal and Flesh’ and its multiple mixes and selections across a small but surprisingly varied releases. I have posted about Hard Corps before, they remain, even after all these years, a favourite. At a time when bands were increasingly content to rely on the clean gleam of the new digital instrumentation wave, Hard Corps were synthesising their own sounds from a variety of elements. In the rhythm department in particular, none of the obvious go-to sources of the era, save for a Roland  TR-808 to provide a basic chassis in early stages of a track’s development, swapped out as they progressed for their urgent, hard, insistent pure electronic beats driving the music. Whether in the more in your face and up tempo signature pieces as ‘Metal and Flesh’, ‘Dirty’ or ‘Desolation Land’, or on the slower, more melancholic works such as ‘The Bell’ or ‘Respirer’. My goodness, how well did Regine Fetete’s abstractions describe in fragments such bittersweet worlds to marry with the music produced by Hugh Ashton, Robert Doran and Clive Pierce.

Hard Corps ‘Metal and Flesh’ 1990 CD

The CD was the first version of the album to appear, I received my copy by mail order on 19th September 1990 (having ordered it from an advert for Beat Route mail order back in August). The entry gives an earlier release date of 18th June 1990 though. I don’t know the background to the album and how it came to be. Seems to gather together earlier, harder and more melancholic tracks along with later period ones where the sound has softened a little over time. I have no idea if it is really as clear cut as that, but a I wonder if there was some kind of change, perhaps related to the period where the band’s period with Polydor must have soured and led to be a barren period of activity. 1986 in particular saw, for example, little if any live activity.

Hard Corps 'Metal and Flesh' 1990 CD - front cover design

^ Hard Corps ‘Metal and Flesh’ 1990 CD – front cover design

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Button badge goodness: Yet more Siouxsie and the Banshees

April 28th, 2020

A final selection for now of some period Siouxsie and the Banshees button badges.

Two of these were magazine giveaways, the ‘Smash Hits’ one was always a particular favourite of mine. ‘The File’ badge is of course from the fan club, not the most obvious connection, I suppose, unless you knew that was the name for it, but there we go.

Siouxsie and the Banshees 'Smash Hits' magazine giveaway badge.

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘Smash Hits’ magazine giveaway badge.

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Matthew Seligman, 1955-2020

April 18th, 2020

Very sad news indeed today to read of the death of Matthew Seligman. Bass player par excellence, so many great records in my collection that he plays on – Thomas Dolby, Peter Murphy, Snail and many more – and of course, The Soft Boys. Sadly, a victim of COVID-19, the disease that the current sham of a UK government seem incapable of managing without putting so many in harms way.

If you are not familiar with Matthew there is fine obituary on Slicing Up Eyeballs.

The photo below is one I took back in 2005 on a hot August night in a cramped rehearsal studio for his then band Snail (Matthew, Jon Klein, Chris Bell)during a video shoot.

Such a sad loss, RIP Matthew.

Matthew Seligman and Snail, Shepherds Bush Rehearsal Studio, August 2005

^ Matthew Seligman and Snail, Shepherds Bush Rehearsal Studio, August 2005.

Side by side: Wire – ‘Silk Skin Paws’ UK 7″, 12″ and CD singles [Mute, MUTE 84, 12 MUTE 84, CD MUTE 84, 1988]

April 14th, 2020

Lifted as the second single to promote the band’s 1988 ‘A Bell Is A Cup (Until It Is Struck)’ album, the opening track ‘Silk Skin Paws’ was remixed for 12” and 7”, with a ‘Filofax’ format 3” CD single along for the ride for added ‘80s gimmickry.*

Wire - Silk Skin Paws - UK CD, 7" and 12" singles front covers

Wire – Silk Skin Paws – UK CD, 7″ and 12″ singles front covers

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