Ultravox – ‘Moments From Eden’ EP (Absolute, 10EDENRL1)

June 14th, 2019

‘Moments From Eden’ was a very attractive, limited edition live EP featuring the tracks that Ultravox added to their set for the second ‘comeback’ tour in 2010, ‘Return To Eden 2’. Rather than release multiple versions, the nicely designed package included a red vinyl 10″ single along with a CD version housed inside the gatefold spread of the cover, with further themed artwork featured in an additional booklet.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ vinyl side A and front cover.

If you ordered the record online from Townsend Records, the release also came with a limited edition A4 sized print, as displayed in the photo below, a variation on the design from the back cover of the record.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ front cover and limited edition print.

The comeback tour had already been documented on the CD/DVD release of ‘Return to Eden’, so this release was a welcome addition to capture the three tracks added to the setlist for the following year’s ‘Return to Eden 2’ tour, these being ‘New Europeans’, ‘White China’ and ‘Love’s Great Adventure’.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ rear cover.

The recordings were made on the German leg of the tour (Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, Monday 23rd April 2010 and Admiralspalast, Berlin, Tuesday 24th April 2010) and this helps explain the presence of the fourth track, the German language ‘Herr X’, with Warren Cann in fine form on an excellent version of the track.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ inner gatefold spread.

A nice release all in all and very much in keeping with what can be seen as an Ultravox tradition of an interim live release – after all, Ultravox! (Mark I) had the live ‘Retro’ EP in 1978, while Ultravox (Mark II) had the ‘Monument The Soundtrack’ live mini album back in 1983.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ booklet front cover.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ booklet spread (1).

Ultravox would return to the studio for the recording of ‘Brilliant’ after this release and embark on what has been their last tour to date in support of it.

^Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ booklet spread (2).

Last but by no means least, the artwork by Rian Hughes is stunning and elevates the whole package into something quite special and certainly far more than ‘just a live EP’ it might otherwise have been had any old packaging been seen as ‘good enough’. Nice details such as how the CD is attached into the package work well and this really is a release worthy of so many other high-class designs that the band have benefited from over many years.

^ Ultravox ‘Moments From Eden’ booklet spread (3).

New Musik ‘Greatest Hits’ Promo 7″ EP (GTO, XP112, 1981)

May 28th, 2019

This unusual release gathered together New Musik’s six singles to date, all tracks being edited down to lengths unique to this release, playing at 33 1⁄3. I am unsure of the date of release, but perhaps it either came around about the ‘Anywhere’ LP in early 1981 or the ‘Planet Doesn’t Mind’ single from late 1981. Although the label design is plain white, it seems to be before the period where GTO records were fully absorbed into the Epic roster, which their 1982 releases from ‘All You Need Is Love’ were the case.

^ New Musik ‘Greatest Hits’ Promo 7″ EP (GTO, XP112, 1981)

The first four singles run, all from the ‘From A To B’ LP are pretty strong, catchy and gave the band their biggest successes. By the time of the two singles from ‘Anywhere’, the sound was polished to perfection but the music took longer to absorb and its sophistication proved to be a harder sell – neither ‘Luxury’ nor ‘While You Wait’ would repeat chart placings of the earlier singles. Read the rest of this entry »

The Compact and Mercurial Bill Nelson Part 2: The Love That Whirls (Diary Of A Thinking Heart)

May 14th, 2019

Welcome back to the second part of our look at the wonderful world of Bill Nelson on CD, a small number of CD variants that played fast and loose with running orders, which may either leave you smacking your lips in anticipation of the otherwise unavailable obscurities to be found, or bamboozled at the wrecking ball taken to otherwise fine original tracklists. We already looked at Bill’s first solo release on Mercury records, ‘Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam’ – now, we move on to his second, ‘The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)’.

Bill Nelson 'The Love That Whirls' CDs

^ Bill Nelson ‘The Love That Whirls’ CDs

Cocteau Records, JC CD 16 (1986)

The first UK release on CD for ‘The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)’, released 25th July 1986 (along with ‘Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam’) four years on from the original release date, under the ‘Cocteau Collectors’ imprint/series. From the off, this edition played around with the original running order by landing two period B sides in the middle of the running order. ‘Flesh’ and ‘He and Sleep Were Brothers’ (both originally hailing from the ‘Eros Arriving’ double-pack 7″ single) were placed in the space between the original side 1 and side 2 of the vinyl album. On top of this a further change was made by swapping in a remix of ‘Hope for the Heartbeat’ in place of the original vinyl LP version of the song. The remix adds in an additional oriental sounding synth melody as well as a prominent additional layer of electronic percussion not a million miles away from that used by Gary Numan on ‘Cars’ – and the harmony vocals toward the end of the track seem to be boosted in volume too. Read the rest of this entry »

Danielle Dax – ‘Fizzing Human Bomb’ / ‘Yummer Yummer Man’ / ‘Bad Miss ‘M” (Awesome AOR3 / AOR3T)

April 28th, 2019

Dating from late 1985, this single originally came in two variants which swapped around the running order depending on whether you went for 7″ or the more luxurious 12″ versions. Perhaps it was down to budget, but the 12″ version seemed to get the better deal – as well as the extra track, for the packaging it came with full colour print on the cover and gold ink on the record labels, whereas the 7″ came with black and white print on the edited cover (though metallic ink for the type) and yellow ink for the type on the labels. It even found space to include the lyrics for all three tracks, whereas the 7″ could only make do with the musician credits.

Danielle Dax 'Fizzing Human Bomb'/'Yummer Yummer Man'/'Bad Miss M' double A side 12 inch single - front cover

^ Danielle Dax ‘Fizzing Human Bomb’/ ‘Yummer Yummer Man’/’Bad Miss ‘M” double A side 12 inch single – front cover

Danielle Dax 'Fizzing Human Bomb'/'Yummer Yummer Man'/'Bad Miss M' double A side 12 inch single - rear cover

^ Danielle Dax ‘Fizzing Human Bomb’/ ‘Yummer Yummer Man’/’Bad Miss ‘M” double A side 12 inch single – rear cover

The 12″ extra track, ‘Fizzing Human Bomb’, occupied side A exclusively. Meanwhile, side AA featured the two tracks that formed the 7″ single, ‘Yummer Yummer Man’ and ‘Bad Miss ‘M”. Does that make this a trip-A side single then?! Read the rest of this entry »

Tones On Tail – Burning Skies/OK, This Is The Pops versions

April 14th, 2019

Burning Skies [12″ Version] (6’20”)

Burning Skies [7″ Edit] (4’13”)

Burning Skies [Gothic Rock compilation Edit] (5’15”)

Burning Skies [‘Something!’ promo CD ‘Single Edit’] (4’34”)

OK, This Is The Pops (7″ / 12″ version)

OK, This Is The Pops (fade-in start)

OK, This Is The Pops (‘phased’ version)

NB: All timings are approximate and intended as a guide for differentiation only

Tones On Tail - Burning Skies / OK This is The Pops 7 inch single front cover

^ Tones On Tail – Burning Skies / OK This is The Pops 7 inch single front cover

I never imagined there was going to be quite so much version craziness when I sat down to listen to these original vinyl releases and compare them against what has subsequently emerged across various compilations LPs and CDs. First off, it was a surprise to realise that the 7″ edit of ‘Burning Skies’ had never appeared on CD at any point – and in the end, no less than four different variants of ‘Burning Skies’ came to light when I dug the vinyl out for a spin. Similarly, ‘OK, This Is The Pops’ as was released on vinyl back in 1983 (the versions on 7″ and 12″ are the same) hasn’t quite made it to CD unscathed either. I would love to know how these things come to be – can there be so many different tape boxes at Beggars Arkive that it is so easy to confuse? Or are these accidents that happen during remastering? Read the rest of this entry »