Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue (Beggars Banquet, BBQLP19, 2015)

July 28th, 2020

Back to a favourite subject of mine, the variations to be found with Gary Numan’s wonderful ‘Telekon’ album. Here we have the most recent vinyl re-issue, from 2015 and the lure of the limited red vinyl double album edition clearly proved far too tempting. So, go on Beggars, give me yet another copy for the collection…

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue front cover design

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue front cover design

We’ve been here before on this blog of course. The Japanese mini-LP sleeve replica edition (near identical to the 1998 ‘20th Anniversary’ series CD remaster) and the ‘80/81’ box set vinyl edition dating from 2011. As documented on those, there are different mixes of various tracks that have been used, these variations first emerging when that ‘20th Anniversary’ CD remaster appeared in 1998.

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue gatefold (left)

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue gatefold (left)

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue gatefold (right)

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue gatefold (right)

So, what do we get on this release then? Headline news is that those variant mixes in question I’ve gone over before are here in their original 1980 form (‘Remember I Was Vapour’ and ‘The Joy Circuit’). There is another, quite noticeably different mix of ‘I Die: You Die’ (Alternate Mix) to be found here and that appears to be unique to this edition as far as I know. There is also ‘Remind Me To Smile’ (USA Mix) – but that is very clearly not the US 7” single edit that I have had on vinyl since 1980. And there are a few extra tracks from singles and B-sides. Depending on your home territory and format preferences back in the day, a few of these are probably either ‘extras’ or were always part of the ‘Telekon’ album that you know and love. The ordering of the tracks, being spread across double vinyl, brings a whole new experience to this listen.

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue rear cover design

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue rear cover design

This is the red vinyl edition that was only available direct mail order from Beggars Arkive or available from the merch stall at some live dates (and I imagine sold out fast).

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 1

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 1

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 2

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 2

Record one sticks to the first eight tracks from the original UK LP Edition from 1980. So, it starts as usual with ‘This Wreckage’ and ends with ‘Remember I Was Vapour (the original 1980 mix complete with synth solo and madly extreme stereo panning). It does not include ‘We Are Glass’, which UK and European cassette owners of the album will know and love as being at the end of ‘side one’ of the tape, nor ‘I Die: You Die’, which US and Canadian album owners would likely expect by now, since those territories removed ‘Sleep By Windows’ on original releases to make way for it.

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 3

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 3

Gary Numan - ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 4

^ Gary Numan – ‘Telekon’ 2015 Double LP re-issue label design side 4

On to record two, side one, this rounds off the two final tracks from the original running order with ‘Please Push No More’ and the now restored 1980 mix of ‘The Joy Circuit’. We then have the A and B sides of the ‘We Are Glass’ single.

Flipping on to side two and there is a lot crammed in here. First off, sides A and B of the UK  ‘I Die: You Die’ single, with the wonderful piano version of ‘Down In The Park’. (I wonder how many Numan fans that inspired into piano lessons?)

We then have ‘A Game Called Echo’, originally recorded as part of the ‘Telekon’ sessions in November 1979 but not included on the album or as a B side at the time. It would eventually see light of day in 1985 on the ‘1978/79 Volume 3’ 12” EP and then on subsequent compilations and album re-issues. ‘A Game Called Echo’ has a particular memory for me, courtesy of ‘Smash Hits’ magazine. It was first reported in the December 13th – 26th 1979 issue of the magazine that the album tracklisting included ‘Telekon’, ‘Remember I Was Vapour’, ‘I Die: You Die’, ‘Sleep By Windows’, ‘The Joy Circuit’ and ‘A Game Called Echo’. Following release of the album in early September 1980, there was also a follow-up query in the 30th October – 12th November issue ‘Fact Is’ column asking about the track’s non-appearance.

‘Photograph’, the B side of ‘This Wreckage’, is next (which along with the ‘We Are Glass’ B side, ‘Trois Gymnopédies’, were recorded at ‘Freerange’ studio during demo sessions, 9-12 April 1979, for ‘The Pleasure Principle’ album), followed by ‘Remind Me To Smile’ (USA Mix). As mentioned earlier, this certainly isn’t the US 7” single edit – that was edited down to the 3’ 20” mark, whereas this is the same 3’ 43” duration as the regular LP mix.

The album finishes with an ‘Alternate Mix’ of ‘I Die: You Die’. This is NOT the same version that is on the 1998 ‘20th Anniversary’ CD remaster, which was listed as ‘Alternate Version’ (and seems to now be listed as ‘Video Version’ on download services. This mix is very different indeed and I assume is some kind of demo version, as so much of the instrumentation is significantly different. There’s no guitar at all during the intro for example and the lead synth line is a lot more prominent. Different take vocally too, with “screaming THEY will suffer” instead of the more familiar YOU, and no sign of the “ still running from the telephone” final line at all.

There is no digital download that comes with the album though, so I think this mix so far remains vinyl only.

Fast Forward 008/009: Annual Report (Australian 2 × Cassette Magazine Compilation, December 1981)

July 21st, 2020

This snappily packaged little item was attached to the wall of the wonderful 1-UP Records back in the days of their shop on Rosemount Viaduct for a long, long while. I would hardly dare guess quite how long it was sellotaped up on the wall (which hasn’t done the soft vinyl pack too much good), but it seemed to be up there forever. I can’t recall how it came to be that I decided to investigate it further, but at some point I think I became aware of the presence of Kraftwerk and The Cure in particular on it. And when it became clear that these were exclusive items, well, it was time to buy.

Fast Forward 008/009: Annual Report cassette magazine - pack front

^ Fast Forward 008/009: Annual Report cassette magazine – pack front

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Side by side: Brian Eno – ‘Music for Films (Directors Edition)’ promo UK LP (EG Records EGM1, 1976) and ‘Music for Films’ UK LP (EG/Polydor 2310 623, 1978)

July 14th, 2020

Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Films’ has a complicated history and in this post I’ll do my best to unravel the differences between the original 1976 promo-only release, its 1978 wider commercial release and how the stray tracks have reappeared on CD in later years.

Brian Eno 'Music for Films' original 1976 promotional 'Director's Edition' - front cover

^ Brian Eno ‘Music for Films’ original 1976 promotional ‘Director’s Edition’ – front cover

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John Foxx – ‘Burning Car’ UK 7” single (Metal Beat/Virgin VS360, 1980)

July 7th, 2020

Near enough to the day (11th July 1980), forty years have passed since the impeccably eerie synthetic ‘less is more’ dynamic of ‘Burning Car’ appeared. As Spring moved into Summer of 1980 it was exciting times for music for me. Spring had brought Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark with ‘Messages’ and The Human League with ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to my ears and Gary Numan had released the exciting ‘We Are Glass’ single. New Musik and The Cure had also kept my cassette recorder busy, taped from the top 40 show. I had read about the forthcoming release of this latest Foxx single mid June in ‘Smash Hits’. It had competition from former band mates Ultravox, who had reactivated and were releasing the first notes with Midge Ure in the shape of ‘Sleepwalk’ – and would be an earlier release than Foxx’s latest. Nonetheless, I wasn’t wasting time in getting ‘Burning Car’. There had already been the two singles from ‘Metamatic’, in the way of ‘Underpass’ and a completely re-recorded ‘No One Driving’ – and now, just barely seven months into 1980, a whole new non-album single. Which also happened to sound amazing. Just over three minutes long, it was unlike anything else. Whole segments of little more than steely Roland CR78 rhythm machine and vocal with eerie synth washes rolling in like some mysterious mist, Foxx’s precise lyric like some telegraphic telling of a yet unrealised film projected by alternative means. It felt like best thing he’d released yet.

John Foxx - ‘Burning Car’ UK 7” single picture sleeve front

^ John Foxx – ‘Burning Car’ UK 7” single picture sleeve front

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Bill Nelson – Chimera and Savage Gestures for Charms Sake

June 28th, 2020

Two Bill Nelson releases hailing from 1983, both of the mini-album variety that was so very much in vogue at the time. The first of these, ‘Chimera’, capped off Bill’s short but highly productive two year stint with Mercury records, the second, ‘Savage Gestures for Charms Sake’, saw the return to Cocteau Records as a going commercial concern once more. Both very enjoyable in their own way, they were later brought together on a single Cocteau Records CD for re-issue before later being being split apart again with ‘Chimera’ upgraded to a single CD expanded edition in 2005, while ‘Savage Gestures for Charms Sake’, other than a long since deleted stand-alone re-issue on CD in 1989, currently languishes in the wastelands. First up…


‘Chimera’

Bill Nelson - 'Chimera' UK mini album front cover design

^ Bill Nelson – ‘Chimera’ UK mini album front cover design

It has an unusual back story, this album. Recorded late 1982 at The Garden and Riverside Studios, it apparently started life with the intention of being a bridging four track EP between 1982’s ‘The Love That Whirls’ album and the next intended full-length album, but ended up a six track mini-album released around the time the intended album should have been with the addition of two extra tracks. (Production work for amongst others Gary Numan and The Units got in the way…) Read the rest of this entry »