Skids: ‘Days In Europa’ Jap promo CD (Virgin VJCP-23105)

A curiosity, to be sure. ‘Days In Europa’ has a bit of version history to it from not long after its first release. Originally issued on vinyl in late 1979 it was re-issued in remixed form and a new sleeve design within six months! The original version was produced by Bill Nelson and came in a sleeve design copied from a magazine cover (Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung) from the time of the 1936 German Olympics, the Skids appropriation of which came in for some flak about flirting with Nazi imagery. The remixed version changed the sleeve design radically (though the original design makes a cameo appearance as a painting on the wall), removed one song (‘Pros And Cons’) and replaced it with an earlier single, ‘Masquerade’, and generally fiddled about with the sound somewhat. I have to say that I much prefer the original Bill Nelson production.

Skids: ‘Days In Europa’ Japanese promo CD front cover design and OBI

This Japanese CD dates from 1991 and was the first appearance on CD for the album. On first look you’d expect it to be the remixed version from 1980, since that is the sleeve design (and tracklisting!) that the CD features. It is actually the 1979 Bill Nelson produced version included in the CD however and only comes with the ten tracks from the original issue. Therefore, despite the fact that the sleeve design lists ‘Masquerade’ as one of the songs, you won’t find it on there and ‘Pros and Cons’ is included instead.

Skids: ‘Days In Europa’ Japanese promo CD back cover and CD label design

This CD issue is pretty rare and appears to be be only a promo item? Can anyone confirm that?

The more common CD issue is the UK release on Captain Oi records from 2001 (AHOY CD172). This uses the original 1979 sleeve design and comes with seven extra tracks from singles of the time.

The remixed version of the album has never appeared in its entirety on CD as yet, though some of the remixed versions did appear on 2007’s compilation CD, ‘The Saints Are Coming – The Best Of The Skids’ (Virgin/EMI CDV 3028) – ‘Animation’, ‘Charade’, ‘The Olympian’ and ‘Peaceful Times’.

Another couple of tracks from singles of the time (the ‘Working For The Yankee Dollar’ double-pack 7″ single) were not included on the 2001 CD Captain Oi! CD, but did appear elsewhere – ‘All The Young Dudes’ and ‘Hymns From A Haunted Ballroom’, appeared on the 2003 compilation CD ‘The Very Best Of The Skids’ (Virgin/EMI, 7243 5 90658 2 3). Unfortunately, the original version of ‘Out Of Town’ (from the ‘Masquerade’ 7″ single) has never appeared on CD as yet* – the Captain Oi version includes 1980’s re-recorded version from the LP ‘The Absolute Game’ instead.

* Update: It has now finally been re-issued, with the boxed set CD set ‘The Singles Collection 1978-1981’ (Captain Oi! ‎AHOY DCD 313). Further, the entire remix version of the ‘Days In Europa’ album was re-issued as part of the boxed CD set ‘The Virgin Years’ in 2015 (Caroline International, CAROLR013CD).

2 Replies to “Skids: ‘Days In Europa’ Jap promo CD (Virgin VJCP-23105)”

  1. The Bruce Fairbairn remixes of “Animation” and “Peaceful Times” are also included on _The Saints Are Coming_ along with his versions of “Charade” and “The Olympian”. So that’s a total of four out of nine remixes (“Pros & Cons” was dropped from the revised album rather than remixed) available on CD.

    That said, from listening to these four remixes, I have to agree with the reviewer at – “Bruce Fairbairn massacred this record”. I’d like to hear the other five out of academic interest, but the original mixes that Captain Oi! has put out are definitely the superior ones in my estimation.

  2. Thanks Doug for pointing that out, I’ve updated the article and am heading for the ear syringe cupboard now! Fully agree on the point about the remix – the original is a pretty well flawless album, no idea why it was felt it needed to be remixed.

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