‘Dreams and Desires’ tape (Pleasantly Surprised, PS006, 1984)

‘Dreams and Desires’ was one the ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ series of various artist cassette compilations that appeared throughout the first half of the ’80s, this particular example hailing from late 1984. The sleeve design clearly has a nod and a wink to the Joy Division feel of ‘Closer’, while musically the selection is something of a feast for fans of the 4AD label, with demo/instrumental versions to be found from several of the then current 4AD stable.

Cassette - 'Dreams' side
^ Cassette – \’Dreams\’ side
Cassette - 'Desires' side
^ Cassette – \’Desires\’ side

For me, highlights include a great alternative version of ‘Pearly Dewdrops Drops’ by Cocteau Twins – I always found the more regular single version a little tame, but this one swings into life with somewhat more oomph.

Pack contents
^ Pack contents, all spread out

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Rewinding for a moment (ho ho), Pleasantly Surprised was a cassette label run by Robert H King, based in Glasgow, Scotland, first appearing in 1982 with the ‘An Hour Of Eloquent Sounds’ tape (that one is coming up in a future post, it as the first of the series I bought) – the releases always managed to contain a great selection of new, obscure, alternative tracks/versions and so on from well known alternative names of the time, as well as a generous helping of new talent. I expect Mr King had good connections or the gift of charm in securing such plentiful exclusives.

Card insert front design
^ Card insert front design

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Hailing from an era that was something of a high-water mark for going to town on packaging, a la Factory and 4AD, these cassettes tended to avoid the plain old plastic case and come replete with more imaginative clothing. In the case of ‘Dreams and Desires’, you will see from the photos that an oversize folded card insert came in a resealable plastic bag along with several inserts (many being reproductions of 4AD publicity photos).

Card insert, rear
^ Card insert, rear

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You can find out more about the series of releases on the Pleasantly Surprised website, well worth some of your time if this post has piqued your interest…

Card insert, middle spread
^ Card insert, middle spread

View at a larger size


Side One: Dreams

  1. Nervous Chior – Richard Killing
  2. Xmal Deutschland – Tag Fur Tag (Demo)
  3. Artery – Diamonds In The Mine (Live)
  4. Vazz – Silver
  5. Colourbox – Sex Gun (Demo)
  6. Wolfgang Press – Ecstacy (Instrumental)
  7. Pink Industry – Pain of Pride
  8. Band of Holy Joy – A Glorious Morning in Orton Street

Sides Two: Desires

  1. Clair Obscur – Pilgrims Progress (Instrumental)
  2. Dead Can Dance – The Arcane (Demo)
  3. David J – Can’t Get Used To Losing You
  4. Illegitimate Sons of Christ – In One Move
  5. Cocteau Twins – Pearly Dew-Drops Drops (Demo)
  6. In The Nursery – Iskra
  7. Ambrose (featuring Martin Luther King) – Free At Last
  8. Andrew Gray – Illustrated
  9. Virginia Astley – Tree Top Club (Demo)
  10. Patrik Fitzgerald – Smile

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