Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ unreleased UK 7″ (Sonoscope/Polydor, HARD 2), 1985

Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ sleeve design - front

^ Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ sleeve design – front

Some while back I posted about the West German 12″ single of ‘To Breathe’, with a promise to blog on the UK edition too sometime. This time round the focus is the UK 7″ single. To recap, ‘To Breathe’ (a re-rerecording of the track ‘Respirer’ which was one side of their first, self-released single along with ‘Dirty’ in 1984) should have been the second single from Hard Corps and their tenure with Polydor (via the band’s own ‘Sonoscope’ imprint), the first being ‘Je Suis Passée’, but something clearly went wrong with the band/label relationship, as the single never made it to the shops. Clearly some copies did leak out though, this UK 7″ edition amongst them. I came by it at a record fair many years back – it cost a fair bit really, but it was good to finally see a copy as up till then I had only come by a 12″ pre-release promo copy (which never came with a picture sleeve). There is also a UK 12″ of the ‘standard’ release, but I have never come across one of those on my travels as yet.

^ Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ sleeve design - back

^ Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ sleeve design – back

What is great in comparison to the West German 7″ and 12″ editions is the picture label designs – they really stand out and tone in with the great picture sleeve design, making it all the more galling that this single never appeared properly. Quite why that happened, who knows? At that point, the band had toured to support The Cure in the UK and Europe (strange bedfellows, you might think – the connection was most likely the fact that Hard Corps and The Cure were signed to the same publishing company, APB Music Co). In fact, on the merchandising handouts for The Cure tour there was even an advert for the release of ‘I Need To Breathe’ (as it was referred to on the advert, see below) stating ‘out soon’.

Hard Corps 'I Need To Breathe' Cure 1985 tour merchandising leaflet advert

^ Hard Corps \’I Need To Breathe\’ Cure 1985 tour merchandising leaflet advert

In the production suite though, it is something of a curio – originally recorded by Martin Rushent (who had produced the previous ‘Je Suis Passée’ single) with later recording, mixing and ultimate production by Mute records’ Daniel Miller and Flood. The UK 7″, like the West German 7″, comes with a short version of ‘To Breathe’, clocking in at approximately 3′ 38″, somewhat souped-up from the original 1984 version – mostly in English, but with French portions towards the latter half. It remains unreleased on CD to date – the version of the track that appeared on 1990’s ‘Metal and Flesh’ CD is a longer, French language only version, clocking in at 4′ 21″, with an elongated intro build-up the most noticeable difference – whereas the 7″ mix starts straight into the synth bass, akin to the original 1984 mix. The 12″ mix is another beast altogether – it shares the same intro as the CD mix, but goes on several detours and clocks in at a significantly longer 5′ 46″ or so. ‘Metal and Flesh’ on the flip, meanwhile, is the same version as per the WG 7″ and 12″, clocking in at 5′ 31″, like the 1990 CD. The fourth mix is the instrumental mix which can be found as the extra track on the 12″ single and is timed at 3′ 50″. (This mix did resurface on the vinyl edition of ‘Metal and Flesh’, which is significantly different from the CD album of the same name.

Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ label design -side A

^ Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ label design -side A

There is also a French edition of the 12″ in circulation, though I’ve yet to come by that one too. The titling on the sleeve seems to indicate it probably contains the English language versions, though one imagines that the French language mixes might have been used. If I come by a copy I’ll update this, or if anyone out there has a copy and can confirm the contents do feel free to leave a comment!

Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ label design -side B

^ Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ UK 7″ label design -side B

2 Responses to “Hard Corps ‘To Breathe’ unreleased UK 7″ (Sonoscope/Polydor, HARD 2), 1985”

  1. Clive Pierce says:

    That is more than we know.Beautifully presented and concisely written. Thanks
    https://www.facebook.com/clive.pierce.5?v=wall

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for commenting Clive and all the best, always been a great pleasure listening to your work.

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