Archive for the ‘Compilation albums’ Category

The Cure – ‘Concert and Curiosities’ UK cassette (Fiction, FIXHC10, 1984)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

The Cure were no strangers to giving fans a bonus side of music to their cassette releases, with 1981’s ‘Faith’ cassette coming with the long form ‘Carnage Visors’ soundtrack piece as a cassette-only exclusive. By 1984 and their renaissance as a more pop-oriented act (on the surface at least as the Sturm und Drang outings from ‘The Top’ such as ‘Shake Dog Shake’ and ‘Give Me It’ would attest), time was ripe for their first live album in the shape of the faux bootleg look and feel of ‘Concert’ (The Cure Live)’. Limited to a single album rather than the more traditional sprawling double, it was a fair trawl through various highlights, heavy on the singles and a side order of more recent album tracks. Fair enough. But of more interest, certainly for longer term fans, was the cassette-only ‘Concert and Curiosities’.

The Cure ‘Concert and Curiosities’ UK cassette

^ The Cure ‘Concert and Curiosities’ UK cassette


Various: Tobacco Perfecto (LTM LTMCD 2578 Promo CD, 2013)

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

This curious little compilation (packaged in a slimline CD case rather then the bulkier standard size) was a compilation album of obscure and previously unreleased tracks/versions from acts released via the LTM label. It could be yours gratis if you bought three or more LTM products in one order. Aside from the beautiful packaging design, my main attraction to this compilation was the Durutti Column track, the version of which is exclusive to this compilation.

Tobacco Perfecto compilation CD front cover design

^ Tobacco Perfecto compilation CD front cover design

I was most familiar with ‘Homage to Martinů’ originally from the ‘Lips That Would Kiss’ compilation CD (FBN2CD) from 1991. The version to be found here is described thus on the packaging: ‘Recorded at Graveyard Studio in 1981 during sessions for the album L.C. The ‘flange’ version of this outtake appears on FBN 2 CD and FBN 10 CD but this slightly different mix is unavailable elsewhere.’ Interestingly, the credits on the FBN2CD describe the track as having been recorded at Little Big One, Brussels, 1982. The version itself is not radically different, sonically a few changes here and there. (more…)

‘From Brussels With Love’ compilation cassette (Les Disques Du Crépuscule, TWI 007)

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Where does one start on ‘From Brussels With Love’? Something of a who’s who of low-key, left-field acts, mostly contributing original, unreleased material, from the minimal synth jingles of John Foxx that bookend proceedings through a demo version of Thomas Dolby’s lush ‘Airwaves’, a healthy outing for Factory acts including A Certain Ratio, Kevin Hewick (with New Order backing him on this outing), Durutti Column and even Factory’s resident producer, Martin Hannett, contributing a piece. Harold Budd, Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman feature too, along with an interview with Brian Eno himself, whose ‘Obscure Records’ label unite all three in some form.

There have also been numerous re-issues over the years on LP and CD, with variations in tracklisting and sleeve designs – further info on those on the website entry. The most recent re-issue, a CD from 2007 on LTM Publishing (Les Temps Modernes) LTMCD 2479, is the most faithful to the original cassette release.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking on the cassette packaging. This is my own copy, I believe there were variations to the original cassette release, such as including a badge.

'From Brussels With Love' cassette package front cover design

^ \’From Brussels With Love\’ cassette package front cover design

'From Brussels With Love' cassette package back cover design and cassette

^ \’From Brussels With Love\’ cassette package back cover design and cassette


‘Machines’ UK compilation LP (Virgin, V2177, 1980)

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

‘Machines’ was a compilation album from late 1980 that showcased a few of the Virgin records/DinDisc roster, while also including a smattering of established names (Gary Numan/Tubeway Army, John Foxx, Human League, Fad Gadget, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) and up-‘n’-coming names too (Henry Badowski/Karel Fialka/Silicon Teens/Thomas Leer). The Virgin records contingent was a mite biased perhaps, with two names in particular seemingly odd bedfellows for such an obviously ‘synth’ themed compilation, namely XTC and PiL.

'Machines' compilation album front cover design

^ ‘Machines’ compilation album front cover design

‘The Somnambulist’ by XTC first appeared on the double-pack 7″ single for their ‘Generals and Majors’ single from earlier in 1980. It drifts along nicely and is in stark contrast to the abrasively jangly guitar-packed and drum-propelled stuff that the rest of the ‘Black Sea’ album was hewn from. At the time, the main point of interest for the compilation was the previously unreleased ‘Pied Piper’ by Public Image Limited (PiL) – a short, fairly noisy piece that probably fits closer to the ‘The Flowers of Romance’ style (which was of the compilation’s period, though not released until the Spring of 1981), the one and only piece recorded with the late Steve New as part of a short-lived dalliance with PiL. (See the Flowers of Romance Wikipedia entry.) This track eventually resurfaced in the late ’90s on PiL’s ‘Plastic Box’ compilation of CDs. (more…)

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

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

‘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