So, farewell Vangelis – in a long life, we have been richly rewarded with his music for so long and the grace of how he went about his art. He may now be gone, but there remains so much of his music to explore and be thankful for now.
I feature this CD since – well, it is VersionCrazy after all and its always about the obscure details of versions and variations – so, why not… ‘The Collection‘ on the face of it is yet another compilation CD of the man’s work – and there is no shortage of them to choose from over the years. But I’ll focus on this one today as it is the one official outing on CD for a version of the opening titles theme for ‘Blade Runner’ that has remained strangely elusive from the multiple variations of the main soundtrack release over the years. Continue reading “Vangelis – ‘The Collection’ compilation CD (Rhino, 2564658108, 2012)”
After I had finally taken to the charms of the silver CD disc as a format, there was no stopping me, and that included re-issues of all kinds – even these rather generic, budget-price compilation series – not least because on occasions they were useful for tracking down hard to find versions (or even hitherto unreleased versions, in the case of another Japan CD-only compilation, ‘Souvenir From Japan’ and its exclusive mix of Life In Tokyo’ – another story…
The recent announcement of yet another re-issue of ‘Sulk’ (this time to mark the 40th anniversary of its first release) got me reaching back to 2016’s selection of CD releases to refresh the memory banks of what versions were out there… and reminded me of this curious compilation and what it had to offer to justify the shelf space…
Did we need another Associates compilation? There were already ‘Popera’, ‘Double Hipness’ and ‘Singles’, after all. It was part of the 2016 CD re-issue campaign that saw the Associates first three albums issued on double CD sets with a welter of extras. This set pre-dated the new re-issues by a month or so, presumably to whet the appetite. Turns out, this ‘The Very Best Of’ 2 x CD set was a curious item. First off, the title – perhaps you might argue that CD 1 of the set could possibly fit the bill of the title – but it has nothing post-1982 in its tracklisting. And as for CD 2 – a round up of all kinds of odds and ends with the bait of three previously unreleased recordings as the lure for purchase. A rum do indeed… perhaps ‘Associates Anthology’ might have fit the bill better as a title.
In a comment on my previous Danielle Dax post about the ‘Yummer Yummer Man’/‘Fizzing Human Bomb’ single, PostPunkMonk absolutely nailed it about Dax with his customary pinpoint accuracy and brevity – “a talent with no fear and ideas to spare”. No better example of that than this curious release, ‘The Chemical Wedding’, which was a mini-album release in Japan only (mini-album I presume, based on its duration) at the tail end of 1987 at The Venue, in Aberdeen. A curio in that it features various tracks that were originally unique and later would re-appear in re-recorded/remixed form over the next couple of years, making this a desirable item to track down for the version crazy completist Dax fans amongst you. (Assuming that’s not just me then!)
I didn’t come by this release at the time though, only much later. I had been able to see Danielle Dax live in November 1987 on a brief UK tour, a great show it was too, the experience something else altogether. Earlier in 1987 was when the ‘Inky Bloaters’ album came out, to some degree of celebration in the music press, it’s fair to say – so, subsequently getting a chance to see the live show in due course, even better.
This release passed by my radar though – perhaps no surprise, as it had no UK equivalent. Seems to have been released in November of that year and when I did find out about it, much later, I assumed it was a straightforward singles A and B sides mopping-up compilation from foreign climes, just the type I like… There was no discogs.com nor eBay to easily find out details back then. But this release was much more than that, as it turns out… a treat for Danielle’s fan base in Japan, since it contains unique versions of ‘Cat-House’ and ‘Whistling For His Love’ and early dibs on ‘Touch Piggy’s Eyes’ and ‘Olamal’, which wouldn’t get releases elsewhere until 1988 and 1995 respectively. And let’s get one thing clear from the off – Dax B sides contain some incredible songs. That 1987 gig at The Venue in Aberdeen and the transformed version of ‘Up In Arms’ a good example – a sonic juggernaut when taking flight in live performance. Continue reading “Danielle Dax – ‘The Chemical Wedding’ Japanese CD (Vap, 85018-25, 1987)”
‘Letter From America’ is a double vinyl compilation album and cassette released in the US in 1982 that gathered together all of the tracks from two of the wonderful Thomas Leer’s original UK releases for Cherry Red records, the ‘4 Movements’ four track 12″ EP and the ‘Contradictions’ 2 x 12″ album, in a sleeve that adapted the Matisse cut-outs inspired design of the ‘4 Movements’ EP.
The ‘4 Movements’ 12″ EP had been my entry point – specifically, the track ‘Tight As A Drum’, which I had heard played on the BBC Radio 1 John Peel show one night, August 1981. It sounded amazing – such a busy, unique sound and structure, its no surprise that that track in particular has had something of a renaissance by its inclusion on various post-punk compilations over the years. The sound has movement alright – like it’s been plugged into the voltage and animated into life as some form of echoing dub that is both coming and going at the same time. Continue reading “Thomas Leer – ‘Letter From America’ US double album (Cachalot Records / Cherry Red, A RIPE 1, 1982)”