Archive for the ‘Compilation albums’ Category

Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1983

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

7″ Flexidisc: ‘Vinyl’ Magazine (‘Speak No Evil’)

‘Speak No Evil’ was intended to be one of the tracks on a planned debut 7″ single for 4AD by the band. That ended up being dropped when the recording of ‘Garlands’ was judged to be a stronger opening release on its own, so ‘Speak No Evil’ was instead given away as a flexidisc with the Dutch music magazine ‘Vinyl’. Obviously somewhat crackly in this flexidisc form, it was a welcome addition as a bonus track on the 1986 CD release of ‘Garlands’, but was removed on subsequent re-releases which opted to feature only the original eight track album running order. It has however recently been included on the four disc various artists compilation, ‘Make More Noise! Women In Independent UK Music 1977 – 1987’ released on Cherry Red in 2020. It has a downbeat, proto-‘Garlands’ type sound – the nearest comparison on ‘Garlands’ would likely be ‘Shallow Then Halo’, I feel. The flip side features the wonderful Thomas Leer with ‘Who’s Foolin’ Who’ – stylistically a good way away from the Cocteau Twins sound, originally also exclusive to this flexidisc, in recent years it found a home on his ‘1982’ compilation.

'Vinyl' Magazine flexidisc - Cocteau Twins 'Speak No Evil' label side

^ ‘Vinyl’ Magazine flexidisc – Cocteau Twins ‘Speak No Evil’ label side


Wire – ‘It’s All In The Brochure’ CD (Pink Flag, PF2, 2000)

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

The accompanying live document to the ‘Third Day’ rehearsal recordings CD as featured in the previous post‘It’s All In The Brochure’ captures a selection of not only Wire’s performance but also the various other supporting acts from the occasion of their concert at the Royal Festival Hall, 26th February 2000.

Wire - ‘It's All In The Brochure’ CD EP front cover design

^ Wire – ‘It’s All In The Brochure’ CD EP front cover design


Heaven 17 – ‘Endless’ UK Boxed Cassette (Virgin, TCVB 2383, 1986)

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

The first compilation/remix album by Heaven 17 (though by no means the last), ‘Endless’ is quite a curio on cassette format for a number of reasons. First off, this limited edition boxed version – packaged up in an elegant, black linen box with gold print, not a million miles away from the format that Factory Records had adopted for their cassette releases of their mid-eighties period (and which now prove very collectable indeed).

Heaven 17 'Endless' boxed edition cassette - front

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ boxed edition cassette – front

Secondly, of course, some good old version craziness in the music to be found on the cassette. Apart from the ‘endless’ segue concept that is responsible for many changes to be found in the music, headline news is that the cassette edition came with four extra tracks compared to the CD version and amongst these is a 5’05” mix of ‘Play To Win’ that I had never come across anywhere else. (It has since finally been released on the ‘Play To Win (The Virgin Years)’ boxed set, I believe, though I don’t have this set.) It resembles the longer ‘BEF Disco Mix’ from the original 12″ single release, but edited down a good deal. (I tried out a digital recreation of it, hence why I know how much editing down it has had – no simple early fade out or the like, oh no – someone went to town with some enthusiasm all the way through the track!) (more…)

Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1982

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

An opening post in a long-running series that will be appear periodically, the aim is to document one of my long-standing, enduring favourites – Cocteau Twins. This is a band where I bought their records from the very first release, ‘Garlands’, shortly after its release, and onwards. Much like another of my favourites, Durutti Column, the Cocteau Twins have an interesting discography to examine since they were very much an act where you found fine quality work not only on albums but on 12″ EPs (a Cocteau Twins speciality) as well as gifted to obscure compilations (more often than not exclusive tracks or versions).

Cocteau Twins assemblage of releases

^ An assemblage of Cocteau Twins releases from over the years

Year by year, the plan is to document when a primary release first made an appearance and to highlight the obscurities that can be found here and there on compilations and the like. Like other post-punk acts of the era, there have been re-issues over the year, in some cases where bonus tracks have ended up removed so as to restore original album running orders to match the original vinyl releases. (Wire also spring to mind here…)


Bauhaus – ‘4AD’ UK Mini-Album (4AD, BAD 312, 1983)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Having worked away steadily and with increasing pressure since 1979, Bauhaus finally arrived into the upper ends of the UK charts with the double impact of the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ single (top 20) and ‘The Sky’s Gone Out’ album (top 5) in late 1982. The early months of 1983 would see two more singles and further success, a major tour and then the belated release of ‘Burning From The Inside’ following the band’s implosion in the summer of 1983 and split. It all seemed premature and left a void, such that the pent up demand for their work would see numerous digs into the archive over the next couple of years and beyond – undead, the maschine rolled on, starting with this ‘4AD’ mini-album in September of 1983…

Bauhaus - '4AD' UK Mini-Album front cover design

^ Bauhaus – ‘4AD’ UK Mini-Album front cover design