Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Tones On Tail – ‘Tones On Tail’ EP (4AD, BAD203, 1982)

Monday, January 14th, 2019

The first 12″ EP release by Tones On Tail, at the time very much the prime focus was shining on Daniel Ash as a solo project from the day job with Bauhaus. The record itself has an interesting history in that respect, with ‘Copper’ having its roots in Bauhaus, but the mix of input from both Ash and fellow Tones collaborator, Glenn Campling, who was famously at this point involved in Bauhaus in the capacity of their road crew, brings a richer variety to it all. Campling’s basslines are somewhat unique on ‘A Bigger Splash’ and ‘Means of Escape’, while the record also showcases some lower end of the market rhythm boxes, long before the arrival of Kevin Haskins to the drum stool in Tones On Tail. The record also established two elements that would become definitive Tones On Tail, the moody and mysterious cover painting and the use of Caslon Antique for the band logo.

Tones on Tail EP front cover design

^ Tones on Tail EP front cover design


(more…)

Colin Newman, ‘Not To’ UK LP (4AD CAD201, 1982)

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Early 1982 saw Colin Newman’s third solo album ‘Not To’ revisit a good number of songs that Wire had first performed live but never recorded as studio takes, in equal turns sating a curiosity but also further underlining Wire’s extinct status. ‘Not To’ dusted off and updated ‘Lorries’, ‘We Meet Under Tables’, ‘Safe’, ‘5/10’ and ‘Remove for Improvement’, all of which had seen live Wire outings previously (and would be documented in rough, live recordings too – initially in 1981 on ‘Document and Eyewitness’, then many years later the remainder on ‘Turns and Strokes’). (There is also ‘You, Me And Happy’, though any Wire recording of this seems to be unheard of.)

Now, it was not only Colin Newman re-purposing this source material – Gilbert & Lewis and their ‘Dome’ project also made use of ‘And Then…’ on ‘Dome 1’ and ‘Ritual View’ on ‘Dome 2’, while Colin Newman himself had already revisited ‘Inventory’ for his initial solo album, 1980’s ‘A – Z’. ‘Alone’ from that same LP shares writing credits of Newman/Lewis, so a Wire connection there too perhaps.

Colin Newman 'Not To' LP front cover design

^ Colin Newman ‘Not To’ LP front cover design

(more…)

Remake, remodel: Wire ‘Change Becomes Us’ and Karl Bartos ‘Off The Record’

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Arriving within a short period of one another, two releases which both delve back into the history books in order to refashion roughs into polished new shapes. Wire have taken a selection of material that previously saw release only as live versions (on 1981’s ‘Document and Eyewitness’ live set and, later, the ‘Turns and Strokes’ compilation gathering together remaining waifs and strays of the period) – so, mostly familiar to long-time Wire fans. Bartos meanwhile has looked back to private musical sketches to bring something new to the world.

Wire 'Changes Becomes Us' limited edition and and Karl Bartos 'Off The Record' CDs

^ Wire 'Changes Becomes Us' limited edition and and Karl Bartos 'Off The Record' CDs

(more…)

Skids – ‘Animation’ UK 7″ single (Virgin, VS323, 1980)

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Included for no other reason than it happens to be one of my all-time favourite sleeve designs, graced with an artwork from none other than Russell Mills [http://www.russellmills.com/], who is identified with the Eno/Sylvian end of the musical spectrum more often than not, I’d say.

Skids 'Animation' front cover design

^ Skids ‘Animation’ front cover design

This ended up being the third single release from ‘Days in Europa’ – I’m sticking firmly to the original 1979 release when I say this – I know that the 1980 remix/re-release also includes ‘Masquerade’, so technically you might say it is the fourth single peeled off the album – but any Skids fan who knew the original first probably finds the 1980 version difficult to swallow, even with a tacked on single from a year before. (And, my goodness, a year was a long time indeed in the late ’70s/early ’80s – in the current era where bands take years between album releases, Skids themselves managed to release two original albums in 1979 – and they were far from the only band with that kind of work ethic.) (more…)

John Foxx and the Maths live in London, October 2011

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

The seemingly evergreen Mr Foxx shows no signs of slowing down his progress and work rate and was in fine form this week, in the company of the Maths, judging by the two live shows in London that I managed to catch, part of a larger UK tour. The first two live outings for the Maths featured a larger complement of members, but these shows have seen a four-piece grouping with the core Maths duo of Foxx on vocals and keyboards along with Benge on electronic percussion (a great set of shiny red Simmons drum pads) and keyboards, joined once again with Serafina Steer (keyboards, bass guitar and backing vocals) plus new member Hannah Peel providing keyboards, violin and backing vocals.

John Foxx

^ John Foxx

First up it was evident that the band themselves were clearly really enjoying the event, which always makes a difference, smiles all round at times. A very ‘live’ experience, for sure. The addition of Hannah Peel’s violin in particular has brought another dimension to old favourites such as ‘Plaza’ and ‘He’s A Liquid’. The set list itself was largely from the ‘Interplay’ album, almost all of it played, plus a track from the just released second album from the Maths (‘The Shape of Things’), ‘The Shadow Of His Former Self’. Along with this were a fair few from Metamatic and some Ultravox! numbers such as Hiroshima Mon Amour, Dislocation et al.

John Foxx

^ John Foxx

(more…)