Archive for the ‘Region crazy’ Category

Ultravox! – ‘ROckwrok’ West German 7″ single (Island, 11 655 AT), 1977

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Another tasty West German picture sleeve design that differed markedly from the UK issue – whether that was to John Foxx’s satisfaction is unlikely, given that the original UK issue was designed by him and showcases what are now classic John Foxx design traits in its cut-up and juxtaposed figures. But this sleeve keeps with some kind of low-tech xerox style if nothing else, in lurid red and black. The flimsy, glossy paper used for the sleeve means that tracking down mint copies is especially difficult.

Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design

^ Ultravox 'ROckwrok' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design


Ultravox! – ‘Frozen Ones’ West German 7″ single (Island, 11 815 AT), 1977

Monday, June 24th, 2013

One to sate the sweet tooth of any fan of all things 7″ and collectable in the world of Ultravox, this was a West German only release that paired a fairly raucous LP cut, ‘Frozen Ones’, along with an exclusive remix of one of Ultravox’s finest moments on the flip side, in the shape of ‘Man Who Dies Everyday’ – and all finished off nicely in a unique picture sleeve design – manna from heaven for scratching that collector’s itch – if you can find a copy, as it’s not too easy to come by.

Ultravox! 'Frozen Ones' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design

^ Ultravox! 'Frozen Ones' West German 7 inch single front sleeve design


Japan – ‘Nightporter’ Japanese 12″ ‘Pic Label’ series single (Virgin, VIP-4181), 1982

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

In a previous post, I looked at the UK single release of ‘Nightporter’, which saw a 7″, 12″ and unique DJ edit 7″ editions. Another notable issue is the Japanese 12″ 6-song ‘Pic Label’ series EP (Virgin, VIP-4181). Retaining the same design for the front as the UK 12″ release, the rear featured a band pic along with the titles for the featured songs – which gathered together a number of edits and non-LP tracks that had surfaced originally on UK singles. Of note, despite being a 12″ single, it is the 5’02” remix that is featured, as per the regular UK 7″ single, as opposed to the longer 12″ remix you might have expected to find. Similarly, despite being titled as ‘Long Version’, ‘Ghosts’ as featured on this release is in fact the same 7″ edit as per the UK single release. Finishing off side one, ‘The Art of Parties’ is the live ‘version’ that first appeared on the flip side of the ‘Ghosts’ 7″. Side two features a couple of tracks from the ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’ 7″ single along with ‘Life Without Buildings’, the superb B side of the original ‘Art of Parties’ single release.

Side One:

  1. Nightporter (Remix) (5:02)
  2. Ghosts (Single Edit – listed as ‘Long Version’) (3:52)
  3. The Art Of Parties (Version) (5:33)

Side Two:

  1. The Experience Of Swimming (4:02)
  2. Life Without Buildings (6:39)
  3. The Width Of A Room (3:14)

One of the most striking features is of course the large sized picture labels, which make this release all the more appealing, even if by this time the band themselves probably would have felt they’d moved on from such obviously pop-star trappings. (more…)

Gang of Four – ‘Another Day/Another Dollar’ US Special Edition 12″ EP (Warner Brothers, MINI 3646, 1982)

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

‘Another Day/Another Dollar’ is a 12″ vinyl EP by Gang of Four, released in January 1982 in the US. It gathers together stray tracks previously unreleased in the US from the two UK singles that were issued immediately before and after 1981’s ‘Solid Gold’ LP – plus some exclusive material in the form of a couple of live recordings, again of ‘Solid Gold’ tracks, only available on this EP.

Another Day/Another Dollar front cover design

^ Another Day/Another Dollar front cover design

For me, this period of the Gang of Four was absolutely spot on – whether it be the funk stylings bringing that extra edge to proceedings while the caustic intensity of Andy Gill’s guitar interrupts as much as it drives, or the multi-vocal barrage – in particular the ‘To Hell With Poverty’/’Capital (It Fail’s us now)’ single was something special. Sadly, it marked the last outing for Dave Allen on bass from this original line-up, who would depart during a US tour. (more…)

Specimen – ‘Batastrophe’ US Mini-Album (Sire, 1-25054, 1983)

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Ahhh, the mini-album. Here in the UK these tended to be fairly few and far between, more of a custom delicacy. An act would normally have precise intent to indulge in such a format – something more than an EP (which were the more popular format), but not the full-on assault of an album. Think of something such as the wonderful ‘Chimera’ by Bill Nelson, for example. But overseas… well. These territorial releases would be (more often than not) a chance to glue together several earlier single releases, 12″ remixes or the like into a more substantial offering. The most common markets to proffer these goodies would be Japan, the US and Canada. And I’ve certainly featured a few examples in the past, such as these Japanese examples from Flying Lizards and  John Foxx and an Australian Ultravox! item.

Best of all would be the releases that brought something new to the party. Not simply content with just cobbling a few old singles together, these would include a couple of otherwise unavailable tracks, or new versions/mixes. ‘Batastrophe’ by the Specimen is just such an example. Although the band had a fair repertoire to draw on, while they lived the first time around, they released very few records – not even so much as an album. ‘Batastrophe’ is as close as it would come in their first life.

Specimen 'Batastrophe' US Mini-Album front cover design

^ Specimen ‘Batastrophe’ US Mini-Album front cover design