Archive for the ‘Region crazy’ Category

Wire – ‘Life In The Manscape’ US CD single (Enigma/Mute, 7 75553-2 / MUTE 107, 1990)

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

‘Life In The Manscape’ turned out to be the one and only single release from Wire’s fan-testing ‘Manscape’ album, a period where the band’s insistence on devotion to process (in this case MIDI/computer-based recording and editing) dragged them well out of shape from the nominal ‘beat combo’ of the preceding Mute releases. (And even those releases had already had their fair share of playing second fiddle to the technology…) The album was viewed by Wire as their ‘1990’ album, a deliberate change in direction and methodology. I personally have a lot of time for it, but the band themselves have long since distanced themselves from it and many’s the fan who have either joined them in that view or would hope for some 21st century remix of it to sort it out.

Wire - Life in the Manscape US CD front insert design

^ Wire – Life in the Manscape US CD front insert design

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Ultravox ‘The Voice’ Spanish 7″ single (Chrysalis, CHS-2559, 1981)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Nothing especially exotic when it comes to the musical content of this 45, fine as it is nevertheless – very much Ultravox mark II at the high water mark of their splendidly noir pomp. The A and B sides match the UK release, the former being an edited version of the LP cut, the latter one of Ultravox’s mark II’s best ever B sides, IMHO, with Warren Cann on lead vocals. No, the chief attraction of this 45 is the cover, which broke with the tradition of most territories equivalent releases by ditching the (admittedly very good) Peter Saville (or Estudio Saville, as his nom de plume would have it on this outing) design – instead, the cover features one of photographer Brian Griffin‘s sumptuous shots from the ‘Rage In Era’ period, Ultravox in a timeless retro style in front of a vanishing point horizon. It did at least keep a similar in vein ‘brush script’ style typeface for the titles, the A side of which is also translated as ‘La Voz’ for this release. There does also seem to be another Spanish 7″ edition that features the regular picture sleeve design, it may be a promo only affair though? This is the one for me though.

Ultravox, 'The Voice' ('La Voz') Spanish 7 inch single front cover design

^ Ultravox, ‘The Voice’ (‘La Voz’) Spanish 7 inch single front cover design

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Xmal Deutschland: ‘Incubus Succubus II’ Japanese 12″ EP (4AD/Nexus International, K15P-518, 1983)

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Some while back, I covered the original West German release of Xmal Deutschland’s second single, ‘Incubus Succubus’ – read more here. Easily one of their most vital pieces, having signed to 4AD records the band saw fit to re-record it in 1983 and release a new version, this time produced by 4AD label head Ivo along with John Fryer. Released in the UK on 7″ and 12″ pressings, the version was not radically different from the first take, but even so it somehow managed to acquire a unique number to differentiate it. Something of an archetypal Xmal gothic, lupine howl, it appealed a great deal and was my initial entry into all things Xmal in the autumn of 1983. The bass-propelled, tomtom-heavy ‘Vito’ on the flip side was equally exciting – and fighting above the jagged guitars, the gothic organ tones of the Casio MT30 keyboard – small but deadly!

Xmal Deutschland: ‘Incubus Succubus 2’ Japanese 12 inch EP

^ Xmal Deutschland: ‘Incubus Succubus 2’ Japanese 12 inch EP

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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

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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

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