Archive for the ‘Side by side’ Category

Side by side: Wire – ‘Our Swimmer’ and ‘Second Length’ versions, versions

Sunday, March 28th, 2021


Our Swimmer

‘Our Swimmer’ dates from a late 1979 recording session* at Magritte Studios which also witnessed the recording of ‘Go Ahead’ (which would be released on the B side of the ‘Map Ref. 41N 93W’ 7″ single) and ‘Midnight Bahnhoff Cafe’ (which would be released on the B side of the ‘Our Swimmer’ 7″ single). It was after the recording sessions that produced the ‘154’ album and the first time without the involvement of long-term producer, Mike Thorne – self-produced by the band. It was proposed as a single release while the band were still signed to EMI records, but rejected by the company.

* The 2014 re-issue of ‘Document and Eyewitness’ states ‘recorded at Magritte Studio, Harmondsworth Dec 1979’ – but I question that date if indeed it was the same session that also produced ‘Go Ahead’, since it was already released long before December. The ‘Nine Sevens’ singles box set also gets it wrong by stating 1980 as the recording year.

Wire - 'Our Swimmer' and 'Second Length' singles

^ Wire – ‘Our Swimmer’ and ‘Second Length’ singles


Gang Of Four – ‘What We All Want’ UK 7″ and 12″ (EMI, EMI 5416 and 12EMI 5416, 1981)

Sunday, March 7th, 2021

The road to the Gang Of Four’s second album, ‘Solid Gold’, was something of a tentative, stop-start affair, looking back. Although the album itself in its final form was recorded in January 1981 with Jimmy Douglass sharing the producer role along with the band themselves, no fewer than five of its tracks had been released before the album on singles or compilation album appearances*.

‘What We All Want’ would be the track lifted from the album as a single immediately prior to the album’s eventual release however, ramping up the funk side of the band’s muscular rhythm section in particular into a hard-hitting battering ram of a single that stands up well forty years on from its original release.

7″ single

For the single’s A side, ‘What We All Want’ was edited down to 3’23” – losing its scratchy vibrato style opening guitar-only rhythm that the LP/12″ version features), so it jumps right on in.

Gang Of Four – 'What We All Want' UK 7″ front cover

^ Gang Of Four – ‘What We All Want’ UK 7″ front cover


Simple Minds – ‘Celebrate’ UK 7″ and 12″ (Arista ARIST 394 and ARIST 12394, 1981)

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Released as the second single from 1980’s ‘Empires and Dance’, the band’s third album on Zoom/Arista records, truth be told Arista appear to have largely given up on the band by this time and it seems to have been a half-hearted push at best to back the single on its release in February 1981. Hell, there seems to have been a long-running fault-line between Zoom and Arista stretching back to 1979, with music press reports of label boss Bruce Findlay looking to ditch Arista and license with another major as early as October 1979. This particular single was released near enough forty years ago, on Friday 20 February 1981. Even at the time of release, music press gossip had them down as soon to sign with either Virgin or Polydor. Within a few months they would have their first single release on Virgin records, the abrasive funk clatter of ‘The American’, and the slow but steady rise in popularity would commence. How quickly it all moved back then jumping labels and swiftly back with new material. (See Japan and their own toot de suite move from Ariola Hansa to Virgin…)

Simple Minds - 'Celebrate' UK 7" front cover design

^Simple Minds – ‘Celebrate’ UK 7″ front cover design

Regardless of that back story… With the original album version coming in at 5’03” in length, the singles feature different mixes on both 7″ and 12″. First off, the 7″ buzzcut treatment. (more…)

Side by side: Brian Eno and John Cale – ‘One Word’ CD singles

Monday, September 7th, 2020

What news it was at the time of the ‘Wrong Way Up’ album release that Brian Eno had returned to vocal duties and was actually to be heard singing on record once more. As big a thing as his continual questioning in interviews in those first few years of why wasn’t he singing anymore… Of course, he had still been singing, just not centre-stage on his own albums. Just listen to Talking Heads for example and even closer to this period he had sung on his take of ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’ included on the soundtrack of the movie ‘Married To The Mob’ in 1988.

Brian Eno and John Cale - 'One Word' UK CD single front cover design

^ Brian Eno and John Cale – ‘One Word’ UK CD single front cover design


Side by side: Brian Eno – ‘Music for Films (Directors Edition)’ promo UK LP (EG Records EGM1, 1976) and ‘Music for Films’ UK LP (EG/Polydor 2310 623, 1978)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Brian Eno’s ‘Music for Films’ has a complicated history and in this post I’ll do my best to unravel the differences between the original 1976 promo-only release, its 1978 wider commercial release and how the stray tracks have reappeared on CD in later years.

Brian Eno 'Music for Films' original 1976 promotional 'Director's Edition' - front cover

^ Brian Eno ‘Music for Films’ original 1976 promotional ‘Director’s Edition’ – front cover