Archive for the ‘Side by side’ Category

Bill Nelson – Chimera and Savage Gestures for Charms Sake

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Two Bill Nelson releases hailing from 1983, both of the mini-album variety that was so very much in vogue at the time. The first of these, ‘Chimera’, capped off Bill’s short but highly productive two year stint with Mercury records, the second, ‘Savage Gestures for Charms Sake’, saw the return to Cocteau Records as a going commercial concern once more. Both very enjoyable in their own way, they were later brought together on a single Cocteau Records CD for re-issue before later being being split apart again with ‘Chimera’ upgraded to a single CD expanded edition in 2005, while ‘Savage Gestures for Charms Sake’, other than a long since deleted stand-alone re-issue on CD in 1989, currently languishes in the wastelands. First up…


Bill Nelson - 'Chimera' UK mini album front cover design

^ Bill Nelson – ‘Chimera’ UK mini album front cover design

It has an unusual back story, this album. Recorded late 1982 at The Garden and Riverside Studios, it apparently started life with the intention of being a bridging four track EP between 1982’s ‘The Love That Whirls’ album and the next intended full-length album, but ended up a six track mini-album released around the time the intended album should have been with the addition of two extra tracks. (Production work for amongst others Gary Numan and The Units got in the way…) (more…)

Side by side: Hard Corps – ‘Metal and Flesh’ album versions

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

This post will look at the various releases of the Hard Corps compilation album, ‘Metal and Flesh’ and its multiple mixes and selections across a small but surprisingly varied releases. I have posted about Hard Corps before, they remain, even after all these years, a favourite. At a time when bands were increasingly content to rely on the clean gleam of the new digital instrumentation wave, Hard Corps were synthesising their own sounds from a variety of elements. In the rhythm department in particular, none of the obvious go-to sources of the era, save for a Roland  TR-808 to provide a basic chassis in early stages of a track’s development, swapped out as they progressed for their urgent, hard, insistent pure electronic beats driving the music. Whether in the more in your face and up tempo signature pieces as ‘Metal and Flesh’, ‘Dirty’ or ‘Desolation Land’, or on the slower, more melancholic works such as ‘The Bell’ or ‘Respirer’. My goodness, how well did Regine Fetete’s abstractions describe in fragments such bittersweet worlds to marry with the music produced by Hugh Ashton, Robert Doran and Clive Pierce.

Hard Corps ‘Metal and Flesh’ 1990 CD

The CD was the first version of the album to appear, I received my copy by mail order on 19th September 1990 (having ordered it from an advert for Beat Route mail order back in August). The entry gives an earlier release date of 18th June 1990 though. I don’t know the background to the album and how it came to be. Seems to gather together earlier, harder and more melancholic tracks along with later period ones where the sound has softened a little over time. I have no idea if it is really as clear cut as that, but a I wonder if there was some kind of change, perhaps related to the period where the band’s period with Polydor must have soured and led to be a barren period of activity. 1986 in particular saw, for example, little if any live activity.

Hard Corps 'Metal and Flesh' 1990 CD - front cover design

^ Hard Corps ‘Metal and Flesh’ 1990 CD – front cover design


Side by side: Wire – ‘Silk Skin Paws’ UK 7″, 12″ and CD singles [Mute, MUTE 84, 12 MUTE 84, CD MUTE 84, 1988]

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

Lifted as the second single to promote the band’s 1988 ‘A Bell Is A Cup (Until It Is Struck)’ album, the opening track ‘Silk Skin Paws’ was remixed for 12” and 7”, with a ‘Filofax’ format 3” CD single along for the ride for added ‘80s gimmickry.*

Wire - Silk Skin Paws - UK CD, 7" and 12" singles front covers

Wire – Silk Skin Paws – UK CD, 7″ and 12″ singles front covers


Side by side: New Order – ‘Ceremony’ 2019 12” reissues and 1981 originals

Saturday, December 28th, 2019

Rounding off 2019, time to look back to earlier in the year and also 1981, with New Order’s ‘Ceremony’ re-issues and originals (at least the UK 12” ones anyway).

New Order - Ceremony - 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue front sleeve design.

^ New Order – Ceremony – 2019 UK 12 inch version 1 re-issue front sleeve design.

Accompanying the super deluxe box set re-issue of the ‘Movement’ album, the bands first four 12” single releases were re-pressed and issued afresh in March 2019 to support it. Let’s not get into the whole debate on whether this was a rather odd way of going about things, given that the super deluxe box set did not include any of the recordings from these 12” singles… Ho hum. And when I say the first four… well, two of these are versions of the one song, ‘Ceremony’, of course. (more…)

Side by side: The Human League – ‘Being Boiled’ on Fast Product 1978/1980

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

An unarguable release of merit, The Human League’s debut single ‘Being Boiled/’Circus of Death’, issued to the world via Bob Last’s ‘Fast Product‘ label in 1978 and which had the likes of David Bowie proclaiming them as the future (hehehe). If you were there in the day you’d have the original issue, but being that bit behind the curve, I came across this original recording of the song (as opposed to the ‘Travelogue’ era reprogramming by the Boys of Buddah…) when it was first re-issued in 1980.

The Human League 'Being Boiled' Fast Product release sleeve design

^ The Human League ‘Being Boiled’ Fast Product release sleeve design.

1982, surely, I hear you say… as in when it was a post-‘Don’t You Want Me’ hit which prompted their then current label Virgin to cry foul and re-release their own later re-recording of the song on 45 format? (more…)