Archive for the ‘Side by side’ Category

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


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