Archive for the ‘Small objects of desire’ Category

Button badge goodness: More Siouxsie and the Banshees

Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Once again, 8 years on from the last such helping, further new wave button badge goodness to tide over the festive season… this time around, in true ghosts of Christmas past fashion, some more vintage goodies from Siouxsie and the Banshees’ imperial period of 1981-82. And as before, these are from back in the day, not later reprints.

Siouxsie and the Banshees 'A Kiss In The Dreamhouse' era badge

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘A Kiss In The Dreamhouse’ era badge

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Joy Division – ‘Unknown Pleasures’ UK CD (Factory FACD10, 1986)

Monday, October 28th, 2019

Sometimes it is enough just to celebrate something for what it is without needing to explore any obscure variations. With this post, I focus on the first time Joy Division’s wonderful ‘Unknown Pleasures’ made an appearance on CD and where Factory attempted to overcome the tyranny of the ’80s CD jewel case and somehow tap into the spirit of the original sleeve design.

For starters, the ‘car carry case’ – a miniaturised revision of the original sleeve design. Shorn of any need to include the tracklisting on the reverse, it kept things minimal. The tracklisting was provided only on one of the jewel case inserts. Yes, in addition to the carry case, the CD jewel case comes with not one but two inserts. Both of which come printed on similar ‘textured’ card stock to that used on the original album sleeve and the car carry case this time round. I hope that the photos help to capture the textured card stock so you can see for yourself.

One odd thing about it though – at some point in the design process, it looks like the photograph from one side of the inner sleeve has gone awol from this redesign – the originally uncredited photo, ‘Hand Through a Doorway‘ by Ralph Gibson.

Joy Division 'Unknown Pleasures' original UK CD car carry case - front.

^ Joy Division ‘Unknown Pleasures’ original UK CD car carry case – front.

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Joy Division – ‘Substance’ cassette (Factory FACT250C, 1988)

Friday, June 28th, 2019

‘Substance’ was the second compilation album of Joy Division non-album tracks released on Factory, dating from July 1988. Along with 1981’s ‘Still’, it gathers up many of the tracks that first appeared on the band’s single and EP releases, none of which were featured on either ‘Unknown Pleasures’ or ‘Closer’. (Well, other than a different version of ‘She’s Lost Control’, I suppose.)

^ Joy Division – ‘Substance’ cassette – Factory FACT250C, 1988, front case design.

I have chosen to feature the cassette version, since this hails from my pre-CD buying days and therefore was the only access I had to the full version of the release. You see, the vinyl LP version only came with ten tracks, whereas the cassette version came with those same ten tracks on side 1 and an ‘Appendix’ on side 2 that added an additional seven tracks. (The CD version also came with the full seventeen tracks.) Somewhat annoyingly, rather than present everything in chronological order, the ‘Appendix’ device ensures that things get mixed up. (more…)

New Musik ‘Greatest Hits’ Promo 7″ EP (GTO, XP112, 1981)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

This unusual release gathered together New Musik’s six singles to date, all tracks being edited down to lengths unique to this release, playing at 33 1⁄3. I am unsure of the date of release, but perhaps it either came around about the ‘Anywhere’ LP in early 1981 or the ‘Planet Doesn’t Mind’ single from late 1981. Although the label design is plain white, it seems to be before the period where GTO records were fully absorbed into the Epic roster, which their 1982 releases from ‘All You Need Is Love’ were the case.

^ New Musik ‘Greatest Hits’ Promo 7″ EP (GTO, XP112, 1981)

The first four singles run, all from the ‘From A To B’ LP are pretty strong, catchy and gave the band their biggest successes. By the time of the two singles from ‘Anywhere’, the sound was polished to perfection but the music took longer to absorb and its sophistication proved to be a harder sell – neither ‘Luxury’ nor ‘While You Wait’ would repeat chart placings of the earlier singles. (more…)

Button badge goodness: Cocteau Twins

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

These badges all date from 10 December 1984, which – no coincidence – is when I saw Cocteau Twins play live at Edinburgh Playhouse. These were all on sale at the merchandise stall, along with a T-shirt design I bought but has long ago passed on to T-shirt heaven, through wear and tear.

Cocteau Twins 1984 badge set 1

^ Cocteau Twins 1984 badge set 1

There were two separate sets of 1″ button badges available, along with a more expensive enamel/metal badge, which was particularly beautiful.

Cocteau Twins 1984 enamel/metal badge

^ Cocteau Twins 1984 enamel/metal badge

I used to have the accompanying paper merchandise stall flyer that documented all the available merch along with prices, but it seems to have disappeared over the years. If I come across it again I’ll scan it and post it here for reference. (more…)