Archive for the ‘Small objects of desire’ Category

Year by Year: Cocteau Twins – 1983

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

7″ Flexidisc: ‘Vinyl’ Magazine (‘Speak No Evil’)

‘Speak No Evil’ was intended to be one of the tracks on a planned debut 7″ single for 4AD by the band. That ended up being dropped when the recording of ‘Garlands’ was judged to be a stronger opening release on its own, so ‘Speak No Evil’ was instead given away as a flexidisc with the Dutch music magazine ‘Vinyl’. Obviously somewhat crackly in this flexidisc form, it was a welcome addition as a bonus track on the 1986 CD release of ‘Garlands’, but was removed on subsequent re-releases which opted to feature only the original eight track album running order. It has however recently been included on the four disc various artists compilation, ‘Make More Noise! Women In Independent UK Music 1977 – 1987’ released on Cherry Red in 2020. It has a downbeat, proto-‘Garlands’ type sound – the nearest comparison on ‘Garlands’ would likely be ‘Shallow Then Halo’, I feel. The flip side features the wonderful Thomas Leer with ‘Who’s Foolin’ Who’ – stylistically a good way away from the Cocteau Twins sound, originally also exclusive to this flexidisc, in recent years it found a home on his ‘1982’ compilation.

'Vinyl' Magazine flexidisc - Cocteau Twins 'Speak No Evil' label side

^ ‘Vinyl’ Magazine flexidisc – Cocteau Twins ‘Speak No Evil’ label side


Wire – ‘It’s All In The Brochure’ CD (Pink Flag, PF2, 2000)

Saturday, August 28th, 2021

The accompanying live document to the ‘Third Day’ rehearsal recordings CD as featured in the previous post‘It’s All In The Brochure’ captures a selection of not only Wire’s performance but also the various other supporting acts from the occasion of their concert at the Royal Festival Hall, 26th February 2000.

Wire - ‘It's All In The Brochure’ CD EP front cover design

^ Wire – ‘It’s All In The Brochure’ CD EP front cover design


Wire – ‘Third Day’ CD EP (Pink Flag, PF1, 2000)

Saturday, August 21st, 2021

This small object of desire was initially available for sale from the merch stall upon the occasion of Wire’s second ‘reactivation’ (their third coming, I suppose) – a concert at the Royal Festival Hall [RFH], London on 26th February 2000. By that time, despite their absence after having reverted to the three-piece format of WIR and it having come to an end in the first few years of the ’90s, the band’s critical stock had risen, no doubt thanks to obvious Britpop admirers such as Elastica, Blur, et al, through the mid to latter half of that decade, but also along with the good work that Wire Mail Order [WMO] had been doing in curating the recorded legacy meantime. The vibe meant that selling out a venue as large as the Royal Festival Hall was possible in order to welcome back Wire on returning, once again. (Such a venue and audience was not necessarily a good thing, in my experience, but more of that later…)

Wire - ‘Third Day’ CD EP front cover design

^ Wire – ‘Third Day’ CD EP front cover design


Heaven 17 – ‘Endless’ UK Boxed Cassette (Virgin, TCVB 2383, 1986)

Saturday, August 14th, 2021

The first compilation/remix album by Heaven 17 (though by no means the last), ‘Endless’ is quite a curio on cassette format for a number of reasons. First off, this limited edition boxed version – packaged up in an elegant, black linen box with gold print, not a million miles away from the format that Factory Records had adopted for their cassette releases of their mid-eighties period (and which now prove very collectable indeed).

Heaven 17 'Endless' boxed edition cassette - front

^ Heaven 17 ‘Endless’ boxed edition cassette – front

Secondly, of course, some good old version craziness in the music to be found on the cassette. Apart from the ‘endless’ segue concept that is responsible for many changes to be found in the music, headline news is that the cassette edition came with four extra tracks compared to the CD version and amongst these is a 5’05” mix of ‘Play To Win’ that I had never come across anywhere else. (It has since finally been released on the ‘Play To Win (The Virgin Years)’ boxed set, I believe, though I don’t have this set.) It resembles the longer ‘BEF Disco Mix’ from the original 12″ single release, but edited down a good deal. (I tried out a digital recreation of it, hence why I know how much editing down it has had – no simple early fade out or the like, oh no – someone went to town with some enthusiasm all the way through the track!) (more…)

Button Badge Goodness: Gary Numan (Part 2)

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Well, I never – having boasted in the first post of this series that there were so many of these little lapel-affixed fellows in the collection it may run to quite a few posts, it’s been six years since then! Better late than never, I suppose, here is a further trawl through the haul…

Gary Numan - red/white striped button badge

^ Gary Numan – red/white striped button badge