Archive for the ‘Versions, versions’ Category

Peter Murphy – ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ – versions

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Having walked away from the stalled Dalis Car, Peter Murphy would release his debut solo album, ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ in the middle of 1986 and as this post will document, it would spawn a large number of version craziness for most of the album tracks. From late 1985’s first single, ‘Final Solution’, into 1987 and the release of the title track as a 12″ remix, along the way, a unique Canadian release of the LP would see a totally different album cover design and selection of tracks for good measure, all pointing to quite a bit of mixing and re-mixing going on around this release.

UK Should The World Fail To Fall Apart LP front cover

^ UK Should The World Fail To Fall Apart LP front cover

The Light Pours Out Of Me

The very first release to feature a track that would appear on the parent album came in the shape of the Beggars Banquet budget compilation sampler album ‘One Pound Ninety Nine (A Music Sampler Of The State Of Things) (Beggars Banquet, BBB1) – this included a version of ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’ that was unique to this album, and noticeably different to the version that appeared half a year later on the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ album. This version has subsequently been released digitally on the expanded 2CD Cherry Red Records re-issue of the album from 2011.

One Pound Ninety Nine (A Music Sampler Of The State Of Things)

^ One Pound Ninety Nine (A Music Sampler Of The State Of Things)

Final Solution

Next up was the ‘Final Solution’ single, in November 1985. Initially on 7″ and 12″ versions (the 12″ coming with a free poster to boot), it was joined some weeks later by a limited edition second 12″ remix single. In addition, a Canadian 12″ EP with a totally different and unique cover design would also subsequently appear. These releases would account for a number of versions of not only ‘Final Solution’, but also the additional B side tracks.

Starting with the UK 7″ single of ‘Final Solution’ (Beggars Banquet,BEG 143), this featured the same mix that would eventually appear on the LP, at 3’56” in length. The B side featured ‘The Answer Is Clear’ (Version), clocking in at 3’13”. When it later appeared on the LP, this track was fairly radically different from this rawer, stripped back single mix and would be doubled in total running time. This single version can be found on CD on both the 2011 2CD Cherry Red expanded re-issue of the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ album and also the Japanese ‘Compositions’ compilation.

UK Final Solution 12 inch single front cover

^ UK Final Solution 12 inch single front cover

On the first of the UK 12″ singles for ‘Final Solution’ (Beggars Banquet BEG 143T), the A side featured ‘Final Solution’ (Club Mix) (Mix by Stephan Gerbier – Edit by The Latin Rascals), coming in at 5’30”. This can also be found on CD on the Japanese ‘Compositions’ compilation CD – however, it is NOT featured on the 2011 Cherry Red Records expanded 2 CD edition of the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ album – the ‘Club Mix’ that is included on the second CD of that set is a totally different and otherwise unreleased mix! Side 2 of the first UK 12″ single then features ‘Final Solution’ (Full Version), at 4’47” – this is to be found on CD on both the 2011 2CD Cherry Red expanded re-issue and also the Japanese ‘Compositions’ compilation. The second track on the B side of this first 12″ single is the same version of ‘The Answer Is Clear’ (Version) as found on the 7″.

The second UK 12″ single of ‘Final Solution’ (Third and Final Mix) (Beggars Banquet BEG 143TP) appeared a couple of weeks after the first, came with a sleeve design worked up from the back of the first release and a unique remix by Ivo of 4AD fame on the A side, at 5’50”. The B side of this 12″ contains two of the tracks from the first 12″ – the ‘Final Solution’ (Club Mix) (Mix by Stephan Gerbier – Edit by The Latin Rascals) and once again the same version of ‘The Answer Is Clear’ (Version) as found on the 7″.

Final Solution (Third and Final Mix) UK 12 inch single front cover

^ Final Solution (Third and Final Mix) UK 12 inch single front cover

The last release for ‘Final Solution’ as a single was in Canada, in the form of ‘The Final Solution EP’ (Beggars Banquet/Vertigo, SOVE2359), a 12″ that came with an altogether different sleeve design and a free poster with a different photo to the UK 12″ single poster. This Canadian 12″ managed to include two of the previous versions of the song, the ‘Club Mix’ and the ‘Third and Final Version’, plus ‘The Answer Is Clear’ (Version) and also a whole new track in the form of ‘Canvas Beauty’ (The Fast Mix), at 5’54”, which was otherwise unreleased at this time. This version of ‘Canvas Beauty’ is radically different from the LP ‘Romance Version’ mix and has since been released digitally on the second CD of the Cherry Red 2CD re-issue as ‘Canvas Beauty’ (Fast Version).

Canadian Final Solution EP 12 inch single front cover

^ Canadian Final Solution EP 12 inch single front cover

Blue Heart

Leading up the album’s UK release, ‘Blue Heart’ came out as the second single from the album. In the UK this appeared on both 7″ and 12″ versions. This was a relatively straightforward release – the 7″ of ‘Blue Heart’ (Beggars Banquet, BEG162) featured the same version at 4’27” that would appear on the album. The B side features ‘Canvas Beauty’ (Up Version) at 5’12” – this is the same as the previously released ‘The Fast Mix’ from the Canadian ‘Final Solution EP’, but fades out much earlier, hence the shorter duration.

UK Blue Heart 12 inch single front cover

^ UK Blue Heart 12 inch single front cover

The 12″ version (Beggars Banquet, BEG162T) features a longer version of ‘Blue Heart’ on the A side – this would eventually see a digital release on the 2011 expanded 2CD Cherry Red release of ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’.

Some time later there was also a ‘Blue Heart’ Canadian 12″ EP (Beggars Banquet/Vertigo, PEP4 334) that combined a selection of various tracks, two of which were the 7″ and Extended 12″ mixes of ‘Blue Heart’. It also includes the LP mixes of ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’ and ‘Canvas Beauty’ (Romance Version) along with the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ remix, somewhat confusingly listed as (Version), that would be found elsewhere on the A side of the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ 12″ single from early 1987 – more on that below.

Canadian Blue Heart 12 inch single front cover

^ Canadian Blue Heart 12 inch single front cover

Tale of the Tongue

I include ‘Tale of the Tongue’ here as, though it wasn’t on the original UK album release, it was later included on the Canadian version of the album. In the UK, the 7″ single (Beggars Banquet, BEG174) featured a 4’18” version on the A side, with a new ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ (Version) at 4’35” duration on the B side. Neither the A side or B side versions on this 7″ have ever been re-issued on any CD versions to date – oddly though, the 7″ version of ‘Tale of the Tongue’ can be bought as part of the digital download version of the 2011 expanded edition remaster, such as from iTunes and Amazon. No idea why it was not included on the CD. The version of ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ is clearly derived from the LP mix, but somewhat stripped down and less cluttered by comparison.

Should The World Fail To Fall Apart Canadian LP front cover

^ Should The World Fail To Fall Apart Canadian LP front cover

The 12″ single (Beggars Banquet, BEG174) features a longer version of ‘Tale of the Tongue’ on the A side at 6’28”. This longer version can be found on CD on both the 2011 2CD Cherry Red expanded re-issue of the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ album and also the Japanese ‘Compositions’ compilation.

Should The World Fail To Fall Apart

The album’s title track was released as a 12″ only single in early 1987 (Beggars Banquet, BEG179T) – this featured another remix of the track, though to add to the confusion, it is also listed only as ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ (Version) on the sleeve and label – make no mistake though, this is a very different mix to both the preceding LP mix and the version that had been on the B side of the ‘Tale of the Tongue’ singles. The credits note additional recording and mix by Hugh Jones. This version has been included on both the 2011 2CD Cherry Red expanded re-issue of the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ album (where it is listed as ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ (Version 3) and also the Japanese ‘Compositions’ compilation CD.

^ Should The World Fail To Fall Apart UK 12 inch single front cover

^ Should The World Fail To Fall Apart UK 12 inch single front cover

The B side of this 12″ single also saw a further two new versions of tracks from the parent album, with ‘Confessions’ (Remix) and ‘Jemal’ (Version Two) included. Both of these have been included on the 2011 2CD Cherry Red expanded re-issue and earlier on the Japanese ‘Compositions’ compilation CD.

Other versions…

The 2011 2CD Cherry Red expanded re-issue of the ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ album saw a few previously unreleased recordings/mixes made available;

  • ‘Stay’ (4’52”) – Peter’s cover version of this David Bowie song that originally appeared on his ‘Station To Station’ album.
  • ‘Final Solution’ (Club Mix) (5’14”) – this is yet another mix and very different to the original ‘Club Mix’ from the ‘Final Solution’ singles that I have been referring to as (Club Mix) (Mix by Stephan Gerbier – Edit by The Latin Rascals)
  • ‘Should The World Fail To Fall Apart’ (Unreleased Version) (6’46”) – this is yet another mix of this track, somewhat more meandering and dub-like, with a hefty kick drum backbeat propelling it forward and prominent violin figure emerging towards the end that does not appear to be heard on the other mixes.

There are also ‘Confessions’ (Live) and ‘God Sends’ (Live) that appeared on the 7″ and 12″ singles of ‘Indigo Eyes’ in the UK – these have appeared digitally on CD on the Canadian ‘All Night Long’ CD EP (Beggars Banquet/Vertigo, 870 413-2).

The following table gathers together all of the known versions in a handy cutout-and-keep guide!

Canvas Beauty LP / Romance Version (4’47”) Up Version (5’12”) The Fast Mix / Fast Version (5’54”)
The Light Pours Out Of Me LP (3’17”) Original Version (3’17”)
Confessions LP (5’41”) Remix (5’14”) Live (5’39”)
Should The World Fail To Fall Apart LP (4’49”) Version (4’35”) Version 3 (5’06”) Unreleased Version (6’46”)
Never Man LP (6’14”)
God Sends LP (5’50”) Live (6’14”)
Blue Heart LP / 7″ (4’27”) 12″ Extended (5’49”)
The Answer Is Clear LP (6’28”) Version (3’13”)
Final Solution LP / 7″ (3’56”) Full Version (4’47”) Club Mix (5’30”) Third and Final Mix (5’50”) Club Mix (Version) (5’14”)
Jemal LP (5’32”) Version 2 (5’28”)
Tale of the Tongue LP / 12″ (6’29”) 7″ (4’18”)
Stay CD (4’52”)

All timings are approximate and intended largely as an aid to differentiate the versions.

Colin Newman ‘Feigned Hearing’ 7″ single (Crammed Discs, CRAM13457)

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Side A: Feigned Hearing [Edit] 3.30
Side B: I Can Hear Your… [Remix] 3.07

This delightful little single took two tracks from Colin Newman’s ‘Commercial Suicide’ album in some feint hope of contradicting the album’s title perhaps. The A side is certainly a cheery, light, keyboard constructed piece, beat-less through a complete absence of any percussion – you can’t help but feel its chances of success as a 45 were always likely to be limited given that lack of backbeat. But who knows what the reasoning was. It’s well documented in the mighty fine Wire tome, ‘Everybody Loves a History’, that the mid-’80s period saw Colin Newman opting out of the music industry rat-race by way of an extended trip to India. On returning, re-investigating some keyboard-based demos made prior to the trip, pairing up with new partners in both John/Sean Bonnar (musically) and Malka Spigel (musically and by way of marriage), the subsequent album, ‘Commercial Suicide’, was a strong, original work and cheerfully raised two fingers to any notions of commercial success by throwing away any attempts at tracing from the Wire template the previous albums ‘Not To’ and ‘A-Z’ had both clearly drawn upon. The resulting album was still clearly the work of Newman but shot through with a subtler, minimal method and instrumentally a fair remove from the more recognisably Wire-like guitar/bass/drums of ‘Not To’ in particular.

Colin Newman 'Feigned Hearing' 7 inch single front cover design

^ Colin Newman ‘Feigned Hearing’ 7 inch single front cover design

On this single, ‘Feigned Hearing’ clocks in marginally shorter than its album source by near half a minute – its not mentioned at all on the sleeve or label that it is an edit, but the editing scissors get busy from the off, it doesn’t take much time to get to the opening vocals. Other than this though, its not radically different. Over on the flipside however, ‘I Can Hear Your…’ is noticeably re-arranged. The album version is quite brooding, fading in with its heartbeat like electronic rhythm pulse early on and building up from there. The single remix starts with vocals and cellos, being joined by keyboard pads, the rhythmic pulse coming in somewhat later, more prominent. ‘I Can Hear Your…’, although minimal and keyboard based like all of ‘Commercial Suicide’, is a piece you could easily imagine being used for Wire purposes.

Colin Newman 'Feigned Hearing' 7 inch single rear cover design

^ Colin Newman ‘Feigned Hearing’ 7 inch single rear cover design

It’s a pity that neither of these versions made it on to the CD version of ‘Commercial Suicide’ when it was re-released back in 2003, both seemingly only to be found on this 7″ to this day. Well worth seeking out though if you remain a fan of all things Colin Newman.

Colin Newman 'Feigned Hearing' 7 inch single A side label design

^ Colin Newman ‘Feigned Hearing’ 7 inch single A side label design

Colin Newman 'Feigned Hearing' 7 inch single B side label design

^ Colin Newman ‘Feigned Hearing’ 7 inch single B side label design

Gary Numan ‘Berserker’ – Numa variations

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

‘Berserker’ was the first album released on Gary Numan’s own label after he decided to up sticks and move on from his previous long established Beggars Banquet/WEA home. Numan mentioned in his ‘Praying to the Aliens’ autobiography how he felt that he had outstayed his welcome there, with the attitude that his success had plateaued at an acceptably comfortable level of sales, as evinced by the lack of promotional support, particularly for 1983’s ‘Warriors’ album. Intended as a fresh start, this new home, ‘Numa’ records, would see three Numan album releases in its original incarnation from 1984-1987, before Numan inked a new deal with IRS records for 1988’s ‘Metal Rhythm’ – though Numa would be reactivated again in the 1990s for further new album releases (and reissues).

Gary Numan - Berserker - Numa editions vinyl LP, cassette and (re-issue) CD - front cover designs

^ Gary Numan – Berserker – Numa editions vinyl LP, cassette and (re-issue) CD – front cover designs

This initial ‘Numa’ era came complete with a new sound, with the familiar analogue synthesizers of previous albums largely pushed aside for a more precise, harder edged, sequenced and sampled sound courtesy of the newer generation of digital synths, the PPG Wave in particular proving to be both hero and villain over the course of Numa time, with Numan’s eventual self-confessed over-reliance on it as a source of ideas. (Ironically, Gary has since noted in interviews that it wasn’t actually until much later in his career that he himself would master the art of sequencing and sampling by himself, when it became more a matter of survival when finances dried up.)

Gary Numan - Berserker - Numa editions - vinyl LP, cassette and (re-issue) CD - back cover designs

^ Gary Numan – Berserker – Numa editions – vinyl LP, cassette and (re-issue) CD – back cover designs

As well as the new sounds, this debut Numa album release also witnessed for the first time a new approach by the release of differing versions of the album for different media formats, with the cassette edition of the album containing extended length versions of most of the songs. As well as the ‘Berserker’ album, similar extended versions would also appear for ‘The Fury’, ‘Machine and Soul’, ‘Sacrifice’ and ‘Exile’ over subsequent years.

When later released on CD format, it was the extended versions, as per the cassette release, that made up the first Numa records CD release of ‘Berserker’ (Numa, NUMACD 1001). (There would be a 1991 re-release as well.) As a direct comparison, here is a list of the approximate track timings as a guide, the original vinyl durations as compared with the extended cassette/CD versions.

Vinyl LP Extended Cassette / CD
Berserker 5:50 6:40
This Is New Love 6:15 8:45
The Secret 5:54 6:40
My Dying Machine 5:33 9:04
Cold Warning 4:03 6:57
Pump It Up 4:45 4:45
The God Film 4:41 4:41
A Child With The Ghost 4:04* 4:04
The Hunter 4:31 6:47

* Note: The vinyl LP label states 3:04, but actual track time is 4:04

Following Gary Numan’s championing by a new generation of the great and the good (or, at least, popular…) and his subsequent critical rebirth in the mid 1990s, interest picked up such that ‘Berserker’ (as well as the other original Numa records albums) were re-issued on CD by the end of that decade – and in so doing, a hybrid version appeared, on the Eagle Records CD releases. Firstly, the ‘Numa Years’ 5 CD box set appeared (EAGBX025), but later on individual releases of each album also appeared, including ‘Berserker’ (EAMCD072). These versions mostly took the standard length versions from the original vinyl LP and added a selection of bonus tracks, but along the way, the extended version of ‘Cold Warning’ appears to have made the cut in preference to its standard length vinyl LP version – here is what appeared on the Eagle CDs;

Berserker (5:50)
This Is New Love (6:15)
The Secret (5:54)
My Dying Machine (5:33)
Cold Warning (6:01)
Pump It Up (4:45)
The God Film (4:41)
A Child With The Ghost (4:04)
The Hunter (4:31)

Bonus tracks:

Empty Bed, Empty Heart (3:12)
Here Am I (5:46)
She Cries (6:01)
Rumour (2:50)
This Ship Comes Apart (4:01)

Unfortunately, all is not quite right when it comes to the bonus tracks on this edition – all of them have been transferred at a slightly slower speed than they should be. However, they can all be found on other compilation CDs in the correct form, except for ‘This Shape Comes Apart’. At the time of writing, the Eagle CD editions are long out of print and appear to change hands for above average prices.

Numan’s American label of the time, Cleopatra, issued a largely similar version (Cleopatra CLP 0536-2), but with a different selection of bonus tracks – the extended versions of ‘Berserker’ and ‘My Dying Machine’ plus ‘Empty Bed, Empty Heart’ and ‘Here Am I’, the B sides from the two singles.

New dreams for old…

If you are unfamiliar with the album – and I dare say many may well be, as I think it was a crucial album for many existing fans as their point of departure in their fandom of all things Numan – it is worth a fresh listen. The combination of the increasingly funked-up music and the rather out-there blue hair/white pancake make-up look was probably a step too far, especially coming hot on the heels of the ‘Mad Max’ look of the previous ‘Warriors’ album/tour, causing a good many to move on. The somewhat unique blend of beautiful analogue synth sounds along with piano and viola to the fore of the classic ‘Pleasure Principle’ / ‘Telekon’ era had slowly been making way album by album – to the point where by ‘Berserker’ a cleaner, harder-edged, more precise sound was being fashioned from digital synths and drums, but with more mainstream funk-bass, female backing vocals and saxophone. The crossover tracks of both worlds are the likes of ‘Cold Warning’, viola still present and correct, and ‘The Hunter’, with a trace of the kind of anthemic sound familiar from the likes of ‘We Are Glass’. Elsewhere, ‘The God Film’ starts off pretty much a re-write of Brian Eno’s ‘Skysaw’ in its chord progressions. ‘This Is New Love’ had previously been premiered in a fairly different version on UK Saturday evening primetime TV earlier in 1984, the most striking difference being the complete absence of the female backing vocals, while in a fairly radical departure for Numan at the time, a fair amount of ‘The Secret’ is sung instead by guest vocalist Zaine Griff.

All in all, I still hold something of a soft spot for this album, even though it has less of the unique qualities of the earlier work.