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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Button badge goodness: Yet more Siouxsie and the Banshees

April 28th, 2020

A final selection for now of some period Siouxsie and the Banshees button badges.

Two of these were magazine giveaways, the ‘Smash Hits’ one was always a particular favourite of mine. ‘The File’ badge is of course from the fan club, not the most obvious connection, I suppose, unless you knew that was the name for it, but there we go.

Siouxsie and the Banshees 'Smash Hits' magazine giveaway badge.

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees ‘Smash Hits’ magazine giveaway badge.

Read the rest of this entry »

Matthew Seligman, 1955-2020

April 18th, 2020

Very sad news indeed today to read of the death of Matthew Seligman. Bass player par excellence, so many great records in my collection that he plays on – Thomas Dolby, Peter Murphy, Snail and many more – and of course, The Soft Boys. Sadly, a victim of COVID-19, the disease that the current sham of a UK government seem incapable of managing without putting so many in harms way.

If you are not familiar with Matthew there is fine obituary on Slicing Up Eyeballs.

The photo below is one I took back in 2005 on a hot August night in a cramped rehearsal studio for his then band Snail (Matthew, Jon Klein, Chris Bell)during a video shoot.

Such a sad loss, RIP Matthew.

Matthew Seligman and Snail, Shepherds Bush Rehearsal Studio, August 2005

^ Matthew Seligman and Snail, Shepherds Bush Rehearsal Studio, August 2005.

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

The Graphic Language of Neville Brody book (with a Cabaret Voltaire focus…)

March 28th, 2020

As charity shop finds go, this was my best one in a while. The edges a little discoloured, fair enough… but for the price, no complaints. Neville Brody’s work has spoken for itself for many decades now and this book, dating from 1988 (there are later editions too) is an excellent display of his craft and thoughts, some of which are recounted below. Inevitably, I’ve focussed on the Cabaret Voltaire element for this post, but the book obviously covers in fine detail the broad scope of the man’s work up till the 1988 publication period in this case.

The Graphic Language of Neville Brody book

^ The Graphic Language of Neville Brody book

Read the rest of this entry »