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BEGGARS BANQUET

Gary Numan

Replicas - The First Recordings

    Beggars Banquet release two special titles to commemorate the legendary albums Gary Numan/Tubeway Army issued in 1979 – these editions are titled Replicas – The First Recordings, and the debut under his own name, The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings.

    While both of these albums have remained in print, these releases concentrate on the early recordings made prior to the completed albums and present the evolution of the albums. The tracks have been sequenced as they appeared on the original tapes and the audio has been taken from the high resolution digital transfers made by John Dent in 2007. One of the Freerange studio tapes suffered irreparable print through damage on two tracks so they were not used in the 2009 release. However an alternative source has been located so the tapes can now be presented as complete for this release.

    In late 1978, Gary Numan was booked into a small studio in London’s Chinatown with the same musicians that had played on Tubeway Army’s debut album, released a month earlier. Two stereo master tapes were compiled of eleven tracks. A month later they again went to Gooseberry Studio and recorded an additional three tracks, including “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Replicas”. At the same time, the band recorded a session for the BBC’s John Peel show, taping alternate versions of three songs from the December recordings. Finally Numan returned to an upgraded studio, Marthus Music, in February to overdub and remix the Gooseberry recordings into their released versions. Only one alternative out take still exists (“Down In The Park”) which is included in this release.

    Gary Numan

    The Pleasure Principle - The First Recordings

      Beggars Banquet release two special titles to commemorate the legendary albums Gary Numan/Tubeway Army issued in 1979 – these editions are titled Replicas – The First Recordings, and the debut under his own name, The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings.

      While both of these albums have remained in print, these releases concentrate on the early recordings made prior to the completed albums and present the evolution of the albums. The tracks have been sequenced as they appeared on the original tapes and the audio has been taken from the high resolution digital transfers made by John Dent in 2007. One of the Freerange studio tapes suffered irreparable print through damage on two tracks so they were not used in the 2009 release. However an alternative source has been located so the tapes can now be presented as complete for this release.

      Even before the single “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” was released, Numan had recruited a permanent drummer and keyboard player and demoed an album’s worth of new material between April 9-12, 1979 at Freerange Studio in London’s Covent Garden. This was supplemented by a second session, probably the following June, that yielded four further songs and two re-recordings. Following the hectic schedule of promoting “AFE?”, Numan recorded a new session for John Peel the day after the single hit #1 on the UK charts. Rather than record as Tubeway Army, the session was credited to Gary Numan and the group name abandoned at the peak of it’s success. As before, rather than promote the current album, Numan chose to record four new songs. While the album Replicas hit #1, Numan was busy recording a follow up in Marcus Music Studio. From the surviving tapes there are six mixes marked as out-takes and these have been included in the CD package. The discs have been sequenced with the stronger, second Freerange demo preceding the first session but all tracks are in the order of the tapes.

      The Cult

      Sonic Temple - 30th Anniversary Edition

        Originally released in 1989, Sonic Temple proved to be a pivotal moment for both band and the wider rock scene. Produced by the legendary Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith), Sonic Temple had four hit singles; “Fire Woman”, “Edie (Ciao Baby)”, “Sun King” and “Sweet Soul Sister”. The album catapulted The Cult into superstar status and remains their most commercially successful release. It has sold over 1.5 million copies in the US alone, and was declared platinum in 1990. It made it to #10 on the Billboard charts, and the abovementioned songs are all rock-radio staples to this day.



        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLP Info: The DOUBLE LP is a re-vamped reissue of the original album. Now cut onto two pieces of black vinyl, the audio is improved and contains 16 tracks total, which comprise the original album plus 6 B-sides. It’s been out of print for over 20 years.

        5xCD Info: The FIVE-CD SET contains 53 tracks (including 6 previously unreleased) with the original album on disc 1, alternate edits, mixes, extended versions and acoustic versions on disc 2, limited-release demos on discs 3 & 4 and Live at Wembley recorded by the BBC on disc 5. Six of the live tracks are previously unreleased. It is beautifully packaged in book form with rare photographs and interviews with the band by esteemed journalist James Brown.

        Bauhaus

        1979-1983 Volume Two

          Classic compilation, now back in stock across two CD albums. 

          ‘1979-1983’ was originally released as a double album on vinyl in 1985 and then split into two volumes for release the following year. Together they offer an in-depth introduction to one of the most influential bands of recent times.

          Bauhaus

          1979-1983 Volume One

            Classic compilation, now back in stock across two CD albums.

            ‘1979-1983’ was originally released as a double album on vinyl in 1985 and then split into two volumes for release the following year. Together they offer an in-depth introduction to one of the most influential bands of recent times.

            Bauhaus

            Press Eject And Give Me The Tape

              Late 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus. To celebrate, Beggars Arkive is reissuing six records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl.

              Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "founding fathers of goth" tag that is always attached to them.

              Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They charted with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, they’ve been and namechecked by everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Sepultura, Janes Addiction, MGMT, Interpol, Bjork, Nirvana and more. They remain a huge cult concern, periodically reforming to wow their legions of dedicated followers.

              Released in 1982, this is a live album, compiled from shows across the UK from 1981–82. Press the Eject… features a striking version of John Cale’s “Rosegarden Funeral Of Sores,” a particularly spooky run-through of “Hollow Hills” that out-creeps the studio version on Mask, and the punk rock fuzz-out of “Dark Entries”. Of course, “Bela…” appears here as well, in a luxurious nine-and-a-half-minute version. Washed in feedback and ever-so subtly accelerating and decelerating, this song is the true center of “Goth” mythology. This was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes.

              The Fall

              Bend Sinister / The 'Domesday' Pay-Off Triad-Plus!

                Beggars Arkive reissue The Fall’s ninth studio album, Bend Sinister, originally released in 1986. This edition is titled Bend Sinister/The 'Domesday' Pay-Off Triad-Plus!

                It was the last of three albums in a row produced by John Leckie and was named after a dystopian novel by Vladimir Nabokov.

                After the universal acclaim for the previous year’s This Nation’s Saving Grace, Bend Sinister often stands in its predecessor’s shadow. It is a dark, brooding album made at the height of the group’s Beggars Banquet years and many people include this at the top of the list of favourite Fall albums.

                From Bend Sinister, “Mr. Pharmacist” is a lurching instalment in pop music’s ongoing conversation with drug dealers, illicit and otherwise. Actually a cover of 1960s garage-rockers the Other Half, it’s also a demonstration of how the Fall’s relatively unchanging style could bolster other people’s songs. – PITCHFORK

                “Part musical hypnotist, part ranting madman, Smith was a singular figure in post-punk. His Mancunian accent, dry witticisms and plays on words were one of the Fall’s most constant characteristics. Their songs were odysseys into his ever-verbose psyche, marked by repetitive rhythms and melodies.” – ROLLING STONE

                “At various points in the band’s four-decade career, the Fall might sound like punk, hard rock, psychedelia, funk, blues-rock, jazz-rock, electropop or sheer noise. “If it’s me and your granny on bongos, it’s the Fall,” Mr. Smith once declared. The BBC disc jockey John Peel, an early and steadfast supporter, said of the Fall that ‘they are always different, they are always the same.’” - THE NEW YORK TIMES

                "Mark E Smith’s group of psychedelic post-punks rank as one of the most visionary, singular British bands of all time.” -THE GUARDIAN

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xLP Info: Double LP, gatefold sleeve with inner bags. Includes replica program for the Riverside production of ‘Hey Luciani!’.

                2xCD Info: Double CD contains 6 unreleased songs, casebound, and includes 24-page booklet with notes by Daryl Easlea.

                Bauhaus

                Burning From The Inside

                  Late 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus. To celebrate, Beggars Arkive is reissuing six records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl.

                  Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "founding fathers of goth" tag that is always attached to them.

                  Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They charted with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, they’ve been and namechecked by everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Sepultura, Janes Addiction, MGMT, Interpol, Bjork, Nirvana and more.

                  Burning From The Inside was Bauhaus’ fourth album and was the last of their studio albums of this era, released just after the band’s breakup in 1983. This was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Blue vinyl LP.

                  Bauhaus

                  Crackle - Best Of

                    Late 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus. To celebrate, Beggars Arkive is reissuing six records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl.

                    Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "founding fathers of goth" tag that is always attached to them.

                    Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They charted with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, they’ve been and namechecked by everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Sepultura, Janes Addiction, MGMT, Interpol, Bjork, Nirvana and more.

                    A “best-of” collection of songs. Contains the studio version of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. All Music described it as “an excellent single-disc overview of the group's brief career, containing all of their essential songs, from "In the Flat Field" and "Bela Lugosi's Dead" to "Ziggy Stardust" and "Burning from the Inside…it's nice that there's finally a thorough single-disc retrospective of the groundbreaking goth quartet” and Pitchfork said it is “a fine retrospective of the material that both Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson claim was a “major influence” of their music.”

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xColoured LP Info: Ruby coloured vinyl.

                    Bauhaus

                    The Sky's Gone Out

                      Late 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of Bauhaus. To celebrate, Beggars Arkive is reissuing six records from the band’s catalogue on limited edition coloured vinyl.

                      Formed in 1978, The legendary and hugely influential quartet hailed from Northampton, England and is comprised of Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins. The dark, dramatic music that they made, possessed far more force, variety and playfulness than the "founding fathers of goth" tag that is always attached to them.

                      Bauhaus' landmark debut album, In the Flat Field, came out towards the end of 4AD's first eventful year. Following the plan at the time, the band then "moved upstairs" to Beggars Banquet, for whom they cut three further albums before dissolving in 1983. They charted with their cover of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, they’ve been and namechecked by everyone from Nine Inch Nails, Sepultura, Janes Addiction, MGMT, Interpol, Bjork, Nirvana and more.

                      The Sky’s Gone Out is the band’s third album and was released in 1992 and was mastered from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes.

                      “one of the top 10 essential goth albums” – Alternative press

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Violet coloured vinyl.

                      The Fall

                      I Am Kurious Oranj

                        I Am Kurious Oranj is The Fall’s eleventh studio album. Released by Beggars Banquet 30 years ago, in 1988, it contains some of their most loved songs including “Cab It Up!”, “New Big Prinz” and “Jerusalem” which takes its lyrics from a poem by William Blake.

                        The album was written as the soundtrack to an avant-garde ballet titled I Am Curious, Orange, produced by the experimental Michael Clark Company and performed in London with The Fall playing live. As it said in the original ballet program, replicated inside this reissue, “Mark E. Smith is a history buff and admirer of Michael Clark, and I Am Curious, Orange spawned the idea of a thematic delving into the foibles and little-known psyche of William of Orange.”

                        According to Mark E. Smith in his book, Renegade, “We adapted the title from a Swedish porno film--I am Curious, Yellow. I was trying to make the point that we all share some kind of common knowledge that’s within ourselves; that comes out in all sorts of things. Some people call it a gene pool. It’s as if you already know subconsciously about historical incidents. You don’t have to have been taught it. It’s in-built. At the time I wanted to put this across, basically as a loose explanation of what was happening in Belfast: it’s in the head and bones and there’s nothing you can do about it. I was on a roll at the time. I’m rarely short of ideas, and I’m not into preserving them much, either. If it’s in your head and you’ve got the right people around you them there’s no better time to tell the story.”

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Coloured LP Info: Orange coloured vinyl. Contains the replica of original programme of the ballet play performed at Sadler Wells Theatre.

                        Thee Hypnotics

                        Righteously Recharged - Remastered Vinyl

                          “Thee Hypnotics brought the house down with their Stooges-like raw power, singer Jim Jones prowling like a feral Rob Tyner-meets-Jerry-Lee and backed by a cut-price Heartbreakers build around flamboyant guitarist Ray Hanson.” - Mojo (4 stars)

                          “Thee Hypnotics care only for their own generic past and frenetic present. The future doesn’t even get a look in... forget regression, this is reincarnation! Past, present and future!” - Melody Maker

                          Nineties hell-raising rock ‘n’ rollers Thee Hypnotics announce the release of ‘Righteously Recharged’, a coloured, heavyweight vinyl anthology including rare and unreleased material via Beggars Arkive. The band have also reformed for live EU and UK dates.

                          ‘Righteously Recharged’ will feature four LPs including Thee Hypnotics’ acclaimed debut album ‘Come Down Heavy’ (on violet coloured vinyl), the swamp-rock follow-up ‘Soul, Glitter & Sin’ (on red coloured vinyl) and their Chris Robinson, Black Crowes produced third album ‘The Very Crystal Speed Machine’ (which never saw a UK release and will be on clear vinyl), along with a fourth disc, called ‘In A Trance’ on white vinyl, with their very first single ‘Love In A Different Vein’ plus early demos and Peel Sessions.

                          The set also contains in-depth liner notes by journalist Julian Marszalek, featuring interviews with the band and a savvy look at the band’s rip-roaring career, featuring outrageous tales of rock ‘n’ roll excess and exhilaration.

                          Taking their cues from the Detroit militancy of The MC5, the corrupting output of The Stooges and the gospel according to The Cramps, Thee Hypnotics’ devastating brand of rock ‘n’ roll was propelled by near punishing decibel levels and a fervour bordering on the evangelical.

                          Blazing a devastating trail of high-octane thrills and annihilation, Thee Hypnotics occupied a bizarre hinterland that sat somewhere between the British neo-psychedelic scene of the late 80s and the detonation of garageinfluenced rock from the Pacific northwest of the early 90s. Little wonder that a band that shone so bright would burn out before the end of the century.

                          For the first time in 20 years, the classic line-up of co-founders Jim Jones (vocals) and Ray Hanson (guitar), with Phil Smith (drums) and Jeremy Cottingham (bass), have hit the road with all the power of a Viking raiding party. Still harbouring an intense belief in assaultive rock ‘n’ roll as liberation and delivering their sonic payload with a savage intensity, this influential and legendary group is back to testify one more time.

                          Having formed in 1994, Six By Seven have gone through various incarnations, with the only constant being singer and composer Chris Olley. They recorded three albums for Mantra Records via Beggars Banquet - ‘The Things We Make’ (1998), ‘The Closer You Get’ (2000), ‘The Way I Feel Today’ (2002) - toured extensively, had two hit singles - ‘Candlelight’ (1998) and ‘I O U Love’ (2002) - recorded five Peel Sessions and appeared on Later With Jools Holland (December 1998). Despite heaping praise on Six By Seven’s breakthrough second album ‘The Closer You Get’, the press seemed confused as to how to categorise them. The band straddled a fine line between post-Brit Pop, British rock and a much edgier kind of punk. Inspired by The Pistols and The Stranglers as well as US bands such as Sonic Youth and Mercury Rev, Six By Seven consciously wanted to write songs that would get played on the radio, as Chris Olley explains: “We wanted to fill a gap I think, fill it with the sort of music we would like to hear and buy ourselves; sort of Captain Beefheart doing pop.”

                          Mixing misanthropic lyrics with Olley’s distinctive vocal style, the music was underpinned by malevolent, slow-burning guitars, creating a menacing, dense wall of sound. Chris Olley continues; “There is a great sense of vitriol running through ‘The Closer You Get’ both musically and lyrically.” Journalist Sharon O’Connell commented in her review for Mojo; “Few bands now have the courage to make noise as meaningful as this; it’s like warming your heart against a limited nuclear strike.”

                          The Charlatans

                          Melting Pot

                            ‘Melting Pot’ is a greatest hits album by The Charlatans, featuring tracks from their time at Beggars Banquet Records between 1990 and 1997.

                            This compilation shows what a great band they were around that time (and still are!) There's not a bad track on here.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            2xLP Info: The album is reissued for the first time on vinyl since 1998.

                            The Fall

                            The Wonderful And Frightening Escape Route To The Fall

                              This contains the material from the two singles and the EP, Call For Escape Route, that the band released in 1984, which were also part of the extended cassette ver-sion of the original album. These were the remaining tracks recorded at the sessions.

                              The Fall

                              The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall - Expanded Edition

                                This expanded edition bundles together The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall with The Wonderful And Frightening Escape Route To The Fall.

                                Released in 1984, The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall was the band’s seventh studio album and their first for Beggars Banquet. It makes few concessions to the larger market - every potential hook seemed spiked with the band’s usual rough take- it-or- leave- it stance - though the integration of Brix Smith into the band added a melodic twist. This LP has been mastered from HD files transferred from the analog tapes.

                                The Wonderful And Frightening Escape Route contains the material from the two singles and the EP, Call For Escape Route, that the band released in 1984, which were also part of the extended cassette ver-sion of the original album. These were the remaining tracks recorded at the sessions.



                                The Fall

                                This Nation's Saving Grace - Expanded Edition

                                  This expanded edition bundles together This Nation's Saving Grace with Schtick - Yarbles Revisited.

                                  Originally released in 1985, their 8th album, This Nation's Saving Grace is one of The Fall’s most loved releases and is often hailed as one of the greatest albums of the 1980s. Drawing from the well of primal rock ‘n’ roll, the band play with muscular spontaneity and inspiration to create music that still sounds unique and challenging, especially against today’s anodyne imitations of Rock and ‘guitar music’. This LP has also been mastered from HD files.

                                  Available for the first time on vinyl, Schtick - Yarbles Revisited compiles the singles released around This Nation’s Saving Grace and includes 5 tracks from the bands’ 1985 BBC Peel sessions. Also included is the track “Ma Riley” which made its debut on the CD box set in 2011.

                                  Released in 1997, when it went straight to the top of the album charts, this year marks the 15th anniversary of ‘Tellin’ Stories’.

                                  Building on the sound of their eponymous, previous release (‘The Charlatans’ - also a No.1), the band’s performance has the feel of a classic British rock band (the type which also contain ‘roll’ in the music), combined with the more focussed songwriting of Britpop.

                                  The package contains the original album, re-mastered and cut from the analogue studio tapes, in addition to a collection of the single B sides, plus an unreleased, early version of ‘Don’t Need A Gun’, originally entitled ‘Rainbow Chasing’. Of the eight B sides only half were re-issued on the anthology ‘Songs From The Other Side’.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  2xLP Info: The double vinyl format is limited to 1000 copies pressed
                                  on heavyweight vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

                                  2xCD Info: The CD is a limited edition (2000 copies) in double jewel case with slipcase.

                                  This double disc set features an exclusive DVD by French director Vincent Moon (aka Mathieu Saura, renowned for his 'Take Away Shows' at La Blogotheque and video work with R.E.M. & Arcade Fire), "A Skin, A Night" is a highly unusual documentary replete with behind-the-scenes footage of The National on tour and in the studio. Completing the package, "The Virginia CD EP", features 12 tracks including B-sides, demos, a session track, live tracks and one new studio recording, a cover of Caroline Martin's "Without Permission".

                                  The National's 2005 album "Alligator" saw them fulfil the promise shown on their previous two albums, and set the bar impossibly high for their follow up.

                                  However, with "Boxer" they've created something quite stunning, in fact the opening three tracks, "Fake Empire", "Mistaken For Strangers" and "Brainy" are possibly their best songs ever. A taut rhythm section is present throughout, and complements the languid vocals and lush string arrangements perfectly. Although the strings and Matt Berninger's distinctive drawl create a solemn mood, there are plenty of upbeat moments here too, creating a rich anthemic album with just the right amount of melancholy.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP Info: One of a series of vinyl re-presses from Beggars Banquet. Yellow vinyl.

                                  The Fall

                                  45 84 89 A-Sides

                                    Originally released in 1990, the seventeen songs collected here come from The Fall’s Brix Smith era, aka “the golden era of Fall releases.” This is a perfect introduction to the band, and as legendary critic Robert Christgau said, it’s “The only Fall record any normal person need own”.

                                    The band’s legendary and notorious frontman Mark E. Smith passed away earlier this year at the age of 60. The band’s output since they formed at the height of the punk rock movement in Manchester in 1976 was prolific to say the least. It’s hard to be exact, but in their four decades, The Fall released 31 studio albums, 5 part-studio/part live albums, 32 live albums, 40 compilations, and Mark E. Smith also released two spoken word albums. Another high number is that of former members of The Fall. There were over 60 different band members over the years. Their high volume of quality work over the last 40+ years had an enormous influence which was extolled greatly after his death.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    Coloured LP Info: White vinyl edition.

                                    The Fall

                                    Seminal Live

                                      The Fall's contractual obligation album. With Brix leaving (or left, depending on your history) the group, this is a hastily assembled selection of what sound like Frenz Experiment outtakes and nine live tracks, their last for Beggars Banquet. These opening five tracks would have made a nice EP supporting the single "Deadbeat Descendant," the first song featured on the album. They're not among their best, but "H.O.W. (History of the World)" has a certain grim stateliness to it, with a grungy bassline by Hanley leading the group. "Pinball Machine" continues in Smith's long line of rockabilly covers.

                                      The Fall

                                      This Nation's Saving Grace

                                        "Feel the wrath of my Bombast!" exhorts Smith on this follow-up to their groundbreaking Wonderful and Frightening World of... the Fall, and this collection is ample proof of the pure confidence the group had at this time. Stompers like "Barmy," "What You Need," and the mighty "Gut of the Quantifier" are all led by Brix Smith's twanging lead hooks, filled by distorted guitars and bludgeoning drums, on top of which Smith rants with conviction. But it's the departures from this sound that mark the real interest here: The synth-driven "L.A." looks ahead to the Fall's experiments with electronica; "Paint Work" is an impressionist piece interrupted by Smith accidentally erasing over some of the track at home; and "I Am Damo Suzuki," a tribute to Can's lead singer, which borrows its arrangement from several of that group's songs. the Fall sound mysterious, down-to-earth, and hilarious all at the same time. The CD reissue adds the singles "Cruiser's Creek" and "Couldn't Get Ahead" as well as their B-sides making this an essential purchase." - AllMusic.

                                        The Fall

                                        Hip Priests And Kamerads

                                          "So named due to this being a collection of stuff released on the Kamera label, for a long time Hip Priests was the only way to listen to material from the mighty Hex Enduction Hour album, as well as Room to Live and related singles like "Lie Dream of a Casino Soul" and "Look, Know." For that reason alone it was a useful collection, though it was also flawed in that nearly everything was mastered for CD from vinyl, a harbinger of what would eventually happen in the late '90s with any number of early Fall reissues. It's especially noticeable on "Hip Priest" itself. Whether or not one wants to debate the aesthetics of such an approach, it's still more than a little frustrating. Thankfully, the song selection is nearly impeccable -- omissions are unavoidable, but there's no overlap with Palace of Swords Reversed, and the highlights are legion: "Hip Priest," "The Classical," "Mere Psued Mag. Ed.," "I'm Into C.B.!," and the absolutely wonderful B-side "Fantastic Life." The CD and cassette versions both include a useful bonus of interest to hardcore fans -- four live cuts of varying fidelity of other material from that time. "Who Makes the Nazis?" is OK enough, but the take on "Just Step Sideways" gets delivered with rough, fiery authority. At the end of the collection, meanwhile, there's an extremely muddy take on "Jawbone and the Air-Rifle" that will likely cause immediate departures on the part of neighbors and friends. A full quarter-hour ramble and stumble through "And This Day" concludes the release as a whole; it's a great performance that at nearly every point sounds like it'll collapse into formless chaos. Mark E. Smith is his typically contrarian self, while the lineup has its usual off-center way with the proceedings." - AllMusic.

                                          The Fall

                                          The Frenz Experiment

                                            "After the dark morass of Bend Sinister, the sound of 1988's Frenz Experiment comes as a bit of a shock. The arrangements are spare and broken down to the essentials, with the distorted guitars brought down low and Wolstencroft's drums high in the mix. Marcia Schofield had also joined the band to add keyboards. With most of the songs credited only to Smith himself, this could be seen as a solo album of sorts, or an indication of some rift within the group -- it certainly doesn't translate into the music. For the first time too, his vocals are loud and clear, though certainly not comprehensible; "Bremen Nacht" hints at some sort of run in with a ghost in Germany, "Athlete Cured," with its Spinal Tap-borrowed riff, tells of a "German athletic star" made ill from unusual circumstances -- the narrative turns strange, then funny until wandering off, a classic Smith tactic. Their cover of the Kinks' "Victoria" marked the Fall's first entry into the British charts, but also fit in with Smith's continuing explorations of Britain's history and how it translates into issues of class identity. The CD contains their other two singles from this time -- "Hit the North" and a cover of R. Dean Taylor's "There's a Ghost in My House," which the group makes their own -- plus several B-sides." - AllMusic.


                                            The Fall

                                            The Wonderful And Frightening World Of...

                                              "The Fall made the leap to a semi-major label -- Beggars Banquet -- with The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, hooking up with noted producer John Leckie to create another smart, varied album. Contemporaneous with the slightly friendlier "Oh! Brother" and "C.R.E.E.P." singles without actually including them, Wonderful and Frightening World makes few concessions to the larger market -- every potential hook seemed spiked with the band's usual rough take-it-or-leave-it stance. Mark E. Smith's audible, tape-distorting spit on the descending chord blast of "Elves" -- already spiked with enough vocal craziness as it is -- gives a sense of where the album as a whole aims. Brix Smith co-writes about half the tracks, creating a strong partnership with many highlights. It may start with a semi-low-key chant, but when "Lay of the Land" fully kicks in, it does just that, Craig Scanlon in particular pouring on the feedback at the end over the clattering din. Smith sounds as coruscating and side-splittingly hilarious as ever, depicting modern Britain with an eye for the absurdities and failures (and crucially, no empathy -- it's all about a gimlet eye projected at everyone and everything). Two further standouts appear on the second half -- "Slang King," a snarling portrayal of a cool-in-his-mind dude and his increasingly pathetic life, and the concluding "Disney's Dream Debased." Though unquestionably the most conventionally attractive tune on the album, ringing guitars and all, Smith's lyrics portray a Disneyland scenario in hell, however softly delivered. Elsewhere, Gavin Friday from the Virgin Prunes takes a bow with his own unmistakable, spindly vocals on the trebly Krautrock chug of "Copped It" and the slightly more brute rhythm of "Stephen Song."

                                              [The CD version, in an admirable move by Beggars Banquet, contains seven extra tracks to fill the disc out, including "Oh! Brother" and "C.R.E.E.P.," along with associated B-sides and the Call for Escape Route EP.] " - AllMusic.

                                              These five Cincinnati friends recorded two albums and a mini album for Brassland before signing to Beggars Banquet. Their last effort, "Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers", was touted as one of the year's best by Rolling Stone and other magazines.

                                              The National contains two pairs of brothers - Aaron Dessner (guitars, bass) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (guitar, bass), Bryan Devendorf (drums) and singer Matt Berninger. Matt's potent baritone intones about matters fraught and funny and sad; about record collections, missing persons and medium-sized American hearts. The songs are intense, and emotive but generally quite restrained, but on one or two tracks, this intensity spills out into a superbly abrasive blast of emotion, before ebbing back into mellowness. Wonderful!

                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Laura says: An absolutely awesome album - one of my albums of the year in 2005 when it was originally released. Although it's perhaps a little less 'polished' than "High Violet" it still has that same compelling, claustrophic intensity too it.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              LP Info: One of a series of vinyl re-presses from Beggars Banquet. Fluorescent yellow/green vinyl.

                                              LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                              Featuring 15 original tracks and boasting some stunning guest appearances, "Bubblegum" is simply one of Mark Lanegan's (Screaming Trees singer and Queens Of The Stone Age member) best albums, a stunning dark americana journey full of tales of remorse and loneliness delivered by his unique and emotive gravel-edged voice. Musical assistance on "Bubblegum" comes from luminaries including Queens Of The Stone Age bandmates Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri, PJ Harvey (who provides vocals on "Hit The City" and "Come To Me"), Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers' Greg Dulli and Ween's Dean Ween amongst others.


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