Archive for March 1st, 2010
The Art of Noise usually gets lumped into that U.K. ’80s esoterica category that a lot of their early labelmates on ZTT (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 808 State, The Buggles and so on) seem to be in. Their sound was hip, catchy and weird, they say, and maybe a bit too much so for their own good. This is kind of funny, particularly because it’s kind of wrong.
The Art of Noise were indeed hip, catchy and weird. Their early work on ZTT, like the sample-heavy “Close (To the Edit)” and “Beat Box,” set a template for a certain kind of sound on the label (and, along with “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes, permanently hard-wired that indescribable synth-orchestra stab sound into heads everywhere). But the group’s tenure on ZTT was short – only two years – and the remaining members of band would later attempt to fuse their sound to increasingly poppier formats, including covers of TV themes and an unlikely Prince cover sung by Tom Jones.
In Visible Silence, the first post-ZTT LP from the group, was the first attempt at that mainstream sound, and it more or less worked. Two singles hit the U.K. Top 20 and one of them won a Grammy Award. The biggest of those songs was “Paranoimia,” released as a special single remix featuring another esoteric ’80 celebrity from Europe: TV’s “talking head” Max Headroom.
While both Headroom and the post-ZTT Art of Noise looked to be relegated to the dustbin of pop culture, it seems 2010 has hopes anew for both of them. Max’s cult sci-fi television show has finally been announced for a forthcoming DVD release, and ZTT and Salvo – they of the new Frankie Goes to Hollywood reissue – are prepping a new career-spanning compilation for the band.
Perhaps reissues of the group’s proper LPs might come someday, and with both AoN and Max in mind, I’ve devised a theoretical lineup for In Visible Silence should a reissue happen. Take a look after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
- A pair of sour notes from our friends over at Slicing Up Eyeballs. First, a source from Universal Music Group tells Cure fan site Chain of Flowers that the planned triple-disc reissue of Disintegration has been delayed a third time. The set – which features the original LP, a disc of demos and outtakes and an expanded version of the live album Entreat – was originally slated for a Feb. 16 release before being pushed back to April 6. In the U.S., where distribution is being dealt with by Rhino Records, the Amazon pre-order link still has the same date. Of course, that may yet change, as other retailers (including Amazon’s Canadian branch and Best Buy) have taken that date off the books.
- Additionally, the site also reports that Universal’s reissuing of the Siouxsie and The Banshees discography has been cancelled. “As the final four albums don’t have enough extras to warrant the double disc ‘deluxe’ treatment they have halted our programme four albums short,” founding Banshee Steven Severin wrote in a post on his Facebook page. Asked why Universal was pressing for double-disc sets of the remaining four albums (Through the Looking Glass (1987), Peepshow (1988), Superstition (1991) and The Rapture (1995)) when only the band’s debut LP, The Scream (1978) had been given the double disc treatment, Severin responded, “It’s a way of using ‘policy’ to only focus on the big sellers. You have to read between the lines.”
- In somewhat happier news, indie film score label Intrada has announced two new titles. Henry Mancini’s semi-obscure score to The Hawaiians (1970) will be reissued in a two-disc set, limited to 1500 copies, that includes the original soundtrack LP with the complete score sourced from Mancini’s personal 1/4″ tape sessions in mono. Meanwhile, the label is also reissuing in unlimited quantities the original soundtrack to Manhunter, the 1983 adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon (this was the first film to feature Hannibal Lector, although Brian Cox’s portrayal is worlds apart from Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar-winning role). The LP, making its debut on CD, features music from post-punk and electronic acts including The Prime Movers, Red 7, Shriekback and The Reds and includes one previously-unreleased bonus track. Have a go at them here and here.
The soundtrack community can take another “holy grail” off the list today. Varese Sarabande has announced their newest Soundtrack Club title to be the premiere release of Dave Grusin’s score to The Goonies.
The Steven Spielberg-produced comedy about a group of misfits who find a pirate treasure map has been a cult classic ever since its release in 1985. Grusin’s score was grandiose, adventurous and sweet as needed, and was a highlight of the film. But the original LP release, on Epic Records, had only one cue, the score’s main theme, among a bunch of other tracks like Cyndi Lauper’s Top 10 hit “The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough.”
But now every note as heard in the film will be presented, along with four alternate cues not used in the film. That’s 34 tracks filling this CD almost to capacity. Contemporary film score fans, recently rewarded for their patience with the premiere release of the score to Back to the Future on Intrada Records in November, should not miss this one – especially as the score will be limited to 5,000 copies.
Take a look at Varese’s newest limited titles, which also include scores by Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Conti and Philippe Sarde, by clicking here.