The CD A Week Project: #4

REVO | CD-R | 2011 | PM004

Various: REVO Premaster 4 CD-R [2011]

  1. Colourbox: Punch 12
  2. Colourbox: Keep On Pushing 2
  3. Colourbox: Shadows In The Room
  4. Colourbox: Manic II
  5. Colourbox: Fast Dump
  6. Colourbox: Sex Gun
  7. Thick Pigeon: Subway
  8. Thick Pigeon: Sudan
  9. Scritti Politti: Perfect Way [way perfect US promo 12]
  10. Theatre Of Hate: Do you Believe In The Westworld/The Version
  11. Theatre Of Hate: Propaganda
  12. Theatre Of Hate: Ministry Of Broadcast
  13. Theatre Of Hate: Original Sin 2
  14. Messengers: I Turn Into You
  15. Messengers: The Semi-Professionals
Wow. I am now up to volume 11 in this series so I’d better get crackin’! Volume four starts off by rounding up some loose Colourbox tracks that aren’t accounted for on CD. I dearly love Colourbox. The UK trio had two distinct phases to their career. Amazing electro-dub workouts that were the best thing this side of Adrian Sherwood material and synth-soul featuring the vocals of Lorita Grahame; both sticking out like sore thumbs on the otherwise ethereal 4AD label.

4AD | UK | 12" | 1984 | BAD 406

Colourbox: Punch UK 12″ [1984]

  1. Punch 12
  2. Keep On Pushing [ver. 2]
  3. Shadows In The Room
The “Punch” 12″ takes an alternate mix of a track that later appeared on the 1985 “Colourbox” album and adds a second version of “Keep On Pushing” from the 1983 “Colourbox” EP. The B-side appears only here. This disc shows the band firmly in electro dance territory. The earlier version of “Keep On Pushing” still existed in the earlier dub space the band initially favored. Ms. Grahaeme’s vocals are always a warm delight.

4AD | UK | 2xLP | 1985 | CAD/MAD 509

Colourbox: Colourbox UK 2xLP [1985]

Disc 2

  1. Edit the Dragon
  2. Hipnition
  3. We Walk Around The Streets
  4. Arena II
  5. Manic II
  6. Fast Dump
  7. Sex Gun

The three tracks in bold were included on a bonus album that came bundled with the initial 10K vinyl pressings of the 1985 “Colourbox” album. It featured two extended versions from that album [appended with II] and some extra cuts. Sadly, the CD of this title lacked tracks 5-7 as shown above. “Sex Gun” in particular, is driven by ridiculously fast Linn-drumming. “Manic II” is an extended version of a cut that definitely needed to be longer than the tease on the first disc of the album! The track is highlighted by a tasty William Orbit [Torch Song] acid rock guitar solo so let that be a hint as of the direction Colourbox were going in!

Les Disques Du Crépuscule | Belgium | 7" | 1982 | twi 038

Thick Pigeon: Subway Belgian 7″ [1982]

  1. Subway
  2. Sudan

This is a single that I used to hear all of the time back in the summer of 1982 on WPRK-FM. It’s an absurdly minimal bit of synthpop featuring deadpan woman Stanton Miranda on bass and vocals teamed with Carter Burwell on synths. It sounded like nothing I had ever heard before and Burwell later made a name for himself by scoring nearly every Coen Brothers film. This is nothing like those soundtracks! The B-side, “Sudan,” was a cut I’d never heard before finally playing this disc, which has sat on my racks for nearly 20 years. Good gravy but it absolutely sounds like The Residents!

Warner Brothers | US Promo | 12" | 1985 | PRO-A-2357

Scritti Politti: Perfect Way US Promo 12″ [1985]

  1. Perfect Way [way perfect US promo mix – 7:27]
  2. Perfect Way [single mix]

All hail Scritti Politti but their sole hit in America exists in about seven mixes. The UK mixes exist but there is also a US commercial 12″ mixed by Alan Meyerson, Francois Kevorkian, Josh Abbey [a.k.a. The Committee] and clocking in at 5:26. This is not that record! This is the US promo release of The Committee remix clocking in at a more luxuriant 7:27! Should luxury be moderated? Of course not, so you really need this record if you dig the hyper-stimulating Scritti vibe of this time period!

Burning Rome Records | UK | 12" | 1982 | BRR 2T

Theatre of Hate: Do You Believe In The Westworld UK 12″ [1982]

  1. Do You Believe In The Westworld/The Version
  2. Propaganda
  3. Ministry of Broadcast
  4. Original Sin 2

Here’s yet another WPRK-FM staple from the summer of ’82, when, judging by this disc, I must have been listening a lot. Theatre of Hate was Kirk Brandon’s mouthpiece early in his career before he started up Spear of Destiny. The A-side is some of the most portentous post-punk I’ve ever heard with an expansive, dubstyle production courtesy of The Clash’s Mick Jones. It’s a weird blend of Brandon’s bellowing vocals [normally repellent to me] with Spaghetti Western guitar over thrashing drum machine rhythms with a phalanx of saxes adding counterpuntal riffage. “Propaganda” is a lesser B-side with “Ministry Of Broadcast” being a dub mix of that. Then a new version of “Original Sin,” the band’s 1980 debut single, has been added to the EP.  I also have the “Revolution” album that compiles all of the TOH singles from 80-82 and will need to give that a spin one day.

Chrysalis | UK | 7" | 1982 | CHS 2663

Messengers: I Turn Into You UK 7″ [1982]

  1. I Turn Into You
  2. The Semi-Professionals

Finally there is this single; possibly the single record most dependent on its producer for its sound. Messengers were an early 80s synth duo [shock!] comprised of Colin King and Daniel Mitchell from the ashes of failed Scots New Wavers Modern Man. They were discovered and championed back even that far by their patron of the arts Midge Ure, who produced the 1980 Modern Man “Concrete Scheme” album even before he had that Ultravox weight to throw around. When Modern Man  collapsed, Ure bankrolled the two as Messengers, got them tour tour as Ultravox support [you may have seen them in the “Monument” video] and even released their records on his Musicfest vanity label. The result, as evidenced in this single, is the best solo single from 1982 that Midge Ure never released under his own name!

It’s hard to believe it now, but in ’81-’82 we hung on Midge Ure’s every word; he could do no wrong! The spectre of “If I Was” was still three years into the future and “Uvox” wasn’t even a prescient nightmare at this time! Vocalist Colin King goes the distance to sound just like Ure; only better! I’m wondering if in fact King wasn’t an influence on Ure’s vocals at some point! If you like your synth-pop ornate, European and overblown [just like we do!] then this record is your meat! The B-side is self-produced and is an ornate, jokey faux TV theme song instrumental evidencing more humor than Ure ever did while sounding not a million miles away from the Ultravox sonic footprint. But the fact is, it sounds excellent; proving the band didn’t actually need Ure to create.

I really need to get the rest of their singles in 7″ and 12″ form for the inevitable REVO compilation. And apparently, the group issued the album that never was, recorded in 2002. More about that here. Incredible! I’d be their biggest fan if Mitchell weren’t responsible for many of the horrid Midge Ure solo songs from “The Gift” that finally became his Achilles heel, so to speak. Yes, “If I Was” has Mitchell to thank for its cringe-inducing lyrics. Apparently, the band had a sell-by date.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in CD A Week, Core Collection, Deadpan Women, New Romantic, Scots Rock and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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