Want List: John Foxx – The Virgin Years 1980-1985

Metamatic | UK | 5xCD | 2014

Metamatic | UK | 5xCD | 2014

John Foxx: The Virgin Years UK 5xCD box [2014]

Disc One – Metamatic

  1. Plaza
  2. He’s A Liquid
  3. Underpass
  4. Metal Beat
  5. No-one Driving
  6. A New Kind Of Man
  7. Blurred Girl
  8. 030
  9. Tidal Wave
  10. Touch And Go
  11. Film One
  12. This City
  13. Burning Car
  14. Glimmer
  15. Mr No
  16. Young Love
  17. 20th Century
  18. My Face
  19. A New Kind Of Man (Alternative Version)
  20. He’s A Liquid (Alternative Version)

Disc Two – The Garden

  1. Europe After The Rain
  2. Systems Of Romance
  3. When I Was A Man And You Were A Woman
  4. Dancing Like A Gun
  5. Pater Noster
  6. Night Suit
  7. You Were There
  8. Fusion / Fission
  9. Walk Away
  10. The Garden
  11. Swimmer II
  12. This Jungle
  13. Miles Away
  14. A Long Time
  15. Swimmer I
  16. Swimmer III
  17. Swimmer IV

Disc Three – The Golden Section

  1. My Wild Love
  2. Someone
  3. Your Dress
  4. Running Across Thin Ice With Tigers
  5. Sitting At The Edge Of The World
  6. Endlessly
  7. Ghosts On Water
  8. Like A Miracle
  9. The Hidden Man
  10. Twilight’s Last Gleaming
  11. Annexe
  12. A Kind Of Wave
  13. A Woman On A Stairway
  14. The Lifting Sky
  15. Shine On Me
  16. Wings And A Wind
  17. Dance With Me

Disc Four – In Mysterious Ways

  1. Stars On Fire
  2. Lose All Sense Of Time
  3. Spin Away
  4. Enter The Angel II
  5. Enter The Angel
  6. In Mysterious Ways
  7. What Kind Of Girl
  8. Shine On
  9. Stepping Softly
  10. Morning Glory
  11. Lumen De Lumine
  12. To Be With You (Alternative Version)
  13. And The Sky
  14. This Side Of Paradise
  15. Hiding In Plain Sight
  16. City Of Light

Disc Five – Fusion / Fission

  1. Cinemascope
  2. To Be With You
  3. Like A Miracle (Alternative Version)
  4. Fog
  5. Fusion / Fission (Early Version)
  6. Dance With Me (Early Version)
  7. A Woman On A Stairway (Early Version)
  8. Endlessly (Single Version)
  9. My Wild Love (Early Version)
  10. A Long Time (Alternative Version)
  11. Sitting At The Edge Of The World (Alternative Version)
  12. Twilight’s Last Gleaming (Early Version)
  13. Young Man
  14. The Hidden Man (Alternative Version)
  15. Enter The Angel (Alternative Version)
  16. Magic
  17. Shine On (Alternative Version)

Gloryoski! I’m still not caught up with all things Foxx when I received a missive from the Foxx mothership last weekend heralding the arrival of what seems to be the last hurrah for the artist’s first phase solo career as initially released on Virgin Records. Similar to the Simple Minds X5 boxed set from a few years back, but far more complete, the new “Virgin Years Box” offers neophytes the ability to soak up a huge amount of the Foxx canon as released during his initial solo career. And like the Simple Minds X5 box, all of this comes at a generous price that begs you not buy it on principle.

The four solo albums are all here. The copy of “Metamatic” is a new remaster using the same source as the recently discovered analog master used to master the white vinyl LP reissue from Record Store Day earlier this year. Also included is “The Garden,” “The Golden Section,” and “In Mysterious Ways.” I should mention that the master of “In Mysterious Ways” used here is the second revisionist version dating from the Edsel Records 2008 DLX RM 2xCD. All three versions of the CD of this album differ greatly in songs included and track order, especially. So canonical Foxxfans should take care not to divest themselves of the 1985 CD if they’re of a Monkish disposition.

Additionally, the fifth disc [“Fusion/Fission”] is a compilation of songs and alternate versions that were not initially released on Virgin [not even as B-sides] but date from that period. Many of these tracks have filtered out over the years on this or that remaster, but since even I don’t have all of them, it pays to see what this box has that no other Foxx releases have. And vice versa. Of course I jumped on the initial Virgin issues, and got many of the Edsel reissues, but to date I only have the Edsel DLX RM of “Metamatic” with none of the other three sets in the Record Cell. Let’s see where we stand.

Tracks that are missing from this set:

  1. No One Driving [early version]
  2. Plaza [ext. version]
  3. Underpass [1980 ext. version]
  4. Burning Car [early version]
  5. Endlessly [version 2 12]
  6. Like A Miracle [12]
  7. A Kind Of Wave [12]
  8. Stars On Fire [12]
  9. Enter The Angel [12]
  10. What Kind of Girl [12]
  11. Endlessly [sparkle mix]
  12. Running Across Thin Ice With Tigers [ext. mix]

Most of the tracks above are on the “Metatronic” and “Metadelic” compilations. Similarly, the “Metadelic” set has his two BBC sessions [7 tracks] also missing here. The early demos that were excerpted on his largely spoken word interview CDs are also M.I.A. but since those tracks have never been released in full, I’m discounting them from canon. There doesn’t seem to be anything missing per se from this, but I’ll be the first to admit that I still have yet to devote a weekend to compiling the Foxx Spreadsheet of god®. Still, this represents outstanding value, with the added perk of five postcards with sleeve art to five single released added to the box for good measure. Pre-orders are being taken at the Foxx store here for a July 21st release.


About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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16 Responses to Want List: John Foxx – The Virgin Years 1980-1985

    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – For you, it’s a no-brainer. This and “Metadelic” give you 95% of the Virgin period. But listen up… you also need the early version of “Burning Car!” It’s radically superior in my opinion.


  1. Echorich says:

    Money has been put aside for this one!


  2. Ordered! And yes, I remember the early version of “Burning Car” and may still have it in my collection, but if I see another way of getting it inexpensively I’ll jump all over that! Must … have … ALL THE FOXX!


  3. Simon H says:

    I like your comment re the price…I have the deluxe reissues of the first three but am buying it for the new Metamatic remaster, am I beyond help?!


  4. Simon H says:

    Have already received this…very early! Metamatic sounds significantly better to my ears…


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Simon H – I got the notice from the Foxx list the other day that it was shipping earlier than expected. Nice for a change! And good to hear that Metamatic has gotten a great remaster in these end times. Of course, I have not ordered my copy as I’m saving for a big vacation in October.


  5. Simon H says:

    Fair enough! My wife’s reaction to me enthusing about the remastering was quite funny – I think I detected a degree of scepticism…
    Where’s the vacation?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Simon H – To Reno, Nevada to San Francisco, and finally to Los Angeles for the first time in 42 years. It’s imperative that I have hundreds to blow in Amoeba Berkeley!

      How can your wife balk at five CDs in a DLX box for £15?! My wife was the one who told me about the release while I was still at work!


  6. Simon H says:

    Sounds amazing! Have been to Amoeba in SF and that was one of the best record stores I’ve seen, I needed a shopping basket! We often say we would visit the States every year if we could.

    Hah, my wife is a bit cynical about repackaging and the hearing capabilities of middle aged men!


  7. stellaVista says:

    Fellow Foxxers: One of my favourite (Foxx) songs “Europe after the rain” was used in the Italian movie “Identificazione di una donna” (Identification of a woman) by Michelangelo Antonioni However, IMDB does not list it among the 22 used titles (2 songs by OMD are featured, though). The version in the movie was instrumental and/or sounded like an extended mix but I never came across a version of the song.
    I have to add that I saw a german dub of the movie and it might be possible that they changed the song because of publishing rights…it might as well my mind playing tricks on me.

    Did anybody see this film?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      stellaVista – I recall reading an interview with Foxx around 1983 where he mentioned that he was “working on the soundtrack” to this film. I mailed the Foxx Information Service about this and got a reply [on really posh thermographic stationary!] stating that there was no OST album per se; only that Antonioni had “used a couple of existing songs,” but no mention of the alternative mixes that you reference. I’ve not had the pleasure of viewing that film yet.


  8. trash says:

    Just came across your site (actually via the China Crisis Pledge Music site).
    It seems we share similar music tastes.

    A couple of questions:
    1 – Has the early version of Burning Car been released on CD?
    2 – My copy of the The Virgin Years has no typography on the fronts of the album covers. No-one seems to have commented on this (I think it’s a nice touch as it really shows the images off and adds a touch of unfamiliarity to albums that I actually know very very well). I presume that all copies are like this? Just wondering why no-one has mentioned it.

    Anyway, keep up the excellent work.




    • postpunkmonk says:

      Trash – Welcome to the comments! You can find the early version of “Burning Car” on the “Metatronic” compilation. If you’ve not heard it, it really is something. It’s much more aggressive than the single version. I did not know about the type-free covers on the box since it may take me years to finally get a copy of that! Sad, but true!


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