Shriekback: Care DLX RM UK CD 
- Lined Up
- Clear Trails
- Hapax Legomena
- Lines From The Library
- Brink of Collapse
- Into Method
- In: Amongst
- My Spine [Is The Bassline]
- Speed Of Clocks
- Despite Dense Weed
- Gated Joy
- Working On The Ground
- Tiny Birds
- Lined Up [Disco Mix]
I know this is late, but this is a good time to interrupt the Rock G.P.A. flow with this news. Last August, word filtered out of Shriekback HQ that a possible reissue of their first full length album, “Care” would be coming to LP again. Since I already had an LP of this [WB 9 23874-1] I was more interested in a CD of that title, since it had only ever been issued in Australia in 1993 and I had missed it completely. By the time I had learned of this, it was a three figure disc. I did have the late 80s Kaz compilations, which between the two of them had 4/10 “Care” tracks tucked into the running order. Hardly optimal. I completely missed “The Complete Y Records Years” compilation as I was not in a position to buy too many CDs in 2002. Last November, Barry Andrews asked the Shriekback mailing list if there was interest in a remastered “Care” on vinyl and I weighed on on the side of the shiny silver discs. He assured me that that was also in the pipeline.
A month later it was on sale in the Shriekback.com web store. I acted immediately, and a copy found its way to my mountain home, thousands of miles away. In fact, vinyl has yet to appear, so thus far, this is it. The bonus tracks are plentiful.
All three tracks from the “My Spine [Is The Bassline]” 12″ single, “Despite Dense Weed” from the “Birth Of the Y” compilation LP, the “Working On The Ground” A-side, a 6:10 remix of “Lined Up” [the 12″ vinyl was shorter, so this confuses me], “Gated Joy” from the “Mercy Dash [extended version]” 12″, and finally, “Speed Of Clocks” from the “Aberrations 81-4” compilation. One could argue that “Gated Joy” should have been on the recent “Jam Science” but here it is instead.
What tracks are missing? Let’s see…
- Working On The Ground [12″ ver.]
- Nightwork [“Working On The Ground” 12″ B-side]
- Closework [“Working On The Ground” 7″ B-side]
- Lined Up [instrumental mix]
- Lined Up [7″ remix]
- Accretions [Monstrous Dance Mix]
- Into Method [Planet Mix]
- Lined Up [Sinuous Dance Mix]
That’s eight more tracks missing from contemporaneous releases. Almost a second disc worth. The big question among many of you right now might be, what were the mastering sources? Surprisingly, it seems almost entirely sourced from vinyl. Strangely enough, “Clear Trails” and “Sway” might be from master tapes as they are maddeningly free of the vinyl artifacts that appear elsewhere. Either that or they had impeccable vinyl sources for those two tracks in particular. “Speed Of Clocks” is a bit of a mystery since to my knowledge, it never got a release on vinyl previously! Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what its mastered from since I can’t decisively call it.
How does it sound? Pretty hot. It makes the vinyl rips, warts and all, sound pretty full bodied compared to the late 80s Kaz Records masters I have on CD. I can attest to the power of future generations of A/D conversion hardware/software. When I mastered some 7″ Simple Minds material in 2002 from an LP of “Themes For Great Cities,” the results were miles above the ca. 1985 Virgin CD material of the commensurate LP tracks. I made full bodied vinyl rips with a presence completely missing from the timid 1st generation masters I had on CD. Play this loud on your sound system and it’s like listening to the LP on a great turntable. Without having to change sides/discs. With headphones, the little nit-picky details are revealed. The pops and transients that I wish I could have removed from their masters had they only asked me.
Comparatively, the remastering is not as quite as clean as the album tracks on the recent “Jam Science” CD, nor is it as problematic as the “Mercy Dash” remix 12″ bonus tracks on the same disc. For me, it fulfills the brief of what I want in a playing copy of the whole, discrete “Care” album, in my Record Cell in its original UK form for the first time ever. Could I have made a better remaster of this album? Possibly. I could certainly remove most if not all offending transients from this CD if I wanted a cleaner copy. But that would take hours and hours that I don’t really have and at the end of the day, I’d have a CD-R. This was a nicely packaged, actual manufactured CD, and that always has cachet in the Record Cell as the fragility of CD-Rs [even MAM-A Gold] is well known. The liner notes are extensive and illuminating and the colorful original inner sleeve art forms the front and back of the booklet. So if you want a CD of “Care” and never had the Oz copy or “The Complete Y Records Years” this is what you’ve been waiting for. Now if they will only do “Tench” and do it right, a major nagging absence in the Record Cell will have finally been corrected. Maybe I should volunteer.
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