No sooner have I finally gotten some of A Certain Ratio into my Record Cell [finally] last year than I see that the band will be celebrating their 40 years span with the sort of boxed set that makes me stand up and take notice. Releasing on May 3rd is an ideal collection called “ACR:BOX” that stands as a sop to hardcore fans wanting to fill out their collections with rarities, and yet it would also function beautifully as a larger introduction for chastened Johnny-come-latelys like myself. It’s broken equally into single mixes and B-sides with half of the material being unreleased material.
A Certain Ratio: ACR:BOX 4xCD UK 
- All Night Party
- The Thin Boys
- Blown Away
- Son And Heir
- Guess Who? (12″ version)
- Tumba Rumba
- Knife Slits Water (12″ version)
- Kether Hot Knives (Mix In Special)
- I Need Someone Tonight
- Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing
- Life’s a Scream
- There’s Only This
- Si Fermir O Grido (Touch Cassette Version)
- Brazilia 6.10
- Sounds Like Something Dirty
- The Runner (Greetings Four Version)
- Inside (Greetings Four Version)
- Bootsy (Greetings Four Version)
- Fever 103 (Greetings Four Version)
- Loosen Up Your Mind
- The Planet
- Forever (Jon Dasilva’s Testimonial Mix)
- Turn Me on (7″ Edit)
- Shack up (Electronic Radio Edit)
- Houses In Motion (Demo Version 1)
- Houses In Motion (Demo Version 2)
- And Then Again (Another version)
- Piu Lento (John Peel Session)
- Nostromo A Go Go (Demo)
- Force (Demo)
- Backs to The Wall (Demo)
- The Big E (Demo)
- Every Pleasure (Demo)
- Rivers Edge (Demo)
- Stadium (Demo)
- Thin Grey Line (Demo)
- Repercussions (African Mix)
- BTTW 90 (Demo)
- Spirit Dance (Demo)
- Bitter Pill (Never Released)
- It’s Trippin When I’m Fine (Previously Unreleased)
- Mello (JD 800 Perc Mix)
- Tekno 4 an Answer (120bpm)
- Samba 123 (Demo)
- Some Day (ACR rework)
- Happy Meal (Working Title)
- Flight Won’t Stop (Unfinished Demo)
- Fruit Song (Unfinished Demo)
- Say What You Mean (Unfinished Demo)
Not only will this point to historical eras of the band for me to further investigate, but care was taken so that there was no overlap with the “ACR:SET” compilation of last year at left. Which was a single disc singles/mixes groove thang of its own. Nor was any reissue bonus material doubled up. So all of this ACR bounty exists as discrete packages to collect without fear. Of particular interest was the cover version of TVLKING HEVDS “Houses In Motion” begun as a session with Grace Jones where she never finished her time in the studio. There’s a beautiful symmetry there since David Byrne cites the influence of seeing ACR open for TVLKING HEVDS in moving that band towards the artfunk goal line.
The box is released on CD/LP/Digital on May 3rd and the CDs are priced attractively at £27/$40 for 4xCDs. CD preorders are here for the UK and US, respectively. I can’t find any details on the CD set but the LP set as shown above shows a 12″x12″ box with book and seven colored vinyl LPs in a tight looking set. That bad boy will set you back £100/$132.30, so you’ve got to really want it! Vote appropriately with your money and conscience.
I’m pleased that this set exists to bolster the re-issue program that Mute had been undertaking of the albums with the albums intact but the extras in a discrete whole like this. It’s how I like to have artist albums with a fat boxed set of god I make that wraps up all of the loose ends into one mighty package like this.
It’s interesting being born at roughly the same time as The Rolling Stones. It was unusual seeing the band become the first rock band to stay together 20 years by the time I was in college. I remember them looking so old in Saturday Night Live in 1978! 40 years later, there’s now a plethora of bands celebrating 40 years together…including many of my favorites from the Post-Punk era who were the antithesis to bands like The Rolling Stones. And yet The Stones are now pointing to their 60th anniversary. Sigh.
– 30 –
These guys are playing my home town at my friends venue later this year. This has certainly whet my appetite.
djjedredy – Then that is as close to what we call a “no-brainer” in The States, then! Enjoy the show.
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Luckily they’ve never convinced me to want all of them so I won’t need this. Still nice looking set ; )
slur – At least the CD box is moderately priced for those of us considering it.
Nice to see a balance struck between content, presentation and cost.
I have nothing by them but that may change.
Other people making career box sets may want to take a look at this, from what I can see this looks a lot to me like what ”doing it right” is.
Thanks for the tip, PPM!
Tim – Well, at least on CD format! Your mileage may vary on vinyl.
I think you have me confused with one of those hipsters I keep hearing about.
They free range in these here parts. Some call it their natural habitat.
Ooh nice! Dammit all these bands with their 40th anniversary putting out amazing stuff I have to shell out for!!
This looks one I will need to obtain. ACR were one of the first bands to which Ron Kane spurred my interest, and there weren’t many that I liked more. On my last visit to Long Beach in May 2017, while with RK at Amoeba Hollywood, I found an Australian vinyl copy of “Force” which turned out to include “The Old and the New” as a bonus disc! I found it most appropriate to find a fun ACR item while in Mr Kane’s company.
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Mark Moerman – I think I was able to snag Ron an ACR 12″ from his want list during my last trip to Toronto. Rare were the times I could reciprocate his generosity.
Happy Birthday to me! I have had this on pre-order from the minute it was available! As a career long “unpaid publicist” for ACR, it’s nice to see them being taken care of so well by Mute. They have released some of the most important music to me over the last 40 years, including an album which I feel only a few can better if I need to create a list – Sextet. Any album that can open with the bass riff of Lucinda and NOT stumble through to the last notes of album ender Below The Canal, has to be considered a triumph. Now if they would just come back to the States so I can revel in the nostalgia and currency of them once again!
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