REVO Remastering: Slow Children Debut Finally Getting The Monastic Attention

slow chidren promo photo

Slow Children are Pal Shazar + Andrew Chinich

I am currently in the throes of committing the output of the great duo Slow Children to a shiny gold disc. I first chanced to hear them on the RCA “Blitz” lo-prince/New Wave sampler of 1981. They had a great track called “Spring In Fialta” there and I wasted no time in buying their US debut album when it was issued a short time later.

slow children robert mapplethorpe cover artt

Ensign | US | LP | 1982 | NXL1-8001

Slow Children: Slow Children – US – LP [1982]

  1. President Am I 3:15
  2. Talk About Horses 3:02
  3. Too Weak To Eat 3:00
  4. Brazilian Magazines 3:03
  5. Stuck In Transit 3:02
  6. Spring In Fialta 3:20
  7. Staring At The Ceiling 3:16
  8. Home Life 2:54
  9. I Got A Good Mind 3:03
  10. She’s Like America 3:25

rca blitz cover srtThe album was ten songs, but the version of “Spring In Fialta” on the LP was 3:20 instead of the very curt 2:20 on the “Blitz” album that had initially captured my imagination. The inner sleeve of the “Blitz” album, also showed a LP cover that was very different to the Robert Mapplethorpe cover as seen above. I am assuming that the 2:20 “Filata” was the same as the UK 7″ A-side that Ensign had issued in 1981 as a single in advance to the UK edition of the album. As I investigated, there were three singles from that record in England.

slow children - staring at the ceiling single cover

Jet Records ‎| UK | 7″ | 1979 | JET 142

Slow Children: Staring At The Ceiling – UK – 7″ [1979]

  1. Staring At The Ceiling 3:15
  2. That Statue Moved 2:05
slow children talk about horses cover art

Ensign ‎| UK | 7″ | 1981 | ENY 206

Slow Children: Talk About Horses – UK – 7″ [1981]

  1. Talk About Horses
  2. Ticket To France
slow children - spring in fialta cover art

Ensign | UK | 7″ | 1981 | ENY 220

Slow Children: Spring In Fialta – UK – 7″ [1981]

  1. Spring In Fialta
  2. Too Weak To Eat
spring in fialta USP 12"

Ensign | USP 12″ | 1981 | JD-12365

Slow Children: Spring In Fialta – USP – 12″ [1981]

  1. Spring In Fialta [extended mix] 4:29
  2. Too Weak To Eat

The version of “Spring In Fialta” on Various – Blitz is a brief 2:20 mix. The version on the US album Slow Children (2) – Slow Children is 3:20 version but this is the longest one at 4:29. The B-side was the LP mix of “Too Weak To Eat.” This was also issued as a 12″ with the picture sleeve as seen earlier on 7″ in England, in what I’m assuming is the same 4:29 extended mix. I have none of the “Fialta” singles from England. I have the 4:29 cut on a 12″ USP “President Am I” single bought a few years ago.

slow children UK album cover art

Ensign ‎| GER | LP | 1981 | 0067.502

Slow Children: Slow Children – GER – LP [1981]

  1. Brazilian Magazines 2:57
  2. I Got A Good Mind 3:04
  3. Talk About Horses 3:06
  4. Malicious 2:43
  5. She’s Like America 3:25
  6. President Am I 2:50
  7. Too Weak To Eat 3:03
  8. I Don’t Want A Home Life 3:00
  9. Staring At The Ceiling 3:15
  10. Ticket To France 2:50
  11. Stuck In Transit 3:05

I finally got a German 1981 LP pressing of the album in the 21st century at one of the scant record shows in my hometown in the last generation. I was thrilled to get this because of the differences in the content, much less in a German pressing that probably sounded better. Overseas, “Spring In Fialta” was a non-LP single and the album contained a track, “Malicious” that was cut for America. And the B-side to “Talk About Horses” was included on the album. The crowning glory was the completely different cover with singer Pal Shazar recreating a scene from Jean Cocteau’s “The Blood of the Poet.”

jean cocteau the blood of the poet

Enrique Riveros in Cocteau’s “The Blood Of The Poet” ca. 1930

I will be digitizing the German album with selected bonus tracks for the CD-R I intend to make. Once we have that in hand, I’ll start on their second album, “Mad About Town” which came out also in 1982, but only in North America, as far as I can see. Then it will be time for a Slow Children Rock G.P.A. since I also have their latest CD, “Cottoncloud 9.” Even though over 30 years and stylistic gulfs separated the second album from the third, it was artistically quite consistent with what had come before, with Jules Shear reprising his role as producer and Stephen Hague taking bass, synthesizer and percussion duties that time in 2016! Watch this space.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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7 Responses to REVO Remastering: Slow Children Debut Finally Getting The Monastic Attention

  1. I did not know about the newer album, so that’s a must-get … I do seem to think I have something from them with the Cocteau cover on it, maybe a CD reissue or something. Looking forward to reading your review of the new one!

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  2. Scott says:

    This is one of those bands that I wanted to reissue on my label, and even had a price quote from Sony back in early 2018 before everything fell apart with them. And every time someone asks me if I would consider reissuing the albums, I just grit my teeth at how poorly Sony handled this client and the potential reissues that will never happen as a result. Another tidbit of info on their discography is there was a second Jet Records single recorded and committed to test pressing but never released. It was 1979 recording of Talk About Horses with a great song called Tear Jerk on the B side. Pal Shazar sent me a picture of her test pressing some time back and had it sent out to someone for digitizing. I, of course, wanted to include it from a master on my thwarted reissues.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Scott – I assumed that there was more destined for Jet Records, since the debut album had all its songs © 79/80 but was released a year later on Ensign. But this was the first I heard about an earlier “Talk About Horses” single. And a missing B-side too. Intriguing, if annoying that this material has disappeared down the memory hole. No thanks to…Sony. There’s almost no rhyme or reason as to how labels have shaken out over the decades. It’s a miracle that naythiing does get managed to be reissued 40 years and 5-6 industry consolidations later!

      Slow Children are such a fascinating band. I was very happy to hear “Cottoncloud 9.” Many years had passed, and the sound was a bit different, but the songwriting sensibilities were surprisingly unchanged. I’m just happy that I’m finally turning my attentions to turning my wax into bits.

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  3. Scott says:

    You can give a listen to the frantically catchy Tear Jerk on their official SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/slowchildrenband/tear-jerk-new-remastering

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  4. KeithC says:

    PPM, once again your timing is impeccable. I just started reading your post on Friday and received a notification that a new Jules Shear CD was released that day. I’m not sure how much Pal contributes to his new CD but hopefully a few songs similar to what was on the Shear-Shazar recent releases.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      KeithC – I need to finish up on Pal Shazar’s other albums, including “Shear/Shazar.” I saw her and Jules give a concert when they [briefly] lived in Asheville in the ‘noughts. “The Morning After” was just out and on the merch table, but I absolutely did not have the scratch to purchase anything more than the ticket. At least I saw them sing! They performed separately.

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