I’ve watched from afar the slow, stately process of vocalist Dave Harris and Zeus B. Held compiling and remastering all of the tracks surrounding the 1982 “Fabrique” album from Fashiøn. Word has bubbled under in the Fashiøn fan community for years on this issue. First Harris had overseen a re-issue of his Zee album he made after “Fabrique” with Pink Floyd’s Rick Wright. That took some time, then attention was focused on giving the world as much “Fabrique” as possible. The covid pandemic sure hasn’t greased the wheels of such endeavors, but now the train is getting ready to leave the station. MusicGlue now has up a “Fabrique Deluxe” page to pre-sell the ultrabox, which will ship out on January 31st.
I’ve also written earlier about my boundless esteem of this particular album campaign. In fact, I have every legitimate track from my long-planned BSOG [it would be 3-4 discs] mastered and waiting for me to finally get the final piece of the puzzle; the Razormaid mix of “Streetplayer Mechanik.” My BSOG OCD often sees me stalling for many years until I finally get the last track or mix for one of my projects. But now the real thing as mastered from original tapes, not my large and largely flawless collection of singles is about to enter the world. I realize that my project would have been more complete, with DJ pool mixes, US promo tracks, as well as De Harris’ solo version of “Love Shadow,” which was also produced by Zeus B. Held [with BVs by Brenda Bennett of Vanity 6 fame…] five years later in 1987! But as the song says, there ain’t nothin’ like the real thing! How does this ultrabox stand up?
Face 01 – The Original Fabrique Album.
- Move On
- Love Shadow
- Streetplayer – Mechanik
- Dressed To Kill
- You Only Left Your Picture
- Something In Your Picture
- It’s Alright
- White Stuﬀ (Short Cut)
- Do You Wanna Make Love
- Slow Blue
Face 02 – 12” Dance Singles.
- Mutant Dance Move
- Smokey Dialogue
- Mutant Mix Mechanik
- Dressed to Kill (Double Dub)
- You Only Left Your Picture (Reggae Reprise)
- Alternative Playback (Half Frame)
- White Stuﬀ (The Unﬁnished)
- Do You Wanna Make Love ( at 5.00 A.M.?)
Face 03 – Dub Tracks from B side of original cassette plus various unreleased mixes.
- Move On (Audio Extra)
- StreetPlayer – Mechanik (Audio Extra)
- Love Shadow- Smokey Dialogue
- Something In Your Picture (Motor Drive)
- Mutant Mechanik
- Love Shadow (7” remix)
- Alternative Playback (Full Frame)
- Lets Play Dirty – (Centrefold)
- Love Shadow (U.S. 12” Promo Mix)
- Something In Your Picture (Test Pressing Mix)
Face 04 – Fabrique Global Birmingham MMXIX
- Dressed To Kill
- Something In Your Picture
- Do You Wanna Make Love
- Love Shadow
- Move on
- You Only Left Your Picture
I have every UK 7″ and 12″ single and many US promo 12″ singles. Here is what I had planned for my BSOG [boxed set of god].
|FASHIøN – re/Fabricated|
|Mutant Move||Move On UK 7 B||3:50|
|Move On [audiø extra]||Move On UK 12 A [bundled w/Love Shadow]||6:44|
|Mutant Dance Move||Move On UK 12 B [bundled w/Love Shadow]||5:45|
|Mutant Mechanik||Streetplayer-Mechanik UK 7 B||4:04|
|Streetplayer-Mechanik [audiø extra]||Streetplayer-Mechanik UK 12 A||8:28|
|Mutant Mix Mechanik||Streetplayer-Mechanik UK 12 B||7:17|
|Dressed To Kill [double dub/mix]||Streetplayer-Mechanik UK 12 B||2:54|
|Alternative Playback [half frame]||Something In Your Picture UK 7 B||3:09|
|Something In Your Picture [motor drive]||Something In Your Picture UK 12 A||7:20|
|Alternative Playback [full frame]||Something In Your Picture UK 12 B||7:00|
|Love Shadow 7||Love Shadow UK 7 A||3:30|
|Let’s Play Dirty||Love Shadow UK 7 B||3:56|
|Love Shadow [smokey dialogue] 12||Love Shadow UK 12 A||8:02|
|Let’s Play Dirty [centrefold]||Love Shadow UK 12 B||7:46|
|Love Shadow US Promo 12||Love Shadow USP 12 A||7:10|
|US Promo Dub Medley||Love Shadow USP 12 B||10:28|
|Love Shadow [dub]||web||7:58|
|White Stuff [the unfinished edit]||NME: Mighty Reel cassette||5:42|
|Disconet Fashionable Dubs||Disconet v.5 Program 5 A||18:11|
|Do You Wanna Make Love [at 5:00 a.m.]||Fabrique cassette/Height Of Fashion CD||6:48|
|Street Mechanik||Fabrique cassette/Height Of Fashion CD||7:21|
|White Stuff [the unfinished]||Fabrique cassette||8:41|
|Mutant Move||Fabrique cassette/Height Of Fashion CD||5:51|
|Love Shadow [smokey dialogue cassette dub]||Fabrique cassette/Height Of Fashion CD||4:59|
|You Only Left Your Picture [reggae reprise]||Fabrique cassette/Height Of Fashion CD||1:11|
|De Harris – Love Shadow 1987||De Harris – Love Shadow UK 7 A||3:41|
|De Harris – Love Shadow The Whole Story||De Harris – Love Shadow UK 7 B||3:19|
|De Harris – Love Shadow 1987 [dance it]||De Harris – Love Shadow UK 12 A||5:56|
|De Harris – Love Shadow 1987 [club it]||De Harris – Love Shadow UK 12 B||6:59|
This is of my current list of non-LP mixes/versions. Non-Arista releases in italic. DeHarris solo in bold. It looks like with the potential confusion about mix names [don’t get me started…too late!] that a few tracks might not be there. They have 18 tracks spread across discs two and three. I have [when discounting things outside of the purview of this album period] 22.
I have the US promo “Love Shadow” 12″ mix which was 7:10 instead of the 8:02 mix on the UK 12″. They are different mixes, and it’s great to see the US mix [often neglected] in place here. But the B-side medly of three mixes segued together is missing. Presumably to annoy Fashiøn trainspotters like myself. Not a grievous omission. Nor were 7″ edits of B-sides extended on 12″ single, like “Let’s Play Dirty.”
Disc 4 [or Face 04, sorry…] is something I was interested in hearing. Last year Held and Harris played a gig in Birmingham and the MMXIX disc is that performance. It briefly appeared last year in a CD-R signed, numbered edition of 100 that was to evasive for my reach. Now it has been rolled into this box as the fourth disc. Along with the silver discs, there are other considerations.
Here is what the box offers besides music:
- Signed and numbered certificate [Held + Harris]
- 60 page color booklet
- 4x 8″x10″ photos
- A3 poster reprint of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Ticket from a show in the band’s 1982 era, presumably.
I am actually impressed and eager to read the 60 page booklet! Even if it is as visual as it seems in the pack shot, there’s got to be some gold there as the liner notes would ideally elaborate on the making of this; the best sounding album I think I’ve ever heard. Zeus B; Held’s production sounded flawlessly deep, rich and complex as he was stitching the height of analog technology with bleeding edge digital tech and it got on like a house on fire. So it sounds like a must have, particularly if you are anything like me and have held a torch high for this album campaign for almost 40 years.
Judging by the fan reaction to the Zee “Identity” reissue done along similar lines by Harris first, we can look to this box to feature glass mastered CDs, digitized from master tapes with a decent dynamic range. And that’s important, because I’d be annoyed if asked to pay $112 [plus overseas shipping] for anything less. The cost is up there for me, no doubt about that. This will end up costing me even more than the Prince SOTT ultrabox I got last October [that was 15% of this year’s music budget, and worth it], but the caveat here is that I consider “Fabrique” to be an album far in advance of the charms even for Prince’s “Sign O’ The Times!” “Fabrique” is an album that’s like a siren repeatedly calling me to willing crash upon the rocks time and time again… and love it every time all the more. If that sounds all right to you too, then you know where to go.
What a shame, I was hoping this would be a decently priced multi-disc Cherry Red release, I’m out at this price…
SimonH – See my comment below for possible salvation.
So this is actually the first CD issue ? No there was the aptly titled ‘The Height Of Fashion’ already.. I think I’ll get this instead. A proper CD with bonus disk would have done for my tastes or at least a choice between a deluxe and a standard issue without the live revival gig.
slur – There has apparently been chatter on FaceBoot from Harris about a slimmer set at a lower price point later if you want to wait it out.
That sounds more appealing to me, I do have nearly all the published mixes already but it wouldn’t hurt to have them on one handy disc..
Did you ever hear a live recording from their fabrique tour b.t.w. ? I think it would be more fitting with this but perhaps it’s a question of royalties etc.
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slur – There’s a Fashiøn/Wang Chung BBC transcription disc out there in the wilds, but it was from the Darby era of the band. Speaking of which, I have an “Eye Talk” 12″ and the “Twilight Of Idols” US LP but I’ve not yet heard them. I was familiar with the “Product Perfect” album and it was fine, but not within miles of “Fabrique.” So I’m reluctant to hear the third album period. Wise or not?
Wise. The Darby era was the worst, only shadows of the former remain. His mainstream AOR orientation coupled with handover in writing did not work out in any way.
Before recording with him they had Tot Taylor touring with them in late 1982 which was a way better choice.
slur – Tot Taylor..?!? Really? That seems surreal. I had no idea.
Sorry for the mix-up : meant Troy Tate actually (…)
slur – Phew!! Thank goodness! My mind had stopped functioning on the mention of the singular Tot Taylor fronting any other band, much less Fashiøn. He’s a man who plows his own artistic furrow.
Well I have the cassette and the original LP and the CD “The Height of” and a bunch of 12″ and 7″, so am I in for this 85 quid box?….NO. So will wait to see if its slimmed down. I have got the 12″ “eye talk” and lets just say that it doesn’t get out much.
Ade.W – As I am obsessed not only with this era of the band but also Zeus B. Held himself, I would really like to order this. We’ll see if I can squeak out the budget for it. But I should get real tight with the SDLX tidal wave of all of my favorite albums in “definitive” versions. We had a 3xCD “Metamatic” in a great package a while ago that was no great expense. Just saying!
I bought the album on vinyl back in the day and really enjoyed it. However it got purged with the majority of my vinyl back in the nineties. I’ve been looking forward to a release of the album on CD with the various single edits, b-sides and extended mixes included. However I’ve got no interest in the concert CD and shame not all the flotsam and jetsam from the period are included in the set. Nevertheless I will definitely snap up a budget release containing the first three discs. Fingers crossed for that then.
Andy B – It’s still impressive that the US Arista 12″ mix of “Love Shadow” is in there! I had that for ages before I played it and found out it was different. Usually that sort of thing always falls by the wayside.
hi mr monk,
well this is unexpected. i don’t know too much about this band,
but i have the love shadow single somewhere. i didn’t realize
there was this many mixes and releases.
this might be a cool deluxe boxset to get. lets see how
next year goes. i’ve been going gangbusters with boxsets
lately. guess thats what having a job does, and when you’re
3 years behind in catching up with releases.
negative1ne – The second album period of Fashiøn [each of their three albums has a different frontman/writer!] is something that I hold in my highest esteem. It’s impossibly badass synth-funk with a production that sounds very warm yet highly technological. Maybe buy the Cherry Red CD “Height Of Fashion” as it’s still in print and see what you think.
To be frank I’d probably be equally interested in your own BSOG, O Monk, rather than the full official package listed here — particularly at that price! That said, if there were a “budget version” of this I might well spring for that, and certainly would be interested in hearing the reunion gig, so we’ll have to see.
I must add that in comparison to the Roxy and Ultravox SDLX boxen I have, this one seems overpriced — but it certainly is a heck of a good album!
chasinvictoria – It is pricey but I have the highest degree of passion for the album. It’s got the BEST SOUND EVER for a recording I’ve heard. Held is a genius and it’s worth the cost. The “Roxy Music” ultrabox was super costly @ $150, but I got it on a flash sale for about half price. So it’s at the high end of things. Even more than the Fashiøn BSOG [though its postage may bring it close to that price]. My box would be even more complete, if legally impossible, but there’s a lot to be said for glass mastered CDs from the master tapes as compared to my elaborate, bespoke hi-jinx! Just saying…
Almost forty years later, the Fabrique album finally gets its due! I even have the original (UK) cassette of Fabrique and the “Height of Fashion” CD re-issue kept me going while I introduced new girlfriends and even my sister to Fashion MKII’s charms! Are you aware of the apparently disastrous interview for Sounds Dave did that heaped scorn upon the band? It didn’t put me off ’em! It’s now November 2021and I’m getting this re-release for Xmas!
McRonson – Welcome to the comments! As I’m not British, I barely saw the UK press apart from anglophile friends who were all over the NME and Smash Hits. So, no, I didn’t. Was the Sounds interview the source of the famous “screwing + taking drugs” quote? The box is not quite perfect, but it skirts perfection with some of the best music of the period, and that’s close enough for me. I was just jazzed to send that money straight to Harris. Prior to that, every Fashiøn disc I bought was second hand, so in my opinion, he deserved that for such stellar work!
Yes, that was the interview in question! It really seemed to finish the band off completely, as far I can recall :-/ Twilight Of The Idols was a dire follow up. I’m loving your blog and am working my way through it all slowly. I even saw Joy Division live, the only cool thing thats ever happened to me. What a time to be alive!
All the best, Monk!
McRonson – Well… There are now 2,323 posts at an average of 900 words each, so you have your work cut out for you. And at the end of it you may not be any smarter… and I won’t vouch for your eyesight.
I guess it depends on the size of your screen ; ) It’s incredible how fast you get used to a large display.
I’m enjoying it so far. Did I mention that Bryan Ferry’s In Your Mind album is one of my all-time favourite total Desert Island Discs, along with Fabrique? Since everyone but me and my sister hate In Your Mind, I think that says more about the rest of humanity than me!
McRonson – Well, both albums seem to personify cocaine. Fashiøn with the actual music. Ferry with that cover. I’ll take Fashiøn over the Ferry. I can’t say I hate “In Your Mind.” I actually have little memory of any of the songs. They fail to stick. I dislike “Siren” more.
Siren and For Your Pleasure are my favourite Roxy albums although FYP is the stronger of the two IMHO. My sister bought the In Your Mind album in summer 1977 and I loved the singles so, in the midst of my listening to the first Clash, Damned and Jam singles and albums and other New Wave/Punk singles I was absorbing, In Your Mind was just as good! I WAS pretty young at the time :-) What I liked about Fashion was their image and sound – the notion that these guys were the unruly offspring of Bowie and Roxy Music seemed about right to me!
As a musical instrument owner, I was going over some Jazz chords recently on guitar and found the two chords Dee Harris plays in the first verse of Loveshadow (I dont know the other ones yet) – a Root 5 E minor 9 to a Root 6 A13. When I discovered these, I was ecstatic. If I ever meet Dee Harris, you can bet your bippy I’ll be plying him with at least several questions regarding his influences and why he played a Trini Lopez Gibson archtop guitar in Fashion! Sorry that this doesn’t add much to the discussion but I’m a fellow Fashion fan in an desert of bollocks for the most part!