The post before last, I mentioned how Data reminded me of Vicious Pink Phenomena. And that got the old mental wheels turning. This morning I had to dig out the 2012 Cherry Pop Vicious Pink CD I thankfully bought pretty early on. I was reminded that while most [but not all] of the band’s EMI work was on there, there were still the two earlier singles as Vicious Pink Phenomena that I had as issued on Phonogram in 1982-1983 that weren’t on the silver disc. Maybe I should look into what a CD to round up those loose tracks would look like?
Then things got out of hand.
Vicious Pink Phenomena: My Private Tokyo – UK – 7″ 
- My Private Tokyo 3:36
- Promises 3:30
The basic 7″ had the short A-side and a B-side; “Promises.” This record came out after I first became aware of VPP as vocal guests on the debut Soft Cell album that alerted me to their existence. As befitted their association with that band, they first manifested on the Polygram subsidiary The Mobile Suit Corporation [surely the coolest label name ever?] with their friend and associate David Ball of Soft Cell producing.
Vicious Pink Phenomena: My Private Tokyo – UK – 12″ 
- My Private Tokyo [long version] 6:44
- My Private Tokyo [remix] 3:36
- Promises 3:30
I also have the 12″ version with two different mixes of the A-side as well as the B-side. Not the “remix” here was given as 3:36 in length. I need to play these records [I’ve shamefully owned them for more than a decade] and ascertain if there were any differences between the remix and the 7″ A-side version. But there’s another concern.
Vicious Pink Phenomena: My Private Tokyo – UK Promo – 12″ 
- My Private Tokyo 6:40
- My Private Tokyo [remix] 4:20
There was also a UK promo 12″ of “My Private Tokyo” that I’ve just found out about. It sported an A-side with a similar timing to the commercial one but the “remix” on the B-side is a very different 4:20 in length. Copy on the Discogs website [never graven in stone since it is crowdsourced] claims that it is a unique mix of the song. Again, I need to digitize each and every track I have to determine any differences! Alas, getting the promo will entail a small fortune in postage right now. There are no copies in the US. A familiar tale. So that’s it for the first single. On to their second.
Vicious Pink Phenomena: Je T’aime – UK – 7″ 
- Je T’aime 3:33
- In The Swim 4:19
The second single was a cover of the randy Serge Gainsbourg classic “Je T’aime (Moi Non Plus).” David Ball was still in the producer’s chair, but they had decamped from The Mobile Suit Corporation to their management’s short-lived Warehouse label. The B-side was the original “In The Swim.”
Vicious Pink Phenomena: Je T’aime – UK – 12″ 
- Je T’aime [12″ Disco Version] 8:05
- In The Swim [extended version] 8:33
The 12″ single had well extended versions of the UK A/B sides. If David Ball can be counted on to bring the ideas that Soft Cell 12″ singles were abundant in, then these should be amazing mixes. For years I thought that my collection of VPP ended here. But I was wrong. Oh so wrong.
Vicious Pink Phenomena: Je T’aime Moi Non plus – SPAIN – 12″ 
- Je T’aime Moi Non Plus [12″ Disco Version] 7:58
- Maniac 4:50
Now I find that the Spanish [and French] singles that I don’t have contained a unique B-side; “Maniac!” Finding out things like this decades later are both riveting and annoying, since I thought I had all I needed by this band. And the cold facts are that buying a 12″ from Europe these days is a rich man’s game! The record is not too expensive but the shipping…¡Mamacita! That one song will cost me at least $30, easily.
Vicious Pink Phenomena: Live At Hammersmith Palace, London 1982 – DL 
- Maniac 04:58
- My Private Tokyo 6:44
- Promises 3:20
- Odd One 3:25
- In The Swim 2:46
- Ask Me To Stay 4:09
- Je Taime 5:42
Yow! Then there’s this little release, given DL life in 2012, and re-issued in 2019 on the band’s Bandcamp page. Seven more tracks to contend with! Including live songs that never got to wax. Fortunately, this is available now and I can buy it without the spectre of postal costs! And get the tracks in CD resolution files. But now we’re scraping 20 tracks and many of these are 12″ versions. Will this mooted compilation need to be two CDs? Probably so. At that point, I may as well add the Vicious Pink material that was left off of the Cd that saw release in 2012! What does that entail?
Vicious Pink: Cccan’t You See… – UK – 2×12″ 
- Cccan’t You See… [French Extended Mix]
- Cccan’t You See…
- 8:15 To Nowhere/Great Balls Of Fire
- Cccan’t You See… [7″ Version]
- Cccan’t You See… [12″ Dub]
- Cccan’t You See… [7″ DJ Mix]
- Cccan’t You See… [12″ Effects]
- 8:15 To Nowhere/Great Balls Of Fire
I also have this UK 2×12″ of “Cccan’t You See…” that has two extra 12″ mixes not on the earlier CD. The 12″ Dub and the 12″ Effects mixes. I’d better give these a home here.
Various Artists: Razormaid Chapter Two: Edit Dump – USP – EP 
- Vicious Pink: Cccan’t You See… [Razormaid Mix]
- Heaven 17: Sunset Now [Razormaid Mix]
- Visage: Love Glove [Razormaid Mix]
- Figures On A Beach: Breathless [Razormaid Mix]
There’s also this gem. The second ever Razormaid release. packed with goodness including one more mix of “Cccan’t You See…” just because. I need to make sure that one is in any CD I make as well. Surely that’s all?
In 2011, the band put out three Vicious Pink demos from their EMI era in low-res MP3s; now long since gone to buy. But they leave their traces to taunt me. Three demos of the songs:
- Fetish [Inst. Demo] 5:04
- Baby It’s Too Late [Demo] 4:02
- 8:15 To Nowhere [Demo] 3:54
And that’s a wrap. Surely this is the final roundup of any remaining Vicious Pink and Vicious Pink Phenomenon material still to compile to disc! Before today, I felt it was in my grasp. Now? Not so much. Join me in a decade when we have all of the still missing parts in hand!
Being somewhat nerdy about Soft Cell & their associates I had to get my hands on Vicious Pink early on and was and still am really lucky to have “My Private Tokyo” which is for me one of the very best New Wave Synthesizer Pop tracks ever. I never bothered to get the 7″ though as it has no different b-side and what use has a shorter edit besides ‘having it’ basically. The promo 12″ on the other hand did bother me – as did the pink one 12″ remix just to be sure not missing out on something. The fan-build data is right on the second promo remix btw. – it’s unique. Also the less legal pink one which is ok but not essential.
As for “Je T’aime (Moi Non Plus)” I can only say it’s worth the money for “In The Swim”, No one and I mean no one really needed another version of this track. Of course – the extended version is the one to get here imho. About “Maniac” and the French / Spain issues I got informed on only later via discogs to my surprise I missed it completely but It seems the A Side was remixed too.
I got the loveless compiled post mortem Vicious Pink LP (no inner sleeve, hardly any details or credits) on second sight way back then after guessing it might be the same duo based on their fantastic first 12″ and was a bit horrified about the blunt production on some tracks. Especially the weak “Can’t You See” with additional remix ruined it for me but well, I’m lucky I don’t need to find it again or had to get the Cherry Red CD as I really can’t stand listeining to the same track in endless remixes over and over again (same with The Grid’s deluxe edition of Electric Head and “Flotation” on Disk 2, also by Cherry Red). This just works as a stowaway for me.
“Fetish” was a much stronger track but hardly as successfull as it should have been imho,
Still I was absolutely amazed when Brian Moss revisited his past and released the remastered live recording and some demos and got them immediatelely. Everything fine until he discovered bandcamp and since them I’m struggling to get it again lossless or not….
slur – There are SO MANY MIXES of “Cccan’t You See…” that it must have been some sort of contest between ZTT and Tony Mansfield to see how much they could grind out on their Fairlights [which needed to be paid off before they were obsolete…whoops! too late!]. So I need that promo mix, eh? I was hoping it was wrong! I wither when I pay 3-4x the cost of the music for postage, but it will only get worse with further age. Maybe the time to stop collecting records is nigh?
What was up with Cherry Red sequencing all of those mixes in a row like that on the CD? In my projects, I will jump around for years in the timeline to avoid any two mixes in a row, if need be! And I’m there with you on “Fetish” as well as “Take Me Now” as being stronger singles. Yet there’s 15 mixes of “Cccan’t You See…”
“Fetish” had that Cab Volt energy that was really powerful. The Soft Cell periphery was pretty strong with Vicious Pink Phenomena and Six Sed Red working that action. Too bad the latter only had that one single, but they actually did work with Cab Volt on it! “Shake It Right” could mix in a set with “Fetish” without batting an eyelash.
Maybe this is a job for the long-awaited (in some corners) team-up between the Monk and Mr Davies, he of the remasters? This certainly sounds like a record that needs to exist!
Blimey! This is a blast from the past. I owned the original CCCan’t You See 12 inch but it somehow disappeared on my various moves. The Master Mix is my favourite version.
Will Swanson – Welcome to the comments! I was diving deeper yesterday and found that there was an 8:11 mix that appeared on this CD
I need to digitize all of my 12″ singles and sort out just what’s what. yesterday’s post looks premature.
Perhaps this will satisfy most demands, even if there’s (not yet) no speech of a digital version
slur – So Minimal Wave are doing a 2xLP of Vicious Pink this year, but are keeping mum on the details, thus far! Agonizing. I didn’t buy Vicious Pink records for a quarter century just to have them come out, again, on LP. Heck, I’ve had the Canadian LP practically since it came out! It seems like some unreleased material will be part of the mix. Grrrr. We’ll see if I take the bait.
Indeed – but that’s all info available for now. Let’s wait for more details, At least there might be a lossless bandcamp version so there’s hope.
slur – Glad the band have a Bandcamp presence! I think I have enough Vicious Pink vinyl.
Loved Vicious Pink. I have the original “Cccan’t You See… ” UK 12″ that I picked up in the Tower Records Import section in 1984 (for $3.99).
I found “Vicious Pink Phenomena: Je T’aime – UK – 12” (Warehouse Records) at Butch Wax Records in SF’s Castro District in July 1985 for a mere $1.99 (in the bargain bin).
AK_Brooklyn – Welcome to the comments! Wow, so you were paying $3.99 for import 12”ers in Tower in 1984? That’s a buck less than the $4.99 that i was paying in Central Florida back then. But in a year later, the going rate would have bumped up to $5.99 for import 12” singles. The “Je T’aime” single sounded like a steal. We could buy import 12” singles on cutout for that in the better record stores where such delights happened. I remember seeing the “This Is The House” 12” by Eurythmics in the import cutout bins [after I got one in the used bins] for $1.99 or $2.99. Back before “Sweet Dreams” hit and only obsessive Tourists fans were even looking for their records, which were hard to find in Central Florida. Too bad I didn’t buy those all for my “retirement fund!”
I have the “Fetish” shaped picture disc,which has turned brown and a couple of 7″ singles.
Many years before the Cherry Red comp I downloaded an unofficial collection,with about 6 of the 14 tracks being extended versions/DJ mixes.
There is something about their sound which I find appealing but also inherently “cheap” and a bit tacky-like a lot of 80s electronic fodder.
The Six Said Red 12″ you mentioned is a classic and often played here at Metamorph Towers!
Gavin – I’d be lying if the cheapness that you cite was not a significant part of their appeal! “Cheapness” is the tie that binds groups like Vicious Pink, and Six Sed Red. That and mountains of synths, which were not cheap!
And I really like the name Metamorph Towers!! Everyone should have an evocative name for their personal sanctum sanctorum. Even a Monk on a budget can have a Record Cell.
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And here’s another one! :)
“Brian Moss info from YouTube: “The 12″ B-side had 1 of 2 secret songs included, Maniac or Odd One. Of course the secret songs were not credited on the sleeve artwork or vinyl artwork. Depending on the Country of purchase would change the secret song.”
Vlad – !!! I saw that the French and Spanish releases had a song called “Maniac” on the B-side, but there’s no mention of “Odd One” anywhere. Now I need to find out what’s on my UK 12″ single. Looking at the wax, there’s no discrete band but the inner half of the groove close to the label looks like a different pattern, so there could be a 2nd track hidden there. Interesting!
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