Rock G.P.A.: The Blow Monkeys [part 21]

blow monkeys compilation monktone
By the mid 90s it was safe for 80s nostalgia on CD format

[…continued from last post]

As the 90s dawned and all of the Classic Rock was out on CD format, the market expanded to allow the first stirrings of 80s nostalgia, and the budget compilation market exploded by the decade’s mid point. The Blow Monkeys had sufficient hits in that they would not be bypassed. So there came forth a rivulet of Blow Monkeys compilations; the first ones since the full-price official greatest hits album, “Choices?” These were mostly inexpensive, and the Blow Monkeys fan should look into a few of these for their own Record Cell if they don’t want to miss anything.

blow monkeys - best selection cover art
RCA | JPN | CD | 1994 | BVCP-2604

The Blow Monkeys: Best Selection – JPN – CD [1994]

1Springtime For The World3:24
2In Too Deep4:34
3Wait3:10
4Choice?3:24
5Slaves No More3:51
6This Is Your Life4:31
7It Pays To Belong4:40
8It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way4:01
9Some Kind Of Wonderful3:34
10(Celebrate) The Day After You4:02
11Out With Her4:25
12Digging Your Scene4:15
13Wicked Ways4:14
14Don’t Be Scared Of Me3:32
15Superfly4:24
16Forbidden Fruit4:07
17Man From Russia3:12
18Wildflower3:01
19It’s Not Unusual3:12

blow monkeys - limping for a generation cover art JAPANJapan was first to act with a “Best Selection” compilation with a photo that was a tight crop of the Japanese cover to “Limping For A Generation.” ← The contents were sixteen singles, two B-sides, and a deep cut [literally “In Too Deep”]. At the time, “Superfly” and “It’s Not Unusual [live],” would have been the draws for me, but these have shown up later, in easier to buy releases.

 

blow monkeys - the best of the blow monkeys cover art
BMG | GER | CD | 1994 | 74321183262

The Blow Monkeys: The Best Of The Blow Monkeys – GER – CD [1994]

1Digging Your Scene4:06
2Out With Her4:25
3Springtime For The World3:24
4Vibe Alive2:50
5Professor Supercool4:01
6Man From Russia3:13
7Wicked Ways3:36
8Wait3:08
9This Is Your Life4:18
10No Woman Is An Island4:14
11Aeroplane City Love Song4:28
12Atomic Lullaby3:36
13He’s Shredding Skin4:03
14How Long Can A Bad Thing Last4:07

BMG [RCA’s owner by that point] in Germany issued this extremely ghastly looking compilation, with eight singles balanced by six deep cuts. Great call by BMG Germany on the should-have-been-a-single “Aeroplane City Love Song” gracing this CD.

blow monkeys - for the record cover art
Camden | UK | CD | 1996 | 74321 393342

The Blow Monkeys: For The Record – UK – CD [1996]

1Digging Your Scene
2Springtime For The World
3Out With Her
4Wicked Ways [7″ remix]
5Wait
6No Woman Is An Island
7Squaresville
8Some Kind Of Wonderful
9It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
10Celebrate (The Day After You) [7″remix]
11It Pays To Belong
12Atomic Lullaby
13Choice?
14This Is The Way It Has To Be (Remix)
15This Is Your Life (’88 Mix)
16Digging Your Scene (12″ Mastermind Mix)
17Celebrate (Paul Weller Mix)

I remember running across this CD in the Atlanta Tower Records [r.i.p.] when visiting that city with my wife. It was on RCA’s budget Camden label and was not costly, even though it was an import. I think I paid $9.00 for it and was glad to since it contained two remixes that first appeared here. “Digging Your Scene [12″ Mastermind Mix]” was a unique remix heavy with dub touches while featuring all of the vocals and some very funky shifts in EQ. This CD remains the only place to find this buried treasure.

The other unique mix [at the time] was “Celebrate [Paul Weller Mix],” which was a downtempo House Dub of the track with only Curtis Mayfield’s ad libs and none of his actual vocals. This track was also on the DLX RM of “She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter” from 2014 [now ridiculously OOP] and the never easy [or cheap] Japanese “Rare + Unreleased” CD. Otherwise, we had a dozen singles, two deep cuts, and three 12″ remixes [two previously unreleased]. It was worth getting for the collectors. Nice to see the love here for “Squaresville.” Which might have been earmarked early on as a single, due to the long version also on the “Whoops! There Goes The Neighbourhood.”

blow monkeys - the masters cover art
Eagle Records | UK | CD | 1996 | EAB CD 005

The Blow Monkeys: The Masters – UK – CD [1996]

1Digging Your Scene
2Wicked Ways
3It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
4Out With Her
5Celebrate (The Day After You)
6Some Kind Of Wonderful
7This Is Your Life
8Choice?
9Slaves No More
10La Passionara
11Superfly
12Atomic Lullaby
13It Pays To Belong
14Man From Russia
15Wildflower
16Forbidden Fruit
17No Woman Is An Island
18Squaresville

The 90s Eagle Records empire issued “The Masters” which seems to juggle tracks from the other, earlier compilations. Fifteen singles, one B-side, and two deep cuts. Nothing to see here; move along!

the blow monkeys - atomic lullabies cover art
Camden Deluxe | UK | 2xCD | 1999 | 74321 698822

The Blow Monkeys: Atomic Lullabies – Very Best Of The Blow Monkeys – UK – 2xCD [1999]

1-1Atomic Lullaby
1-2He’s Shedding Skin
1-3Wildflower
1-4Forbidden Fruit
1-5Digging Your Scene
1-6Wicked Ways [7″ remix]
1-7Heaven Is A Place
1-8It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
1-9Out With Her
1-10Celebrate (The Day After You)
1-11Wait
1-12This Is Your Life
1-13Choice?
1-14Slaves No More
1-15Springtime For The World
1-16La Passionara
2-1I’m So Glad
2-2The Higher Ground
2-3Rub-A-Dub Shanka
2-4Resurrection Love
2-5Slither
2-6My Twisty Jewel
2-7Kill The Pig
2-8It’s Not Unusual (Live)
2-9My America
2-10The Optimist
2-11I Backed A Winner (In You)
2-12Walking The Bluebeat
2-13Beautiful Child [with Curtis Mayfield]
2-14This Day Today
2-15The Love Of Which I Dare Not Speak
2-16The Other Side Of You

Now this was a must-have! I immediately bought “Atomic Lullabies” since it was a budget compilation with a second CD of the band’s great B-sides! Along with fifteen singles and two deep cuts, it’s the Blow Monkey’s album to have if you’re only having one. Best of all, two previously unreleased tracks figured here: “I’m So Glad” and “Higher Ground.” The latter, not a Stevie Wonder cover. Though it was also a Camden issue, it was Camden Deluxe. No pennies were pinched form the design to the content. The liner notes by Dr. Robert were best-of-breed. This marked the first times that tracks 2-3 to 2-10 were ever on CD. Some of the latter B-sides were on CD-5 singles, of course.

blow monkeys - digging your scene cover art
Armoury Records | UK | CD | 2000 | ARMCD003

The Blow Monkeys: Digging Your Scene – UK – CD [2000]

1Digging Your Scene
2Wicked Ways
3It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
4Out With Her
5Celebrate (The Day After You)
6Some Kind Of Wonderful
7This Is Your Life
8Choice?
9Slaves No More
10La Passionara
11Superfly
12Atomic Lullaby
13It Pays To Belong
14Man From Russia
15Wildflower
16Forbidden Fruit
17No Woman Is An Island
18Squaresville

Eagle also had the Armoury sublabel, and they re-issued the completely superfluous “The Masters” four years later with an even worse cover and a new name in the hopes of bulking the rubes. Scandalous.

blow monkeys - complete singles cover art
BMG | JPN | CD | 2000 | BVCM-37114

The Blow Monkeys: The Complete Singles – JPN – CD [2000]

1Go Public
2Man From Russia
3Atomic Lullaby
4Wildflower
5Forbidden Fruit
6Digging Your Scene
7Wicked Ways
8Don’t Be Scared Of Me
9It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
10Out With Her
11Celebrate (The Day After You)
12Some Kind Of Wonderful
13This Is Your Life : Version 1
14It Pays To Belong
15Wait (Short)
16This Is Your Life : Version 2
17Choice?
18Slaves No More
19Springtime For The World
20La Passionara

BMG Japan chose not to issue the “Atomic Lullabies” collection, but they did something differently. They issued two separate Blow Monkeys CDs in 2000. The first was the authoritative “The Complete Singles.” Which was just that; all 20 singles the band issued [on RCA]. Of course, the first indie single was no there. This is the only compilation where “Go Public,” the first RCA single ever appeared.

blow monkeys - rare + unreleased cover art
BMG | JPN | CD | 2000 | BVCM-37115

The Blow Monkeys: Rare + Unreleased – JPN – CD [2000]

1I’m So Glad
2The Higher Ground
3Digging Your Scene [Long]
4Superfly [Long]
5It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way [Long]
6Celebrate (The Day After You) [Paul Weller Mix]
7Beautiful Child [w/Curtis Mayfield]
8You Don’t Own Me
9It Pays To Be Twelve
10This Is Your Life [N-Ten-City Mix]
11Wait! [Long]
12Choice? [Long]
13Slaves No More [Long]

The companion CD to the singles was 12″ remixes instead of the B-sides. And the cover photo here was the back cover to “Atomic Lullabies.” “I’m So Glad” and “Higher Ground” also appeared here along with a selection of 12″ mixes…and in a first for any compilation, the non-LP cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me!” The legal issue surrounding that song are semi-legendary and it seems like BMG Japan may have tried to get away with compiling that which cannot be compiled. I don’t technically need this compilation, but it’s been in my want list for a decade, anyway. On principle.

With the two most significant compilations here safely in my Record Cell from the time of their issue, those were the only “new” Blow Monkeys CDs that entered into my collection after the band’s dissolution. Which by 2007 had lasted a generation. But that silence was disrupted by and unexpected email in the fall of 2007 that I could not have expected.

Next: …Devil’s Advocate

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Core Collection, Rock GPA, Scots Rock and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rock G.P.A.: The Blow Monkeys [part 21]

  1. I know which two comps I’m gonna pick up! Thanks, O Monk!

    Like

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