Want List: The Last Virgin-Era China Crisis DLX RM Finally Drops With 3-Disc “What Price Paradise”

Virgin Music Label + Artist Services | UK | 3xCD | 2022 | 4503213

China Crisis: What Price Paradise DLX RM – UK – 3xCD [2022]

Disc 1: What Price Paradise

  1. It’s Everything
  2. Arizona Sky
  3. Safe As Houses
  4. Worlds Apart
  5. Hampton Beach
  6. The Understudy
  7. Best Kept Secret
  8. We Do The Same
  9. June Bride
  10. A Day’s Work For The Dayo’s Done

Disc 2: Bonus Tracks

  1. Trading In Gold – B-side
  2. Arizona Sky – Single Edit
  3. The Instigator – Italian Fuzzbox Version
  4. Little Italy – B-side
  5. Best Kept Secret – Prod. Andy Partridge
  6. Worlds Apart – Prod. Pete Walsh / Strawberry South Sessions
  7. Arizona Sky [Demo]
  8. Safe As Houses [Demo]
  9. Trading In Gold [Demo]
  10. Best Kept Secret [Demo]

Disc 3: Live @Liverpool Empire – 1987

  1. Arizona Sky
  2. Strength Of Character
  3. Black Man Ray
  4. Worlds Apart
  5. We Do The Same
  6. Best Kept Secret
  7. Soul’s Awakening
  8. June Bride
  9. The Understudy
  10. It’s Everything
  11. Hanna Hanna
  12. King In A Catholic Style (Wake Up)
  13. Working With Fire And Steel
  14. African And White
  15. Wall Of God
  16. Wishful Thinking
  17. Christian

It was 2013 when the first China Crisis DLX RM manifested, and the selection of “Diary Of A Hollow Horse” for that honor was puzzling. It was their final Virgin Records release from 1990, and it was not their best seller in any case. But anyone who didn’t get that release quickly [my friend Mr. Ware picked that as a birthday gift that year for me, thankfully!] will now part with heavy shekels to get that one nine years later.

In 2015, Virgin’s Caroline division produced spacious DLX RMs of the first three Virgin Records albums: “Difficult Shapes + Passive Rhythms [Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain],” “Working With Fire + Steel [Possible pop Songs Vol. 2],” and “Flaunt The Imperfection.” Each of these duly entered the Record Cell, and now it’s time for the capstone to the campaign. The fourth China Crisis album from 1986, “What Price Paradise.”

In America, the savvy US label A+M licensed China Crisis in 1986…but didn’t match the names up right

The album was a change of pace with Clanger/Winstanley producing instead of Walter Becker, who’d made a big splash with the previous “Flaunt The Imperfection,” but the continuity of the songwriting and vibe remained consistent with the new album featuring more sophisticated, warm pop music with subtle, yet ingratiating melodies. That’s what fills the first disc of the new edition.

Disc two is a dive into the exotic tributaries of demos and B-sides. I see that they included the ubiquitous “Italian Fuzzbox Version” of “the B-side “The Instigator” but I wish they’d also included the standard mix, which was found only on the CD single that I stupidly got rid of before buying “The Collection” in its 2xCD version with the bonus disc of B-sides. Only to find that the “Italian Fuzzbox Version” of the track from the 12″ single was also used there. So I still need to re-buy that CD5 for the CC collection.

Exotic recordings abound like a Pete Walsh production of “World’s Apart,’ and [in theory] Andy Partridge’s production of “Best Kept Secret” but the CD was released on January 28, 2022, and we already know that the label has mistakenly sourced the standard LP version of “Best Kept Secret” on the main album as well as on disc two. No word yet on how this will be addressed by Virgin. A re-press might be out of the question, but at the very least a DL would be a step in the right direction.

Finally, more of Gary Daly’s excellent demos of the four songs will round out disc two. It’s been a delight to hear his demos in recent years as they were delightful Techno Pop confections that were far different from the finished album tracks. Disc three is a 1987 vintage concert from the tour for this album that, of course, we never got to experience over here. Passionate China Crisis fans [are there any other kind?] will want to act on this one sooner, than later. So DJ hit that button, if you please, for the Rough Trade UK store.

post-punk monk buy button

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15 Responses to Want List: The Last Virgin-Era China Crisis DLX RM Finally Drops With 3-Disc “What Price Paradise”

  1. Schwenko says:

    This landed in NYC 2 days ago. It’s everything!

    Like

  2. Gavin says:

    I will be picking this one up soon as well.
    Looking forward to seeing the boys live again in Chester-can’t make tomorrows Liverpool show.
    Shame about the Partridge Trauma-hope we eventually get to hear that version in some form.Cannot wait to hear the demos,they are always such gems.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Gavin – Give our best to Mr. Daly in Chester. Would that I ever had the opportunity to see them live. Even Mr. Ware in Orlando got to see an 80s event where they got their miniset! One day, but I’m not sure when that might happen. I have tickets for Sparks and Nick Cave + Warren Ellis for next month that we will not be indulging in, thanks to Omicron. Bought last summer in the height of optimism that America can ill afford. Must resell those tickets!

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  3. Andy B says:

    I picked up this release but haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. It looks like we don’t get the full concert on disc three. In the booklet there is a photo of a tape box of monitor mixes of the gig which lists the first eight tracks. ‘You Did Cut Me’ at track three and ‘Gift Of Freedom’ at track six don’t make the CD. With a playing time of 78.06 there obviously wasn’t enough space for the whole gig. Shame about the Partridge cock up too.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Andy B – Well, that’s interesting to hear about the live album. At least the tape boxes revealed the truth. If they had to edit songs for time then I’m glad “You Did Cut Me” was one. It’s the one CC single that I never cared for that much. The Partridge fubar is the real concern for me. I hope there’s some attempt at a make-good. Edsel often re-presses discs to fix their errors, but they usually have 5-6 per disc so they really have to! We’ll see.

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      • Andy B says:

        Yes I have had many an experience of Edsel having to do represses. Heaven 17’s ‘Play To Win’ box a prime example!
        Indeed let’s hope Virgin address the error satisfactorily.

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  4. Assuming they can fix the issues, I will very happily buy this and pursue copies of the other SDX remasters! “The Collection” was a great purchase when I got it (cheep!) and really solidified my CC fandom.

    Like

  5. schwenko says:

    Just an update on the Chinas. This week at their Liverpool concert they offered concert goers the chance to pre-order a dvd, cd or lp of the concert. Hopefully in the future these will become available to the unwashed masses.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      schwenko – That reminds me! One day I have to do a post on the possible dozens of China Crisis live albums [with DVDs]. There seem to be a hell of a lot of them! I have two live albums but in the last 20 years they seem to have proliferated like fungi! At first I thought some were the old “retitle” the album/give it a new cover to con the fans into buying it again, but now I’m not sure.

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  6. Ginés says:

    If it is true, that the version of BEST KEPT SECRET is the same as the one on the Album, it is not the Andy Partridge version.
    “The record label should facilitate the download of this Remix for those of us who have bought the CD’s”.
    On the other hand if there is another version that has not been added to the list, THE INSTIGATOR there is another version with extra guitar edited in 7 “single and the 12” is the one that has been included.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Ginés – Yes, the “italian Fuzzbox Version” of “The Instigator” is the one that has been more widely distributed, with the other mix seemingly only on the CD single. Which I foolishly got rid of and need to buy again.

      Like

  7. drivel says:

    A new China Crisis anthology ‘Singles / B-Sides / Versions’ has just been released and appears to include a couple of tracks “missing” from the earlier deluxe editions. Also released is a 22 track China Crisis demos anthology unimaginatively titled “Demos”. I can find no other details about these releases.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      drivel – It’s so hard knowing what’s up with China Crisis seeing as they have never had an official website for this stuff! Can you even see where to buy a copy? [looks] It seems like the “Singles / B-Sides / Versions” and “Demos” are DL only compilations, so picking the nuggets out on the former, would be the thing here to do. And there’s another China Crisis DVD coming in a week!
      china crisis dvd

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  8. Pingback: Want List: China Crisis 40th Anniversary Explosion Of Hits with DVD And Downloads | Post-Punk Monk

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