It’s 2022: Time For The 40th Anniversary Ultrabox Of Associates’ Meisterwerk “Sulk”

40th anniversary sulk
Various analog and digital formats are jockeying for our attention in 2022

I’ve known about the 40th Anniversary DLX RM of Associates “Sulk” album for a few weeks now, but today is when it gets real for this Monk! This will be the fifth remastering of the crucial 1982 album; one of the most deliciously left-field “hit” records ever to grace the UK charts. It was the one where the band’s trajectory took them from Post-Punk, through an increasingly left field period immediately following, to see them landing on the New Pop bandwagon like a gilded butterfly; a ravishing sight to behold even as it carried the paradox of its own destruction that saw the band immediately fissure instead of reaping the work for years of effort.

So here are the choices the Associates collector has. Two from the artist’s Townsend Records official store, and one from the SuperDeluxeEdition.com store.

Blue LP + Exclusive Cassette Single

townsend records analog bundle
The analog bundle from official store

Associates: Sulk – Blue LP + Gold CASS – UK [2022]

  1. Arrogance Gave Him Up
  2. No
  3. Bap De La Bap
  4. Gloomy Sunday
  5. Nude Spoons
  6. Skipping
  7. It’s Better This Way
  8. Party Fears Two
  9. Club Country
  10. Nothingsomethingparticular

Bonus Cassette

  1. 18 Carat Love Affair
  2. Love Hangover [7″ edit]

The official Associates store has these two for $40. There’s the classic album. Hopefully in a mastering that is the same as the original UK album [which I have two copies of]. The “US Edition” on Sire Records swapped out remixes of several tracks, changed the running order, and bolted on two cuts from “Fourth Drawer Down” AND a non-LP single! The running order here hews to the UK LP, but the devil is in the details. We hope that these are the original 40 year old UK LP mixes of these tracks. The non-LP single of “18 Carat Love Affair” b/w a cover of Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover” [in the 7″ edit] as on the 7″ single is on a gold colored cassette here for something unique.

Blue LP + Exclusive Cassette Single + 3 x CD

townsend records CD bundle
If you want those CDs, you must also get the LP and tape

Associates: Sulk – 3xCD – Blue LP – Gold CASS – UK [2022]

LP/CD1 – ORIGINAL ALBUM

  1. Arrogance Gave Him Up
  2. No
  3. Bap De La Bap
  4. Gloomy Sunday
  5. Nude Spoons
  6. Skipping
  7. It’s Better This Way
  8. Party Fears Two
  9. Club Country
  10. Nothingsomethingparticular

CD2 – SULK: OUT-TAKES, MONITOR MIXES & RARITIES

  1. Ulcragyceptimol (Demo)
  2. I Never Will (Demo)
  3. Club Country (Demo)
  4. Me, Myself and the Tragic Story (John Leckie Recording)
  5. Australia (John Leckie Recording)
  6. Skipping (Monitor Mix Instrumental)
  7. It’s Better This Way (Monitor Mix)
  8. And Then I Read a Book (Alternative Version)
  9. Ulcragyceptimol
  10. It’s Better This Way (Alt Version)
  11. The Associate
  12. A Girl Named Property
  13. Grecian 2000
  14. Party Fears Two (7″)
  15. Club Country (7″)
  16. 18 Carat Love Affair
  17. Love Hangover (Extended Version)

CD3 – ASSOCIATES LIVE

  1. Me Myself And The Tragic Story (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  2. Nude Spoons (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  3. A Matter Of Gender (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  4. It’s Better This Way (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  5. Ulcragyceptimol (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  6. Waiting For The Love Boat (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  7. Australia (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  8. Love Hangover (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  9. A Severe Case of Career Insecurity (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  10. Arrogance Gave Him Up (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  11. A Matter Of Gender (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  12. Nude Spoons (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  13. Paper House (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  14. No (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  15. And Then I Read a Book (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  16. Gloomy Sunday (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  17. It’s Better This Way (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  18. Skipping (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)

Bonus Cassette

  1. 18 Carat Love Affair
  2. Love Hangover [7″ edit]

This bundle is $66 in the official store. Meaning that just the CDs would have retailed for $26 if that were an option, on the face of things.The same content as the 1st bundle, but the 3xCds are only available here. Disc one is the album, and if it’s the correct “Sulk,” then its appearance will be worth whatever we have to pay! Things get more interesting on disc two with five tracks that were previously unreleased demos, monitor mixes and…John Leckie productions??! Color me intrigued! Leckie always did great work. But what I don’t see here are the B-sides “A.G. It’s You Again” and “Voluntary Wishes Swapit Production” which have yet to bridge the gulf from single to CD after these five attempts. Sigh.

The third disc is a mix of relevant BBC sessions we all have, and a 1981 live concert performance in the Netherlands! The package here was a book pack with liner notes by Simon Reynolds. So I expect the booklet will be extremely well written. And they still add the gold cassette single, even thought the two tracks are on disc two. “Love Hangover” in its mandatory 12″ form.

Blue LP + 3 x CD + Exclusive CD Single

SDE sulk bundle
shown below: the “Party Fears Two” CD single

Associates: Sulk – 3xCD – Blue LP – CD-5 – UK [2022]

LP/CD1 – ORIGINAL ALBUM

  1. Arrogance Gave Him Up
  2. No
  3. Bap De La Bap
  4. Gloomy Sunday
  5. Nude Spoons
  6. Skipping
  7. It’s Better This Way
  8. Party Fears Two
  9. Club Country
  10. Nothingsomethingparticular

CD2 – SULK: OUT-TAKES, MONITOR MIXES & RARITIES

  1. Ulcragyceptimol (Demo)
  2. I Never Will (Demo)
  3. Club Country (Demo)
  4. Me, Myself and the Tragic Story (John Leckie Recording)
  5. Australia (John Leckie Recording)
  6. Skipping (Monitor Mix Instrumental)
  7. It’s Better This Way (Monitor Mix)
  8. And Then I Read a Book (Alternative Version)
  9. Ulcragyceptimol
  10. It’s Better This Way (Alt Version)
  11. The Associate
  12. A Girl Named Property
  13. Grecian 2000
  14. Party Fears Two (7″)
  15. Club Country (7″)
  16. 18 Carat Love Affair
  17. Love Hangover (Extended Version)

CD3 – ASSOCIATES LIVE

  1. Me Myself And The Tragic Story (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  2. Nude Spoons (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  3. A Matter Of Gender (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  4. It’s Better This Way (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  5. Ulcragyceptimol (Peel Session 28/04/81)
  6. Waiting For The Love Boat (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  7. Australia (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  8. Love Hangover (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  9. A Severe Case of Career Insecurity (Peel Session 06/03/82)
  10. Arrogance Gave Him Up (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  11. A Matter Of Gender (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  12. Nude Spoons (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  13. Paper House (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  14. No (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  15. And Then I Read a Book (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  16. Gloomy Sunday (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  17. It’s Better This Way (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)
  18. Skipping (Live at Gigant, Apeldoorn 10/01/81)

Bonus CD Single

  1. Party Fears Two (7″)
  2. Party Fears Two (Album Version)
  3. Party Fears Two (Remix)
  4. Party Fears Two (Instrumental)
  5. I Never Will (Demo)
  6. It’s Better This Way (original B-side version)

Now we’re talking! Instead of the redundant tape, we have a CD with tracks that enhance the overall package. The cost for this at the SDE store is £50 or pretty much the same $66 that the official store is charging. Minus that fourth CD. But the big news is the shipping costs. Commenter Schwenko reported that after he bought the $66 LP/3xCD/CASS bundle from the official store, his shipping costs brought the total to a staggering $118.50! I just checked out of the SDE store buying this bundle and paid a rock-bottom £18 [$23.60] for the privilege. And I had a card snafu besides, and after I notified SDE, they had canceled the original order on the wrong account within minutes. More responsive service I cannot imagine. There’s no mention of the limit on the SDE bundle with the fourth CD, so buy in haste lest we shoulder regrets.

the glorious “Party Fears Two” omnibus CD-5 edition!

Buyers on a budget should know that these are just the exclusive pack bundles at the official Townsend Records store and the SDE store. I expect the LP and the LP+3xCD to manifest at the usual web and possibly even brick + mortar retailers. The SDE page for it lists the various price points on the wild wild web [outside of America].

Initially, in the official store, there was mention of the package being signed by Alan Rankine and Mike Dempsey, but those notions are currently scrubbed from the website, so that love boat has sailed. On disc 2 in the bundle there’s “It’s Better This Way [Alt. ver.]” as well as “It’s Better This Way” as originally on the B-side to “Party Fears Two” in a very different recording from the album. Suggesting that there are now possibly three versions of the track. Join us after May 13, when this delight is released, for a rundown of the experience.

Official Store: LP + CASS

post-punk monk buy button

Official Store: LP + CASS + 3 x CD

post-punk monk buy button

SDE Store: LP + CASS + 3 x CD + CD-5

post-punk monk buy button

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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3 Responses to It’s 2022: Time For The 40th Anniversary Ultrabox Of Associates’ Meisterwerk “Sulk”

  1. Echorich says:

    Oh I do so hope it actually is a mastering and not a mastering mess in the final product.

    Like

  2. I am irritated by the fact that I can’t get *just the CDs*. I have zero interest in vinyl anymore with the exception of stuff that is available on CD. In addition to being unsure if the remastering/mastering is brickwalled or some other dire attempt at relevance, I’m afraid I have no choice but to sit out this round until I can buy what I actually want — all THRILLER, no FILLER!

    Like

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