Want List: Red Noise Boxed Set Posits The Unimaginable Overstimulation Of “Sound On Sound” In Surround Sound

Red Noise [L-R]: Rick Ford, Simon Clark, Bill Nelson, Ian Nelson, Steve Peer

Gloryoski! When It rains, it pours! So many new releases to desire …and so little money to buy them. Here we are in the midst of re-flooring our modest home, and far more work than that as there are many jobs best done when the house is empty. Last week I got the email revealing that the campaign of Be Bop Deluxe BSOGs that recently ended with the sublime “Drastic Plastic” [which I really need to get…] is moving one step beyond… with the electrifying Red Noise “Sound on Sound” getting the the intense scrutiny of The Box.

We’ve spoken recently about the highly successful attempt by Nelson to graft Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto to a shoot of writing, electrically charged Rock music that resulted in the “Sound On Sound” album of 1979. Now comes the news that Esoteric Recordings; the well-named sub-label of Cherry Red are preparing a six disc box of the album, with four CDs and two high-res DVDs including the provocation of 5.1 surround sound mixes of the album [and its rarities] by longtime engineer to Rupert Hine, Stephen W. Tayler. A man ideally suited to the bonding of Machine and Rock. So what’s in store for us when the box comes on August 26th, 2022?

Bill Nelson’s Red Noise: Art/Empire/Industry – The Complete Red Noise – 4xCD – 2xDVD [2022]

Esoteric Recordings | UK | 4xCD + 2x DVD | 2022 | QECLEC62808

DISC 1 – SOUND ON SOUND remastered

  1. Don’t Touch Me (I’m Electric)
  2. For Young Moderns
  3. Stop / Go / Stop
  4. Furniture Music
  5. Radar in My Heart
  6. Stay Young
  7. Out of Touch
  8. A Better Home in the Phantom Zone
  9. Substitute Flesh
  10. The Atom Age
  11. Art / Empire / Industry
  12. Revolt into Style
  13. Wonder Toys That Last Forever
  14. Acquitted by Mirrors (B-side of ‘Furniture Music’ EP)
  15. Stay Young (BBC session 17.02.1979)
  16. Furniture Music (BBC session 17.02.1979)
  17. Don’t Touch Me (I’m Electric) (BBC session 17.02.1979)
  18. Out of Touch (BBC session 17.02.1979)


  1. Don’t Touch Me (I’m Electric)(live)
  2. For Young Moderns (live)
  3. Furniture Music (live)
  4. Out of Touch (live)
  5. Stop-Go-Stop (live)
  6. Atom Age (live)
  7. Possession (live)
  8. Superenigmatix (live)
  9. Substitute Flesh (live)
  10. Phantom Zone (live)
  11. Radar in My Heart (live)
  12. Art / Empire / Industry (live)
  13. Revolt into Style (live)
  14. Stay Young (live)
  15. For Young Moderns (Encore) (live)

DISC 3 – SOUND ON SOUND Stephen W. Tayler 2.0 remix

  1. Don’t Touch Me (I’m Electric)
  2. For Young Moderns
  3. Stop / Go / Stop
  4. Furniture Music
  5. Radar in My Heart
  6. Stay Young
  7. Out of Touch
  8. A Better Home in the Phantom Zone
  9. Substitute Flesh
  10. The Atom Age
  11. Art / Empire / Industry
  12. Revolt into Style
  13. Wonder Toys That Last Forever
  14. Acquitted by Mirrors
  15. My Light (previously unreleased) Recorded for the “Sound on Sound” sessions
  16. Instantly Yours
  17. Ideal Homes
  18. Disposable

DISC 4 [DVD] – SOUND ON SOUND – 96/24 5.1/2.0 remix/original mix

  1. Don’t Touch Me (I’m Electric) (5.1 mix)
  2. For Young Moderns (5.1 mix)
  3. Stop / Go / Stop (5.1 mix)
  4. Furniture Music (5.1 mix)
  5. Radar in My Heart (5.1 mix)
  6. Stay Young (5.1 mix)
  7. Out of Touch (5.1 mix)
  8. A Better Home in the Phantom Zone (5.1 mix)
  9. Substitute Flesh (5.1 mix)
  10. The Atom Age (5.1 mix)
  11. Art / Empire / Industry (5.1 mix)
  12. Revolt into Style (5.1 mix)

DISC 5 [DVD] – BONUS – 96/24 5.1/2.0 remix/original mix

  1. Wonder Toys That Last Forever (5.1 mix)
  2. Acquitted by Mirrors (5.1 mix)
  3. My Light (5.1 mix) Recorded for the “Sound on Sound” sessions
  4. Instantly Yours (5.1 mix)
  5. Ideal Homes (5.1 mix)
  6. Disposable (5.1 mix)
  7. Revolt into Style (Promotional video 1979)
  8. Don’t Touch Me (I’m Electric) (BBC TV Old Grey Whistle Test – 1979)
  9. Furniture Music (BBC TV Old Grey Whistle Test 1979)
  10. Stay Young (BBC TV Old Grey Whistle Test 1979)


  1. Acquitted by Mirrors (demo)
  2. For Young Moderns (demo)
  3. Stop Go Stop (demo)
  4. Furniture Music (demo)
  5. Radar in My Heart (demo)
  6. Stay Young (demo)
  7. Out of Touch (demo)
  8. A Better Home in the Phantom Zone (demo)
  9. Substitute Flesh (demo)
  10. The Atom Age (demo)
  11. Revolt into Style (demo)
  12. Waiting for the Night (demo)
  13. My Light (demo)

It’s good to see all of the previously released Red Noise rarities here, but of course, the compilers went beyond that. With Tayler remixing the album for 5.1, the necessary step of a new 2.0 mix was also in the box. With the rare live outings by the Red Noise band as pictured above also accounted for. And the two DVDs have the album in high-res in all three mixes:

  • 5.1 mix by Stephen W. Tayler
  • 2.0 mix by Stephen W. Tayler
  • original 1979 mix

The second DVDs does the same with the bonus tracks, as well as adding the rare “Furniture Music” video and a session on Old Grey Whistle Test by the band which I’m very eager to see. This band always seemed like Nelson’s even more extreme reaction to the stimulus of a band like DEVO appearing on the scene. On the other hand, Nelson and co-producer John Leckie surely rubbed off on the young Scot Post-Punk band just emerging at the time of this album. Simple Minds also got John Leckie to produce their first three classic albums, and 1980’s “Empires + Dance,” with tracks like “Twist/Run/Repulsion” and a plethora of enervated energy coursing through some of its songs most likely had a precedent with this astonishing album.

Just hearing the original album was a savage pummeling of electro-twitch jolts delivered by frantic analog synths; patched to stun. To hear this mixed into 5.1 surround sound is like electric catnip to my ears. The box is in pre-order at Cherry Red for £57.99 [$70.80] and is highly recommended to anyone who reads these words on a regular basis. I think I’ll wait to see if importcds.com carried this a bit closer to the release date to save on both the cost as well as shipping from the UK. Otherwise…hit that button.

post-punk monk buy button


About postpunkmonk

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22 Responses to Want List: Red Noise Boxed Set Posits The Unimaginable Overstimulation Of “Sound On Sound” In Surround Sound

  1. jsd says:

    Oh hell yes. Never have I clicked the buy button faster in my life.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      jsd – I was going to maybe neglect the last Be Bop Deluxe BSOG for “Drastic Plastic” which was Nelson meeting New Wave very successfully, but his even more successful Post-Punk turn now exerts gravitational pull for that box, that slipped by earlier this year without comment. I’ve heard some opine that since Nelson owns the rights to “Quit Dreaming” and “The Love That Whirls” we might see the Cherry Red Nelson BSOG program stop after this but I’m not so sure. Those four albums would be necessary, I think!


      • jsd says:

        Yeah, I like BBD, but I LOVE Red Noise. I’m less concerned about Quit Dreaming/Love That Whirls. They have had decent CD reissues in the past. Red Noise so far has always been kind of murky. Looking forward to hear what the remastering/remixing can do for it.


        • Gerald McBoing-Boing says:

          This is out, the packaging is glorious and more than you could ever ask for. The new stereo mix is a revelation, and I’m saying that as a total skeptic of the benefits of remixing old releases.


  2. Since I bought my copy of Sound-On-Sound used, I should probably put some money in Nelson’s pocket and buy this…but my budget for music is currently even smaller than it was 40 years ago…sigh.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jeremy Shatan – Every copy of “Sound On Sound” I have was bought used. So I hear you! These late in the game ultraboxes help to even things out so the artist gets a cash injection for all of the money I’ve thrown at used record dealers over the years. Since I missed a lot of things when they were new.


  3. Scott Klapman says:

    Wow. That’s all I have right now.


  4. Mel Creighton says:

    Had to buy it. Good God, every since I bought this record at Peaches in Atlanta in 1979 I have absolutely loved this record. His lyrics are always incredible and maybe my nervous system’s dead but I am out of touch. If it puts money in his pocket I am thrilled. The man deserves it in spades.


  5. TonyM says:

    Super excited! Was a huge Be Bop fan back in the 70’s, finally saw them in ’77 with Television touring Marquee Moon. They had toured just a few months before opening for Rush and Ted Nugent, but I couldn’t make that gig, but sure heard about it! I guess when their live album became something of a hit, they finally got to headline in the USA themselves.

    When this came out it was sort of out of the blue, I think I saw a tease article in Creem or some other mag, and then there it was. I snapped it up off of the LP floor “display”, ran back to my dorm room and threw it on the TT before the shrink wrap hit the floor. I still remember me and my friends being slack-jawed after side one. The breakneck sequencing and cacophonous adrenaline rush back then was mind-boggling and totally prescient. Digital before digital. Even my “Roxy Music Sucks, Never Mind The Bullocks!” friends bought copies. Oh, and the LP came with a live 45 that’s also present on the CD. This one is still in my car’s regular rotation. As much as I love Bill’s early 80’s output, I kind of wish he’d have kept this one rolling a bit longer. But he was always restless so I’m just glad for what we have. I don’t consider much of anything to be an insta-buy these days, but this is one!

    Oh, and if you do finally get Drastic Plastic (seriously, WTF?) get the version with Japan (either original LP or Japanese book CD). For some insane reason, once that song became a moderate hit they removed it and replaced it with some B side I can’t recall on future LP and CD pressings.


    • Tony, per my mention of it below, the Apple Music version of the deluxe Drastic Plastic does indeed have the song “Japan” — three times, in fact! The “2021 Remaster” version, the “2021 Stereo Mix” version, and the slightly-shorter “1977 Demo” version. Huzzah!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      TonyM – Wow! So you saw Television open for Be Bop Deluxe in The States in 1977?! What a feast of guitar that must have been! And yes, I can only imagine a slack-jawed response to Red Noise in 1979! Even three years later […and counting] that would be the appropriate response. “Japan” was a non-LP single between “Live In The Air Age” and “Drastic Plastic.” The US and canadian “Drastic Plastic” LPs of the time swapped “Japan” for “Visions Of Endless Hope.” The EMI/Harvest 1990 BBD collection [which I have, apart from “Futurama”] all lacked the single as a bonus track, but the “Raiding The Divine Archive” compilation did the honors back then. But I was not going to buy it for one track!


      • TonyM says:

        Yeah, unfortunately Verlaine was pissed AF and then the crowd turned ugly. So they were booing and Tom was flipping us off. Bill Graham had a way of putting the wrong bands together (Like Peter Gabriel and Y&T) – I don’t think that a lot of the crowd was ready for New York Punk, no matter how arty. No doubt it totally rubbed off on Bill though. I enjoyed it, and they improved as they got angrier.

        Once I get my LP’s back (just moved) I’ll verify – but pretty sure it contained Japan and was a domestic (US) pressing only because of where I purchased. Could be wrong on that though. I also picked up “Best of and Rest of” double LP at the same shop, just to get a handful of B sides when I couldn’t afford it. At least I could eat at the dorm cafeteria!

        I stream Tidal, and they have all of the versions of Japan Chas mentioned above.


        • TonyM says:

          Yep, first (?) US Harvest pressing 1978 SW-11750 has Japan as song 4 on side 2. Deadwax scribble best I can make out says SW-2-11750-F3. Purchased at Warehouse Records Mountain View CA on release. But I can’t remember what I had for breakfast.


          • postpunkmonk says:

            TonyM – I’ll take your word for it because for the last 6 weeks, all of my music collection sits in my neighbor’s home. I hope to have it back soon, and in a dramatically new floor layout. We’ve been rethinking the Record Cell in the last week and there’s going to be some changes made.


  6. Yeah, I need to get both the Drastic Plastic BSOG (still one of the cleverest album titles ever from the Age of Vinyl) and this one. Utterly amazing stuff, as I recall.

    Incidentally, I note with interest that the entire DP deluxe edition is available on Apple Music (and Spotify I would imagine), as are the 2019 remasters of Modern Music and Futurama, plus the 2021 remaster of Live! In the Air Age alongside the original albums.

    As with the Monk, I highly encourage readers to get the new remaster/deluxe versions mentioned above in physical form, but at least you can check out the other remasters and judge if you need them in your collection.


  7. PS. ImportCDs.com does have it at $55.79 (pre-order), which is a bargain for US fans. I haven’t checked other sources for Canada, but Amazon.ca is selling it for an eye-watering C$116.54 (US$91.50), so yet another reason to avoid Bezos the Clown!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – I knew importcds.com wouldn’t let me down! It only took them less than a day to get that listing up. We’ll see if I can find enough change in the couch cushions before October. Hopefully, it won’t sell out in pre-sale as money is tight right now.


  8. The Swede says:

    Cherry Red deserve a big pat on the back for their treatment of Nelson’s early back catalogue. There are a number of labels who should be made to watch and learn how to do the ‘deluxe edition’ thing right.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      The Swede – I appreciate how the various BBD albums each have as much focus allotted to them as they could muster at this late date. Usually it was simply 3xCD + DVD but in the case of “Live In The Air Age” it was a Crimson-like 15xCD + DVD shelfbuster. I’m happy that Red Noise fits somewhere in between.


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