On Saturday I received a comment from reader drivel asking about two new China Crisis releases that had no real info surrounding them and which had seemingly manifested overnight, like musical mushrooms. When I looked into it, they had! Virgin released two packages of China Crisis rarities as intangibles only. Streaming and downloads for the older set.
China Crisis: Singles/B-Sides/Versions – DL 
- Best Kept Secret (Andy Partridge Version) 4:10
- Worlds Apart (Pete Walsh / Strawberry South Sessions) 3:28
- Trading In Gold (04:27)
- Diary Of A Hollow Horse (Acoustic Version) 3:37
- Red Letter Day (Mike Thorne Re-Recorded Version) 4:39
- St. Saviour Square (Mike Thorne Re-Recorded Version) 4:09
- Red Letter Day (Bazilington DJ Vibe Mix) 4:04
- All My Prayers (Mike Thorne Re-Recorded Version) 4:05
- Scream Down At Me 3:17
- Christian (Single Edit) 4:13
- Cucumber Garden (Edit) 4:53
- Tragedy And Mystery (Extended Version) 5:31
- Working With Fire And Steel 3:40
- Wishful Thinking 4:41
- Hanna Hanna (Edit) 3:29
- Arizona Sky (Edit) 4:13
- No Ordinary Lover 3:41
- Watching Over Burning Fields 6:23
- Greenacre Bay 4:17
- Performing Seals 2:47
- Cucumber Garden 6:55
- Be Suspicious 5:02
- Dockland 4:10
- Forever I And I 3:05
- A Golden Handshake For Every Daughter 4:02
- Some People I Know To Lead Fantastic Lives 3:44
- Animalistic 4:33
- It’s Never Too Late 4:58
- 96.8 4:27
- Orange Mutt-Mutt Dance 3:47
- Little Italy 3:06
I can tell by a look at the song graphs in iTunes store that lots of fans are getting excited by the “Best Kept Secret [Andy Partridge Version] that was promised on the “What Price Paradise” DLX RM earlier this year [which I still need…!] but not delivered. Owing to a mastering error that saw the LP mix incorrectly sourced instead. Well, Virgin have consistently replicated that error in the DL package released on Friday. It’s still not the Partridge version. Apparently Gary Daly has said the the correct Partridge version is being remastered now to appear presumably as a DL when it’s ready to everyone’s satisfaction.
Other than that, it has a few edits that have slipped through digital fingers thus far. My big beef might be the lack of “The Instigator” in the non “Italian Fuzzbox” Version,” but even the widely available Fuzzbox mix is missing in action here. Sigh. The second DL package released on July 15th was of the band’s excellent demos.
China Crisis: Demos – DL 
- Jon And Van (Demo) 3:34
- Tragedy And Mystery (Demo) 3:43
- When The Piper Calls (Demo) 5:24
- Wall Of God (Demo) 5:18
- Black Man Ray (Demo) 3:36
- Bigger The Punch I’m Feeling (Demo) 4:00
- Paula And Patricia (Demo) 2:22
- Lowlands (Demo) 3:04
- African And White (Demo) 4:53
- Arizona Sky (4-Track Home Demo) 5:07
- Safe As Houses (4-Track Home Demo) 5:12
- Trading In Gold (4-Track Home Demo) 2:40
- Best Kept Secret (4-Track Home Demo) 3:48
- St. Saviour Square (Band Demo) 6:24
- Stranger By Nature (Band Demo) 4:22
- In Northern Skies (Band Demo) 5:11
- Sweet Charity In Adoration (Band Demo) 4:48
- Diary Of A Hollow Horse (Band Demo) 3:35
- Singing The Praises Of Finer Things (Band Demo) 6:10
- All My Prayers (Band Demo) 5:29
- Red Letter Day (Band Demo) 6:01
- Age Old Need (Band Demo) 3:13
The demos seem to be culled from the five DLX RMs the band have released so far, and if you have not had the pleasure, then by all means investigate. The demos were usually delightful Synthpop confections quite different from the later full band recordings. Ultimately, these two packages are nice and reasonably thorough, but for someone with the DLX RMs not necessary. But wait… there’s more!
China Crisis: 40th Anniversary 1982-2022 Classic Crisis Greatest Hits Tour
- African And White
- No More Blue Horizons
- Here Come A Raincloud
- Wishful Thinking
- Hanna Hanna
- Highest High
- Wall Of God
- You Did Cut Me
- Black Man Ray
- It’s Everything
- Arizona Sky
- Best Kept Secret
- Sweet Charity
- Hands On The Wheel
- Because My Heart
- King In A Catholic Style
- Tragedy And Mystery
- My Sweet Delight
One day I’ll have to do a study and report back with my findings on the topic of China Crisis live albums/DVDs since there seem to be a bewildering array of them. This fan doesn’t know if they are two to three shows endlessly repackaged or indeed, seven or eight of such packages! But I can say that this years’ 40th anniversary show held at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is new and unique, and currently in pre-order for release this Friday, July 22nd.
While the show was held at the Philharmonic Hall, this is not one of those band + full orchestra shows. Yet it is another lush, large band with about twice as many people onstage as the band might usually sport, with real strings, percussion, and brass of the no expense spared variety. As the taster of “Black Man Ray” live from the show will reveal.
As a big fan of the ornate live approach the band took on their first live album, 1995’s “Acoustically Yours,” this can only be a great thing for my ears. DVD will be Region 2 [PAL, presumably] so if you have the right hardware, then have at it! The US price is an agreeable $26.45 and we should buy in haste and regret in leisure. Since it seems that I will never get to see this band live so it may be all I get. So Mr. DJ hit that button.
That link goes to Acoustically Yours on Discogs..did you mean to post the dvd link?
Gavin – No, I was thinking of directing eyes to “Acoustically Yours” who might not be aware of it. In an era of [boring] stripped down and intimate acoustic [a.k.a. “Unplugged”] albums underfoot like mice, China Crisis went in the opposite direction and gathered a large band to really fill out their arrangements beautifully. The proper DVD link has inexplicably waited until today for me to fix it! Mea Culpa!
Hi Monk, are the demos and b-sides releases digital only or do you know if any physical releases are planned? On other note, I spoke with Gary Daly at the China Crisis show in Oakland a few weeks ago and he mentioned the expected release of symphonic versions of some of their songs hopefully before the end of the year on physical formats. The Oakland show was fantastic, of course. I had a chance to speak with Gary, Eddie, Jack and Eric before and after the show, each of whom were super kind and giving of their time. Lovely people.
drskridlow – Since most of this was culled from DLX RM’s of the first five album for Virgin, I’m guessing there will be no physical release, unless there’s a boxed $et of £Ps somewhere down the line. Symphonic versions? Sounds like August Day have come calling! Lucky you for catching them live. They have not yet played in my region.
Hi again, Monk. I just got a chance to watch the video for Black Man Ray. Wow. Just wow. Seeing them as a four piece in Oakland (twice in the last three years and prior in LA in 1985 and NYC in 1987) was amazing in so many ways but the fuller, more orchestrated version of the band on display for the 40th anniversary show just takes it to a whole other level. Magnificent. Can’t wait to see – and hear – the entire DVD.
drskridlow – They do scale up magnificently, don’t they?
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The concert at Liverpool Philharmonic felt special. Gary and Eddie were justifiably proud of their achievements and there was a lot of love from the audience for the hits, misses and obscurities, all of which made for an interesting set list. On the night there was an opportunity to sign up for the DVD of the concert we were about to see and also the full-on symphonic reinterpretations of CC classics (not just singles). I duly paid up and wait patiently for the physical product to arrive in 2023.
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Andrew Dineley – So… since you were at the event, was the live show split into with Philharmonic Orchestra and without, as we saw on the “Black Man Ray” clip? Or is the symphonic album a separate project to be done later for the delivery next year? I was shaky on that issue.
I don’t mean to answer for Andrew but in my conversation with Gary at the Oakland gig a few weeks ago, he mentioned that the symphonic versions are separate and would be available in physical formats – possibly by the end of this year.
On the night I seem to recall that the amount of musicians on stage varied for each song from start to finish and it kept it really interesting, especially with the slide show and stories that accompanied each song. The orchestral album, whilst sharing the same design work, is a different project altogether. The live show was fairly restrained in terms of orchestral (strings) accompaniment but the forthcoming CD is a full on orchestral extravaganza with songs completely rearranged for orchestra. I think it will be a thing of beauty. Shame it’s so long coming though.
The dvd release has been postponed until Aug 22 :(
schwenko – I still don’t see any money by that time in the discretionary budget. Have you pre-ordered?
yes, I pre-ordered when it was first announced.I don’t remember what it cost.
The DVD has now been released and is available via Musicglue.
An 11 piece band perform over two hours of CC hits. I can’t praise this production high enough.
P Jones – Welcome to the comments! Sounds like a wonderful thing. There seem to be so many DVDs by the band and I don’t have any of them, but I feel like starting here might be the wisest move.