Is It Time For The 35th Anniversary Of “Let It Bee” Already? Deluxe Remaster Headed Our Way Soon!

Let It Bee 35th anniversary
All of the nourishing goodness of those Bee-Sides are in the new package!

Like so many other things these days, we just got wind of something being reissued that we can get behind. The 35th anniversary DLX RM of Voice of the Beehive‘s classic 1st album; now enhanced with plenty of their top quality B-sides that had me buying every format variation thereof back in the day! All of that collecting is so 20th century! The modern punter has a neat and cheerful package to get that ace material.

Voice of the Beehive were California sisters [Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland] who lived the dream and migrated to the UK in the 80s to form the saucy Pop band of their dreams. Hooking up with guitarists Martin Brett and Mike Jones as well as the [then fallow] Madness rhythm section of Daniel Woodgate and Mark Bedford, the ladies wrote most of the material with Jones and their sweet harmonies contrasted beautifully with the sometimes crunchy guitars and usually zingy lyrics!

At the onset, I just saw the name in the UK music press and made a “bee” line for the import catalogs I lived in at the time. Purchasing blindly in the faith that such a moniker engendered. Hot take? They were everything I imagined and more. With very real ties to the Grebo movement via kibbutzing from Zodiac Mindwarp on the lively “There’s A Barbarian In The Back Of My Car!”

London | UK | 2xCD | 2022

Voice Of The Beehive: Let It Bee [35th Anniversary Edition] – UK – 2xCD [2022]

CD1

  1. The Beat Of Love
  2. Sorrow Floats
  3. Don’t Call Me Baby
  4. Man In The Moon
  5. What You Have Is Enough
  6. Oh Love
  7. I Walk The Earth
  8. Trust Me
  9. I Say Nothing
  10. There’s A Barbarian In The Back Of My Car
  11. Just A City
  12. 7 Shocks
  13. D’yer Maker
  14. I Walk The Earth
  15. Independence Day
  16. Any Day Of The Week
  17. I Walk The Earth (Original Version)
  18. This Weak
  19. Jesus…
  20. No Green Blues
  21. Jump This Way
  22. Goodbye Tonight

CD2

  1. Cartoon City
  2. Tattoo Song
  3. Everything I Had
  4. In The Flesh
  5. No Green Blues (BBC Session)
  6. Jump This Way (BBC Session)
  7. Independence Day (BBC Session)
  8. Jesus (BBC Session)
  9. Five Feet High And Risin’ (Appearing As Tracey And Melissa Beehive)
  10. Oh Love (Alternate Take)
  11. I Say Nothing (Demo Version)
  12. Beat Of Love (Demo Version)
  13. 7 Shocks (Live)
  14. There’s A Barbarian In The Back Of My Car (Live)
  15. I Say Nothing (Live)
  16. Just A City (Live)
  17. Trust Me (Live)
  18. When You Don’t Have Your Gun (Live at ULU)

johnny cash tribute til things are brighterThat’s a healthy heap of what looks like every A/B-side from the band during that first album campaign period. I’m most impressed with the inclusion of the fabbo “Five Feet High + Risin'” from the must-have 1st Johnny Cash tribute album, “Til Things Are Brighter!” These ladies harmonize so wonderfully, that I’d be first in line to buy country music albums by them based on the evidence of this song.

 


Eighteen years ago, I made a three CD collection of [almost] every Voice of the Beehive rarity, Let’s cross reference to see what, if anything, is missing from this prodigious set.

voice of the beehive the vault of the beehive
REVO | 3xCD-R | 2004 | REVO 033

Voice of the Beehive: The Vault of the Beehive 3XCD [2004]

DISC 1
1. What You Have Is Enough [ver. 1]
2. 7 Shocks
3. D’Yer Mak’Er
4. I Say Nothing [single ver.]
5. The Things You See When You Don’t Have Your Gun [live at ULU]
6. Independence Day
7. Any Day Of The Week
8. This Weak
9. Jesus
10. No Green Blues
11. Jump This Way
12. Goodbye Tonight
13. In The Flesh
14. Tattoo Song
15. Everything I Had
16. 7 Shocks [live]
17. There’s  Barbarian In The Back Of My Car [live]
18. The Bomb PartySugar, Sugar
19. The Bomb PartyDo The Right Thing

DISC 2
1. Tracy & Melissa Beehive – 5 Feet High & Risin’
2. No Green Blues [BBC]
3. Jump This Way [BBC]
4. Independence Day [BBC]
5. Jesus [BBC]
6. Waitress
7. Only If You Want To
8. Pocketsize
9. I Think I Love You [Don Was guilty pleasure mix]
10. Say It [acoustic BBC]
11. I Think I Love You [orgy mix]
12. Don’t Call Me Baby [acoustic BBC]
13. VB-Goddess of Love [vocal mix]
14. Something About God
15. I Say Nothing [live]
16. Just A City [live]
17. Sit Down [live]
18. Trust Me [live]

DISC 3
1. Shine Away
2. Inconsistencies
3. Cartoon City
4. You And Your Dumb Club
5. Time On All Fours
6. Stupid Boy
7. Cupid [demo]
8. Doriah
9. Playing House [demo]
10. Modern Heart
11. Only If You Want To [demo]
12. Heavenly [demo]
13. Baby Don’t Stay
14. Waitress [demo]
15. Perfect Place [demo]


I’d call that most impressive! On the new CD there are three alternate recordings/demos [bold italic] that no one has until this comes out. I somehow missed that there was a single version of “I Walk the Earth” but looking more closely, disc one has three instances of “I Walk The Earth” and I’m gambling that the “original version” listed the third time is a typo, with that actually being the unlisted “original version” of “What You Have is Enough” from the Sounds giveaway EP issued before any commercial releases by the band.

voice of the beehive anngel come downOn mine but not theirs was the single mix of “I Say Nothing” which might be just an edit. It’s been years! They missed the Bomb Party Grebo single that Tracey + Melissa sang prominently on but that’s the sort of minor detail no one would actually expect, owing to legalities! I like how they grouped all of the smoking live tracks into a little mini-concert at the end of disc two. And they plucked the third album B-side “Cartoon City” from the”Angel Come Down” single to give it new life in this package as the one ringer not from this album period. If you’ve not heard it, here it is!

So, everyone should want to buy this new package right? As far as I can see, this is also the only way to get “What You Have Is Enough [original ver.] as well as “7 Shocks” and their killer Zeppelin-goes-Reggae cover, “D’yer Mak’er” on the silver disc. But this being 2022, there’s more than CDs to buy. To wit:

THE PACKAGES

  • 2xCD – $18.00
  • Yellow LP + signed print – $30.00
  • T-Shirt – $29.00
  • The Bees Knees – VOB fanzine[!] – $6.00
    • BUNDLE 1: Yellow LP + signed print, fanzine + “Cartoon City” CD-5 – $33.00
    • BUNDLE 2: Let It Bee 2xCD, T-shirt, Cartoon City CD-5 – $41.00
    • BUNDLE 3: Yellow LP + signed print, Let It Bee 2xCD, Cartoon City CD-5 – $41.00
    • BUNDLE 4: Yellow LP + signed print, Let It Bee 2xCD, Cartoon City CD-5, fanzine – $44.00
    • BUNDLE 5: Let It Bee 2xCD, T-shirt, Fanzine, Cartoon City CD-5 – $44.00
    • BUNDLE 6: Yellow LP + signed print, T-shirt, Cartoon City CD-5 – $52.00
    • BUNDLE 7: Yellow LP + signed print, T-shirt, Cartoon City CD-5, fanzine – $56.00
    • BUNDLE 8: Let It Bee 2xCD, Yellow LP + signed print, T-shirt, Cartoon City CD-5, fanzine – $70.00

Phew! I’ll do well just to get the 2xCD! Though I unfortunately saw the band in 1989 just before I expanded my wardrobe the following year to include casual wear such as T-shirts! So there’s that. But it begs mentioning that the “Cartoon City” CD single contains a [piano version] of “Oh Love” available nowhere else. Thus the hook is baited!

The BAIT

The BAIT

Any VOB fan who, unlike myself, doesn’t own dozens of Voice of the Beehive releases would be crazy to pass up the 2xCD at the very least. What cost me probably $170 can be yours in a convenient package for the cost of just the album back then! So “do the right thing” and DJ hit that button!

post-punk monk buy button

-30-

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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11 Responses to Is It Time For The 35th Anniversary Of “Let It Bee” Already? Deluxe Remaster Headed Our Way Soon!

  1. Andy B says:

    I’m very tempted to get this. I bought this album on release back in the day. I also got to see them live in ‘88 at the State nightclub here in Liverpool. After the gig the DJ got spinning and the girls hit the dance floor with us. Great times!

    Like

  2. Deserat says:

    Love this band – funny story, I was driving to Brussels with a friend a couple of years ago and she had this band and their CD on her phone play list – I was singing along and had forgot how I had loved them in the day….. I will be purchasing this CD set for sure. Thanks for the tip!

    Sorry in advance for the deviation below:

    Break – I will be going to the WDR Dortmund radio show on 31 Oct (80s music) with my German friends: Midge Ure, OMD, Real Life and Sandra – as you know I saw OMD five times here in Deutschland in August – met the opening band Beautiful Machine and managed to almost get hit in the head by a water bottle from the lead singer of OMD ;-) He threw another one to me and made sure I caught it that time. I also met Andy the truck driver for the equipment – great guy – making friends in ‘low places’, for sure. :-)

    Break 2 – did you see Depeche Mode announced they will be announcing a world tour on 4 October? Someone sent me the social media notice to my WhatsApp…that will be interesting – DM without Fletch and Alan…they really need to get Alan back….

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Deserat – Yeah, VOB are the sort of band that’s fun to song along with! I’m happy that someone made this happen as they had a lot of goodies out there on all of those singles! The German 80s show sounds great. I saw Real Life on their 1st US tour in 1983! Back then the band were on fire, but David Sterry had kept the fires burning longer than I would have imagined. I can imagine him being excited to be on a bill with Midge Ure. I’m certain that Ultravox were an influence o that great band. I once had a Michael Cretu single with Sandra [his wife] singing on it, so I’m even familiar with her! Not my cuppa but I’d still go to that show. Oh yeah, OMD too!

      No I did not know that Depeche Mode have announced a tour. I’ve lost track of that band over the last 31 years. I once tried a David Gahan solo album for kicks, but quickly moved on. I agree about Alan Wilder. I feel they completely lost their mojo when he left. I find it hard to believe they would tour down to just the two singers. Don’t they have enough money?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a VotB story, involving early internet days and a gift for my (at the time not yet) wife and some autographs. Never got to see them. I was a rabid collector “back in the day” but my collection isn’t nearly as exhaustive as yours. Now I don’t have the money to plunk down the money for a disc featuring one track I might not have. This collection is a must purchase in my house. Oh jeez, this is going to be a great Christmas present for my wife. I’m just not sure I can wait that long to give it to her.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      postpostmoderndad – Maybe you need one of those bundles for your wife with the excellent taste? A T-shirt probably wouldn’t hurt, either. Just saying! I’m mlost amazed that they’re reprinted the fan club fanzine!

      Like

  4. Big Mark says:

    Way cool! I just ordered mine. For some reason I’ve had “beat of Love” running through my head for the last couple of days, so I guess this reissue has been in the ether.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Big Mark – How lucky for you! This was a nice surprise that I didn’t expect but am glad it happened. I’m happy VOB are remembered and loved as they were one of the few bright spots of the late 80s/early 90s UK music scene!

      Like

  5. VOB have always reminded me of something akin to what Cindy Wilson might have done on her own if she cloned herself to sing harmony! I’ve never heard a bad track from them and there’s damn few bands I can say that about (though I have to say that “Cartoon City” strikes me as just “pleasant” rather than “oooh lovely!”)

    I confess I’m annoyed that the only way to get a signed print is to buy the LP which I don’t want (apart from singles/EPs and other such things not available in any other format, I’ve lost all interest in vinyl due to the insane pricing + hipster appeal), so I guess I’ll have to skip that and just get the $44 “Bundle 5” package.

    Like

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