It’s that time of year again. The time when what’s left of the music industry fires up the cattle prods and prepares to bury them deep in the flesh of our necks to get that all important twitch reaction. I try to remain sanguine about the small mountain of titles that will be dumped, somewhat randomly amongst the hipster record stores the world over as this commercial juggernaut keeps plowing forward. Last year I bought exactly one release, at my local emporium on the day afterward. When the store was almost empty.
I’m so old and unhip…anything I’d want will still be there. Who am I kidding? So I might as well do the same again this year. To the extent that I do these things. I liked the Pandemic Years®. I emailed the store. Paid electronically, and drove over to have them bring it out to my car! Sweet! The last few years have seen frequent Ultravox titles, even in America, but that ship seems to have sailed this year. What’s on the books for this year’s Monk-bait? First the US-adjacent stuff. Must-buys in red.
Tom Tom Club: Tom Tom Club 2xLP
Strange that only America gets the 2xLP of the classic “Tom Tom Club” album. The second LP is six remixes of:
- Wordy Rappinghood [remix]
- Genius Of Love [long ver.]
- Under The Boardwalk
- On, On, On [remix]
- Lorelei [remix]
But thankfully, all of those are bonus tracks on the US/UK DLX RMs I have of that title on CD. So this is not for me. I have lots of Tom Tom Club records that have mixes only found on them. Still, it’s the first of the trio of TVLKING HEVDS 1981 SOLO ALBUM EXTRAVAGANZA for this year’s RSD.
Sparks: Sparks LP
Friday Music is reissuing the first two Sparks albums. Nice, but I still need them on CD. So nothing I am worried about.
Sparks: A Woofer In Tweeter’s Clothing LP
Yep, I’m still waiting to find CDs of these two Sparks titles. I can’t say I’ve ever seen them on anything but LP.
Klark Kent: Klark Kent [green] LP
I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but as I already own three copies of this record [plus the JPN CD I actually listen to!] I’ll be passing up the 12″ green copy that I maybe should own since all my other green copies are on 10″ instead! See? I’m waffling already in the face of this titanic record! Let’s adopt a wait-and-see posture.
US + UK RSD
David Byrne: The Catherine Wheel 2xLP
This album is a doozy! Clearly the best David Byrne solo effort for me. In 1981 to get the full soundtrack, you needed to buy it on cassette. In 1990, it was on the CD I have. Now in 2023, the full monty is on LP. Every home should have one.
Brian Eno: Forever [Voiceless] [clear] LP
Dang it! I still need last year’s “Forever” album by Brian Eno, where he made his first vocal album since “The Last Day On Earth” in 2006. So what does he do this year? He gives us an instrumental version! Personally, I’ve got too much Eno instrumental music. But the Eno ambient crowd are probably of the exact opposite temperament.
Duran Duran: Carnival Rio [swirl] LP
This is conceptually interesting. In 1982 Duran Duran issued many “Carnival” remix EPs in various markets around the world. I’ve got the US/Dutch/Japanese and even the Canadian copies. Which I think were all of the legitimate issues of the record. Now all of the mixes on various and sundry copies are collected in an omnibus edition. I can get behind that even if my days of buying anything flat with “Duran Duran” on it are long gone.
T.V. Mania: Bored With Prozac And The Internet?
T.V. Mania was the splinter duo of Warren Cuccorullo and Nick Rhodes from DD who recorded this experimental project in the late 90s, only to have the tapes go missing. St. Nick eventually found the DAT and this was issued in a cripplingly expensive bespoke boxed edition from the evil geniuses at The Vinyl Factory. Now it’s finally out there in a copy that people without a trust fund can afford. I’m curious.…
…but maybe not that curious.
The Selecter: Live @ The NEC 1980
2nd Wave Ska classics The Selector have a full album for anyone with “Dance Craze” ringing in their ears. The performance was on disc three of the DLX RM of “Celebrate The Bullet” so it’s not a new release, per se. Since I still need the first two albums by The Selecter, I have bigger fish to fry.
Rich Kids: Ghosts Of Princes In Towers LP
I find it amazing that a fan of Midge Ure and Rusty Egan like myself still lacks any copy of Rich Kids “Ghosts Of Princes in Towers!” That’s a huge New Wave Blind Spot® for me! And yet, here the album comes [in America, no less] on LP only. I was holding out for the CD with all of the bonus tracks, but at this point don’t see it happening as I’ve never seen one.
Romeo Void: Live From Mabuhay Gardens November 14, 1980
Another live in 1980 album, this time from Romeo Void. Better they should have reissued the “Benefector” CD with the “Never Say Never” EP bonus tracks! That puppy was a 2006 Wounded Bird issue and well on its way to three figure status.
Haircut 100: Live @ Hammersmith Odeon Spring 1982
This live Haircut 100 album is debundled [is that a word?] from the “Pelican West” 4xCD ultrabox that just got issued last month [who knew?] The 4xLP version lacked the live album so this shows attention to detail.
Jerry Harrison: The Red + The Black [red/black] 2xLP
The final part of the TH 1981 solo trilogy is the big winner for me! I used to have the LP of this crucial album and treasured it until I got a copy of the JPN CD of it. I subsequently gave the LP to my hair stylist, but I will be eagerly buying this because this for some sick reason, this album never had any remixes of tracks other than the 9 album cuts, which burn with a white-hot intensity that I say leaves even the previous year’s “Remain In Light” in the shade! Fightin’ words, I know! Disc two of this [about time] reissue features seven instrumental mixes as bonus material which I will be doing a REVO CD of because this was the acme of TVLKING HEVDS early period even in the guise of a Jerry Harrison solo album! Many of the Expanded Heads personnel also play on this one.
Nico: Live At The Library Theatre 1980 [clear blue] LP
Another live RSD release, with Deadpan Women Patron Saint Nico weighing in a year before her “Drama In Exile” album, so that means no amazing version of “Heroes” to be found here. Fortunately, I have this CD with the live “Heroes” by the chanteuse, so I can skip this. Your mileage may vary.
M: Pop Muzik [red] EP
This EP reissuing “M’s crucial “Pop Muzik” single has two new tracks in addition to the two always on the 12″ single. A “Latin version” of the world-straddling A-side and an unreleased song from 1982, “Baby Close The Window.”
Suede: The London Suede Demos LP
Demos of the first Suede album [gallingly called “The London Suede” to this day in America!] which I think were issued as a fan club CD back in the now distant era of CDs [sigh…]. Many of these are on the still available and affordable DLX RM of the forst Suede album.
Ramones: Pleasant Dreams [New York Sessions] [yellow] LP
These are producer Graham Gouldman’s original mixes which were nixed back in 1981 as Ramones needed to break big and went into extra innings of second guessing. This was the mooted cover and there were three songs removed from the running in evidence here: “Don’t Go,” “You Sound Like You’re Sick,” and “Sleeping Troubles.” Kind of interesting but my Ramones completism stops with the canonical albums.
Whoops! Out of time before we get to the all-important UK only releases. We’ll dig into those tomorrow.
Next: …Over The Sea
Very frustrating, multiple things here for which I want a cd, not least the Klark Kent which I suspect I will never get in that format!
I could whinge about RSD and vinyl craziness but instead I will plug this wonderful release that has nothing to do with RSD but is an amazing hybrid SACD release from a French synth-pop band that I think would appeal to many here:
SimonH – Right? Like maybe releasing a CD of this title or artist that didn’t cost stupid money?
The record industry is making me hate vinyl because of all these vinyl-only releases!
chasinvictoria – You said a mouthful! Here is the RSD USA list of available CDs [don’t blink!]:
• The 1975: Live With The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
• Eric Carr of KISS: Rockology
• Pearl Jam: Give Way
• Ringo Starr: Stop & Smell The Roses
And half of these are cruddy Culture Factory CDs, so they will be dubiously sourced and brickwalled! Feel free to join my He-Man Vinyl-Haters FAN CLUB®!
yes, the dreaded vinyl consortium, making people buy things
on vinyl only. oh, the horror.
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negative1ne – In chasinvictoria’s defense, he lives in an apartment even smaller than my 800 sq. ft. home so not buying records is a practical matter for him. I’m officially out of space too, for what it’s worth.
The first two Sparks albums have appeared several times on CD. I have them. Just check Discogs ;)
Dave Turner – Oh they can be found…at high prices and not in great numbers! The 2006 US CDs were on Wounded Bird and are some of their typically OOP titles.
Also reissued as a double CD by Edsel in 2013 –
Dave Turner – It looks like that’s another one of Edsel’s glorious misfires. It really annoys me when compromises are made to fit two albums on one CD. The Freur CD on Cherry Red with edited tracks on “Get Us Out of Here” was another case in point. But as bad as that is, speeding up the playback of the last four tracks of “Woofer” as Essential did with a 1999 twofer edition of the albums on a single disc would be even worse. Edsel not catching that as they issued the material on two separate discs 14 years later [probably mastered the Edsel way from a copy of the Essential CD], showed their typical attention to detail!
Wow. Didn’t know they’d speeded up anything to fit it in. Shocking. Don’t have the Essential one but will have to re-listen to my Edsel copy to see if it’s happened there (must admit I hadn’t noticed before). Will compare it with the single disc Repertoire Records CD…
hi mr monk,
yes, there are a few items i will get. but on discogs, after the resellers get them, no waiting in line.
up for the duran duran (which as you say, if you have all the other releases you’re covered, which i do), and the haircut 100, who are enjoying a slight resurgence.
a flock of seagulls rarities, which were vinyl, then cd, and now back to vinyl.
juno reactor, ian mcculloch, prefab sprout (maybe).
there are definitely some uk items worth looking into also, so will wait for your next posting about them.
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neg ative 1
Well, I’ve made my feelings on RSD known before, and still have those same feelings. That being said, I don’t feel the need for the Catherine Wheel vinyl because I have it on CD. I’m looking to get the “Komplete” Klark Kent discography on CD, which is out there, I just haven’t found it in the wild (and yes, I know that’s not the title of said Kompilation but I truly think it SHOULD be). As for Tom Tom Club, I need to pick up the reissue CD. Both times it was issued on CD there were differing bonus tracks which put this vinyl reissue to shame. You and I agree on the Ramones and Harrison albums though. Those, especially that one of “da brudders” will get me out of bed early that dreadful day. Some of those others are certainly interesting but I don’t need to purchase again (Duran Duran) or I’m not enough of a fan, though might pick up if I see them. Two others that I’m going to be looking for that you didn’t mention are Hüsker Dü and Taylor Swift. Those are at the top of my want list as well.
postpostmoderndad – Taylor who?
I kid. I finally encountered this puzzling phenomenon in the film “Amsterdam” last year as my cinematic firewall isn’t as impervious as my musical one.
And good luck on the Klark Kent CD. I ended up making my own copy of that one… which actually looked cooler. Mine had tracks not on “Collected Works.” And vice versa!
> find it amazing that a fan of Midge Ure and Rusty Egan like myself still lacks any copy of Rich Kids “Ghosts Of Princes in Towers!”
Wow, you don’t have this? I’m floored.
Ure and Egan, “together at first” pre-Visage, is great. But also they’re in a band with a Sex Pistol. That’s just insane to me.
This record is full of solid punky power pop, lots of good hooks, and very little filler. Ure exhibiting a youthful energy completely opposite to the imminent and quite chilly Vienna.
Our friend who we saw Kraftwerk with us in 1998 got me hip to this back in the day, and a CD of the album (with all necessary singles appended) came out right around that time. Had that CD for two-plus decades; just sold it on Discogs. Wish I knew you needed it!
Grabbed a replacement: “The Best of Rich Kids” which contains the entire CD as above, plus nine unreleased tracks. So it’s more like “All of Rich Kids”. Original CD is murky as heck, sounds like there’s a wet blanket over the speakers. “Best of” is brighter and more clear, like someone wiped a big layer of grime away, but it is compressed to a degree somewhat more than I prefer. Still, I chose it over the older version, but that choice was a struggle.
AND, there’s a video of these guys playing live on an old UK tv show called Rock Goes to College. Mid-set they do three new songs, all featuring Midge on synth (no synths anywhere on the original album). It’s a fascinating look at where this band might have gone, but also a fascinating look at where Midge and Rusty DID go. Sadly these three songs all suck and grind the set to a halt. Two of them do appear among the bonus tracks on “Best Of”, and the third is available, to my knowledge, no where else but on this concert video.
JT – Sad but true, amigo! I have the title track on a compilation and that’s it. Mick Ronson’s production has long been considered a sonic head scratcher regarding the murkiness of the mix. Nice to hear that the CD you speak of [which is the Rich Kids thing on my waaaaaaaaaaant list] had been re-EQed to sound more vibrant even if the dynamics were squashed a tad. I’ve known about this album for…45 years now! I read a review of it when it came out. Two years prior to hearing Midge in Ultravox! But the fact remains that I’ve never seen a copy for sale. Which probably accounts for my lack of a copy. Midge is on record as citing the synths as the thing that broke up the band. The other half of the band weren’t having any of it. But Visage as we know it might not have ever happened if New and Matlock were down with it! Not forgetting Ultravox! Hell, the entire New Romantic movement might have not happened or may have turned out very differently! Cue imaginary story where Midge Ure not buying a synth leads to the destruction of the known universe.
From what I remember of Rich Kids, it was kind of a misfire that we all passed around in High School like a hot potato. Unlike Sid Sings, I didn’t end up with it! As for Jerry Harrison, I sold my OG pressing years ago because the man. can’t. sing. Great tracks, though…
Jeremy Shatan – There’s singing on “The Red + the Black??!!” I never got past the vibe!
The first two albums have been released several times on cd. Only problem is, that the last three songs of the second album “A Woofer In Tweeter’s Clothing” were slightly sped up to fit on the first release, on cd, which was a combined release. All subsequent individual cd’s of that album are based on those edited versions.
Ruud – Welcome to the comments! Yes, unfortunately, we’re familiar with the speed issues that have plagued “Woofer In Tweeter’s Clothing” on its CD issues. One hopes that with the large profile the Maels have at this point in their career that someone with the ability to correct this error will eventually act on it.