Here are the music purchases of 2020 quantified in some detail. Check the 2020 cover grid dropdown to just see a grid of the cover images.
- Nits + Scapino Ballet: Ting! – Werf Records – 10020 – NL – DVD – Nits webshop/€15.00/$16.75
- Nits: Angst – Werf Records – 10017 – NL – CD – Nits webshop/€15.00/$16.75
- Nits: Knot – Werf Records – 10021 – NL – CD – Nits webshop/€19.00/$21.22
- The Coup: Sorry To Bother You – Anti- – 86891-2 – US – CD – Discogs/$8.99
Actually, everything bought this month so far was down to my wife taking the initiative to buy things. We love The Nits, and when I discovered that their “Ting!” show with the Scapino Ballet had been filmed for DVD, we immediately went into search mode, only to find that the Nits and Scapino Ballet webstores both failed to carry the release from September 2018! One plea to the Nits webmaster Paul Telman later, we found out that there were still copies to be had there, they were just not active pages for it. Since we were ordering from the Netherlands, we decided to maximize our postage potential and get the last two Nits albums on CD as well.
As for The Coup, I became aware of the Communist hip hop band when Boots Riley managed to have a film made of his screenplay of the same name in 2018. The more I read about the band, the more I needed to hear them, but CDs [or anything else] were mighty thin on the ground. I have been looking for Coup CDs ever since in every record store I have visited since. Friends might have seen me rifling through the hip hop sections on store jaunts together. I managed to find two of their albums when in Los Angeles in the summer of 2018, but that’s been IT. These albums are HARD TO FIND. My spouse got tired of waiting for the “Sorry To Bother You” album that the film was loosely based on six years later, so she ordered it from Discogs after she called me for my login. Well, alright! Now we finally have “The Magic Clap” and “The Guillotine” in the comfort and safety of our own home.
- John Foxx: Concrete + Organized Noise – Metamatic – META64LP – UK – LP – Foxx webstore/gift
- John Foxx + The Maths: Howl – Metamatic – UK – DL – Bandcamp/£3/$4.04
- Peter Godwin: Window Shopping – Polydor – 821 520-7 – NL – 7″ – Discogs/€3.99/$4.36
- Shriekback: Live At The Orange ’94 – Shriekback – UK – CD-R – Shriekback webstore/£10.00/$12.96
- Ric Ocasek: Beatitude DLX RM – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY11CD – US – CD – Rubellan Remasters/promo
- Visage: The Anvil DLX RM – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY09CD – US – CD – Rubellan Remasters/promo
- Visage: Fade To Grey – The Singles Collection [Special Dance Mix Album] DLX RM – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY10CD – US – CD – Rubellan remasters/promo
Lots of Foxx action this month with his new compilation of 1980 material not previously on LP an indulgence from my spouse. I did immediately buy the new John Foxx + The Math DL single in advance of their upcoming May album of the same name. Bracing. I finally…FINALLY, sprang for the Dutch-only Peter Godwin “Window Shopping” 7″ in order to add the long-pined-for remix of the A-side to my coffer of Godwin rarities… only to discover that the version of “The Art Of Love” on the disc’s B-side was not the conventional 7″ mix, but another unique-to-this-single remix of the song by Zeus B. Held!!! ¡Mamacita! Little surprises like that can make my month! And the Shriekback lineup that gave birth to the delightful, acoustic Shriekback incarnation on “Naked Apes + Pond Life” managed to find a bootleg to give us all a clue.
Finally, the level of activity from the micro reissue label Rubellan Remasters kicked into overdrive this winter [?] as the label head all but forced me to accept promo copies of the two latest Visage DLX RMs he’s put out this year. Knowing full well that I would probably gush radiantly, the clever… I’d bought his first Visage DLX RM last year when its first pressing was still available. Had I not been in the middle of saving for a trip that got cancelled last week, I most certainly would have paid straight up for copies of these incredibly vital releases tout suite. But the limited numbers pressed, the high consumer demand, and the very real possibility of missing sale copies at retail [hint: they are going FAST…] by the time I would have managed to cobble together a few dollars to buy them conspired to make me accept his offer. And then the crafty plotter threw in the Ric Ocasek DLX RM without even asking me! Good thing too, as it was a fantastic album that I’d never had the pleasure of hearing. Rubellan Remasters fascinates me because what he does is like my former hobby of compiling records to make DLX RM CD-Rs… except it’s not a hobby for him! It’s an actual side business.
- Slow Children: Staring At The Ceiling – Jet Records – JET 142 – UK – 7″ [yellow vinyl] – Discogs/$8.95
March came in like a lamb and went out like a lamb in a body bag as all unnecessary purchases have dropped off of a cliff. My job could end at any time so all I bought was the last Slow Children single I have been pining years for to complete my collection.
- Peter Godwin: You! – Imago/Godwin Records – UK – DL – iTunes $1.29
- John Foxx + The Maths: The Last Time I Saw You – Electronic Sound – ES764 – UK blue 7″ – Electronic Sound/£11.00/$13.50
Yow! Peter Godwin dropped his first single in eight years! Sounding very much along the lines of early Metro courtesy of his new partner, Gabor D’Astorg. Will I be retired before his next single happens? John Foxx + The Maths has a single bundled with the latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine; complete with extensive cover story. Of course, it was a must buy! Still had a job this month, though I worked from home. Did not miss driving 52 miles a day AT ALL.
- John Foxx + The Maths: Tarzan + Jane Regained – Metamatic – DL – Bandcamp/£2.00/$2.50
- Holger Hiller: Whippets – Mute – 12 MUTE 55 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$3.00
- Pete Shelley: No One Like You – Island Records – 12XS 2 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$2.00
- Pete Shelley: Never Again – Immaculate Records – 12 IMMAC 1 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$2.00
- Spoons: Bridges Over Borders – Mercury – PRO 490-1 – USP – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$2.00
- Escort: Love In Indigo – Escort Records – ESCRT-002 – US – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Bette Bright: Rhythm Breaks The Ice – Korova – KODE 4 – UK – LP – Philadelphiamusic/$4.00
- Pat Wilson: Bop Girl – Warner Bros. Records – 1-25072 – US – EP – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Marti Jones: Live At Spirit Square – Sugar Hill Records – SHCD-5502 – US – CD – Philadelphiamusic/$1.12
- Webb Wilder + the Beatnecks: It Came From Nashville DLX RM – Landslide Records – LDCD 1029 – US – CD – Philadelphiamusic/$3.17
- Floy Joy: Operator Operator – Virgin – VS 744 – 12 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Floy Joy: Until You Come Back To Me – Virgin – VS 716-12 – UK – 2×12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Cynthia Scott: The X Boy – The Compact Organization – ACT X6 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.69
- Mari Wilson: Would You Dance With A Stranger – The Compact Organization – ACT 14 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$2.11
- Positive Noise: A Million Miles Away – Statik Records – TAK 22-12 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$2.03
- Robert Palmer: Some Guys Have All The Luck – Island Records – 12 WIP 6754 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Scritti Politti + Sweetie Irie: Take Me In Your Arms + Love Me – Virgin – VS 1346 – UK – 7″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Midge Ure: No Regrets – Chrysalis – CHS 12 2618 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$1.50
- Data: Blow – Illuminated Records – ILL 4512 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$4.00
- Ronny: If You Want Me To Stay – Polydor – POSPX 247 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$7.00
- Shock: Angel Face – RCA – RCAT 14 – UK – 12″ – Philadelphiamusic/$17.00
- Steven Jones + Logan Sky: Shedding My Skin – Etrangers Musizue – UK – DL – Bandcamp/$5.00
- ABC: Look Good Tonite – Blatant Muaic – UK – DL – ABC webstore/$1.99
- OMD: Electricity – Virgin EMI Records – 0602577481901 – UK – clear 7″ – OMD webstore/£11.99/$15.13
¡Mamacita! What happened?! It looks like I did a smash and grab and hit the pawn shop, turning all of the filthy lucre into records, but what really happened was after a few months of not buying anything, I sold a single on Discogs after the prospective buyer asked if I’d sell something, so I did. Then with a sawbuck in the account, I was wondering about buying the last Fingerprintz single I need before compiling DLX RMs of all three of their albums. I was all set to do it when I thought to myself, “I wonder what’s in my wantlist in the Philadelphiarecords store? They usually have a plethora of fine things I need.” Good thing I looked! I passed in the last two years on many of these fine items, and they somehow acquired more copies of some rare vinyl I desire at [mostly] rock bottom prices!
Just three of these records accounted for almost half of the $61 outlay. The long [try 39 years on for size…] sought after “Angel Face” 12″ single by New-Ro mime troupe Shock was a hefty $17, but that has been a record that was always $30-60 in years past. The time was NOW. Then the Midge Ure-produced cover of Sly Stone’s classic “If You Want Me To Stay” by deadpan woman extraordinaire Ronny is like the Shock single, a record rarely stocked in this country. ¡No problema! at $7.00 Then the Bette Bright album intrigued as I recall seeing those inport 7″ singles of hers in the bins back in the day. I like Deaf School… sold! It’ll be well worth the $4.00, I’m sure.
Then my gawd, the things I got with the other $34.00!!!!! Seventeen releases of high necessity!! The last Marti Jones solo CD I didn’t have at a price they practically paid me to take it from them. Two of the five Pete Shelley singles I need for a rarities compilation event. The Pat Wilson EP I wanted for 37 years. One of the few Mari Wilson discs I don’t already own, and a 12″ [I already have the 7″…] from Compact Records labelmate Cynthia Scott. I have tons of 12″ remixes from Data’s “Elegant Machinery” period, but not the UK 12″ of “Blow” with “Blow-Back” on the B-side. Now that DLX RM of that title is possible.
One more Positive Noise 12″ to fill out the LPs of that fine Scot band I’ll have to make. And speaking of Scots, FINALLY… the 12″ of “No Regrets” is in the Record Cell!!! That was an incredibly difficult single to source back in 1982. I only got the 7″ when Mr. Ware gifted me with a catalog-bought SPN 7″ with textured sleeve in the late 80s, but the 12″ was insanely rare in America for some reason. Holger Hiller’s scarce “Whippets” single with Billy MacKenzie conspiring to blow our minds. And three 12″ singles from the intriguing Floy Joy [I got the album a year ago] as produced by Don Was. Shipping from The City of Brotherly Love? A scant $5.00!!!!! [swoons]So all of this bounty was barely a financial blip. I’m still scraping the ground on music costs this year [knock wood].
Steve Jones + Logan Sky released an elegant new lockdownload this month, showing that they have not sat idly by as millions are …sitting idly by in the new crazy. They have managed to find another great guitarist to expand their sound and Mr. Jones has unleashed the falsetto. Not so great was the shock new ABC lockdownload that appeared in a flash sale yesterday. The production and arrangement did no favors to the already slight song. One hopes the next ABC opus will be more considered. And I finally got the second to the last copy of the clear vinyl, 40th anniversary “Electricity” 7″ in the OMD webstore by sheer luck! I still need to hear the Vince Clarke remix of the B-side.
Oh yeah, and there was a new John Foxx + The Maths DL single edit of the second single from the “Howl” album. It’s been that kind of month.
- Prince: 1999 Super Deluxe Box – Warner Records – R2 604571 – US – 5xCD + DVD – Luna Music/$104.99
- The Countess Of Fife: Wandering Star [live] – DL – Bandcamp/£1.50/$1.95
- The Countess Of Fife: Your House Is Full Of Baby Dolls – DL – Bandcamp/£1.50/$1.95
- The Countess Of Fife: Don’t Dress Me Up – DL – Bandcamp/£1.50/$1.95
- The Countess Of Fife: Live EP – UK – CD – Blackpapercrown/gift
This month was all about just two artists; Prince and The Countess Of Fife; Fay Fife’s new country music band. I had planned to buy the “1999” SDLX RM last year at the reasonable $60 cost but was saving for the trip that got cancelled. So I didn’t know I wasn’t taking the trip until the week prior, buy which time the “1999” box wwas sold out. And after it appeared in my Discogs feed for $80, that alerted me to this sad state of affairs. I tried to buy the $80 copy but it had already sold. The next cheapest copy in Discogs was $105, with plenty more at the $140+ level. I discussed this with my wife who told me that I do this all of the time. I waffle on buying something that I think is expensive to only miss out or pay more later. An hour later, I realized I could buy it on credit and pay off in six months with no interest, so I immediately hit that button. Good thing too, the two discs of Vault tracks were fascinating. “1999” is the last album of my personal Prince “imperial period” that lasted from “Dirty Mind” to this album. Afterward, superstardom beckoned, but this was final spark of the New Wave/Funk fusion goods the goods that made a fan.
Fay Fife has a new band while she’s tired of waiting for the third Rezillos album [should it ever happen]. She contacted me to offer a promo of the new EP but I told her I’d rather buy it instead. Then when I asked commenter Duncan [who added it to the Discogs database] if it was a CD or CD-R and he bought two copies and told me he’d send me one. I couldn’t say no to that, but I did then buy the three [great] DL singles that preceded the EP for both Duncan and myself. Happiness all ’round, then! And now the EP has arrived for review today.
Half Year Subtotals: 43 releases | $303.89 | average cost – $7.11/title
- Green Gartside: Tangled Man – Rough Trade Records Ltd. – RT0108S – UK – 7″ – Rough Trade Webstore/$5.99
- Barry Andrews: Live At The Tin Angel ’03 – Shriekback – DL – Shriekback Webstore/promo
- John Foxx + The Maths: Howl – Metamatic – META76LP – UK – LP [black] – Foxx Webstore/£17.42/$22.89
- John Foxx + The Maths: Howl – Metamatic – META67CD – UK – CD – Foxx Webstore/£9.58/$12.59
- Strasse: A Stairway To You – RCA – RCAT 316 – UK – 12″ – Discogs/$2.38
- Cristina: Ze Debut Redux Album DLX RM – Ze Records – US – DL – iTunes/$9.99
- Jonathan Scales: Plot/Scheme – US – CD – Mr. K’s/$4.99
- Roxy Music: Roxy Music Steven Wilson Remix – Virgin EMI Records – 00602508553660 – US – clear LP – Harvest Records/$24.99
- Ultravox: Sleepwalk – Chrysalis – CHS 12 2441 – US – clear 12″ – Harvest Records/$16.99
Big news on the UltraFoxx front. The powerful new John Foxx + the Maths album was delayed for a few months, probably due to COVID-19 on the manufacturing of the vinyl. Of source I bought the CD, but I have also been buying any Foxx vinyl along the way until now [for the collection], but until now it’s been one release. Now, there are black, yellow, and red variants, and I can’t afford to play “collect all the colors” even for my favorite artist! So i went with basic black. I managed to find an obscure Midge Ure production he did for the Swedish New-Ro band Strasse from a US dealer so I jumped on that one. A solid, if astonishingly derivative record that was certainly well produced. And featuring a B-side that could have fit comfortably on an Ultravox or Midge Ure record of the period!
I was asked to contribute a quote on Cristina to another project, and since I had not yet heard her astonishing cover of “Is that All There Is” yet, I saw that the iTunes store has the DLX RM of her debut album [which I have on LP] with a plethora of bonus tracks [many of which I did not have], so I went for it to inform my thinking. More on this later!
And finally, I got the two things I wanted for the first Record Store Day drop of 2020: Year Of the Plague®. I was astonished to see that the Ultravox “Sleepwalk” clear vinyl 12″ was available in America! It previewed the Steven Wilson mixes of the single along with the originals by The Great Conny Plank from the upcoming “Vienna” Ultrabox. Then, more Steven Wilson 2.0 mixes as his mix of the Roxy Music debut finally reached the public in 2.0 on more clear vinyl. The purchase of these records was as effortless and non-debilitating as RSD had ever been, so that’s one good thing happening this year. The store was closed; only selling music by pre-purchase/curbside pickup. I emailed them my wants when they opened on Saturday, then received confirmation 24 minutes later. I paid remotely and picked up the goods without leaving my car. Infinitely better than grabbing and clawing through the seething pack, eight people deep on all sides surrounding “the table!”
- Peter Godwin: You! [Johnson Somerset remix] – US – DL – iTunes/$1.29
- DEVO: New Traditionalists Live 1981 – Booji Boy Records – CD-BOOJI-001 – US – CD – ClubDEVO/$12.99
- The Vapors: Together – Manmade Soul Ltd and The Vapors Own Records – VAPCD3 – UK – autographed CD – Gift
- Rush: Counterparts – Atlantic – 83738-2 – US – CD – Gift
- Berlin: Pleasure Victim DLX RM – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY15CD – US – CD – Gift
- Berlin: Love Life DLX RM – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY12CD – US – CD – Gift
- Divinyls: Desperate DLX RM – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY13CD – US – CD – Gift
- Fingerprintz: The Best Of Fingerprintz – Bullet Proof Heart – Rubellan Remasters – RUBY14CD – US – CD – Gift
- Prince: Sign O’The Times SDLX BOX – Warner Records – R2 628756 – US – 8xCD+DVD+book – importcds.com/$113.65
- It’s Immaterial: House For Sale – It’s Immaterial – II001 – UK – CD – Pledge Music/£18/$23
- Ultravox: Herr X – Electronic Sound – ES768 – UK – clear 7″ + Electronic Sound #69 magazine – gift
Lots of birthday music this month. My spouse got me the last four Rubellan Remasters discs and I’ve really turned the corner on “Pleasure Victim,” which I’ve been unfair to over the many years. The bonus remixes were revelatory in that they managed to enhance my favorite material from the album. Considerably. The Fingerprintz CD is something that I truly anticipated in the 90s and even nagged Cherry Red about ages ago to the sound of crickets. A late in the game [CDs are almost gone now] surprise! And it’s fantastic to get a well-done copy of the mandatory debut album and singles from Divinyls. I finally got to hear the material dropped internationally from Northern Hemisphere copies of the album for the admittedly great non-LP singles added, and the dropped material was still very strong!
My good friend Mr. Ware gifted me with a signed copy of the unexpected third Vapors album and we’ll be discussing that soon! Has any else noticed that they spell their name with an American spelling? I just noticed that! He also sent along the last contiguous Rush album he sees as part of their great “middle period” arc lasting from 1980 to 1993. He also sent along an Al Stewart sampler to correct my decades of if not ignorance, than perhaps innocence. I enjoyed the finely etched, complex pop music with great acoustic guitar from Peter White, whom I’d heard and enjoyed on Basia albums. I’d only heard about 4 songs in the 70s and nothing else.
I received the “most impressive” 9-disc Prince SOTT box from a pre-buy @ 30% off at importcds.com to my wonder and astonishment. No time to spin it yet. I’ll need a few weeks to absorb it all! The years in the making 3rd It’s Immaterial album has been on play constantly since its arrival. Another album to love from this band making its way to our ears agains tall odds! And one of the commenters here at PPM sent me the sold-out-in-a-flash issue #69 of Electronic Sound magazine with a cover story on “Vienna” and a clear vinyl 7″ of “Herr X” to my utter astonishment. Mr. Watson had previously send me a CD of The Duchess of Fife earlier so it arrived out of the blue!