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New Releases and Reviews
 
 
Moments In Love (Excusive Record Store Day Release)

Salvo Music (SALVOSV016)
Format: 10
" Picture Disc:
Release Date: 22nd April 2017

This special edition release for record store day revisits moments in the history of The Art of Noise. Coupling the 1985 single 'Moments In Love' with a remix of 'Time For Fear' which has previously never had a vinyl release. Additionally the creative direction for the release references two previous single releases - this being the complimentary release to the 1985 Tortoise shaped 'Moments In Love' 7" single and the masked cigar picture disc of 'Edited' from the same year. This combination of classic ZTT styling, humour and exclusive music is a must for global ZTT fans.

http://recordstoreday.co.uk/exclus.../rsd-2017/art-of-noise/

 
Moments In Love (Excusive Record Store Day Release)

Music on Vinyl
Format: Coloured Vinyl 12
"
Release Date: 22nd April 2017
 
The classic Art Of Noise hit single produced by Trevor Horn (4 tracks). Follows on the sell out ZTT 12" releases from RSD2016

http://recordstoreday.co.uk/excl.../rsd-2017/art-of-noise-1/

 
The Best Of The Art Of Noise (reissue)

China Records (WPCR-16977)
Format: CD
Japanese Release Date: 2nd December 2015
 
The standard 1992 issue of The Best Of The Art Of Noise is re-issued again in Japan, this time as a strictly limited edition budget price CD next month with no extra tracks. The last time this compilation was re-issued was in June 2013 as a SHM-CD. Only recommended for serious die-hard Art of Noise collectors.
 
 
Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise Deluxe: CANCELLED!
 
Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise Deluxe

Classic Album Sundays and ZTT present a high end deluxe box set vinyl re-issue of The Art of Noise ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise’. Remastered from the original tapes and pressed on audiophile quality 180g vinyl, this re-issue will be pressed as a double 45rpm LP for the first time.

The contents of the box set will include:

  • 12” DBL LP 45rpm pressing, remastered by Darrel Shienman of Gearbox.
  • High end audiophile slipmat with Art Of Noise imagery.
  • Extended 12” sleevenotes presented as a book, detailing the history of the band and the album. The sleevenotes will be written by band member Paul Morley and Classic Album Sundays founder Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy. The booklet will also include archive photos of the band and potentially some new and unseen photos.
  • 12” Re-issue of the first Art Of Noise EP, ‘Into Battle’. Repressed on audiophile quality vinyl.
  • Brand new 12” remixes of ‘Moments Of Love’ and ‘Beatbox’.
  • 12” screen print created by The Flood Gallery featuring artwork inspired by The Art Of Noise.

In addition to this, there will be a Classic Album Sundays event to launch the album featuring a full playback of the album on a valve audio system featuring a Q&A session featuring members of The Art Of Noise.

All prices include postage to your location.

NOTE: Due to licensing restrictions this campaign is NOT available to Pledgers in the US, Canada or Japan.
 
click here for details and latest updates.
 
Out Now...

Poldark - Music From The TV Series
Anne Dudley
 
Sony Classical (88875096792)
Formats: CD / Download
UK Release Date: Monday 11th May 2015
 
Film and television soundtrack albums can be disappointing affairs, on one hand some are nothing more than compilation albums of hit songs used throughout the visual work with no depth or any thematic importance to them. On the other hand, some that contain selections from the original scores can come across as dull, too subtle or just boring as they don't work as a separate entity away from the narrative of the feature film or series from which they belong.
 
As someone that hasn't seen Poldark yet, I have approached this album for a different perspective to that of the viewers of the series.
 
The thing I always enjoy about Anne Dudley's music is that one never knows what to expect and this album reiterates that statement wholeheartedly. Like all of her previous soundtrack albums, this stands up as an individual piece in its own right and doesn't require that the listener needs to watch the acclaimed BBC series, that was based upon the historical novels by Winston Graham. The melodies, moods, atmospheres and subtleties work perfectly throughout the entire duration of this compelling body of work and should never be listened to as background music as it is definitely not orchestrated muzak.
 
Unlike many notable composers Anne doesn't conform to the notion of musical boundaries. If one listens close enough it is possible to detect some modern day electronic sounds that wouldn't normally be expected to be heard alongside harps, violins and orchestrations of a score set to an 18th Century story that occasionally features themes based upon Cornish folk music. For those unfamiliar with her work anyone reading this could be forgiven for thinking that there is no way that this should work, but it does perfectly. It is not intrusive and doesn't detract from any of the nuances within the music itself. This is a great example of her musical intellect and why she has been one of the most sort after composer/arrangers for over the past 30 plus years. She is without doubt one the Britain's best modern day composers, if not the best, with Poldark - Music From The TV Series being the latest addition to an impressive career.
 

The China Years Digital Albums
 
In Visible Silence
In·No·Sense? Nonsense!
Below The Waste
 
China Records
Format: Digital Downloads
UK Release Date: 11th May 2015
 
For a few years now there have been rumours of CD deluxe editions of the 'China Records Trilogy' albums. Sadly no such releases have ever surfaced and it had seemed that Warners would never re-release those classic long players again, until now. The download format is better than nothing and will only appeal to the generation of downloaders. It is not what fans were hoping for and seems to be a huge let down for Art of Noise conoussers who were at least expecting standard physical re-reissues. A missed opportunity.
 
for content of each album
for lack of thought and effort

 
Love & Hate - A Compact Introduction
Act
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVOMDCD40 / Element 39)
Formats: 2CD / Download
UK Release Date: Monday 8th June 2015
 
By the time Act’s only album Laughter, Tears & Rage was released, the charts were being dominated by records produced by the Stock Aitken Waterman production team. Their attack on the charts was relentless as they were giving the teenager audience what they really wanted, disposable production line style pure pop records, with no emphasis on experimental well crafted music that Zang Tuum Tumb had been so successful at since 1983.

By early 1987 and late 1989 ZTT were in a void, their three biggest artists were no longer part of the label’s roster, leaving them without any significant hits. There was one glimmer of hope in the form of a collaboration between ex-Propaganda vocalist Claudia Brücken and Thomas Leer, imaginatively named Act. In theory they should have been the next big thing for the label, although it wasn’t meant to be as their debut single and highest chart entry Snobbery & Decay stalled at number 60 and their 1988 debut album went unnoticed.

So why didn’t Act set the charts on fire? Was their music too ambitious or did it lack ingenuity or charm?
 
The answer to those questions only occurred to me when reading the blurb on the back of the packaging of this collection “Music so cutting edge”, and then the penny dropped… timing.

Maybe if the record had been made and released a couple of years earlier it would have been a force to have been reckoned with. It certainly has depth and quality to it, but what we have to bear in mind is that by 1988 electronic synth pop's golden age was effectively dead. Gary Numan had vanished, OMD were on the verge of splitting, Kraftwerk were AWOL, the Human League had passed their sell by date and Howard Jones hadn’t had a top 20 hit since 1985. Unfortunately the genre had been taken over by the cheap D.I.Y. productions of house music and acid house along with the never ending hits coming out from the aforementioned Stock Aitken Waterman stable.

After 27 years I listened to Act’s only album for the first time as part of this compilation and for me the title Love & Hate - A Compact Introduction couldn’t be more apt. An overlooked late 80s gem with many pleasant surprises, far better than I expected it to be.

Disc 1 is the Laughter, Tears & Rage (The Director’s Cut) version with the apparent original running order and extra tracks. Although Brücken was the common denominator of both Propaganda and Act, musically they were worlds apart. One is made very aware of this when listening as Act incorporated cabaret, theatrical themes with popular synthpop styles along with very discreet hints of late 80s dance thrown into the mix making it lighter in tone to that of Propaganda and ironically should have made it more accessible for the music buying public at large.

From the opening song Gestures to the closing track Snobbery & Decaythe listener is taken on a journey of pure unadulterated pop music, even though that statement is a contradiction in terms due to its potpourri of incorporated genres, it is possibly the closest thing that ZTT ever got to releasing a true pop album and theoretically the only real competition they should have had should have been from the Pet Shop Boys.

The superb electronic sound throughout this album complements the style of the vocals that give each song its own unique identity and at the same time manages to retain a large amount of continuity from track to track, although the cover of The Smiths’ Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now seems completely out of place. There is nothing wrong with the track itself as a stand alone, but it doesn’t really compliment the rest of the album lyrically.

Listening to this collection was a real joy and one of those ‘I wish I head listened to this album years ago’ moments. Unlike the majority of synth pop albums from the 1980s this one has a unique charm about, an identity and character of its own even though a lot of influences can be detected if you listen out for them.

Disc 2, entitled Emotional 12” Versions contains 12”, 7”, b-sides and other experimentations from the group’s short-lived existence, aimed at the connoisseur keep both new listeners and faithful fans happy.
 
This is the second ‘a compact introduction’ in ZTT’s Element series, and is far superior to that of the first, Propaganda’s Noise And Girls Come Out To Play which was in essence a collection of various mixes of just 3 or 4 songs and was extremely repetitive. The accompanying booklet features excellent sleeve notes that are an essential read like those of other releases in the series
along with previously unreleased images of the group themselves by Patrick Lichfield.
 
 
Everything Could Be So Perfect... (Édtion Deluxe)
Anne Pigalle
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVOMDCD41 / Element 40)
Formats: 2CD / Download
UK Release Date: Monday 8th June 2015
 
This album in its original form has always been a must have for all serious collectors of the ZTT label and this new expanded edition is no exception. Anne Pigalle was one of the first artists signed to that very label but was overshadowed by the likes of Art of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Propaganda and Andrew Poppy but yet, like those artists she had gained a following in her own right as the ‘new Edith Piaf’.

“Everything Could Be So Perfect…” was a brilliantly executed timeless nouveau pop record which at times became almost stereotypical of French music in general but managed to embrace those stereotypes and at the same time grin at them by turning them into a sophisticated original body of work. Out of all the early albums to be released by ZTT, this one was definitely the one to appeal to an adult audience rather than a teenage one. That is the reason why it has always worked so well and stood the test of time.

This new version, subtitled ‘Édtion deluxe’ contains the original album with the addition of remixes from the singles “Why Does It Have To Be This Way…” and “Hé Stranger” along with unreleased material.

Unfortunately adding extra tracks to the first disc detracts from the original album as less is more and I would have actually been more excited about a remastered version with nothing added. Sometimes adding extra tracks enhances an album, but not here.

The second disc is as what one may have come to expect from the Element Series, a collection of mixes, demos and unreleased material from that period. Personally I would have included the three additional tracks from the first disc and left out a few of the tracks that appear on the bonus CD as I got bored with the repetitiveness towards the end. Maybe if an alternate version of the album had been created from the archives, one version per song it would have been more of an enjoyable listening experience.

For the first time listener, I feel it may not have much appeal as there are simply too many versions of the same song on a double CD, on the other hand it is a treasure trove for the ZTT collectors who will embrace it.
 
 
At The End Of A Century
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVOSVX029 / Element 37)
Format: 2CD+DVD
UK Release Date: Monday 2nd February 2015
German Release Date: Friday 6th February 2015

Throughout the 1980s the Art of Noise were at the forefront of modern technology, pioneering the then new concept of digital sampling, influencing a generation of musicians, sound engineers and record producers alike. By 1990 the two remaining members of the group, Anne Dudley & J.J. Jeczalik decided that their work was done when sampling had become available to the masses. As an avid fan since September 1983, I, like a lot of others was quite sad when the news was announced only a few weeks after the release of the hit single Art Of Love and their remix compilation album The Ambient Collection.

Throughout the majority of that decade, enthusiasts like my self had to endure another two remix albums in attempt to keep the spirit of group alive by China Records, as more and more contemporary dance artists of the time were acknowledging the group as their idols, making way for a new audience to discover their music, albeit in bastardised forms. However Art of Noise themselves were busy not being Art of Noise working on other projects.

A few weeks before the third and thankfully last remix album was released, the first proper Art of Noise spin-off project, or sequel, depending on one's point of view emerged in the form of an album by Art of Silence, the brainchild of Jeczalik. It got positive praise by fans and rave reviews in the dance music press. However by early 1997 he had retired from the music industry ending what at the time seemed like the end of the Art of Noise for good. Shortly after we would be proved wrong when another spin-off project began to take shape in the form of the Image of a Group, a collaboration with original members Dudley, Trevor Horn, Paul Morley with a new member, Lol Creme of 10cc and Godley & Creme fame began working on Horn’s concept album idea based around the music of the French composer Claude Debussy that would eventually end up being released in 1999 as The Seduction Of Claude Debussy, the fifth Art of Noise and the first in a decade. The roots of that released album are included as two prototype versions on the first two discs of this three set.

CD1 Balance - Music For The Eye
This previously unreleased album is presented in its pure unadulterated form. More tranquil and less bombastic than its commercial counterpart it allows the melodic themes of Debussy room to breath, taking them in different directions to those we have been used to hearing over the last fifteen years. From a production point of view it is an ambitiously polished work and stands up to the test of time. In many ways far better than the album we've been accustomed to with the use of more subtle drum & bass rhythms and tones. Throughout the sixty-nine minute duration it gives the listener a pleasant, refreshing feel with more prominent darker ambient moods and incorporated smooth jazz vibes. It is a timeless classic that never was, an album that could have easily have reached the top of the Smooth Jazz album charts. With its fusion of classical elements it reiterates and emphasises that all genres of music can coexist together, by breaking down musical boundaries to create something new that transcends conformist convention. Unlike The Seduction Of Claude Debussy, all of the monologues are performed by Morley as introductions to the three parts that make up this album and make it easier to listen to the tracks individually without them sounding like they have been taken out of context. It is a shame that Balance - Music For The Eye was never released in its own right as it would have been an excellent debut for the Image of a Group. Alas this was not to be after Horn decided to shelve it and start again after Jeczalik allowed them to use the Art of Noise name. The results of that material appear as the second version of the album on disc two.
 
CD2 The Production Of Claude Debussy (The Producer’s Cut)
Formerly only available as an advanced promotional copy of The Seduction Of Claude Debussy is now commercially available for the very first time with four addition tracks. It is essentially the same as the released version with a few alternate mixes of certain tracks with a discretely different running order. After listening to disc one the listener is now hit with rampaging drum & bass rhythms, orchestral arrangements, Sally Bradshaw operatic vocals, John Hurt’s gripping narration of the life and times of Debussy. Donna Lewis and Carol Kenyon provided vocals with raps provided by non other than Rakim. Horn co-produced a large part of the album with other producers including Henry Jackman, Way Out West, Sharktank and Ollie J that gave it a contemporary dance sound of that period. The album is more concise than the first version allowing the music to flow from one track to the next by gathering momentum until it stops to breath before picking up speed and races to the end to bow out gracefully with the final track. The additional tracks are remixes of Dreaming mixed by Brothers In Rhythm that feel like a missed opportunity as they were once considered to be included as tracks on a follow-up single to Metaforce. 
 
DVD The Image Of A Group At The End Of A Century
A potpourri of concert footage, electronic press kits, rehearsal footage, promotional videos and scratch videos that cover this period of Art of Noise's history. A Private Audience With Art Of Noise (Live at Coexistence, 01 June 2000) and A Public Audience With Art Of Noise (Live at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, 22 March 2000) are two takes on the same show presented in full for the very first time are more coherent than the previously released DVD Into Vision that kept cutting between footage from the Coachella Festival, Shepherds Bush and Wembley. The only downside is that there is no 5.1 surround sound on this release but the amount of footage on this disc alone makes up for that.
 
Now after more than fifteen years since the release of The Seduction Of Claude Debussy; At The End Of A Century gives fans a new perspective of the music created from that period of time, an insight to what was and could have been. It is a portal to the past of which the likes of the over-hyped Spice Girls along with the overrated Oasis ruled the charts rather than radical innovative music that has been synonymous with the Art of Noise making them stand out from their contemporaries and peers as one of the most influential groups in music history, ironically keeping a low profile as they went along.
 
As ever with the every release in the Element series, number thirty-seven's packaging is first rate. Included within the lavish three disc digipak is a very well documented booklet with sleeve notes by Paul Morley and curator Ian Peel along with previously unreleased pictures.
 
 
Zang Tuum Tumb: The Value Of Entertainment
Various Artists
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVOSVX028 / Element 35)
Format: CD+DVD
UK Release Date: Monday 2nd February 2015
German Release Date: Friday 6th February 2015
 
Originally released as two separate entities Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled previously available on LP & cassette and ZTT: The Value Of Entertainment, a VHS video. For the first time they appear together in this nostalgic retrospective that showcases the original roster of ZTT's artists: Art of Noise; Frankie Goes To Hollywood; Propaganda; Andrew Poppy; Anne Pigalle and Instinct, ironically marking the beginning of the end of its golden age.
 
CD Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled
The original album appears for the first time on CD,
remastered and expanded exclusively for this re-release. Unlike a conventional record label, ZTT chose to ignore the hit singles that they were releasing, opting to focus on album tracks archived material from the vaults and live performances. The result is a treasure trove of the familiar and the obscure, along with the then only appearance on record of the group Instinct (although tracks would eventually surface more than a quarter of a century later on future ZTT retrospectives). Seven bonus tracks are now included including, mainly focusing on the material from The Value Of Entertainment at the Ambassador's Theatre in London.
 
DVD The Value Of Entertainment
The Value Of Entertainment follows Paul Morley talking ZTT at the Ambassador's Theatre in 1985 and introducing the acts appearing live on stage at the venue. Minus the touring Frankie Goes To Hollywood and recently departed Art of Noise from the label, leaving Morley to fill in the gaps. Looking back at the show almost thirty years later with Propaganda as the headlining act, it still manages to encapsulate the diversity of their artists and those musical ideas that have been synonymously associated with ZTT. In addition to the original Time Capsule video presentation that was released in 1986, there is now an additional one entitled Time Capsule Two. along with a Gallery by Andrew Catlin.
The picture quality is remarkably good despite its age and is far better than watching it on an old VHS video cassette.
 
Over the last three decades ZTT have released not only ground breaking albums, but also remarkable compilations too in the form of dance compilations, film soundtracks, box sets and one totally dedicated to the production skills of label owner Trevor Horn. Each one standing well apart from the run of the mill releases put out by other record companies. It is with a sense of irony that their first, originally a low priced disposable sampler, has been a fan favourite since its initial release. Zang Tumb Tuum Sampled has always been regarded by most as the ultimate ZTT compilation, but it was also the one ignored by the Compact Disc format, until now where it can be experienced for the first time in its entirety both sonically and visually with the accompanying The Value Of Entertainment.
 

So80s (Soeighties) Presents ZTT
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Propaganda
Art of Noise
 
Soundcolours (SC0342)
Formats: 2CD / Download
German Release Date: Friday 25th April 2014
UK Release Date: Monday 28th April 2014
 
The promise, the dream, the anticipation, the disappointment.
 
The first disc was originally intended to feature new reconstructions by Blank & Jones of classic tracks by Zang Tumb Tuum's three biggest acts of the time rather than updated dance remixes, with the second to feature a megamix of ZTT's back catalogue. However this is not how this double disc set is presented as nine out of the thirteen remodelled productions are of Frankie Goes To Hollywood with Propaganda and Art of Noise appearing as fillers. According to sources the duo were only sent the multi-tracks of the featured songs by ZTT, limiting them to what they could do with the project. From this fan's point of view it would have been better to have omitted the three Propaganda tracks: Duel; Dr. Mabuse; A Dream Within A Dream along with the now overused Moments In Love by Art of Noise and released the project as So80s (Soeighties) Present Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
 
With that said, the majority of these new reconstructions do sound as they were meant to, as one could be mistaken for thinking that they were all unreleased mixes from the 1980s. A great deal of care has been put into how these versions have been put together, so much so that Blank & Jones actually purchased equipment from that period for their additional work to seamlessly blend in with the original source material. Thankfully they didn't go in the direction of so many other people that have remixed tracks from ZTT's over the past twenty years by turning them into club anthems that removed their heart and soul.
 
In many ways this release is a contradiction as it is extremely enjoyable to listen to, but at the same time it's a huge disappointment as it fails to deliver on many levels. Not even the well designed artwork and sleeve notes by Paul Morley can hide the fact that it could have been so much more. ZTT have always been full of inconsistencies over the past three decades, unfortunately this album doesn't fall into that ethos.
 

 
Zang Tuum Tumb - The Re-Organization Of Pop
Various Artists
 
ZTT/Razor & Tie (79301-83560-7 / Element 32)
Format: 10 x 7" Box Set
US Release Date: Saturday 19th April 2014
 
This is a spin-off from last year's Zang Tuum Tumb - The Organization Of Pop (New York Edition) compilation album that was released to celebrate thirty years of ZTT Records and is the second of that label's new releases for Record Store Day 2014. Unlike Live At The End Of A Century by Art of Noise, this set is aimed at the American market and is the most ambitious of the two.
 
The box set itself, is a work of art, complete with track by track commentary in the accompanying booklet.
 
At first glance it would appear that the ten singles included are just reprints of previously released 45s. Explore a little further and one will be pleasantly surprised as only a few were released in the US prior to this set. For example Art of Noise's Beat Box (Diversion Six and Seven) was only ever released in the UK in a generic die-cut sleeve, unlike here where it now has a picture sleeve for the first time.
 
There are three exclusive singles included in this set that have never been made commercially available before, Andrew Poppy's 32 Frames, originally release as a 12" in 1986, Chance by Act that was withdrawn prior to its 1988 release date due to copyright issues and Zambient Two that features Dolphins by Heights of Abraham on its A-side and Lisa Stansfield's When Love Breaks Down on side B. Of course no ZTT compilation would be complete without Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Propaganda.
 
Like Record Store Day 2014 in the UK, this release (of just one thousand) are only available from specialist record stores, but no doubt that by Saturday afternoon there will be more than a few of these items listed on eBay at extortionate prices, this is the downside to Record Store Day as it attracts touts that exploit genuine fans and collectors. My advice for Saturday the 14th April is if you see one buy it, as it will cost you a lot more from auction sites.
 
 
Live At The End Of A Century
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVOSV006 / Element 34)
Format: 12" Picture Disc
Release Date: Saturday 19th April 2014
 
Almost fifteen years after the last Art of Noise single Metaforce, ZTT/Salvo release the long awaited follow up, Live At The End Of A Century. It is being issued as a limited edition 12” picture disc that will be made available as part of Record Store Day 2014 in the UK via specialist independent shops.
 
Art of Noise were always different as well as being creatively ahead of anyone else making music during the eighties and again in the late nineties during their “image of a group” period. This record showcases that they could exist outside of a studio environment and play live to audiences with ease like any stadium filling rock band. All three live recordings from the 1999 Coachilla Festival are taken directly from the soundboard with no remixing or additional overdubs. For the entire fifteen minutes, forty-six seconds duration of the record, wordsmith Paul Morley presents the audience with a surreal narrative of his guide to the world of Claude Debussy and his abstract ideas with fellow band members Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn & Lol Creme.
 
The journey starts with a one minute version of Out Of This World, a haunting, hypnotic low key soundscape or subtle musical canvas that escorts the opening monologue towards the uplifting Born On A Sunday. With operatic vocals by Amanda Boyd, to the attacking drum & bass rhythms via the bassline of the group’s E.F.L., Born On Sunday stand out as tour de force of musical ideas and juxtapositions that in theory shouldn’t work. But this is of course Art of Noise, doing what they do best, defying traditional conventions. Through the fast pounding beats the track races furiously to the middle eight section and beyond to a newly arranged version of an old favourite, Moments In Love, one of the group’s most intriguing tracks. The arrangement included here not only draws a closure to this special release, but adds an unexpected twist towards the end of the track.
 
Overall the record is an excellent, long overdue addition to Art of Noise’s impressive discography spanning almost thirty-one years. The music on this record may not be as influential as their work during the eighties, but it is still superior to that which was being created by other artists in the late nineties. This record is catalogued as SALVOSV006 and is number 34 in Zang Tuum Tumn’s ever expanding Element series before it becomes the missing piece.
 
 
The Best Of
 
Metro Select (METRSL079)
Format: 2CD
European Release Date: Friday 20th September 2013
 
A very poor and misleading budget priced release. An awful mess that is basically tracks taken from (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise and The Seduction Of Claude Debussy jumbled together without any thought. Archive tracks that appeared on the Influence and Into Battle compilations have been thrown in as fillers. It would have been better to put out a double CD set of the two albums in their original forms. It is one of a series of three compilations to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of ZTT Records, the other two being Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Propaganda. For the pure die-hard collectors.
 
 
The Best Of The Art Of Noise
 
China Records (WPCR-1506)
Format: SHM-CD
Japanese Release Date: Wednesday 26nd June 2013
 
A remastered version of the 1992 compilation that was released after the licensing of three ZTT tracks had expired, replacing them with two further singles and an album track. Gone were all of the 12" mixes that made up the majority of the original CD which had been replaced with 7" versions cutting its running time in half. Unusually no additional tracks have been added to this Japanese remastered edition. Well worth the money for the improved sound quality of this SHM-CD. An essential must for have item for any collector.
 
 
Influence: Hits, Singles, Moments, Treasures...
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVODCD21 / Element 10)
Format: 2CD
Release Date: Monday 19th July 2010
 
The music from the new Influence album is playing as I sit on the floor of my office surrounded by the hundreds of worldwide releases on multiple formats in my Art of Noise collection whilst writing this review. Like other serious collectors, I have always known that something else was missing and this compilation, the latest addition to the group's discography, rubs salt into the wound by giving the collector a taste of what else lies hidden away in the vaults. Unlike the previous archive release, And What Have You Done With My Body, God?, this new selection is not just aimed at the collector. It also acts as part greatest hits and part introduction to the most influential group of the past 30 years.

This is the first compilation since the long deleted original The Best Of The Art Of Noise to feature tracks from both the ZTT and China Records back catalogues. Unlike that lost album, this new retrospective includes material from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. ZTT's curator and Art of Noise aficionado Ian Peel has not only complied this labour of love, but has also created a work of art by selecting each individual track with care. Throughout this thirty nine track compilation only four tracks appear on both compilations, the 7" versions of Kiss (featuring Tom Jones), Peter Gunn (featuring Duane Eddy), Moments In Love and Beat Box (Diversion Ten), the latter two appearing only on the LP/cassette versions of the 1988 collection. By not duplicating all the same versions of singles from The Best Of..., the listener gets an opportunity to hear the original 7" mixes of Close (To The Edit) (a.k.a. Beat Box (Diversion Seven)), Legs, Dragnet and the 12" remix, Paranoimia (The Paranoid Mix) (with Max Headroom) which all blend in perfectly with the rest of the carefully selected tracks on this album.

The thought of `best of' albums containing b-sides and album tracks had always came across to me as just filling, however that is certainly not the case here! As I mentioned earlier, this album is only part greatest hits. The music of the Art of Noise has never been able to be defined by any genre, as it is a genre within itself and the remaining tracks confirm that statement. Love Beat is a perfect example of this, a type of slow jazz that originated from Moments In Love before it became a stand alone track that went on to appear as the soundtrack to various TV commercials.

Their music was never a stranger to television as one of the most iconic theme tunes ever produced hit the airwaves in the shape of the (Theme From) The Krypton Factor. This high energy track, a fan favourite for more than two decades is available here for the very first time in its original form, before it was developed into another (Crusoe) that appeared on the In No Sense? Nonsense! album, from which the quirky and bizarre Ode To Don Jose is taken. Acton Art is an edited down reprise of that album that sends the listener on an audio rollercoaster ride with a structure that defies conventional musical structure. In contrast to that, more traditional methods are used in the form of three orchestrated tracks Promenade One; Promenade Two and Finale from the Below The Waste album, throwing a spanner into the works of any preconceived notion of what Art of Noise is, or should be.

Not just one spanner was thrown for The Seduction Of Claude Debussy tracks, but a whole set of spanners with the odd socket set thrown in too as demonstrated in the tracks Metaforce (featuring Rakim) and The Holy Egoism Of Genius. This time fusing together classical, operatic, house, drum & bass, narrative and even a rap on Metaforce, once again defying any genre categorisation. And that is just the first CD subtitled The A Side: singles, hits, soundtracks and collaborations that also includes the single that never was Something Is Missing (aka Dreaming: Colour Green) and the improvised live recording A Is For Beginning.

Following on from the success of the aforementioned And What Have You Done With My Body, God? box set, and with the same care taken as on CD 1, the listener is transported into another dimension with CD 2 The AA Side: unreleased experiments, before and after science. An alter ego to the first disc, this 66 minute chronology of completely previously unreleased material is a must have for any Art of Noise fan and it isn't too hard on the first time listener.

The first part is essentially recordings taken from the experiments from the original line-up: Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn, JJ Jeczalik, Gary Langan and Paul Morley. Beep Beep an alternative version of Who's Afraid (Of The Art Of Noise) makes one ask the question `Why weren't some of these tracks put out as singles?' A Time For Fear (JJ's 12" Remix) was planned as the follow up to Moments In Love, of which two more versions appear, Moments In Love (Anne To Tears Mix) and Moments In Love (The Monitor Mix) (with Lucky Gordon). All of those tracks were recorded before Anne, JJ & Gary left ZTT to achieve greater success. The fruits of Trevor & Paul's labour as a spin-off group in 1986 can be heard with the two versions of This Is Your Life as Art & Act that were only rumoured to exist. I'm A Stranger Here Myself and Cassandra were tracks recorded by Anne & JJ that were intended for use in an American feature film. The remainder of the disc sheds light onto the creation and development of the concept album The Seduction Of Claude Debussy with Lol Creme joining the Dudley/Horn/Morley line-up. The unreleased versions from this period, could have easily been released on the finished album. Although no versions from the pre-release CD appear here, it still makes for very interesting listening and shows how creative the group are/were. The quality of most of the unreleased tracks on this disc put the final finished products of many artists to shame. Spread throughout the disc are Interlude... tracks featuring spoken words by Trevor Horn and John Hurt. Dainty features Camilla Pilkington's recording sessions for the track Who's Afraid (Of The Art Of Noise) while Beat Box (Diversion 3.4, Extracted) is from an actual jamming session.

The packaging for Influence is first class including an eight-panel digipak to house the two CDs complete with a luxurious booklet that accompanies the set written by Ian Peel that also contains previously unpublished photographs of the group with contributions from Anne Dudley and Paul Morley. By ignoring and erasing from existence all of those so called `remixed interpretations' from the three cash-in remix albums (well at least on this album) becomes a pure joy to listen to, a work of art.
 
 
(Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise! (Japansese Edition)
ZTT/Third-Ear JPN Ltd. (XECZ-1011)
Format: CD
Japanese Release Date: Wednesday 29th October 2008
 
Various versions of this album have been released around the world since it was first issued in the USA in mid 1984. The album is regarded by some Art of Noise fans as their finest work. This latest version keeps the extra track Close-Up, originally added to the 1994 Japanese issue, and adds yet another two bonus tracks A TimeTo Clear (Up), (an alternate version of A Time For Fear (Who's Afraid)) along with Resonance. Both tracks were previously unreleased tracks that eventually were released for a short time on the 1999 custom CD Bashful a.k.a. Belief System a.k.a. An Extra Pulse Of Beauty. This new expanded limited edition and the remaining Japanese Edition releases from ZTT/Thir-Ear JPN Ltd. come complete with gatefold mini vinyl CD sleeves, making them a must for any collector along with a business size Campaign Access Cards with a unique number.
 
 
"daft" (Japanese Edition)
 
ZTT/Third-Ear JPN Ltd. (XECZ-1012)
Format: CD
Japanese Release Date: Wednesday 29th October 2008
 
For the first time since the original UK 1986 release, "daft" sounds more like an actual compilation than just an expanded CD version of (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise with addition material taken from the group's debut extended play, Into Battle With The Art Of Noise and the 12" of Moments In Love. Three addition tracks have been added to this remastered collection: Close-Up (Hop) (included on the 1994 Japanese issue), Beat Box (Diverted) and Memory Loss (both from the same custom CD as the additional ones on (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise (Japanese Edition)
 
 
The Seduction Of Claude Debussy (Japanese Edition)
 
ZTT/Third-Eart JPN Ltd. (XECZ-1013)
Format: 2CD
Japanese Release Date: Wednesday 29th October 2008
 
This new expanded edition of 1999 critically acclaimed The Seduction Of Claude Dubussy includes the bonus tracks Metaforce (The Size Of A Mataphor: Mix by Roni Size) and Dreaming: Colour Maroon, previously included on the French issue of Reduction. Although not as groundbreaking as (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise!, this long player is a departure from anything that Art of Noise had done before. It was the first one without original co-founder J.J. Jeczalik. Rather than using sampling as the basis for the album, the music was based around  the works of French composer Claude Debussy, mixing narration, classical, drum & bass, rap and operatic music to form the first new material from Art of Noise in ten years. Also contained within in this set is the aforementioned long out of print remix album, Reduction, featuring (New York London Paris) Spleen and Information as its highlights with the bonus track Metaforce (X-Ray Of A Metaphor: mixed by The Shark Tank).
 
 
Reconstructed...For Your Listening Pleasure (Japanese Edition)
 
ZTT/Third-Ear JPN Ltd. (XECZ-1015)
Format: CD+DVD
Japanese Release Date: Wednesday 29th October 2008.
 
Originally released in the UK as a Super Audio CD, as the soundtrack to the Art of Noise DVD Into Vision, this new edition comprises of a standard stereo CD and a DVD Audio with both stereo & 5.1 surround sound mixes. Sadly the stereo mix to the Into Vision DVD wasn't included in this set, as it is a different soundtrack to that of the stereo and 5.1 versions included here. The audio is based on recordings made during the Art of Noise's 1999/2000 tour where they played almost the entire The Seduction Of Claude Debussy album live with the exceptions of some old favourites like Moments In Love, Beat Box incorporating Close (To The Edit) and Peter Gunn. No extra tracks as such on this set unless you count the 5.1 surround sound mixes on the audio DVD.
 
 
And What Have You Done With My Body, God? (Japanese Edition)
 
ZTT/Third-Ear JPN Ltd. (XECZ-9017-9020)
Format: 4CD Box Set + T-Shirt
Japanese Release Date: Wednesday 29th October 2008
 
This issue of the Art of Noise's archive box set contains no extra tracks as it is the exact same box set (ZTT201CD) with Japanese stickers and booklet with a free (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise T-shirt. The box set itself contains four CDs of archive outtakes and remixes that formed their debut album. A 36 page book is also included with contributions from Gary Langan, J.J. Jeczalik, Anne Dudley, Trevor Horn and Paul Morley. A must for all serious Art of Noise collectors.
 
 
Zang Tumb Tuum: The ZTT Box Set
Various Artists
 
ZTT/Salvo (SALVOBOX405)
Format: 3CD+DVD Box Set
Release Date: Monday 27th October 2008
 
Usually a record label is not thought of when one thinks of an act, but sometimes the artist and label go hand in hand. If you were to think of The Supremes and Marvin Gaye, you would think Motown. If someone says ZTT the chances are that Art of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and 808 State spring to mind.
 
Instead of being conventional by taking one track from each artist, Ian Peel has compiled a box set that captures the spirit, the sound, the look and the importance of ZTT over the last 25 years. Included are numerous tracks by Seal, Propaganda, The Frames, David Jordan, Act, Art of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Shane MacGowan and 808 State (including MC Tunes versus 808 State). Almost all the tracks by each of the aforementioned artists are grouped together for the enjoyment and convenience of the listener, instead of having to skip through or change discs to listen to the next track by a paticular artist. Anne Pigalle, David's Daughters, Novecento, Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force, Time Unlimited, Shades Of Rhythm, General Max, Sun Electric, Nast Rox Inc., Andrew Poppy, Lee Griffiths, Lomax, das Psych-oh! Rangers, Tara, Heights of Abraham and the late Kirsty MacColl act as interludes between the multiple tracks of the other artists. By doing so, the listener is given the chance to hear (perhaps for the first time) some of the label's best overlooked acts by presenting some long forgotten gems that are as equally important to ZTT's history as the more well known acts associated with the label. Some of tracks appear for the first time on CD, along with some rarities and hidden tracks that will make any collector of ZTT happy. In addition to that there is an eighteen track DVD featuring fourteen of the artists that appear upon the CDs with four other acts, Adamski's Thing, Dove, Leilani and Raging Speedhorn, who didn't make it onto the audio set of this unique collection. Many of the videos are available for the first time on DVD and showcase not only the acts but the talents of the innovative directors involved during the past 25 years. If you are also into books, then you are going to be beside yourself with joy as there is a 72-page book by the compiler of the box set with some words from one of the label's co-founders and former Art of Noise member Paul Morley, plus rare publicity shots of the artists, record sleeves and press advertisements used since 1983.
 
This set includes some of the best and well produced tracks from past quarter of a century. Founded by Trevor Horn, Jill Sinclair & Paul Morley, ZTT changed the way that music was marketed by introducing the record buying public to multi-mix formats to increase the sale of singles and albums, this new way of marketing has been copied by almost every other record label since. ZTT was also different to other labels as they weren't afraid to sign artists who looked and sounded completely different from each other as well as signing acts like the biggest selling act of 1984, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who had previously been turned down by every other record label.  After listening to the CDs in this set and watching the DVD you will see what a diverse stable of talent has appeared on this small, but mighty label over the years!
 

 

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