I forgot a few releases in the original entry, so rather than tack them on the end (where they probably won’t be read), I’ll feature them here …
Gang of Four, Return the Gift, Oct. 11
The original 1982 line-up of the band has gone back and re-recorded tracks from its first two albums. Nostalgic, much? Not really. One listen to the (remastered) Entertainment!, and it’s obvious these guys were, and are, far ahead of the bands influenced in its wake. I didn’t grow up listening to this album, but I went ahead and got tickets to the Oct. 12 show at Emo’s, just because. “This heaven gives me migraine”.
Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better … with Gang of Four, Oct. 4
No, that’s really not the title of You Could Have It So Much Better … with Franz Ferdinand. I just never tire of joking, “Huh. I liked this band better when they were called Gang of Four.” I couldn’t really channel the appeal of the band’s debut album till after I listened to the Killers. Franz Ferdinand is a fun band, and they make enjoyable music. But I’m not sensing longevity with them. For the kind of music they play, I feel more compelled to listen to the stuff that influenced it.
Fuji Fabric, Fab Fox, Nov. 9
Fuji Fabric’s self-titled debut album was all over the place, and the band’s music is really hard to describe. But I noticed a lot of the major label single releases rehash a lot of their independent label work. We’ll see how deep the well runs for these guys.
Sinéad O’Connor, Throw Down Your Arms, Oct. 4
On paper, the idea of Sinéad O’Connor performing traditional Irish songs sounded brilliant, but in reality, Sean Nos Nua turned out to be one of the most tepid performances by the fiery Irish singer. Now O’Connor turns her attention to reggae covers, and on paper, the idea of Sinéad O’Connor recording a reggae album sounds as plausible as Willie Nelson recording a reggae album. Now, if Throw Down Your Arms were a Sinéad O’Connor dub album …
Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, Oct. 4
Propaganda, Secret Wish, Oct. 4
Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome was an album I heard a lot about when it was released but didn’t hear itself. Then I bought in 1992 while I was living in New York City — I used a bit of my student money to sate my curiosity. For a debut album, it’s ambitious as hell and all over the place. Frankie Goes to Hollywood was one of the most obnoxious bands of its era, and all that flair made them flame out early. In retrospect, Welcome to the Pleasuredome seems like a big hurrah before the band got clamped down under the one-hit wonder yoke.
The rock magazines I read as a pre-pubescent went on and on about Propaganda’s Secret Wish, and while I was curious about the album, I had to prioritize my allowance money for stuff I had heard before — Duran Duran, Eurythmics.
Both albums are being remastered and reissued as part of ZTT’s twenty-something anniversary. So is The Art of Noise’s Daft, but I’d rather see a collection of In Visible Silence and In No Sense? Nonsense! b-sides.
Come to think of it — how about remastering In Visible Silence and In No Sense? Nonsense!?