In contrast to other reviews here can I just point out that, to my memory (and record collection) the "A New Form Of Beauty" project was originally released, not as an album (the album people here are referring to was an (Italian) Compilation itself of the original releases) but as a series of singles and a cassette -with a performance being part V.
Part 1: "Sandpaper Lullaby" B/W "Sleep, Fantasy Dream" (7" vinyl single).
Part 2: "Come To Daddy" B/W " "Sweet Home Under White Cloud" and "Sad World" (10" vinyl single).
Part 3: "Beast" B/W "Abbagal" and "Brain Damage" and "No Birds To Fly" (12" vinyl single).
Part 4: "A New Form Of Beauty. Part Four". (Cassette only: I can't be bothered going upstairs to look at my copy to check but, from memory, one side of the cassette was a performance and the other side was similar to, say, the "Avant noise experiments on "Heresie" such as "Rhetoric" off that album. I've heard of Part IV listed as being on this current compilation: listed here as "Din Glorious" and it's probably this that is what I've referred to as being on the original cassette's "Avant noise" side but - as I say - I can't be bothered going upstairs to check at the moment (and, I'm uncertain here because it's year's since I've listened to or looked at any of the Prunes material in my posession; although, not by any conscious design may I stress!).
Part 5: was a performance in Dublin at an Art Gallery there. (I can't remember the name of the Gallery off the top of my head. I wasn't there but I have a ticket to the performance (which I have laminated) to complete the "New Form Of Beauty" set (as was available at the time).
The original art work for all of the above releases had similar themed art work / covers (the performance aside obviously)designed and illustrated by Guggi (with the illustrations becoming more developed (if you will) from release to release.
To my memory (can't be bothered checking again!) All were issued between 1981 and 1982 on Rough Trade records.
I own the Italian release (as referred to here by other reviewers)and it is a very good looking item. However, as I stated above, this Italian release was not the original release format of this project and was itself a compilation of the material contained on it.
A couple of final points: Yes, I agree with the comments that the current art work used on this current compilation is not the greatest: as well as being - to my mind - unrepresentative of the "New Form Of Beauty" material / project it is also chronologically askew and hails from at least twelve months after the final "New Form Of Beauty" release. It comes from the "Pagan Love Song" sessions of 1982 I think?).
Finally, I notice that one reviewer has written above words to the effec that they preferred the Virgin Prunes first album to this album (meaning "A New Form Of Beauty") - or words to this effect.
This is a little chronologically confused and misleading (maybe because the reviewer assumed that the Italian compilation album of "A New For Of Beauty" being referred to by everyone here was the original release of this material?).
the original "A New Form Of Beauty" releases - as I have described them above were, respectively, the Virgin Prunes third, fourth, fifth, and sixth commercial releases. (Obviously, I'm not referring to Part V of "A New Form Of Beauty" here which was, as I've indicated, a performance). AS I've stated above, they were all issued on Rough Trade records between 1981 and 1982.
Prior to the "A New Form Of Beauty" project releases the Prunes had issued two vinyl singles (between 1980 and 1981 - both of them also on Rough Trade records. These two were the Prunes first two commercial releases. The first was "The Twenty Tens ep", the second was "Moments and Mine (Despite Straight Lines)".
Following the "A New Form Of Beauty" was the two disc 10" Vinyl boxed set "Heresie" and I think this was a French(?) release.
Following "Heresie" a marked change was - to my ear / mind - noticable in the Prunes' releases, beginning with the "A Pagan Love Song" 7" vinyl release (from which period the current "A New Form Of Beauty" compilation album - being sold here - draws its art work, the "Baby Turns Blue" 7" Vinyl release (Coincidentally, the single sleeve of which is now being used as the CD sleeve for the "Over The Rainbow" album / compilation , but with the words "Over The Rainbow" added to the imageon the floor of the photo!)and the 12" vinyl version of the "Baby Turns Blue" release (Nice sleeve on that, distinct to the 7" version). The Prunes then issued the vinyl LP "If I Die, I Die" which was material in a similar style to these last two releases I've mentioned in this paragraph. I think the "first album" (or however he/ she put it in his/ her review) being referred to was this release.
To my mind (other than the outtakes /left overs album "Over the Rainbow" (Which was released originally after the "If I Die, I Die" LP - but drew on material from early on in the Prunes artistic existence)you can forget about the Prunes following the release of the "Heresie" box. They were better as an Avant art / performance art troupe than they were when attempting to write and perform more "conventional" material / songs. It was this "more "conventional" material / songs demonstrated on both the "Pagan Love Song" 7" vinyl release, the "Baby Turns Blue" 7" vinyl release (and it's 12" vinyl counterpart) and the "If I Die, I Die" vinyl Lp releases and, as far as I'm concerned, these releases were naff, artless and embarrasing then and I se no reason to change my opinion on this now. (Other than the "Baby Turns Blue" 12" vinyl release - this "naffness" is, I feel, even reflected in the artwork for these releases also.)
Some of the material (on the LP atleast) was apparently a written prior to the era when it was released - with atleast one (inferior) re-working of an older/ previously released number I seem to recall _ but it doesn't rescue the situation: it's still, by and large, awful. This period seems to smell suspiciously of a record company attempting to find something "sellable" about their artist, and attempting to "polish up" or formalise both the groups visual image and recorded sound (neither worked in my opinion!). The Prunes were NOT musicians as such but, as I've stated above, more of an Avant / Performance Art project. Trying to write as a "traditional Band", play as a "Traditional Band" and sell themselves (or be sold as) a "Traditional Band" simply ended up with cringy sub Sex Gang Children type "product"; and the Prunes were both more original and better than that at their best.
But, I digress! Every single on of the Prunes releases prior to the "A Pagan Love Song" 7" vinyl release is worth investigating if you have an interest in the Avant Garde / Surreal end of "popular" music and even though you will need to investigate the initial two 7" vinyl releases prior to the "A New Form Of Beauty" project and the "Heresie" box as well as this here, this may very well be the pinnacle of the Prunes output.
(As I said "Over The Rainbow" is worth checking also as a footnote but - personally - I'd avoid "Pagan Love Song", "Baby Turns Blue" and the "If I Die, I Die" Lp era / material - and any concurrent video or film material of the Prunes from that era also: Awful!!!