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Viva Dead Ponies 2CD

Fatima Mansions Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Oct 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Kitchenware
  • ASIN: B000UTOQLU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,291 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Angel's Delight
2. Concrete Block
3. Mr Baby
4. Door To Door Inspector
5. Start The Week
6. You're A Rose
7. Legoland
8. Thursday
9. Ceausescu Flashback
10. Broken Radio No 1
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Only Losers Take the Bus
2. The Loyaliser
3. Evil Man
4. North Atlantic Wind
5. Bertie's Brochures (no intro)
6. 1000 Percent
7. Valhalla Avenue
8. Behind the Moon
9. Popemobile to Paraguay
10. You Won't Get Me Home
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bile Beans, For Grace, Health and Vitality 11 Feb 2003
Format:Audio CD
How do you like your music? utterly predictable, or "What the devil was that?" Which is to say, I personally rather enjoy being surprised by an album, and this one doesn't half keep you on your toes. It jumps around all over the place. Musically. For the most part it rocks; great quiet-bits-that-go-all-shouty-and-heavy, the way I know we all love. Plus a bit of opera, europop, and some other stuff that there aren't any good names for.
I'm a big soppy ol' fan of people like Chris Morris and Bill Hicks whose - what I'm afraid I'm going to have to call - Satirical darkness, seems to me to come from a deep desire to see people not be quite so stupid, and maybe aspire to something a little grander than the squalid state of right now. So it is with The Fatima Mansions: if the lyrics are black and cynical, and they are brilliantly so, then it's because of that Peter Cook style disappointment with the dullness of things.
I like to think.
Cathal Coughlan, the bloke what sang and wrote it. He's a card. Leaves you with lovely little pictures in your head. Try this on for size: "This unkempt ageing orphan and his helpless dying bride" tickled me it did. Hope you like it as much as I do, but don't blame me if you don't. Like my Mum used to say about olives stuffed with anchovies, "It's an aquired taste."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A violent smack with a beautiful sledge hammer 20 Sep 2007
Format:Audio CD
The world was very different when this album came out in 1990. Viva Dead Ponies was an explosive reaction to the stifling dullness which passed for the world of pop music. If only we knew then that those troughs were just the foothills before going on down to the permanent nadir in which we now find ourselves. Well, take a listen to this record and find a new old world poised on the brink of getting much, much worse. It's a glorious record, a firework festival of wit, anger, humour, rage and a rapier-sharp socio-political analysis that seems not to exist anywhere else these days. Some may find the synthesiser sounds a little cracked and weathered (but not as dated as the red blouson-style jacket the lead singer, Coughlan, favoured at this time). But! The energetic vocals veering from rage to heart-breaking tenderness and the slick guitar riffs will help accustom your ears to the sound of 1990. Cathal Coughlan has a very fine voice and it has a terrific range. "You're A Rose" is a song for jilted lovers everywhere. "A Pack Of Lies" is the most Irish-sounding song on the album and deals with the return of an Irish migrant, a ruined man returning to his indifferent homeland. True then, it is truer now. While the song was hugely ironic in 1990, the effect is magnified tenfold by the grotesque transformations wrought upon Ireland in the meantime. The title track really ought to have put the band in tremendous danger (for the same reasons that made Salman Rushdie a marked man) but no-one in the Finsbury mosque has been keeping up with Anglo-Irish pop-rock, apparently.

This is not a smooth album, not by any means, but the rage is controlled and moderated so that you're never reaching for the off-switch. It's easy to be "challenging" but seldom is it easy to be challenging and excellent. The Fatima Mansions were that and they were more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mansions as they were intended to sound 26 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD
Viva Dead Ponies is the only album I've ever bought twice on CD. Well, fair enough, you might say, since there is an additional 2nd CD "best of" included, this is not just a straight reissue. Well, yes, but then I had all those tracks too. So why did I buy this and why am I very glad I did? Good question, thanks for asking.

Well, there is one slight difference with VDP itself: the version of Chemical Cosh here is not the one from the original UK release of the album, but instead the much more muscular version recorded for the Hive EP (though I believe some later pressings of VDP may have also included it? By the way I hope you're taking notes, there will be questions later).

But I really bought this album in the fervent hope that VDP had been remastered. The original album was unquestionably a wonderful record but seriously marred by thin, weedy, lousy sound, as a result, presumably, of poor mastering or pressing (if CDs are indeed 'pressed', don't ask me).

Thankfully, although the current booklet/packaging makes no mention of it whatsoever, VDP, and the "best of" tracks, clearly have indeed been remastered (or reEQ'd, or something), and the uncredited technician responsible has done an excellent job. Plenty has been gained and nothing lost. Consequently, all the fantastic music on these 2 CDs now SOUNDS fantastic. Now as loud, full-bodied and rich sounding as it was surely intended to be, VDP roars out of your speakers, whereas previously it pretty much dribbled out. At times it's almost like listening to a completely different record.

As hinted earlier, the 2nd CD tracks have also been remasterd to the same high standard.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reissue of classic debut LP plus best of... 4 Nov 2007
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Viva Dead Ponies was the classic debut album from the mighty Fatima Mansions, the act Cathal Coughlan formed following the demise of the equally mighty Microdisney (who have also released a two-disc anthology; Coughlan's former partner Sean O'Hagan would find critical acclaim with the High Llamas and also work on many a fantastic record by Stereolab and Super Furry Animals). Microdisney's initial output in 1989/1990 was released on singles and the mini LP Against Nature, collected a few years later on the deleted compilation Come Back My Children - let's hope this reissue of the debut and career overview leads to their back catalogue coming out again. Fatima Mansions were one of the greatest bands of the 1990s, in case you don't know...

Since someone pilfered my LP of this sometime ago and the tape I picked up 2nd hand was eaten by my car's tapedeck, it's just spiffing that this has been reissued. VDP was prior to the heavier band sound adopted from Hive onwards and apparent on Valhalla Avenue and Lost in the Former West (& in their mighty live sets). There is a more electronic/pop thing going on here, which is why I tend to think Lost in the Former West is the Fatima Mansions' masterpiece; of course, this remains a five star joy. It's the Mansions, man!

Viva Dead Ponies has lots of amusing interludes and instrumentals between the songs proper - though it's pretty weak that Thursday has been excised (shouldn't Blues for Ceausescu be on the best of?). Angel's Delight was a cop killer themed joy where Coughlan had raging metal guitars worthy of his vitriolic lyrics - I did find late period Microdisney too ironically slick (I always thought Armadillo Man or Send Herman Home could have been Wet Wet Wet).
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