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Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise [CD+DVD, Collector's Edition, Extra tracks, PAL, Original recording remastered]

Art of Noise Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 10.57 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Frequently Bought Together

Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise + Into Battle With The Art Of Noise + Influence: Hits, Singles, Moments, Treasures (Best Of)
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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Sep 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD, Collector's Edition, Extra tracks, PAL, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Union Square Music Limited
  • ASIN: B005DQ3B7K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,074 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. A Time For Fear (Who s Afraid)
2. Beat Box (Diversion One)
3. Snapshot
4. Close (to the Edit)
5. Who s Afraid (of the Art of Noise)
6. Moments in Love
7. Memento
8. How To Kill
9. Realisation
10. Too Busy Talking (BBC live session)
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. So what happens now?
2. Beat Box
3. Close (to the Edit) version one
4. Closer (to the Edit) cinema version
5. Moments in Love
6. An Art of Noise live at The Value of Entertainment, June 1985
7. Moments in Love (live around the world, Summer 1999)
8. Beat Box and Close (to the Edit) live at Coexistence, June 2000
9. When Art of Noise met Kenneth Williams (and Other Commercial Breaks) parts one to nine
10. Close (to the Edit) version three
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description

BBC Review

There's a telling moment during the bonus material included on this long-overdue reissue of Art of Noise's 1984 debut where, interviewed by the BBC's Richard Skinner during a live session, Paul Morley, the band's director, advises his colleague Anne Dudley: "Don't tell the truth!"

Art of Noise were all about mystery: the five-piece, normally photographed behind masks, were formed as an 'abstract' group by ZTT masterminds Trevor Horn and journalist Morley (credited as playing "paper") alongside ZTT studio mainstays Anne Dudley, JJ Jeczalik and Gary Langan. Their music was essentially a collection of sound collages built from samples processed by the brand new Fairlight synthesiser, including such diverse sources as Horn's former band Yes and recordings of a car engine. The artwork they employed - the ZTT aesthetic taken to its extreme - was also deliberately bewildering, with, for example, lyrics included for what is essentially an album of instrumentals. With Art of Noise, you see, the magic wasn't in who made the music, or how they did it: the magic was in the not knowing.

Remarkably, this debut was accessible enough to spawn hit singles, including Close (To the Edit) - arguably the only record ever to include the sound of a VW Golf stalling as its central motif - and Moments in Love, soon afterwards employed by Madonna for her wedding to Sean Penn. Both still sound remarkable: the synth tones may be overly familiar, but the bravado of Close (To the Edit) remains intact, as does the strange allure of its disembodied vocal samples; and Moments in Love - in all its 10-minute splendour - may be one of the most romantic tracks of the 1980s (rather than, as Morley describes it, "the sex song of the 20th century").

Beat Box, too, had proven influential in the development of hip hop when released in its original form a year earlier, but elsewhere Who's Afraid� was a fascinating but dizzying rush of ideas and noises adorning a largely familiar pop framework, a smuggling of avant-garde ideas and technology into the mainstream. Richard Skinner's enthusiastic questioning underlines just how inventive it was for the times, and one can only wonder what contemporary pop-pickers, lured into Art of Noise's world, can have made of the frenzied cut-and-paste of the title-track or the deeply atmospheric How to Kill, built around little more than sound effects and a voice repeatedly intoning "It's stopped". A bonus DVD confirms the brazen attempts at disorientation extended beyond the records themselves, with different versions of promotional videos, Morley's attempt at a live performance to compensate for Dudley, Jeczalik, and Langan's departure from the 'band' two weeks earlier, and Kenneth Williams providing voiceovers for TV advertisements. It's provocative and playful, even a quarter of a century later. After all, who needs truth when you have the Art of Noise?

--Wyndham Wallace

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a very welcome, budget-priced re-issue of the first Art Of Noise album, "Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise". If you already own an Art Of Noise album called "Daft", you might notice that it's almost the same album- the story of why the name "Daft" was used for the original CD release of the album is detailed in the sleevenotes, but apart from a couple of additional tracks on "Daft", yes this is the same album- now remastered with a bonus DVD.

The album itself is still stunning. Before they turned their hand to more pop offerings like "Kiss" and "Dragnet", Art Of Noise were more of a sonic experiment in pioneering sampling, rather than a band, and there are some phenomenally odd moments. Despite this, some of probably their most famous tracks are on this album- "Moments In Love" (a glorious ten-minute-long version), "Beat Box" and "Close To The Edit".

The first disc is filled out with a couple of Radio 1 live sessions from 1984 and 1985. It's interesting to hear how AoN would have been regarded by Radio 1 and by the world at large, but apart from a medley of "Beat Box" into "Video Killed The Radio Star", musically it falls into the same category as the "And What Have You Done With My Body God?" box set- there are some interesting subtle differences that hardcore fans will appreciate, but no real undiscovered classics.

The DVD at first looks packed, with a tracklist longer than the CD- until you realise that it is predominantly various versions of the same two promo videos, "Close To The Edit" and "Moments In Love", in subtly different versions which again will fascinate the fans but leave the more casual viewer wondering why they're watching the fourth almost identical version of the same video.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can I Say Something?! 26 Aug 2007
Format:Audio CD
My mother purchased this album (LP format) for me in 1984. I played it so much that I literally wore out the label, the album cover and some parts of the vinyl itself. Luckily I was able to get another copy and my only disappointment was that the label design was not of the style that was on the vinyl when the album was initially released (Island Records had gone to a new graphic design). This was the beginning of my fascination with England (I had seen the music video for "Beat Box" before getting the album and was amazed!) At the risk of sounding just like the other reviewers "Moments In Love" has to be one of the greatest slow songs ever made. I would be keen to use the song at my wedding! The awesome thing about the album is the group's ability to take ordinary sounds and generate really good musical compositions. My other favorite is "Who's Afraid (Of The Art Of Noise)". It is so much fun to listen and dance to! The same goes for "Realization".
Get the album. You'll love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningless?.........Nonsense! 29 April 2008
Format:Audio CD
"Who's Afraid.." remains one of my all time favorite albums. I bought the CD version when it was issued in the latter half of the '90s, but I still prefer my original vinyl copy (I guess I got used to the crackles!).
It's still as fresh, witty, wierd and (occasionally) irresistibly danceable now as it was then.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally good remaster 12 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The original LP on this re-issue sounds fantastic, loads of detail and range. Although a lot of these tracks were previously issued on "Into Battle With" (splitting hairs asisde), its nice to have the full album in its full glory.

The DVD with extras is OK but not your main consideration for purchasing this. The "live" tracks/sessions on this disc are pretty horrific, what was the point of a "faceless" group playing tracks live again, I missed that irony?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Trevor Horn's ace production 25 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Not for everyone but Art of Noise is so very cool and in the early '80s so very unique. Many other have since borrowed or copied from them. That's how you can spot the best. They are often imitated. (Of course AofN borrow from the best also -- I get a 10cc vibe during Moments in Love.)
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