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4.6 out of 5 stars19
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 March 2002
With the commercial success of "Anthem" Toyah was always going to find it difficult to respond, but she did and produced a much better, tighter, more superior quality recording in "The Changeling." 1982 was a strange crossroads for Toyah. With "Good Morning Universe" doing so well as her second EP, "Brave New World" required her to break new ground and barriers in the singles chart by taking the pop and turning it into a fitting finale for the period of music that bridged punk with the forthcoming soft 80s. "Brave New World" also became the finale to "The Changeling" - a complete masterpiece. The highlights start with "Street Creature" but really it was side two of the original vinyl starting with "The Packt" and ending with "Brave New World" that just required that all important relistening over and over. "Run Wild Run Free" is probably the greatest track ever to be recorded by Toyah and its segue into "Brave New World" is a careful piece of editing. "Run Wild Run Free" alone more than justified the purchase of the Vinyl in 1982 and to hear it enhanced on CD is fantastic. Go for it, Toyah is the original warrior queen, enjoy reliving your youth, play it loud, play it proud.
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on 30 August 2006
Following the success of 1981's 'Anthem' Toyah went back into the studio and delivered the superior 'The Changeling', released here for the first time on CD. I, personally, have been waiting for this to come out on CD for years as I own three copies on vinyl, each of which jump terribly all the way through 'Life In The Trees' and during 'Brave New World'. I don't know whether this is a fault on all the vinyl copies, but I found it both strange and frustrating that the jumps were in exactly the same places! Anyway, enough of that: here we have the full album plus bonus tracks comprising of the second half of 1981's single releases.

The album begins with the spectacularly realised 'Creepy Room'. This has to be one of the weirdest songs to have been written during the 1980s and underlines Toyah's theatrical origins displaying a nuttiness previously seen on Anthem's 'Elecution Lesson'. Stand out tracks here are 'The Angel & Me' (a live favourite), 'The Packt' which continues the theatrical/fantasy based ideas central to the album and the wondrful closing track (and the album's only single) 'Brave New World', extended from the single release with a beautiful, simple guitar coda. Ironically, the weakest track here is the previously mentioned 'Life In The Trees' with it's off-rhythm bell-jar percussion and 'Doo-duppy-con-corn' chorus. It's still a great track, though, but overshadowed by those around it. Also here is 'Thunder In The Mountains' (the single that may have topped the charts had they been able to produce enough in time at the pressing factory) finally here in unedited form. Previous compilations featuring this track have inexplicably cut about 20 seconds off the end, but here it is in full alongside it's b-sides 'Street Addict' (another showing Toyah at her best) and the strangely familiar 'Voodoo Doll'. We also have 3 of the 4 tracks from the 'Four More From Toyah EP', the best of these being the lurid 'In The Fairground' replete with creepy outro. As with the re-issue of 'Anthem' there is also a video, here for 'Thunder In The Mountains' which sees Miss Willcox tearing round an industrial wasteland in a horse drawn chariot while the band mill around looking like dishevilled extras from an old episode of Doctor Who. All in all, this re-issue can't really be faulted. It's a shame there are no informative liner notes that have been part of subsequent re-issues, but that can be forgiven.

As a whole, the album is more coherent than 'Anthem', the themes and sounds being part and parcel of the same yet still memorably individual. Plus, 'The Changeling' has the most amazing sleeve design of any of her albums. Simply look at that and you'll get an idea of what you're about to listen to!
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on 17 February 2002
Ok I admit I'm an original fan (showing my age now, I'm 37!) but it's great not only to revisit my youth but listening to this is more than just nostalgia. After just listening to Radiohead I think this really does hold up after all these years (and no I'm not joking, though younger fans are going to scoff at this). I think this album holds up the best out of all her or rather I should say their, albums (Toyah was a group, and as a musician myself I knew the other band members got fed up with this lack of distinction) The later albums kind of sunk into inane pop as she/they ran out of ideas, but The Changeling is darker and the title is perfect, it's a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and many other things that came out of her fertile imagination. It's great to have the extra tracks (even if it does have yet another version of "Ieya"), most of which like "Voodoo Doll" only appeared on 12" vinyl single and other obscure sources(which I still have) so many people havn't heard it, but it always deserved to be on an album proper I thought. Buy this CD.
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on 29 July 2006
How brilliant is Life In The Trees on this album with it's lilting,lazy chorus? I previously thought of it as quite a weak track,but am over the moon to have rediscovered it's coolness,(and madness!)

The Changeling as a whole is more of a grower than Anthem (to me anyway),but the songs really do benefit from repeated listening,especially true for tracks like Castaway which builds and swells beautifully .

My favourite track is possibly Angel and Me which I very often set on repeat mode whilst driving (with the windows down)

It really is a magnificent ballad/all-out rock song with a fantastic emotional punch.

Others of note are Brave New World (strangely affecting),Run Wild Run Free(agressive and threatening),and of course,the completely kooky Creepy Room(Strange nursery rhyme/rant showcasing Toyah's unique thespian influence)

The Packt is quite unsettling yet thought provoking and quite brilliant,whereas the two tracks I find a little out of place are Street Creature and Warrior Rock which although very good ,sound a little upbeat and optimistic as opposed to the rest of the album which is a little darker and more daring.

You can't really fault this album as it is quite unique and in a league of it's own;so if you're reading this whilst searching for new and interesting musical fodder,get those fingers tapping and give The Changeling a whirl.

P.S. If you're a child of the eighties,buy this cd,and rediscover the land of imagination and excitement that you visited in your teens.Another dimension beckons to you once again!Take the leap!
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on 29 December 2001
Brilliant CD & thank you Connissuer for recreating the original artwork & adding the bonus tracks. This was a great album way back in 1982 and has stood the test of time, not as commercial as Anthem (another brilliant album) much more kooky & raw. There is not 1 weak track on this CD & the inclusion of the b-sides is fantastic. Creepy room, Angel & Me and Vodoo Doll, are all mind blowing stuff. this Album was a huge influence on me & its great to see it finally reissued on CD again for a whole new barmy army of fans. Worth the money for the sleeve alone!
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on 23 September 2006
The Changeling was Toyah's defiant follow up to the previous year's massively successful Anthem album. Rather than cashing in on her new found success and making a forgettable follow up in an attempt to retain her new audience, Toyah delivered a surprisingly dark and interesting album.

The Changeling opens with the rather odd 'Creepy Room', followed by the very catchy 'Street Creature'. The lone single from The Changeling was the somewhat Gothic sounding 'Brave New World'. While not one of the standout tracks on the album, it was a brave choice to release as a single. Probably one of the darkest songs Toyah ever recorded was the intense 'The Packt'. This is followed in the running order with the quirky 'Life In The Trees'. The only song I skip on this album is 'Dawn Chorus', and that's because it echo's the blandness of the singles that made Anthem such a hit.

The Changeling is presented on this CD version with a number of bonus tracks, though many are not as good as the extras on Anthem. Several tracks are from the Four More From Toyah ep, which was some of her weakest material. Also included is the tolerable single, 'Thunder In The Mountains', as well as one of that single's B sides, the excellent 'Voodoo Doll'. The other great B side, 'Street Addict', was not able to fit on this CD due to the addition of a music video, but was included on the 2fer reissue of Sheep Farming/Blue Meaning.

The Changeling was remastered entirely from original studio master tapes in the HDCD format. And while the sound is very good, it is a bit loud and compressed, but not near as bad as what's becoming the norm.
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on 30 May 2006
As an older 39yr old Angel&Demon (Toyah fan) to have the re-issue of this album is great. It's toyah at her best, the track "Angel&Me" is still as outstanding now as it was back then. Its a darkly acomplished album. With not one bad track and too have the bonus tracks enhances it's brilliance. I brought this album on vynal the day it came out and wore it out. Its a a total contrast to "Anthem" which came before it. And the image of Toyah on the back cover is one of the best images of her ever taken. The other stand out track on this album is "Run Wild,Run Free" a stunning song. I can never tire of this album and I hope those new to Toyah's music will really see this as something special.
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on 26 January 2001
This album is spectacular! Songs like STREET CREATURE, ANGEL & ME, and WARRIOR ROCK just rock! While songs like CASTAWAYS, LIFE IN THE TREES, IN THE FAIRGROUND seem to whisk you away to another time and place. Even the eerie VOODOO DOLL is pleasing. I'd even argue that THE CHANGELING is better than Toyah's ANTHEM, which is really good. CASTAWAYS is one of the best songs I've ever heard! Who ever said Toyah was more about fashion then music must not have "really" been listening. Every once and awhile you hear a musician that changes your life by making original & innovative music... Toyah is one of those musicians.
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on 10 November 2002
This Particular Album the Changeling ia absolutely Brilliant from The Creepy room and Street creature which are spooky in an excellent way. Its a great shame Toyah has seemed to have given up both main recording and touring as I think she still has a lot to offer she has a wonderful voice which I'm quite sure could produce some more excellent material
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on 10 September 2001
As a die-hard Toyah fan I may be a bit biased - but the extra 8 tracks (all classics in their own right) and video alone make this classic album a must for the collection of anyone even remotely into Toyah's music. Simply buy it.
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