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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album should be loved� with affection!
At last, the original version of the debut Associates album. This knocks spots off the re-mixed version which has been the only available version on CD for many years. That version sounded too sterile and synthetic. Here, Alan Rankine's unusual instrumental arrangements really add a distinctive edge to these songs. This would reach a peak with their masterpiece "Sulk"...
Published on 19 Aug 2005 by Dr. D. B. Sillars

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sub-standard cash-in/reissue in wake of Mackenzie's suicide.
This reissue of The Affectionate Punch popped up in 1998, shortly after the release of the brilliant Beyond the Sun. Having worked for music outlets around the deaths of Freddie Mercury & Kurt Cobain I felt rather cynical about it. Then again, it's not me who reissued it...
Unlike the later reissues- Fourth Drawer Down, Sulk, Double Hipness and The Glamour...
Published on 4 Nov 2002 by Jason Parkes


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album should be loved� with affection!, 19 Aug 2005
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
At last, the original version of the debut Associates album. This knocks spots off the re-mixed version which has been the only available version on CD for many years. That version sounded too sterile and synthetic. Here, Alan Rankine's unusual instrumental arrangements really add a distinctive edge to these songs. This would reach a peak with their masterpiece "Sulk". The guitars here really add an epic sweep to wonderful songs such as "Amused as Always", "Would I Bounce Back" and the magnificent "Logan Time". This latter track is Mackenzie pushing out all the emotional stops. A real tour de force. For me this song is more Jimmy Logan than Logan's Run! Maybe that's just my Scottish roots coming through! "A" is wonderfully playful. But the whole album is the band finding their stylistic niche.
What was it about Scottish bands in the 80's? Being Scottish and living with this music at the time, there was something angular, off-centre and unique about what the Cocteau Twins, Win, Josef K, Simple Minds and The Associates were doing. Even now albums such as "The Affectionate Punch", "Fourth Drawer Down" and "Sulk" sound so alien to what pop music should sound like. That's what keeps it sounding fresh and invigorating. For the duo of Mackenzie and Rankine, there were no limits, no barriers, no conforming to standard precepts of how pop music should sound.
This is a great package. The remastered sound is excellent, clear and crisp. The booklet has full credits, lyrics, a good essay and some nice archival photographs. The extra tracks are worth a listen too.
This is such a welcome release indeed. A superb debut album and a prime example from a time when pop music was quirky, bold, original and to be honest interesting!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reissue of Associates' debut album..., 29 July 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
Finally, The Associates debut album 'The Affectionate Punch' (1980) is reissued - following an epic reissue programme following Billy Mackenzie's death in the late 1990s which included such albums as 'Fourth Drawer Down', 'Perhaps' & 'Sulk.' This is the album as it was originally released in 1980 - a few years later there was a remixed-version with an alternate running-order & a more futuristic/homoerotic cover. This version comes with a few bonus-tracks common to the compilation 'Double Hipness' - 'Boy's Keep Swinging' (with its amusing lyrical emphasis, "BOWIE'S keep swinging!") & 'Mona Property Girl' - a song later re-recorded for 'Fourth Drawer Down' as 'A Girl Named Property.'
The album has dated well, and though neither as electronic-experimental as 'Fourth Drawer Down' or as opaque-otherworldly as 'Sulk', it completes the recordings of Mackenzie/Rankine-Associates & contextualises what came after. The band later dismissed it as a demo & wrote it off as dark - but I think it's fine and certainly holds its own against such peers albums as 'Empires & Dance', 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids','Technodelic', 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Computerworld', 'The Only Fun in Town' & 'The Correct Use of Soap.' It's quite Bowie - though balances his influence with Mackenzie & Rankine's own original outlook - I'd say it was the album Bowie-fans would wish he'd made after "Heroes."
'The Affectionate Punch' was their sole-release on Fiction, home to The Cure for many years - further connections with that band are clear here when the producers includ Fiction-head/ex-Cure-manager Chris Parry & Mike Hedges - who would produce 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Faith' & 'Sulk' (amongst others). Mackenzie & Rankine also produce- the former sings, while the latter plays all the instruments bar the drums (played by Nigel Glocker). Cure-fans will note the presence of Robert Smith on backing-vocals - the place where Smith got his trademark howl from?
The lyrics are beginning to become as oblique as later joys like 'Breakfast' & 'Skipping' - the sinister "His jawline's not perfect, but that can be altered" from 'Transport to Central' (the missing link between 'Night & Fog' & 'Station to Station'?), or the surreal "If I threw myself from the ninth storey- would I levitate back to three?" from 'Would I...Bounce Back' being prime examples. With a mind on Mackenzie's tragic sucide, you retroactively look again at the lyrics- "I caught me looking at myself/Now my voice deep with age/Talks in tongues of younger days" ('Logan Time'), or "Don't be sure of days in advance/They might never come..." ('Amused as Always'). The slightly odd lyrics I think predict something recent like Interpol - who have songs like 'Leif Erikson' & 'Roland' that drift between nonsense & profound via oblique (I'd love to hear Interpol cover 'Logan Time'). Musically, you are reminded of Berlin-Bowie, 'Propaganda'-Sparks & Foxx-era Ultravox! Then again, its influence can be detected in early records by U2 (admitted by Bono in the introduction to 'The Glamour Chase' book), and its sound could be argued to be borrowed/diluted by Duran Duran & Spandau Ballet for their respective debuts. 'The Affectionate Punch' is a prime example of the New Romantic sound...
It's all great - from the playful-pop of 'A' (as assured as prime-pop Prince), to the gorgeous 'A Matter of Gender' & the sleazy 'Even Dogs in the Wild' - which achieves in one-song what Brett Anderson has in a career. The highpoint, or rather lowpoint comes early - the latter triad of the original side one : 'Logan Time', 'Paper House' & 'Transport to Central.' 'Logan Time' nods to the early death sci-fi of the film 'Logan's Run' and is hypnotic stuff; while 'Paper House' displays a sound not far from Siouxsie & the Banshees. 'Transport to Central' remains dark, quasi-Nietzchean stuff - leading towards that 'White Car in Germany' the following year...
'The Affectionate Punch' is a welcome reissue, especially in this version which replaces the 1997-reissue of the 1982 remixed/remodelled version (which might have been issued with this for completist sake!). This pretty much completes the Associates-Mackenzie back-catalogue with the albums reissued and recent compilations like 'Auchtermatic', 'Singles' & 'Transmission Impossible' - though am sure I read somewhere that there are several albums worth of songs recorded with Yello's Boris Blank, so perhaps not? An obligatory purchase - though perhaps 'Kites' should have been a bonus-track too?
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reissue of 1980 debut album, 23 July 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
This reissue of The Associates debut album from 1980 takes us back to the beginning and pretty much completes the posthumous reissue programme of Associates/Mackenzie releases - 'Beyond the Sun' (1997), 'The Affectionate Punch- 1982 remixed version' (1997), 'Memory Palace' (1999), 'Fourth Drawer Down' (2000), 'Sulk' (2000), 'Double Hipness' (2000),'Eurocentric' (2001), 'Perhaps/The Glamour Chase' (2002), the two-volume 'Peel Sessions' (2002), 'Singles' (2004), 'Auchtermatic' (2005) & 'Transmission Impossible' (2005). This is the original version released in 1980 on Fiction Records - long time home of The Cure and co-produced by then Cure-manager Chris Parry with Mike Hedges and The Associates themselves. The later 1982 remixed version re-ordered the tracklisting and had a better cover (as well as dropping the 'The' in The Associates); this version comes with a few bonus tracks including debut-single 'Boy's Keep Swinging' (with its memorable chorus of "Bowie's keep swinging"!) & an earlier version of 'Girl Named Property', 'Mona Property Girl.' Cure-fans will also note the presence on backing vocals of one Robert Smith - whose trademark yelp could very well be traced to this record!
'The Affectionate Punch' would later be dismissed by the band, who went onto the more experimental singles collected on 'Fourth Drawer Down' & the masterpiece-longplayer 'Sulk', before the band split and Mackenzie carried on alone. 'The Affectionate Punch' is one of those albums which very much continues the avenues explored on Bowie's late 1970s classics 'Station to Station', 'Low' & "Heroes" - obviously influenced by the thin white one, as well as Mackenzie's favourites Siouxsie & the Banshees. It would also influence, from the vocal-inflections that turned up on later Cure-records, to the guitar sound on 'Paper House' - U2 have cited early Associates records as amongst those that influenced them (see also Gang of Four, Joy Division). 'The Affectionate Punch' is one to file alongside such albums of the era as 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Empires & Dance', 'Journeys to Glory', 'Ju-Ju', 'Scary Monsters', 'The Correct Use of Soap', 'Travelogue', 'A/Z', 'Vienna' etc and is a key example of the so-called New Wave. It also displays Mackenzie & Rankine's pop-sensibility, based around the former's wild vocal style, and the latter's eclectic instrumentation.
The album does pale against Mackenzie & Rankine's avant-pop peak with Mike Hedges over the following years - and perhaps the 1982 remixed version could have also been included for completist sake? The lyrics are becoming odd, though nothing up there with 'Nude Spoons' or 'Skipping' yet, though there are messages oblique, "If I threw myself from the ninth storey - would I levitate back to three?" & "I don't know whether to over or under estimate you" - Mackenzie's wordplay becoming significant. There's also the playful 'A', adventerous pop that only AR Kane and peak-Prince have been close to (a pop chart based around the alphabet) & the lusty 'Even Dogs in the Wild'- which pretty much encapsulates Suede's career into one song!
There are lyrics that could hint at the despair and tragedy later - "Don't be sure of days in advance" ('Amused as Always')& "I caught me looking at myself/Now my voice deep with age/Talks in tongues of younger days" ('Logan Time') - though the bleak stuff was the order of the day at the time, remember. The darker songs here are the most memorable, paving the way towards joys like 'White Car in Germany', 'No' & 'Breakfast'- 'Deeply Concerned' is as strong as anything on "Heroes" , while the title track is one of those songs I like to imagine on a Mackenzie-covers album recorded by David Bowie...
The darkest section remains the first-side, following the title track and the desperate-rush of 'Amused as Always' there is the triad of 'Logan Time', 'Paper House' & 'Transport to Central.' 'Logan Time' is sci-fi inflected, moving towards the strangeness of 'Q Quarters', the theme relating to 'Logan's Run' - delivered in Mackenzie's wonderful vocals to Rankine's chiming guitars. Even better is the wild 'Paper House', which delivers wilder guitars & vocals over a Bowie-Eno-Visconti style electronica, the conclusion offers the refrain "There's a garden at the bottom" - the same garden as the later 'No'? 'Transport to Central' is fantastic stuff, related to the Nietzchean vibe apparent on 1981's single 'White Car in Germany'- sinister, quasi-fascist lyrics common to the time and found also in releases by Spandau Ballet & Throbbing Gristle: "Transport to central/We need more like him...His jawline's not perfect/But that can be altered/We've waited so long/For this one, to arrive..."
'The Affectionate Punch' demonstrates that pop can go some pretty adventerous places if people feel like it, and charts a story of an alternative type of pop practiced in the 1980s from a myriad of acts including Japan-Soft Cell-AR Kane-Scritti Politti-BEF-Heaven17-The Human League-Simple Minds-The Style Council-XTC-The Chills-New Order-Cabaret Voltaire-The The-Wire & masses more. 'The Affectionate Punch' is probably the album many wished Bowie would have made instead of the so-so 'Lodger', and would provide the ideal introduction to The/Associates prior to the xeno-pop of Situation Two and 'Sulk'....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like this version, 22 Jan 2008
This review is from: Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
I think the reviews are a bit harsh on this remixed version. I think some of the tracks (e.g. Logan Time) benefit from the epic beefed up production. Ideally it would be good to get a release with both versions in one handy package, but as this is not available you should buy both, particularly at these low prices!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected masterpiece, 30 Dec 2008
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This review is from: Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
It's actually closer to four stars, but to compensate for the unjustly negative reviews, this remix version from 1982 deserves some kind of boost. I was never a big fan of the rougher original mix, which sounded a bit too close to Bowie's Berlin trilogy. The added layers of synth only add to the spooky, hypnotic cinematic experience intended here. Of course it would have been nice if the 2005 remaster had included both versions, but given the choice, go for this one - it's much closer to the Associates vision.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hidden gem., 5 Feb 2006
By 
D. Hull "TooFitToDrop" (Cambridgeshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
I'm surprised how little success the Associates achieved over the years. Although they've done some great things since, this album for me is probably the best set they've put together. I bought it originally on vinyl but that eventually became unplayable a long time ago. The remastered CD reminded me of just how good these guys were. Sadly, Billy Mckenzie is no longer with us but he's left us a great legacy in this. He's one of the best vocalists I've ever heard. The lyrics can be a bit unfathomable at times but they are always delivered with great conviction and passion which seems to raise them above the mundane level that dogs lesser artists.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A taste of glories to come., 26 Dec 1999
This review is from: Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
In retrospect The Affectionate Punch sounds like a warm up lap, both conceptually and sonically, for the incredible expermintations of the Siutuation 2 singles, later to be collected together as the LP Fourth Drawer Down.

Billy Mackenzie initially called Punch a "babies LP", and the band quickly re-mixed the inferior original vinyl release using the sonic techniques they had developed for the follow up "Sulk" (their masterpiece). All the elements of the bands sound are in place. The panoramic reach of the compositions, playing and singing is startling, and those lyrics!

This album reminds you that occassionally work of great creativity is possible within the short-sighted confines of the record buisness. So you want to know what Punch sounds like, huh? Well it doesn't sound like anything but itself. And what better tribute can there be.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last released on CD, phew!!!!, 13 Aug 2005
This review is from: The Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
This is a truly amazing album. Its unlike anything else I have heard and I struggle to compare the Associates to other groups.
Billy Macenzie's vocals are almost operatic. Some of the lyrics are nonsensical e.g the song entitled A lists the letters of the alphabet and then comes up with classic nonsense of "I've known Zed's who've only take B's to bed". Their meaning may be complete rubbish but it dosn't stop you singing the lyrics aloud whilst the underlying catch zips around your head. I was once singing the lyrics to Dog's in the Wild when my son who was 2 at the time started copying. Other lyrics sound as if they should have a deeper meaning such as the affectionate punch. Just how can a punch be affectionate?
The vocals are accompanied by often deep and haunting, bordering on grating guitars.
I remember the album released on vinyl and was blown away as a teenager. The record had been borrowed from the library and I was unable to get the record again either borrowed or purchased. The remixed re-released Affectionate Punch was not a patch on the original. The tracks had been remixed and reordered and despite these being the "only" changes the feal of the album had changed totally. Now 25 years later I have been reunited with the original version of this album and it still has a similar effect on me as it did over 20 years ago.
If you want something different then give it a try. You'll either love it or hate it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute top album from top duo, 11 Jan 2014
By 
Every track on this album is a hit.
Can't stop listening to it.
Multidimensional and very creative piece of art.
Bought this when it came out and rediscovered it on Amazon.de
Hasn't aged a bit and love it even more than 35 years ago
Billy's voice is a feast to listen to.
Great music to dance to as well.
Love the sound of the guitar on this album that sounds like a siren.
Get this one first and then get Sulk as well.
You will not regret it!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and essential, 6 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Affectionate Punch (Audio CD)
Still sends shivers down the spine. If you bought the original LP or ever saw them in concert, this is a must. I stll prefer the original mix by miles.
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Affectionate Punch
Affectionate Punch by Associates (Audio CD - 1997)
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