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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This version of Sulk is based on the original UK issue, with "Bap De La Bap", "Nude Spoons" and "Nothing In Something Particular" included, but happily also includes the old Diana Ross hit "Love Hangover" and "18 Carat Love Affair" (a vocal interpretation of "Nothing In Something Particular") which was one of The...
Published on 14 Dec. 2001

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly remastered 4 star album
I'm surprised none of the other reviewers have commented on the sound quality of this remastered edition. It's obvious no original master tapes were used. I've got the vinyl, the original CD version, and even the cassette version, all of which sounded muffled to begin with but were certainly preferable to this compression desaster. Hard to believe Rankine and Dempsey were...
Published on 14 Dec. 2008 by ippudo


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 14 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
This version of Sulk is based on the original UK issue, with "Bap De La Bap", "Nude Spoons" and "Nothing In Something Particular" included, but happily also includes the old Diana Ross hit "Love Hangover" and "18 Carat Love Affair" (a vocal interpretation of "Nothing In Something Particular") which was one of The Associates' few chart hits. From the alternative Sulk issue, only "White Car In Germany" is missed and the version of both "It's Better This Way" and "Club Country" are slightly different. Of the extra tracks, "The Room We Sat In Before", a demo guitar and vocal version of "It's Better This Way" is outstanding. Very few bands, if any, were capable of matching, let alone exceeding the genious of The Associates at their peak, and this album is most definitely at their peak! Mackenzie's voice is astonishing (although "The Radio 1 Sessions" shows this in ever more detail) and the originality of Rankine's music and arrangements is superb.
This is the ultimate pop album, and should be in everyone's collection!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums ever made., 8 July 2009
By 
J. A. Ravey "flashbleu" (lost) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
Beware of hyperbole. It can only lead to disappointment. If someone tells you that an album is one of the greatest things ever, what chance has it of living up to expectations? In the case of "Sulk", I'll ignore that rule.
This is the third album by The Associates and their last as a duo of Billy MacKenzie and Alan Rankine. It was a commercial success, reaching number 4 in the UK album charts and spawning two hit singles.
It is also very weird. I remember buying this in 1982 and being slightly shocked at just how experimental, edgy and DARK it was in places. This is not the kind of album that reaches number 4 nowadays. Nor are the singles Party Fears Two and Club Country likely to remind you much of anything Simon Cowell foists upon us. Driven by MacKenzie's magnificent, operatic voice, the songs zip around in all sorts of directions at once, using every available instrument and every studio technique possible. The result is a sort of non-retro psychedelia.
Elsewhere, the darkness emerges on Bap de La Bap. Like much of the album, it is difficult work out what exactly is going on, but there is an atmosphere of horror about the thing. Try these lyrics for size: "How does an antelope feel when it's being chased?/ The same as a man with a geiger pointing in his face/ Bap de la bap disregards all intelligence..." Then there is Gloomy Sunday - the band's take on a notorious 1930s ode to suicide. Listening to it now is a more troubling experience than it once was when one thinks of MacKenzie's end. Musically, it is actually one of the more conventional moments on an album that also includes the angsty It's Better This Way, the insane Nude Spoons and the magnificent Euro-romanticism of Skipping.
It is difficult to compare this album to anything, so original is it. Sure, The Associates were of their time and fans of Japan or early Simple Minds can purchase with confidence, but this music is skewed in ways no-one else has done before or since. The drumming, for example, often appears to adhere to no known rhythmic pattern and yet the album never sounds like arty, inaccessible noise.
The cd reissue includes some b-sides, outtakes and both sides of the 18-Carat Love Affair/Love Hangover single. For me, this represents a decline in the band's powers. The music is more conventional, the lyrics are comprehensible and Love Hangover is a cover. The real wonderment remains in the original album tracks. Yes, it really is one of the greatest albums ever made.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost alt-pop masterpiece finally rediscovered., 28 Nov. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
It's certainly taken some time, but finally the Associates' third album from 1982 has got a deserved reissue. As a testament to the 80's images of excess, flamboyance, glamour and generally everything being over the top, this serves as a fine example. But whereas their contemporaries now sound superficial, Associates had two major assets, firstly the operatic splendour of Billy Mackenzie's voice and secondly the gloriously bonkers soundscapes developed by Alan Rankine. One only has to cock an ear to the third track, 'Bap De La Bap' where the liaison of minds first proves to be a match made in heaven; Mackenzie sounding like he is fighting a screaming battle in the synthetic hellhole created by his accomplice. 'Party Fears Two', a top ten hit originally, contains one of the most memorable piano riffs ever, complemented by Mackenzie's paranoid lyric putting himself in the minds of two party gatecrashers ("I'll have a shower and then phone my brother up. Within the hour I'll smash another cup."). Save the two rather pointless instrumentals the original album is a masterpiece of unhinged originality. Extra tracks featured include many of their later singles of which the euphoric '18 Carat Love Affair' and the rawer, guitar sounds of 'The Room We Sat In Before' impress the most.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest pop record ever made., 21 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
Listen carefully, and you can hear a kitchen sink being tapped in 'No'. I'm sorry, I can't claim that that's original as Paul Morley said it in the original view in the NME in 1981. Yes mother, 19 years ago, but not one record has managed to spin, swirl, bemuse, annoy, disquiet or confound in the way 'Sulk' did. It's lush in only the way that 80s records could be but never were: Duran Duran never matched 'Club Country', ABC couldn't touch 'Party Fears Two'; it's the real sound of lying in the gutter and staring at the stars - read the book for the squalid brandy and coke madness of the record's construction (I'm sure it's around here somewhere). 'Sulk' is as plastic as a Dobro guitar and as valuable. Sulk is a record that could never be made again as it wouldn't get past the accountants and, well, the guy who made it what it was, he's dead.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back!, 9 July 2000
By 
steveberry3@aol.com (Tring, Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
Some albums from the 80s condemn themselves to be forever incarcerated in the decade by using the fairlight or the fretless bass..."Sulk" labours under no such strife, and sounds more of this time than the day of it's release, with it's impact exacerbated by the fact that one of it's architects - the other-worldly voiced Billy Mackenzie - left this mortal coil in 97.,thus ensuring that it's brilliance will never be repeated.
The familiar one's are there - "Party Fears Two", which was mad, but not their best..and the incredible "Club Country"...Also the cacophonic "Nude Spoons", which sounds wonderful now, whilst in the 80s it just sounded a bit too much......
Other songs have matured wonderfully - "Skipping" is a hidden classic, whilst the demo "The Room We Sat In Before" improves on the finished article "It's Better This Way" by its starkness giving clarity to the full character of it's lyrics...
I'm hoping that in the glut of re-releases that subsequent albums such as "Perhaps" and maybe even the hitherto unreleased "The Glamour Chase" may see the light of day!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Legendary, 5 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
OK not normally one to leave reviews.....but this album is fantastic. It may be more than 30 years old but I wish there were more artists around today who experimented so relentllessly with their talents. And every time the Associates created a new style in their music, rather than do endless songs in the same vein to achieve commercial recognition, they move on and create more exciting music. There are at least 5 or 6 stand out tracks on this album, not least their two big hits Club Country and Party Fears Two, but also Skipping, Gloomy Sunday and Love Hangover. Billy Mackenzie's voice is extraordinary and Alan Rankine's musicianship is exceptional. Good music stands the test of time. Buy this album and play it to all your friends! Note some of Billy Mackenzie's later work is also very interesting listening and moody.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another careless reissue., 29 April 2005
By 
D. Turner (Cardiff, Wales, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
What the other (excellent) reviews have failed to mention, is that the version of the stunning 'Club Country' is the truncated single version and NOT the version from the original UK album release. This, together with the fact that 'Grecian 2000' and 'Australia' are listed in the wrong order, spoils anotherwise welcome reissue.
5 stars for the music, 3 for the attention given to this release.
Billy deserves far better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super massive voice Super massive LP, 11 Jun. 2013
By 
Mr. M. Wilkinson "review22" (north east england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
I bought this Lp back in the early 80s, and played it till it was virtually unplayable... then it was forgotten about.. BUT, Ive re discovered it on CD... and my god how unappreciative I was of its rich over tones, ultra fab bass... jingling guitars and sublime drums... and My McKenzies outrageously superb voice.. it soars and swoops like a golden eagle. my god.. this CD is so so so advanced for its time.. it could easily stand up to todays music and blow it clean into the water... a frankly fantastic CD... and that I mean from my heart
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a voice, 21 April 2004
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This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
Not the last Associates album as the Amazon reviewer claims, but certainlythe last of the three classic albums. This album was probably their mostaccessible, and their best known material is on it.
There are various stories about how they prepared to record in the studio,with both Billy MacKenzie and Alan Rankine trying to outdo each other inweird behaviour, such as Billy insisting they spend the day with freshfish pinned to the lapels of their jackets, or Alan playing a guitar thathad been urinated in... The truth behind the various stories might neverbe known, but what we do know is that it produced some amazing music.
The studio sessions for this album were long, with a lot of overdubs(remember that Alan played all of the instruments other than drums andbass) and remix after remix. This could have resulted in a muddy andfrustrated sounding end result, but instead we have something that soundslike Phil Spector if he had managed to get a grasp of new waveideals.
Stand out tracks are the singles 'Club Country', 'Party FearsTwo' and '18 Carat Love Affair'. The album starts with the darker songs,and moves towards the more upbeat numbers as it progresses. Billy's voicejust soars once he gets into top gear, and we can hear both the torturedsoul and grandiose spirit of his voice on this album.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Pounds For Sheer Brilliance- You Should Pay More, 16 Oct. 2004
By 
RJ Greenwood "The Burning Club" (Orkney, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sulk (Audio CD)
One of the great bands, as everyone who saw them when they broke through in the eighties knows. Who say them on BA Robertson's (Mr Bang Bang himself) late night Friday music & chat, where they made their live (!) t.v. debut ? Mackenzie dressed as a airline pilot, chewing on gum, whilst miming along to his prerecorded track for Party Fears Two. Instant stardom followed and this album manages to throw all the justice onto one collection. Sure, the star waned, but he left too early and left us all with some of the greatest warblings put onto vinyl in the post punk decade. Unresistable - plus, what else has Dundee offered the world ? Buy two.
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Sulk by Associates (Audio CD - 2000)
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