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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so new but definitely fine music, 16 Oct 2005
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
I believe four singles were released from this album and at least three charted, though the only one that made a splash was "Living By Numbers". As for the album, it slipped quietly past the crowd. New Musik were a state-of-the-art pop band. Their problem was that they had no charisma and looked pretty geeky, the sort of band you might have found Trevor Horn in.
Even so, this is an entertaining, well-made album, on which synths provide most of the colour. "Sanctuary" and "This World Of Water" are the other major highlights, but there are no weak tracks. The bonus tracks (not listed) are b-sides, of which the best is the splendid "Sad Films" while there is also an instrumental in homage to Chic.
"From A To B" isn't one of the early 1980s' big sellers, but it's one of the best.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From A to B, 21 Jun 2005
By 
Paul Bajoria (Northumberland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
One of the great ignored pop albums of the early 80s. As 10cc's star terminally declined, so New Musik's should have risen... except that the record-buying public never quite latched onto their consistently entertaining combination of technical high-jinks with an impeccable ear for a tune. If you're rediscovering XTC, ABC, Tears for Fears, Godley & Creme, or early Human League and Teardrop Explodes, you should take the time to rediscover this.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A Classic Album From The Synth Pop Age', 9 April 2007
By 
Antony May (East Sussex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
Tony Mansfield may now be best known as a producer, but in the early 80's he was the driving force behind New Musik. The songs he created for the group still stand today as some of the best synth pop from the era and the lyrics to biggest hit 'Living By Numbers' have never been so relevant as they are today. It's no exaggeration either to say that Mansfield's distinctive production sound is still every bit as recogniseable as a Motown record. In short then, the man is a genius and this has always been one of my favourite albums. For some reason, despite having a top 20 hit with second single ' Living By Numbers' (the first 'Straight Lines' had missed the top 40 by a whisker) the next two excellent singles from this album could only make the lower thirties. The first of these was 'World Of Water' an irresistably catchy song with distorted vocal gimmickry in the chorus. The second 'Sanctuary' still remains one of my top twenty singles of all time, 'I'm looking at you, you look at me, we look for another sanctuary' (singing) remember it now? With Tony's distictive strumming guitar and drum machine sound all the tracks on this album are great with the exception of 'Dead Fish (Don't Swim Home)' which was not one of Tony's most inspired moments. With the CD including three bonus b side tracks 'Missing Persons', 'She's A Magazine' and the so-so 'Sad Films' if you don't own this already what are you waiting for!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From A to B to another place as well.., 30 April 2008
This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
It's a very underated album. Yes, they did indeed release four singles from it including their most well-known hit, Living By Numbers, which saw them record various people from their record company (including a brilliantly typical sarf London lass!) saying "They don't want your name". New Musik hailed from Tooting and Mitcham, something that, as a local, gave me no end of pride and I'd say From A to B is their highpoint, both creatively and commercially.

Kicking off with their debut single Straight Lines, we then go into another single Sanctuary and there's not a duff song on the whole album. Science, the four singles and Dead Fish... all stand out for me.

Chik Musik is their convincing pastiche/tribute to the genius of Nile Rodgers, the late Bernard Edwards and the late Tony Thomson and damned good it is too. The studio this album was created and recorded in is now a baker's just along the road from Tooting Broadway tube. NM leading light Tony Mansfield went onto produce Captain Sensible's fleeting career - including the anti-war song Glad It's All Over which sounds identical to NM .

At nearly thirty years old - it was released in 1980 - it's a great album even now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MANSFIELD GOES TO TOWN, 5 Nov 2008
By 
Kelvin J. Dickinson (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
NEW MUSIK'S first and best album. Ten perfect songs plus b-sides.

A regrettably short then-lifespan for a band - three albums over not-quite four years - but the modest splash they made and the resulting ripples were almost always perfectly formed. And most of the success was due to one man, TONY MANSFIELD, who crafted a new wave electronic sound that was both unique and unmistakably no-one else's. As part of the burgeoning synth movement that sound enabled them to stand out. Conversely, their image (Maplins sales counter assistant/drab boiler suit chic) rendered New Musik almost invisible, but I suppose that's showbusiness for you.

However, the singles STRAIGHT LINES, THIS WORLD OF WATER and LIVING BY NUMBERS were light, swirly, infectious gems. Populated throughout by regular bass, drums or drum machine, precise electric/accoustic guitars and layers of sharp synths (over which Mansfield sung deceptively simple lyrics) this became the template for the New Musik sound.

All grey walls with a folorn daffodil stuck in a glass of water looking for the sunlight, the album cover is in stark contrast to the musical contents. Not much respite on the inner sleeve either as storm clouds and rough seas threaten to engulf the expressions of our four bemused and windswept day trippers. Note: the magic of owning the original 12" vinyl LP, of course, meant that sizewise you could stare at the content for hours trying to read in some kind of cosmic significance (that's the kind of thing you did when you were eighteen) even if it was simply another routine photoshoot in Margate for everyone else concerned.

A truly original album, full of memorable music. It's as contemporary now as it was in 1980, but it remains special to me because I was there, ready to be swept away right from the start. Happy times.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars syns pop at its best!, 14 Mar 2008
By 
A. Powis (Bloxwich ,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
Pure fun pop,good time tunes laced with syns and guitar expertly produced by tony mansfield.4 singles were lifted from this album,(straight lines,sanctuary,this world of water,living by numbers)and the rest of the original album tracks follow the same formula.This album should have sold better at the time but it has stood the test of time well and still sounds fresh. there are uk versions of this Cd cheaper but 4 me the inclusion of"UNDER ATTACK" plus "AND" originally bonus tracks on cassette version of the"ANYWHERE"album makes this japanese import worth the extra,the other tracks are b sides of the singles,chic and magazine musik are only short instremental tracks.this is great Cd and along with "ANYWHERE"is well worth a listen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new sound!, 9 May 2010
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
'New Musik', though had been around awhile, were a great new band that promised to be big in 1980. Instead, and surprisingly, only had one top twenty hit - followed then by two more minor hits that only just made the forty.

The catchy 'Living By Numbers' peaked only at number thirteen - promising to be a chart topper. Their next single: 'This World Of Water', which I thought even better and should have gone to number one, only made number thirty-one... Their last single from the album 'Sanctuary' also peaked at the same spot. All these three - along with some really cool album material is gathered together here on 'From A To B' .

It really is hard to believe that these singles did not do better. We can only assume it was down to lack of airplay. However; they left a lasting impression - hence the re-issue of this album all these years later. After all; it was the beginning of a new decade, and the eighties had not quite found their way, and so perhaps it was a bad time for the group's sound to have taken off.

CD also features bonus tracks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RUDIMENTARY, MY DEAR LISTENER., 10 Feb 2009
By 
T. Baker (Kent, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
Tony Mansfield, New Musik's leader, songwriter & erstwhile genius, has described this, their debut album, as 'rudimentary' - the sort of remark Sherlock Holmes might make to Dr. Watson after some brilliant piece of detective work.
The fact is, this is an awesome debut, on a par with Steely Dan's 'Can't buy a thrill,' Johnny Hates Jazz's 'Turn back the clock' or Keane's 'Hopes & Fears,' although many people, including Tony Mansfield himself, still rate it below their 2nd effort, 'Anywhere.' Mmm...while that may be a slightly better balanced set, it contains no hit singles, while this has four (Straight lines, Living by numbers, This world of water & Sanctuary), the sort of boost their music needs, quite honestly, for, even to a fan like myself, they can sound rather monotonous at times (the sleeve notes of 'Anywhere' point out 'there's a difference between being insistent & repetitious' - perhaps DH Lawrence faced similar criticism - & it's a fine line to tread).
Either way, both albums are, to me, essential. The lyrics are deep, with extensive use of metaphor to describe the human condition: hence we are "moving in straight lines" or "swimming to the other side," here, "taking our piece of the cake" there, etc., while, musically, the strong melody lines combined with tasteful use of synthesisers, create a captivating, hypnotic effect. It is beautifully produced, too, with perfect clarity of sound.
The 6 bonus tracks make up a running time of 58 minutes & it is a well-packaged set containing lyrics, sleeve-notes & photos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT SONGS, PERFECTLY FORMED, 5 Feb 2009
By 
Kelvin J. Dickinson (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
NEW MUSIK'S first and best album. Ten perfect songs plus b-sides.

A regrettably short then-lifespan for a band - three albums over not-quite four years - but the modest splash they made and the resulting ripples were almost always perfectly formed. And most of the success was due to one man, TONY MANSFIELD, who crafted a new wave electronic sound that was both unique and unmistakably no-one else's. As part of the burgeoning synth movement that sound enabled them to stand out. Conversely, their image (Maplins sales counter assistant/drab boiler suit chic) rendered New Musik almost invisible. That's showbusiness for you.

However, the singles STRAIGHT LINES, THIS WORLD OF WATER and LIVING BY NUMBERS were light, swirly, infectious gems. Populated throughout by regular bass, drums or drum machine, precise electric/accoustic guitars and layers of sharp synths (over which Mansfield sung deceptively simple lyrics) this became the template for the New Musik sound.

The album cover (all grey walls with a folorn daffodil stuck in a glass of water looking for the sunlight) is in stark contrast to the music within. No respite on the inner sleeve either as storm clouds and rough seas threaten to engulf the expressions of our four bemused and windswept day trippers. Note: the magic of owning the original 12" vinyl LP, of course, meant that sizewise you could stare at the content for hours trying to read in some kind of cosmic significance (that's the kind of thing you did when you were eighteen) even if it was simply another routine photoshoot in Margate for everyone else concerned.

A truly original album, full of memorable music. It's as contemporary now as it was in 1980, but it remains special to me because I was there, ready to be swept away right from the start. Happy times.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New (old) Musik, 8 Jun 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From a to B (Audio CD)
New Musik were always an alternative synth band that fell under the radar of most people of my record buying generation. A cassette tape I had as a teenager was literally played to decimation and it's only now, in this day of CD and online buying that I've been able to get re-aquainted with their catchy and quirky little pop songs.

Their sound is a distinctive chug-chug electronic drum with percussion rhythm base, strummed acoustic guitars and often pretty, plinky-plonk, and sometimes experimental synthesizer embellishments. Tony Mansfield's trademark vocals are a little thin and nasal but this actually suits the band's rather synthetic and 'modern' sound.

Highlights have always been, for me 'World Of Water', with its vocoder-infused backing vocals, the commercial and catchy 'Living By Numbers', 'On Islands' and 'Sanctuary' and all these appear on this compilation. The three bonus tracks 'Missing Persons', 'She's a Magazine' and especially 'Sad Films' are very welcome as they're some of the best of the entire lot.

New Musik will always be an interesting and quality outfit whose music is nice to go back to every now and then, being refreshing once in a while, but nothing much greater than that. Nice compilation, though and recommended.
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