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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 27 August 2001
Fashion hailed from Birmingham. I remember them in the early 80's as a three piece with the tall and skinny Luke as lead singer. I bought their album...it was so so. But then something happened. Luke left and was replaced by Dee Harris, a real musician/guitarist with a good line in sensual wocals. The overall sound of Fashion changed to be powerful and tighter, more melodic,lush synths with Dee's funky guitar. I think this album was ahead of its time, too sophisticated for the mainstream success they wanted, too lush and european sounding to appeal to the new and emerging indie world of the Smiths. They wore leather, they looked mean, they played mean, each track was "in yer face". This album is a classic of electronica, way ahead of its time. Listen to Streetplayer Mechanik, its use of a vocoder and sweeping electronic brass, synth drums and guitar that hasn't been so funky since Chic and Troublefunk.
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on 31 July 2003
This has always been one of my favourite albums (I still have it on vinyl) it is was just too classy for the likes of radio 1 and all the independent local radio stations and received little attention from them. When you think it was a time of the new romantics and ok I like the sound of Classix Noveaux and Depeche Mode but this was just so much better than all of them it's a shame it never got the attention it deserved.
From the funkiness of streetplayer to the late night and totally chilled out Slow Blue this is one of the definitive stand out albums of all time. So glad I was just searching Amazon and for some strange reason Fashion popped into my head as one of those albums that just screams buy me on CD.
This one's going to go permanently onto my Minidisc as well.
Buy it or miss out on a real musical education.
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on 7 January 2003
Like some of the other reviewers I was always searching for this album using the title of the album.
I have now found a much missed classic, I used to have it on good old trusty cassette tape which had the full album on one side and fab re-mixes on the other (which was not available on vinyl), that went missing many years ago.
Why change the title? A much missed classic album which far ahead of its time.
Play LOUD and SPREAD THE WORD!!
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on 29 September 2012
This review is for: The Height Of Fashion (Cherry Red CD)
This is an essential purchase which I would recommend. The music is worth 5 stars and this is without doubt one of the best albums of the 80s. The reason for dropping a star is due to the sound quality being less than perfect and anomolies with the cover artwork.

I bought the original 1990 Arista CD of "The Height Of Fashion" long ago, which includes the B-Side of "Something In Your Picture" by mistake. I knew the Cherry Red edition had corrected this error, but I was hoping that following the reissue of Fashion's "Twilight Of Idols" that "Fabrique" might also get the same treatment, so I waited. As time goes on, it is looking less likely, so I have succumbed to buying this CD.

I was hoping for remastered sound quality on this CD, but alas fairly loud tape hiss is evident particularly on the intro of "Move On" and some other tracks, just the same as on the Arista CD from 1990. But to get the full "Fabrique" album on CD without errors at last was great.

It was always strange how this release was called "The Height of Fashion" when it is basically the original "Fabrique" album with bonus tracks. The first 10 tracks are the original album, then the last 5 tracks are from the limited edition cassette (some tracks were also single B-Sides). Hopefully at some point someone will see fit to reissue "Fabrique", because not only would it benefit from remastered sound, it could also include the 12" A-Side mixes, which are still as yet to appear anywhere on CD. "Move On" and "Streetplayer - Mechanik" are both particularly essential in their 12" mixes.

One thing that struck me about this release is the poor quality of the cover image and the fact that the image on the back is a later line-up of Fashion which is not applicable to this album. So, for me, although the music is worth 5 stars, the sound quality and cover images are not up to 5 star standard. In the absence of anything better on the market though, this is sufficient.
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on 7 February 2014
I hadn't listened to this album in 20 years, by choice.

When I was a kid, Fashion's fabrique really moved me, it was my favourite music -by miles, and it probably opened my mind to the joy that music can give, more than any other other music has ever done since. But after growing up and putting it into the past, I decided not to listen to it again, because in all honesty I was worried it would be disappointing.

A few friends started talking about our youth, and this was my soundtrack to those days. I've still got it on vinyl but had no way to play it any more, but then I learned that the 'height of fashion', is actually really just 'fabrique', and finally took the plunge.

I'm not sure if I can verbalise the feeling of hearing it again, everything came flooding back, the songs put shivers down my spine, and I realised that rather than disappoint, it sounds even better than I ever remembered. Personally I don't re-hash music from the 80's because it often sounds dated to me. But not this, Now I can see that this was decades ahead of its time, a unique, moody fusion of soul, electronic, rock, funk and dance.

The album that preceded this, and the one that came after really didn't do much for me, but this album is just perfection, every single track, I used to put the extended tape on repeat and just let on loop on and on into the night, because this is proper late night music.

I managed to pick up the CD new for about ten quid, but I'd honestly pay the £65 they want now if that's what it took. I probably won't write another review on Amazon, but I had to do my part and give this album the 5 stars it deserves.

"...and turning the knife, you smile to the camera..."
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on 11 October 2002
When I bought my first CD player in the late 80s, the first thing I did was to write a list of indespensable albums that I should immediately buy in the new format. One of the first on this list was Fabrique by Fashion, one of the most criminally overlooked masterpieces of the early 80s. Year after year, it remained on my shopping list, ignored by all the reissue specialists such as Repertoire & See For Miles. Then at last Cherry Red have the foresight that others lacked. But what do they do to thwart me? They change the title so that every time I enter Fabrique in the search box on any of the many music sites..........nothing. Eventually, I was browsing on AMG and decided to look up Fashion, only to discover that the CD entitled The Height of Fashion was in fact Fabrique + a few remixed bonus cuts and what's more (and this hurt), it had been released over a year ago!!!!! AAAAArrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhh!
Anyway, it sounds every bit as good as it did 20 years ago, yes it really is that long. What style and what a superb blend of styles. And as for the mind bending production by the terminally loopy Zeus B Held, absolute magic. Better late than never.
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on 7 January 2005
This group was literally years ahead of its time when it had initial chart success in the early 80's. While heavily promoted and their music appearing on some episodes of Miami Vice to back particular scenes, they still failed to reach their true potential during the nu-romantic explosion. A fantasic blend of 80's electro-funk and soulful themes, they mixed the typical sounds of the later Level 42 and electro-pop which literally put them in a class of their own! The only music to get is the original 'Fashion' with Dik Davies as lead singer - their initial album 'Fabrique' was unsurpassed and nothing comes anywhere close even today! 'The Height of Fashion' has the singles from 'Fabrique' plus some more.
Buy this music and you won't be disappointed I assure you!
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on 5 November 2003
I cannot express how please I was to see this release. Why did it take so long? If you could give an CD six stars this is it.
I remember seeing Fashion on numberous occasions during the early 80's and have the pictures to prove it. I could go on forever about how great this release is, but you get the original record plus some of the re-mixes.
All I need now is for someone to relese Twilight of Idols so that we can get 'Eye Talk' on CD. I also have 'Zee' on record which was recorded by Dee (David) Harris and would be very impressed if someone could dig up the masters and release this on CD.
If anyone knows what happened to 'Mulligan' the keyboard player mail me at Graeme.Wood@Talk21.com
This is my first and last review, so take it from me this CD is something special.
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on 3 November 2001
Yikes 1982 - moody stares, cheekbones, and black pointy boots. When spelling Mechanik with a "k" felt like a radical act, we knew we were in a disposable era.
I remember seeing Fashion live on Chris Tarrant's late night "Tiswas" spin-off, absolutely blasting through Streetplayer - it sounded like nothing else you'd heard, just blew away all those wimpy synth-pop boys in argyle sweaters.
Today I don't think Fashion are on anyone's radar but if you buy this CD you might get a pleasant surprise. You'll get a nostalgia kick, plus it's actually listenable in its own right.
This was still the time of "Bands", and electronic music could belong to gangs of mates who wanted to write songs, rehearse, get local gigs and form a 'following' - like many others Fashion put in some slog to get their sound together and it paid off on their one great album (Fabrique) here re-released under a different title.
They were hard, and posed like they meant it (which they probably did), got into scrapes, and wrote songs about coke. Bring back bands!
The record is funk guitar but with a rock edge, chunky basslines, tight grooves; leaving aside the daft 'no cymbals' rule, all tracks have glossy luxurious intros, superb synth textures (the famous Mulligan, where is he know etc.?), heavy riffing and a really dark clubby feel.
Top tune by a mile is Love Shadow, deep and moody, also Do You Wanna Make Love is a hoot. Streetplayer is a brilliant song let down by slightly weedy production.
The other most interesting track is Something in your Picture, super-deep Moog bass, a wonky backwards groove, odd electronic tango feel.
Weirdly De Harris sings like Phil Collins on most tracks. It really was a strange time.
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on 26 February 2002
A fantastic hybrid of everything that was good about the 1980's..sadly not recognised at the time.
Buy this CD and tell your friends about it. Dee Harriss was (is) a great songwriter and the band arrangements are uniformly excellent. They had the tunes and they had the image....what the **** went wrong?
Fashion is one of those well kept secrets that so few people actually cottoned on to at the time. It's not too late.....join the club.....now!
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