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Pottering about again in John's Garden!
on 4 October 2008
Lordy Be! I remember lovingly finding a hallowed spot for the original glossy "Church" book which came with my 1981 vinyl.Who says Art and Music don't complement each other?! Top marks to the compilers at Edsel for reproducing this in the reissue's booklet.
Disc One contains a lovely warm yet crisp remastering of the album as was. Now,as I prefer to play the album, the whole album and nothing but the album sometimes,I love what Edsel/John/Steve/Rob@Metamatic.com et al have done with these 2CD Virgin Era remasters.By putting the out-takes, B sides etc. on a second disc you get a kind of alternate version of the album whilst maintaining similar content and style.
The bonus tracks are a mixed bag ranging from top flight B sides such as the gloriously sax drenched "Swimmer 1" and the Beatlesque "A Long Time" through to the slightly indulgent synth noodlings of "Swimmer 3" and "Swimmer 4". These latter two possibly being the seed of the "Cathedral Oceans" material? This is rounded off with alternate versions of tracks,some that went on to adorn "The Golden Section" sessions. I'd have liked a bit more info on these aforementioned alt versions as John admitted somewhere to trashing the best part of an album's worth of material in the next 18 months with only the original(and best) "Endlessly" single of June 1982 appearing.
To sum up, a perfect companion to the recent 2CD reissue of "Metamatic".
On a personal note, I always felt "The Garden" to be something of a long lost cousin to Ultravox!'s 1978 classic "Systems Of Romance" Even the title makes a re appearance as track 2 along with highly talented guitarist Robin Simon
Perhaps the reason John is so criminally under appreciated lies in the fact that "The Garden" and "Metamatic" are such different albums it fair takes your breath away! But,hey, such is the nature of Genius! Enjoy!