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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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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!
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on 13 October 2003
This superb album is a massive departure from the starkness of his first solo album Metamatic. John Foxx shows in this album that epics rock! Each song fills your mind with poetic images, anthemic sounds and some of the most grandiouse syth riffs you'll probbaly ever hear. It needs a room as the sun is abouty to set and you have a bottle of something chilled to sip on like some Bohemian layabout then become immersed in what is pure escapist pleasure. There is not one duff song on this album and accompanying singles (for those who bought them) fantastic b-sides as well. Notable songs are the triumphant Systems of Romance and Walk Away. Europe After The Rain a superb track that pulls you along at pace. The big song on this album is The Garden - Close your eyes and listen to all of the incidental noises and detail in the masterpiece's many layers. Highly recommended. If you can get hold of the original LP release try and get the booklet that came with it. Superb!
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on 21 November 2003
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John Foxx is an under appreciated talent. After moving from the proper Ultravox! (before it converted into electro pop), John Foxx produced the superb Metamatic.
The Garden is far removed from the stark, bleak, electronic sound of Metamatic. Having stuck the stake in the ground from which the likes of Gary Numan had to aspire to, Foxx's second solo album is more thoughtful, rich in texture with a tendancy towards the sound of proper Ultravox!. I had waited along time to hear something as monumentally good as Hiroshima Mon Amour and eventually came The Garden.
There are some excellent songs on here but nothing stands out as much as the title track, The Garden. Beautifully orchestrated synthesiser sounds that evoke great atmosphere, this 7 minute track alone should be enough to make people buy the album.
If you had this on vinyl, get it now on CD - it sounds even better.
If you have never ventured into the world of John Foxx, treat yourself and do so with this album.
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This is an excellent record. Released in the Summer of 1981 it recalls the height of the futurism movement more than any other record in my mind.
John Foxx had been living in Italy for a while before recording 'The Garden'. The influence of the warm, relaxed South feeds through this record like a glass of chianti down the throat on a cold January day. The highly influential pure electronics of 'Metamatic' are still in evidence but with the addition of more traditional instruments which makes this much more lush than previous work.
The opening track 'Europe after the Rain' is a lovely single which should have achieved greater things than it's brush into the Top 40. The following tracks have great melodic strength and atmosphere such as 'Night Suit', 'Walk Away' and the epic title track. There are still the classic Foxx characteristic references to "shimmering and glimmering" huge landscapes and metaphysical imagery but it's a different beast to earlier output in that it is much more accessible and relaxed.
The album still sounds great 23 years after release. Whether it actually influenced anybody in the same way as 'Metamatic' is open to question but as an evocative document of the time it's second to none.
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on 3 August 2001
John's second solo album seems more of a natural follow on from the Ultravox! - Systems of Romance album than Metamatic, and ironically features a track titled 'Systems of Romance'. The album has a much softer approach than Metamatic but races along nicely with tracks such as 'Systems of Romance', 'Dancing Like a Gun' and 'Walk Away', the latter featuring a super synth riff. All of these do not prepare you for the wonder that is the title track 'The Garden'. A slow orchestrated synthezer journey, the like of which I have never really heard again, let's your mind wonder to slow summer days. This track leaves you with the feeling that the album was not so much written as composed. Bonus tracks in the shape of 'B' sides include both versions of 'Swimmer'. A worthy addition to any CD collection.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 October 2008
I remember as a kid eagerly awaiting the top forty rundown and hoping that 'Europe After The Rain' from the original version of this album had gone up. I was so disappointed when I realised that, in fact, the single had dropped out of the chart altogether having reached just no 40. Ever since those days, I guess I'd viewed that single and this album as somewhat of a 'my gain and everyone else's loss' kind of record. To see the original album re-released with a bonus disc of extra tracks is therefore a 'bit of a result ' for me.

The original album still sounds good to these years even now and 'Europe..', 'Dancing Like A Gun' (the second flop single), 'You Were There' et all provide a 'very arty but enjoyable' listen so this collection is still worth buying even if you are not interested in the extra disc.

If you ARE interested in the extra disc however, you will be delighted with it. Not only does it include some worthwhile unreleased material (the atmospheric instrumental 'Fog' and the more organic sounding 'Dance with Me (early version)' being especially good) but it collates together a number of the little heard (or little played in my case) b sides from singles, including both sides of the non-lp single 'Miles Away' (which, incidentally is about as Gary Numan as John ever sounded). A lot of the second disc is experimental or instrumental but it is obviously 'of the period' and thus makes an interesting diversion to listen to if you don't fancy another bash of the original lp. The sound quality is great on both discs and the colour booklet has all the lyrics AND a smaller version of the booklet that came with the vinyl Lp at the time.

A great re-issue and one that will surely enhance Foxx's standing.
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on 11 August 2009
This is the last Foxx 2-CD reissues I chose to purchase, mainly because his recent material like "Crash & Burn"/"From Trash" led me back to "Metamatic" era more easily than his lusher pop-tinged moments.

However I am really glad I did buy this reissue as it sounds excellent, and arguably has the strongest second disc of the Edsel special releases. It does include a couple of meandering instrumentals (on second disc) but these sit quite nicely between the alternative takes, single only release "Miles Away" and demos.

Disc one also sounds superb, crisp and multi-layered, injecting life into the material that I wasn't really expecting.

Even if you have got the earlier "Garden plus" issue I would recommend buying this expanded set, as its a great listen and superbly packaged.
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on 30 January 2002
This is a sublime piece of work from start to finish, dripping with atmosphere. From the uplifting 'Europe After The Rain' right through to the title track and the album's apex 'The Garden', there's not a bad track in sight.
Best played at dusk in mid-summer, whilst lounging in the garden with your discman on and a bottle of Chablis to hand....perfect.
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on 4 May 2002
This superb album from 1981 is recommended listening for anyone who fondly remembers early 80's synth music. The re-issue of this and John's other albums is very welcome. Only John could sing about 'submerged catherdrals' over a 'human host' and sound entirely convincing 21 years on.
There are no dud songs on this CD. A real treat.
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on 10 July 2012
I bought this album in it's original form, mostly because John Foxx used to be in Ultravox and I wanted to hear how Ultravox might have evolved.

Instead I discovered a whole new sound by a master of electronic music. However, I couldn't tell you what most of the songs are about, and I don't really care about the meaning either.

There are some albums that you play time and time again. Some you even play for years. Well this album I've played for decades. There's a quality to the music that worms its way under your skin and stays there. It might take a few listens, but this album will grow on you, haunt you, enchant you, and entrance you.

With the bonus disc there isn't a better way to revisit early '80's synth at it's mystically beautiful.
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