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18 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good in its own right!
i can't believe all the fuss there is over this one.it isn't all that different to the previous 2 albums-melodic pop with an edge,as for jaz saying about singing in tune he sang in tune on nightime and even more in tune on btats!!!!apart from the song "america"which is way too commercial for me all the rest are cracking tunes with excellent rythyms and not as poppy as...
Published on 17 Oct 2008 by Lindsay Scott

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best KJ album ever, but still worth a listen
If you're new to Killing Joke, this may not be the best place to start. Geordie's guitar is rather neutered by an overly glossy production and a mix which seems to have been conducted with FM radio in mind (indeed, the rawness of the following album, `Extremities ...' may have been a reaction to this). Nevertheless, it has its moments (and for me is still better than...
Published on 25 April 2001 by A. D. R. MARKS


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good in its own right!, 17 Oct 2008
By 
Lindsay Scott "bowian69" (dundee,scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
i can't believe all the fuss there is over this one.it isn't all that different to the previous 2 albums-melodic pop with an edge,as for jaz saying about singing in tune he sang in tune on nightime and even more in tune on btats!!!!apart from the song "america"which is way too commercial for me all the rest are cracking tunes with excellent rythyms and not as poppy as people will tell you-it's just good music.it wouldn't do if all their albums were the same anyway.i can listen to any of their albums and see it for what it is-stop labelling bands!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Criminally Underrated, 4 Feb 2008
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
There has always been much argument amongst KJ fans as to whether this should have been a KJ album at all or a Jaz/Geordie side-project. I couldn't care less really. I just think it's a great album, though I don't think it's ever really been received that well. I've been a Killing Joke fan since 1981 and I don't think they've ever done anything as moving or beautiful as some of the songs on Outside The Gate (except for Exile and Goodbye To The Village from BTATS). My Love Of This Land, Tiahuanaco and the title track Outside The Gate (now there's a powerful song) complete with it's plaintive piano/acoustic guitar outro, are just sublime. This re-mastered release doesn't really add much to the original release except for the previously unreleased Mayday which has gone down as one of my favourite KJ tracks. The one downpoint to this release is that it doesn't have Stay One Jump Ahead: Extended Mix on it. It's a shame that this album caused KJ to split and cause so much bitterness. But KJ wouldn't be KJ without such tensions. Ignore at your peril!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definately a grower, 7 Feb 2008
This review is from: Outside the Gate (Audio CD)
A very strange album, and not immediatley accesible, but after several listens I've decided I do like this album. It's aged very well, it's quite atmospheric and sticks in your head for quite a long time afterwards. The only song I'm not keen on is The Calling which is a bizarre rant of a song with little melody to it. Not in the same league as Night Time or Brighter Than 1000 Suns, but a very inventive album and hugely underrated.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten & unfairly maligned classic, 6 May 2008
By 
Mick L (Leicester UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
There is much dislike for this album. Joke fans will know that it was meant to be either a Jaz Coleman solo album or Coleman/Walker album but the record company insisted on it being released as Killing Joke due to the high production costs. However, Killing Joke lovers should not disregard this CD as it fills an important dvelopment gap between Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and Extremities.

Brighter is for me Joke's worst album - dull eighties twaddle with songs that are hard to distinguish between (although the new CD with the proper mixes on it is superior to the previous release.) All of the eight original Gate tracks are different in style to each other and very interesting to experience.

"America" kicks off the album and Coleman's left wing sympathies shine through in this critique of US values and attitudes. "I can survive the rat race honey" he declares in a repeated verse and the song finishes on "Showbiz and Hollywood still shouted out - America." Such a song points towards Age of Greed on Extremities in which Joke take this anger to the logical conclusion. There was little on Brighter Than A 1000 Suns that signposted any such intentions.

"My Love of This Land" is a beautiful song of nostalgia for the England of youth; "Memories of gentlemen and cricket fade away in the hot summer" evokes in the mind times gone by when, as children, we had beliefs in our nation that have been since soured by world politics and cynicism.

Yes, "Stay one jump ahead" has rap (and yes it is Wham style rap rather than Tupac) but this lasts for about 20 seconds and in terms of the album flies by. Attacks on paying for healthcare and the encouragement to own property are dealt with in a way that makes up for any shortcomings in the track elsewhere.

The other two stand out tracks are Obsession and the title track Outside the Gate. The former is an upbeat almost dance style track that itches in the memory and has much replay value. Outside the Gate is now one of my favourite Killing Joke tracks, period. Working on several levels and open to the interpretation of the listener, I find it works best as a song trying to encourage the holistic view rather than our narrow insular way of keeping ourselves to ourselves.

As with the other reissues there are remixes and unreleased material rounding the CD to 70+ minutes.

Overall, yes, the guitars are a minor element of the album and the keyboards are brought to the forefront. There is some great bass work from the late, much missed Paul Raven, especially on My Love of This Land. However the lyrics are open to what you bring to them which is how all the best music should be.

If you love Killing Joke and have avoided this CD because of the negative comments think again - it's cheap enough to take a risk on and you may well find yourself pleasently surprised like I was.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not that bad at all!, 10 April 2008
By 
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
Yeh, why not?! A complete contrast to the early 80s output, but still satisfying. The bonus tracks make this release even more worthwhile. Think of this album as quite progressive, and very dissonant in places (outside the gate springs to mind).
Think of the release as something more like a Jaz/Geordie side-project and you will not be dissapointed. In some ways, this release is quite similar to BTATS, so, if you liked that, why not try this?!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough with Commonplaces, 18 Jun 2003
By 
Piccinini Claudio (Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Outside the Gate (Audio CD)
I'm so tired in continuing to hear "Outside The Gate" is the worst Killing Joke album I'm beginning to believe it myself.
If you evaluate any Killing Joke album on a mere instrumental skill and brilliance you are completely missing the point on what KJ have been and of their enormous importance, not just on a simply musical viewpoint.
Maybe the arrangements, the quality, the originality, whatever, on this album are not up to the ones in the others (although in my ignorance about playing instruments I don't agree at all) but taken as an overall thing, "Outside" is a portray of the world, dateline 1988, as any other KJ album has been.
Okay, part of it is centered around criticism of American culture and society, but any "smart" sociologist/philosopher, darn intellectual should listen to it 77 times befor even thinking to write an "essay".
The lyrics of "America", "Stay One Jump Ahead" and especially "Obsession", deliver a fiery forecast of the recent times in a straightforward rage. Just listen to "Obsession" and look a bit back to see in perspective what religious fanatism and economy-obsession have "produced" recently.
Only The The's musical genius has been able to convey with such mood and intensity the blindess of religious fanatism and tension as opposed to a true search for God (mostly in their 1986 release, "Infected", and the subsequent "Mind Bomb", from 1989)
Besides, the album, together with the masterpiece "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns" and their "commercially succesful" "Night Time", with all their pop-flavored "travesty" is the perfect platform to welcome aboard new listeners and fans which does not like heavy hard-rock/metal treatments.
And "Stay One Jump Ahead" scores the only (and the earlier) contamination up-to-date between rock and hip-hop, if we are forced to use labels.
Believe me, Killing Joke are everything but suitable for labels. Just listen to "My Love Of This Land", and then to the new "Total Invasion" from the forthcoming album on their website and you'll get the two extremes of what KJ music is able to convey, and to enlighten your numbed brain accompanying you in the start (or re-start) of a personal inner growth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much maligned and underrated., 6 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
Excellent and thoughtful lyrics, plus a host of extra material on this re-release make this a worthy addition. Ahead of its time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars mixed bag but..., 22 Sep 2013
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
Tiahuanaco gives the album 5 stars alone. My love of this land another fine tune. Admittedly far too poppy album overall.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best KJ album ever, but still worth a listen, 25 April 2001
By 
A. D. R. MARKS "adrmarks" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Outside the Gate (Audio CD)
If you're new to Killing Joke, this may not be the best place to start. Geordie's guitar is rather neutered by an overly glossy production and a mix which seems to have been conducted with FM radio in mind (indeed, the rawness of the following album, `Extremities ...' may have been a reaction to this). Nevertheless, it has its moments (and for me is still better than `Brighter than a thousand suns'): `America' is a pleasingly vicious assault on all things American (obviously), `Stay one jump ahead' is excellent, except for the fact that Jaz attempts (I kid you not) to rap in the middle (not recommended). `The Calling' shows that KJ are capable of building atmospheric sound structures - as those of us who love them knew anyway, but non converts may find hard to believe. `Outside the gate' (the track) is fairly dull, but the haunting piano fade out is almost worth the price of the CD alone - and shows KJ capable of beauty as well as ugliness.
If you want to gain some insight on KJ and don't know where to start then the debut album is probably the one you need, followed by (in any order) `Extremities', `Revelations', `Pandemonium', `What's This For...', `Fire Dances'. Get this one when you've digested all of those.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heed The Calling, 16 May 2008
By 
M. Taylor "markorbit" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Outside The Gate (Audio CD)
My favourite KJ era is the 80s. Night Time, Brighter Than 1000 Suns and Outside The Gate have the right balance of melody, clever arrangements and underlying KJ earthiness. Other releases (later and earlier) are a little one-dimensional by comparison.

But it seems Outside The Gate has been classed as the black sheep right from the day of release. I don't get it.

The album may not be immediately accessible due to it's complex layers and arrangements but that is it's lasting beauty. It's always been one of my favourite albums and 20 years later it still holds up. There are some truly divine musical moments on here.

At the time Jaz wanted to get away from the straight-forward 4/4 song structure and this album is pretty adventurous in places in that regard. It's a pretty intense journey, but unlike typical Killing Joke it's intensity is in the interesting arrangements themselves rather than being musically relentless.

I can see why some Joke fans don't like it. On the surface it is off the beaten path a little. It's quite keyboard heavy (which I like) and the bass hits some pretty low notes in places. But it's a hidden gem. It really is. If you like your music direct and simple then bypass this one. If you are willing to explore something deeper then it might just be for you. There is nothing really like Outside The Gate. Wonderful.
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