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4.4 out of 5 stars
Junk Culture
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2007
By the time Junk Culture was released (1984), OMD were riding something of the crest of a wave. With a good few hits, successful tours and critically-acclaimed albums to their credit, they set about recording a set of songs which was once a departure from its more industrial predecessor Dazzle Ships but which used a familiar language.

Using the sort of album titles which journalists love to ask questions about once more - both Architecture & Morality (their masterpiece from 1981) and Dazzle Ships had both 'arty' and 'complex' reasons for their names - Junk Culture once again needed explaining!

Andy McCluskey went to some length in interviews of the time to explain that it was about popular culture and the way things fit together (or don't). That the mid-eighties saw the rise of MTV, the compact disc etc was part of that "junk" entertainment culture he was talking about.

Stand-out tracks? Well, I'm an OMD nut so they're all great to me but certainly the driving, euphoric Tesla Girls (continuing an OMD tradition of writing about things and places not normally found in pop songs, in this case the inventor Nikola Tesla!), the excellent Locomotion, the summery lilt of Talking Loud & Clear, the cod reggae of White Trash and the exasperation of the truly sublime Love & Violence. The Never Turn Away single attracted some controversy at the time because some thought its lyric was drug-influenced. I couldn't possibly comment!

Add to this the NY electro-flavoured Apollo and even some Latin horns on All Wrapped Up and you've some interesting contrasts inside a single album. One thing you notice across OMD's work is the strength of the songwriting and Andy's vocal talent. From here they'd record Crush - itself a superb work - before hitting the rocks with the patchy Pacific Age in 1986. Buy this and here modern songwriting (1984 vintage) come to life.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2015
I received my copy from my local retailer in Austria on Friday because our release date is on Fridays. So I have already had the chance to have a listen to the deluxe edition of OMD's Junk Culture. It has been remastered and expanded which is fine, but there are so many errors that should not have happened.

Although both discs are quite good, the pleasure is spoilt by the fact that there are shortened tracks and one track was used twice and is to be found on both discs. "All Wrapped Up" is on disc 1 but also on disc 2. No "Wrappup", which was the b-side to the 12"-single 'Never Turn Away', is to be found on the deluxe edition.
According to my musical understanding, "Wrappup" is an alternative and minimalistic version of "All Wrapped Up". Andy sings the complete lyrics but in a different style than on "All Wrapped Up". For some strange reason "Wrappup" is called a "dub" version of "All Wrapped Up" on the tracklist as shown at Amazon and JPC. The guys at Amazon and JPC and Universal should have listened to OMD's dub version of 'We Love You' to know what a dub version is. - Anyway, I don't want to be meticulous about it. So let me continue with my review:

'Tesla Girls' had a playing time of 3:51 minutes on the original album released in 1984. On the deluxe edition for some unfathomable reason the 7"-single edit has been used instead (playing time 3:36 min).
The track 'Love And Violence' has been shortened from 4:40 min. to 4:26 min., that is, this must obviously be an alternative edit of 'Love And Violence' because one passage of the lyrics has been omitted. On the original JC album the lyrics go: "I try, I try, I just can't let her go - I try, I try, but she always seems to know" (at a playing time from 3:15 to 3:40 min.). "We don't make sense, love and violence" starts at 3:45 approximately.
The remastered version of 'Love And Violence' does not have the full lyrics. The passage "I try, I try, but she always seems to know" has been omitted, deleted or God knows what? Therefore "We don't make sense, love and violence" starts at 3:30 already.

- The 12" version of 'Talking Loud And Clear' has been shortened from a playing time of 8:55 to 6:11 min. by omitting the instrumental intro part. So the omission of the instrumental intro is a real shame which made the original extended version of TLAC so special. In the first part the original synth and sampler sounds have been used, in the second part, drums and percussion sounds have been exchanged back then. With the omission of the instrumental intro, you don't get this anymore.
- 'Julia's Song' - Extended Version was the b-side to the 12"-single 'Talking Loud And Clear' and had a playing time of 8:33 min. It was made up of a kind of dub part and a re-recorded version. The deluxe edition features the re-recorded version (4:16 min.) only. But I can live with that. The full extended version of 'Julia's Song' is to be found on the ZTT compilation "The Art of the 12" - Volume Two".
- Another shame is that two extended versions have a faster, that is, an earlier fade-out and are thus shortened as well. 'Locomotion' has a playing time of 5:17 instead of 5:20 min. It's only three seconds, I know, and I don't want to be nitpicky about it, but it's not as it should be, and 'Never Turn Away' was also shortened by a faster fade-out from an original playing time of 6:31 to 6:27 minutes.

As far as the extended version of 'Locomotion' is concerned, it is available on the 12"-versions double-disc compilation "Dance Classics Pop Edition Vol. 7" which has been released in 2012 by Rodeo Media (the Netherlands). Here is a link to discogs.com: http://www.discogs.com/Various-Dance-Classics-Pop-Edition-Vol-7/release/3521576
The complete extended version of 'Never Turn Away' is still to be found on Blank & Jones's OMD so80s artist compilation.

Looking at other "deluxe editions" or "collector's editions" (e.g. New Order, Tears For Fears, ABBA), these usually come with a dust cover made of plastics. This is not the case with OMD's JC deluxe edition. An adhesive tape has to be cut in order to be able to remove it from the cover. Although I removed the adhesive "deluxe edition" tape as carefully and slowly as I could, some black printing ink glued to it and was removed from the black cover leaving a grey space behind right next to the red rose on the bottom of the digipack cover. Another great disadvantage of the black digipack cover is that one's fingerprints are visibly left behind on the black surface, no matter how carefully you touch it. A standard double-CD jewel case should have been used instead.

It is a shame that the remastered CD 1 was shortened to a total playing time of 42:49 minutes as compared to the original 1984 album with a total playing time of 43:15 minutes. This is due to the use of the single edit of 'Tesla Girls' instead of the original album version and an alternative edit of 'Love And Violence' as mentioned above. CD 1 should have been filled up with some previously unreleased bonus tracks. I remember visiting the OMD official website at the time of the release of "Navigation - the OMD b-sides" album. From the year 2001 until 2004 (maybe even longer than that) there was a section called "Discography - unreleased material" or something like that. This section had a list of unreleased songs and mixes from each OMD album period.

From the Junk-Culture-era the following unreleased and/or unofficial mixes have been mentioned back then, including playing time and the year of production:

- Julia's Song (Koen Kroeze Remix by Musicoloog for MMC) 6:24 (1984)
- Locomotion (Razormaid Mix) 7:01 (1984)
- Locomotion (Razormaid Remix) 8:15 (1984)
- Tesla Girls (Specially Remixed Version) 5:03 (1984)
- Tesla Girls (Special USA Remix Version) 4:53 (1984)
- Tesla Girls (Instrumental Version) 4:43 (1984)
- Tesla Girls (Extra Remix) 3:36 (1984)
- Tesla Girls (Razormaid Remix) 6:25 (1984)

Some of these unreleased mixes could have been put onto disc 2 of the remastered and expanded "Junk Culture" album. Disc 1 could have featured the remastered album in its full length 43:15 plus the extended versions (Locomotion 5:20 + Tesla Girls 4:30 + Talking Loud And Clear 8:55 + Never Turn Away 6:31) plus the b-sides 'Her Body In My Soul' (4:41) and 'The Avenue' (4:10) resulting in a total playing time of 77:22 min. The remaining b-side tracks of the JC 12"-singles could have been put onto disc 2 then. The Universal guys are so mental not to have done so.

Given the fact that disc 2 has a total playing time of 70:47 min., there never was a need to shorten any of the extended versions by cutting instrumental intros and by using faster, i.e. earlier, fade-outs. I really do hope that Universal is going to fix this "defuxed-it-up" edition. Now I know that when we die, there is no heaven above - it's Universal! Oh my God, please spare us Universal!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

UPDATE AS OF 11 February, 2015 / ADDITIONAL COMMENTS TO THIS REVIEW:

I am now in the position to officially corroborate that the duplicated "All Wrapped Up" has been fixed on CD2 and the correct track "Wrappup" is now in its place. I have received the replacement disc CD2 today, which came in a slim CD jewel case as it is used for 3"-CD-Singles and it was packaged in a Jiffy Bag. The total playing time of CD2 is now 70:25 minutes. This was a very fast service by Universal Music, indeed.

But "Wrappup", unfortunately, remains the only fix. "Talking Loud And Clear" still omits the intro, and the slightly earlier/faster fade-outs on the 12" versions of 'Locomotion' and 'Never Turn Away' are still there. CD1 still has the edits in 'Tesla Girls' and 'Love And Violence' and there is NO replacement disc to CD1. This may be due to the fact that it was the intention of the band to use edits on the remaster.

Mr Pleasant stated in a comment to this review and to Marcia's review the following:

QUOTE (Mr Pleasant) : "I sent a request to Universal for my replacement CD2 and also asked for a definitive answer as to why `Tesla Girls' and `Love and Violence' on CD1 are not the original album versions. This is the reply I received:

QUOTE (Universal Music): "We're aware that one of the tracks on the second CD is duplicate audio from the first CD. This unfortunately was not picked up by the band during the approval process and slipped through the net of our production system.

Some fans have noted that some fade lengths have changed. This was over seen by the band during the mastering process of the release. Andy McCluskey has addressed some of this in a statement on the OMD website which you can read here - http://www.omd.uk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9386&start=120#p207269

With regards as to why 'Tesla Girls' and 'Love And Violence' (tracks 2 and 6) on CD1 are not the original album versions, I (i.e. someone at Universal Music) have been advised that the band sat in on re-mastering the album and did so as they saw fit."

I've read extensive discussions regarding the disappointing Junk Culture Deluxe Edition, and, it would seem that as far as the actual CDs are concerned, Universal have made one mistake; a careless duplication of 'All Wrapped Up' where 'Wrappup' should be. The shortening of 'Talking Loud and Clear (Extended Version)' and the replacement of 'Tesla Girls' and 'Love and Violence' on CD1 with non-original album versions of the songs were decisions made by OMD.

UNQUOTE ALL

So some fans, especially the "pesky" purists and completists, may still be left with a little disappointment then and may be up in arms about an "edited" remaster and truncated extended versions.

My deepest regrets to all who hoped for a better replacement.
Musicator
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2015
This album was in such stark contrast to its predecessor, Dazzle Ships, that it immediately divided fans at the time. I found my old vinyl (which I still have) did improve with several listenings, and I rank Tesla Girls and Never Turn Away as 2 of my favourite post A&M OMD tracks. Whilst I still have that vinyl, with the usual audio extra noises acquired over time, I had never got the album on CD. Decided to plump for this remaster, despite the various track-listing (etc) issues that really shouldn't have arisen when the band were involved as much as they appear to have been!

I really like the re-master, which is crisp and punchy, but not overly loud (or brick-walled, at least to my ears). Some tracks suddenly seem to include some extra elements/atmospherics that I had not heard before, and all are welcome. The 2nd CD collects together a lot of 12" mixes and b-sides, plus 5 unreleased tracks/demos, which are really interesting for the completest (particularly the early demo of Tesla Girls) - all of these warrant inclusion here. We also get the one-side 7" original bonus of "The Angels...", which is ok. Ofcourse most b-sides and some of these 12" have appeared elsewhere on CD, so Amazon's summary needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

My (unsealed) copy did not come with the pesky Deluxe Edition cellotape band around the package, or any signs of it having been there, so that was a plus point for me (rather than deciding to risk peeling it off). I wish UMC would revert to the clear plastic outer sleeve again, which really protects the digipack whilst making buyers feel that little bit extra has been put in to make it truly deluxe, but that's a minor quibble!

The booklet is nice, as are the inner panels, and on a glossy card base with proper digipack plastic trays, not the slots some labels employ to help scratch the CDs on first removal.

We get the UK 12" version of Tesla Girls on CD at last (complete with stutters), even if we don't get the full 12" of Talking Loud & Clear!

Overall this release's positives outweigh the negatives (Tesla Girls and Love & Violence are not the original album versions, as per previous reviews), and it was great to re-listen to a cleaner sounding master.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2013
I first heard this when it was released in 1984 and loved it then and still do. I disagree that they sold out on this album. While it may be more mainstream than Dazzleships it still retains the OMD sound and quirkiness of previous albums. It is a great collection of songs and nobody else was making electronic music like this at the time.Still has elements of experimentation and good lyrics. I agree Crush and Pacific Age are more pop orientated (although still have some good songs)but this album is brilliant and should be in every OMD fan's collection.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Why all the early albums by OMD haven't been re mastered already years ago is beyond belief. Instead we have to wait years for another re master edition.
When I saw Junk Culture was announced to be re mastered and released as a Deluxe Edition I was very excited and interested. However having now had my copy I am rather disappointed.

First of all the first disc the actual album has been re mastered and that is a positive. The sound is much better.
However that is about as good as it gets. This is because the first disc is also full of flaws. The track Tesla Girls has been shortened. It would appear they have used the original single edit instead of the actual album track. That is bad as far as i am concerned.
Then the track Love and violence has been butchered. It is not the correct version for the album and in fact is spoilt. I don't know if they just did a bad edit or if there was another version they used but it is not the correct one.
Clearly its worth holding on to the old version of the CD album or better still if you haven't got this edition yet I would seriously think twice.

The second disc, the bonus disc two, also has flaws. The 12" version of Talking loud and clear has been shortened for some crazy reason. Now it is nearly three minutes shorter. Why? The track No Wrappup is the same track as the track on disc one All wrapped up. Why the repeat?

Also they have missed an opportunity to add more extended mixes related to the album and that is a shame.

But back to the positives, the album disc does sound better than the previous edition with the re master So if you can put up with the shorter versions of two of the songs its worth it. Also on disc two there is extra material for the price and they would have needed a third disc, or add bonus tracks to disc one to make the sort of complete edition of the album that I had hoped for.

Junk Culture was the fifth album from OMD The album dates from 1984. This album returned OMD to the charts after the poor sales of the last album Dazzle Ships which had its Kraftwerk experimental feel to it.
This album has a more polished and commercial feel to it. The title track continues experimental feel with instrumental synth sounds. All wrapped up has a strong arrangement with that originality of experimentation on it too. But the rest of the album has a more comercial feel to it.
It is a really strong OMD album and a good all rounder.
.The album is presented in a card gatefold holder with good art work presentation and booklet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2015
Received my discs today - great music - was always a great fan.
But, yes, there are production issues - Amazon have stopped selling it.
Wrappup on disc 2 is just a copy of All Wrapped Up from disc one :-(
I also have a curious error is when I play disc one in Windows Media Player - it puts the first three titles out of order (TG/L/JC) - odd.
The tracks are correct as on the sleeve . . just a media library error?
I have emailed Universal - folk on the OMD website forum have done this and have received a replacement 2nd disc.
I'll wait n see what happens - maybe Amazon could chase Universal for this??
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2009
Having purchased Junk culture on vinyl in the 80's and not owning a record player for the past 15 years, I decided to re-order on cd.
I am now kicking myself for not buying it sooner and depriving myself of a musical treat for so long.
Containing classic hits such as Locomotion, Tesla girls and Talking loud and clear, it is a great album, but if you are wanting to get a real feel of what OMD were about, buy the album and listen to the album tracks, some you might not like at first.... but they do grow on you!!!!
Most of the later singles, although great, lacked some of the raw emotion that Andy McCluskey put into his vocals. Indeed, Hard day, which is in itself a simple tune (although perfectly executed), is transformed into a near anthemic assault on the eardrums, pleasure and pain can co-exist in harmony!!!!! Love and violence sees Andy and Paul at their best, and although the lyrics to White trash don't really sit comfortably in this politically correct world we now live in........who cares, what a great song!
So If you liked the passion in the early OMD songs and the fantastic arrangements....buy it!! If you just like the later singles which were verging on the edge of being pure pop (no offence meant!), then it might not be the album for you and you would be better off sticking to the best of album! If you want to listen anyway, it's worth the punt of a few quid!
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on 4 July 2015
A great album and deluxe edition too! Features classic songs from OMDs 1984 album Junk Culture... Locomotion, Tesla Girls and Talking Loud and Clear and their 12" versions including other songs such as Apollo, White Trash and others including Never Released songs, re released songs and 12" songs. Great for OMD lovers and 80s lovers like me!! Originally released in 1984
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2001
Released in the summer of 1984, this was OMD's more commercial sequel to 83's Dazzle Ships (see review). Packed full of cracking songs and hit singles, the album is an exuberant joy of a record and shows the band at the peak of their powers.
There's the quirky pop of Tesla Girls, complete with the sampled vocals of Paul Humpreys' wife Maureen, the rolling bass of Locomotion and even brass bursts on All Wrapped Up. Every track is a corker really: the New York electro influence coming to the fore on Apollo and McCluskey really giving it some on the subtle Hard Day.
It's a belting album and one that could teach today's band of bedroom synthesists a thing or two about melody (whasthat?) and structure.
By the way, they had as much fun explaining the significance of the album's title as they did for Dazzle Ships or the classic Architecture & Morality!
They were a class act and really cut the mustard live. McCluskey is now involved with Atomic Kitten - he deserves to do well as he has the faith and the vision.
Cheers :) Al Ferrier 20.3.01
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2015
Junk Culture was, and is, a great album. But there are problems with this reissue:

This statement appears on the OMD web site, dated 5 Feb 2015:

"Due to production errors, all formats of the delxue Junk Culture reissue have the wrong tracklist (Wrappup is absent, and All Wrapped Up is erroneously in its place on Disc 2).

Universal have advised that customers should send their copies back to the retailer they purchased from. Replacement copies fixing the above mistake will be sent out once available.

We apologise for the error and hope that the rest of the reissue is proving enjoyable, particularly the long-awaited unreleased tracks. "

It would be fantastic to hear from all retailers that they will be sending all buyers of the Junk Culture Deluxe Edition CD the corrected replacement CD.
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