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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Never Goes Out of Fashion
When this album was released in 1982, I was 15, thin and thought I knew it all. Thirty years on I am fatter and am aware that I know very little. But I do know this record is one of the greatest pop albums ever made and that it should be in any serious collection of pop music. Given that these days the great majority of my listening focuses on classical music then this...
Published on 4 July 2012 by Eugene Onegin

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2 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost But Not Quite - Get "Beauty Stab"
Like everyone else I have fond memories of the hit singles from this album and couldn't wait to re-visit it.

I don't think it's aged very well. The songs are strong but don't stand up to repeated listening in the way the best albums do.

It's worth owning for "Poison Arrow" and "The Look of Love" (two of the cleverest pop hits of the decade) but don't...
Published on 4 Nov 2006 by J. Drayton


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Never Goes Out of Fashion, 4 July 2012
By 
Eugene Onegin (Lincoln England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
When this album was released in 1982, I was 15, thin and thought I knew it all. Thirty years on I am fatter and am aware that I know very little. But I do know this record is one of the greatest pop albums ever made and that it should be in any serious collection of pop music. Given that these days the great majority of my listening focuses on classical music then this is perhaps surprising or perhaps it is not because the sound of this music has a symphonic power and the lyrics would not be out of place in an opera house. Why is this album so exceptional? One classic test of the quality of an album is how many bad tracks are mixed in with the good ones-here the answer is simple-there is not one bad song here and indeed some of the ones which were not released as singles like Date Stamped or Many Happy Returns are equally as good as classics like Poison Arrow or The Look of Love. Then there is the gloriously ironic cliche-ridden lyrics which are as fresh and enjoyable now as three decades ago. Then there is the music itself-a complex blend of jazz, funk, percussion and strings with the synths just one element of a complex musical whole. Having a producer like Trevor Horn was obviously a stroke of great good fortune because the instrumentation, the blending and sound are all outstanding. Even the artwork is a masterpiece and entirely true to the spirit of the music. Some would characterize this music as New Romantic, but the truth is like all of the best albums, the Lexicon of Love transcends any genre or era. I direct this review to fans of the Beatles, Progressive Rock, those under 30 who may not know this music or even fans of Sinatra or Bennett. Listen to this and I defy you not to smile and enjoy, admitting as you do,that you have acquired an outstanding album.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Thriller, this is the best 'pop' album ever, 21 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
Having ditched my old turntable for a new CD-only player I went through all my old vinyl and picked out the essentials that needed to replaced by CD. While 90% of the synth/pop stuff from the 80's now sounds dated, 'Lexicon' stood out as one of the few that still sounds as good in 2002 as it did around 20 years ago. To those too young to remember or weren't around 'Lexicon' shows how 'pop' is done properly. Big on glam, big on glitz, big on sound. Not for ABC black pullovers, Gap khakis and rehashed Beegees/Cat Stevens numbers.Every track is a winner, although I'd say the 'singles' are not as good as 'Valentine's Day', '4 ever 2 gether' and 'Many happy returns'.Its got the lot, lush string arrangements, big drums and some cracking bass lines. 'Thriller's often talked of as being the best 'pop' album made. Nah! This blows that away every time.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of THOSE albums, 1 Oct 2006
By 
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
You know. The one that you like a song or two off of it, so you say, 'hey, give it a whirl', and you buy it and give it a listen. You stick to the excellent singles for a while, and then start to play the others. You enjoy them. You then play the whole damn thing through in one go, and then do it again. And again. Because it has grabbed you and is never, ever letting you go. And you want to shout it's praises in public, in the most superlative, terrible detail, to the bemusement of everyone else. Which is what I'm about to do here. You were warned.

'Lexicon...' is about love. Heartbreak, longing, bitterness, break-up, happiness- but instead of a string of cliched routine pop songs, ABC made what is essentially a kind of pop concept album. It even sort of features a persona, as Martin Fry's voice showcases the innocence of hopeful love and bitterness of a man scorned who feels frustration and sadness but is unable to really vent his anger (like most people, really). Each track is individual(there is no 'fade out' on any of the tracks) but also part of a whole, in terms of theme and execution.

'Show Me' opens the album, but by the end has become frantic in it's speed, and abruptly finishes, to then immediately launch into the splendid 'Poison Arrow', a perfectly produced bit of pop, complete with bitter, and possibly slightly ironic, lyrics, and a classic chorus ('Who broke my heart. YOU did, YOU did'). On 'Tears Are Not Enough', as Fry opens with a near falsetto, but proceeds to sound almost vicious ('yes you're shown you're tough...tears are not enough'). 'Valentine's Day' is notable for the wonderful ending lyrics, and the single 'Look of Love' also is a great showcase for Martin's great pop range, beginning on a high note and finishes with a vocal flourish that indicates his joy in the performance itself.

'All of My Heart' manages to be a pop ballad that fits this mostly up-tempo album, and despites first appearances, is not sappy. And 'Together 4 Ever' finishes the main part of the album in a desperate, dark finale that is both like and unlike the rest of it. 'Look of Love Part 4' is a pleasant, soaring instrumental, and I've always had a soft spot for the bonus track, the Mantrap theme, which is a reworking of 'Poison Arrow' which wouldn't sound amiss playing in the bar in 'Casablanca'- simple and melancholy.

'Lexicon' is great. Well-produced, well-written, well-performed, smart, fun and inventive, and one of the few pop albums that can be played now and still sound fresh. Worth trying, for there is a good chance that you'll like it, and the possibility that you might think it's just a bit more special.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Album of the Eighties, 5 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
Remember the gold lame suits, the mullets and the jacket sleeves rolled up ? Blokes wearing mascara and looking like pirates ? If the answer to this is yes then you are almost eighteen years older than when you were snogging to "True" at the sixth-form disco. Not much of that era stood the test of time but the suberb "Lexicon of Love" rises above the mire and still sounds like it could have been released yesterday. Led by the stylish Martin Fry, ABC were influenced by Dollar's hit single "Hand held in black and white". In particular they were impressed by the production skills of the then relatively unknown Trevor Horn, former lead singer of Buggles. Together they produced a timeless album laced with quality on every track. Although it contains four top ten hits, Tears are not enough, Poison Arrow, The Look of Love and All of my Heart, the truth is they could have randomly released any four tracks with equal success. Heart wrenching strings, Chic influenced funk and bittersweet lyrics. This album is pure silk. Sadly, ABC shot their bolt with this album and could never repeat it's quality or success. But after this masterwork they can be forgiven for that. Enjoy.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect concept album., 11 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
When I was forced to listen to this album, back in 1982, by a brother with a curious Martin Fry haircut, I tried with all my might not to like it.I was won over in seconds by the lush orchestral opening with seemed so out of kilter with the single-note synthesiser music typical of the time.Each track built on the one before in such an uncontrived and seamless manner that, without trying, it built into the best concept album ever, and one of the best of all time. Times have flowed ever onwards and fashions have changed, yet this album sounds as fresh and contemporary today as it did all those years' ago.What a shame that the group chose to dramatically change tack after this, their seminal work; but there again, it was a hard act to follow. Do yourself a favour, buy the album and relive those days where everything seemed possible and adult responsibilities were something that your dad worried about.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Look Of Perfection..., 20 Mar 2006
By 
Charlie Delite (Cape Town, South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
Why must music sound this good?! This album breaks my heart it sounds so good! I don't understand it!!! How can something look shinier than the shiniest tinsel and still have blood coursing thru it's veins. I wanna do my hair and put my best pout on, meet her by the cigarette machine, have her say she loves me then break my heart, i wanna strut, and still believe in love...
If the Beatles were the soundtrack to ur very thoughts in the 60's ,then this was one of those albums that was the soundtrack to going out, falling inlove and breaking up in the 80's.
Where Bowie failed, Martin Fry and Co. succeeded brilliantly with this album in the 80's, with just the right mix of high drama and blue-eyed soul. I imagine them both giving each other the nod...
With all the garbage clogging up the airwaves and leaving me as a Musician/Producer positively jaded and weary in the 21st Century, discovering this album again is like Vicks Vapour Rub to my senses. These moments r what make Pop great! Provocative, Dynamic, Exciting, Dangerous...
There r some bands the likes of 'Elefant' among others who r responsible for some kool moments too, and be it unfair to compare such, but baby this is what ur aiming for! This is the bench-mark...
If ur gonna do 80's retro, do it right for crying out loud!
Do ur research, give me the magic!
These moments r what made u wanna queue in the rain @ the band's gigs, r what made u wanna put their posters up on ur wall, r what made u walk to save ur dosh instead of taking the bus so u could by that album in the first place!
I actually gave this 6 stars.
U can't see the 6th one, but u can definitely feel it can't u :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Finest Albums Of The `80`s, 28 Feb 2008
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
Of all the albums representing the early 80`s this is simply along for me with "Songs From The Big Chair" - Tears For Fears not only the finest albums of the 80`s but still in many ways unsurpassed even in the modern era. This is a Trevor Horn production. You can hear here how he was developing that very distinctive Bass guitar sound that would come to prominence with Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The production is very crisp & clean. The real eye opener at the time was that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were used, not really having been done before certainly to this extent. Now of course we here synthesized orchestra sounds all over the place but this is were that really started. The amazing thing is how well Horn was able to get such a great blend between them and the band. Not one part of the band or orchestra intrudes on the other instead they compliment each other perfectly creating a light whimsical sound to the whole proceeding. The band raise there game here with some great playing themselves.

But of course as with all music it will come down to the songs. It`s here that this album scores even higher. Every track is rememberal and singable. A great lead vocal far better than most of his contemporaries by Martin Fry, knocks spots of the very over hyped Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran. The Bass player also deserves a mention as his performance in many respects makes this album with some great modern pop bass playing full of danceable funk pump that positively bounces along. The Guitar and Keyboards hold down the melodic quota of chords and punctuations that enable the band as a whole to simply shine. A great band effort rightly acknowledged at the time and as this review is doing acknowledging now. If you want to no why today's pop music is faceless ,bland,banal, unimaginative rubbish that`s helped to kill not only pop music but also the charts and has taken many radio stations down with it as well then this album shows you how inspiring and fun and imaginative pop can really be, and why people like me miss the 80`s so much.

It`s also worth noting as those of you that have read some of my other reviews that i`m basically a Rock/Metal fan. The truth is i like GOOD music with GOOD songs and believe credit should be given were it`s deserved, and this album really does deserve it. Even back in the day this album had a lot of crossover with Rock fans and still does, which tells you everything you need to no doesn`t it. You can`t keep quality down and quality always shines through. Like TFF- Songs From.....this album is not only one of the best of the 80`s but is still one of the best today. No one who thinks they have a serious record collection should be without this. This is simply a must buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greata pop music from my teen years, 9 Oct 2013
By 
Ms. E. J. Baker "Elle" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
ABC brings back a lot of memories for me. I had this album many times over the years, first on tape and then on CD, I actually got this latest one just purchased from the USA as its getting harder to find it now. ABC and lead singer Martin Fry were an 80's pop band and along with the likes of Spandau Ballet, Ultravox and Duran Duran brought out some great songs which are still classics and played extensively today. Lexicon of Love contains their biggest hit Look of Love, along with a whole host of others which will rapidly grow on you if not heard before. Other notables include Poison Arrow, Show Me, Many Happy Returns. All the tracks are very good though, you can buy this very confident that you won't be disappointed and you'll have a great and happy listening music for years to come for parties and anytime you chose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jaw droppingly good. This gives 80s pop a very good name, 4 Sep 2011
By 
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
For a brief time in the early Eighties the hip kids, music critics and sales charts were united: glossy commercial pop was where it was at and teen pop mag Smash Hits would share cover stars with the serious music press. Rock paper and arbiters of taste The New Musical Express (or rather its critic Paul Morley) coined the term "New Pop" to describe it: the likes of Kim Wilde, Dollar, Haircut One Hundred and, above them all, ABC. Too late to be New Romantics and not electronic enough to be synth pop, ABC teamed up with the quintessential Eighties producer Trevor Horn to deliver us some of the most ambitious, overblown and thrilling pop music of all time.

Those who demand their artists grow a beard and live a few years in an Alaskan log cabin to organically craft their next record will probably recoil from "The Lexicon of Love" like the undead before a garlic clove. This couldn't be more 'Eighties', brimming with theatrically, archness and a knowing 'camp'. Its lyrics indulge in occasionally excruciating word play with singer Martin Fry's rhyming stream of consciousness piling cliché upon cliché until resistance is futile. Fry seems to be singing permanently in speech marks; don't look for sincerity here. And it's hard to tell where the lush orchestration by Anne Dudley ends and the Fairlight synth samples begin. But when it sounds so damn seductive, does it matter?

Despite the title and a glut of references to 'hearts and flowers', Valentine's Day, lipgloss and marriage proposals this is no slushy collection of love ballads. All through it is a dance beat that reflects the band's involvement in that early Eighties fad 'Brit funk' (Fry and co. were, like many Brits of the time, 'soul boys') and it's no surprise that in America it was in the clubs that this music scored best.

Throughout the album the standard never dips and the hit singles are among the most jaw dropping highlights of this much maligned decade's pop. "Poison Arrow" is as good an example you'll find of Horn's trademark 'everything but the kitchen sink' production style, while 'The Look of Love" ranks as one of the most compelling pop songs ever.

"The Lexicon of Love" was one hell of a calling card and unfortunately one the group was unable or unwilling to match. They perversely embraced a politically aware, rough and ready rock guitar approach on the disastrous follow-up "Beauty Stab" and their career in their home country never recovered (though they continued to have hits on the other side of the Atlantic). Unsurprisingly given how it tapped into the Eighties Zeitgeist of excess and artifice this record couldn't be more unfashionable now; that only makes me cherish it all the more. When in the final ecstatic bars of "The Look of Love" Martin Fry lets rip he sums up just how I feel about this extraordinary record: "Hip hip hooray! Yippee ai, yippee aiay!!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best, 20 Oct 2010
By 
This review is from: The Lexicon Of Love (Audio CD)
The best album of the eighties without a doubt, great vocals, fantastic lyrics, superb instrumentals.
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