on 26 October 2009
While the early Joke albums are brilliant in their own way, it was with Night Time that they created their truly classic album. The harsh, riffing guitars are still there, as are the hypnotic rhythms from the bass and drums. But added to this are a new sophistication in the song writing, with increased emphasis on synths and melodic vocals. Although the follow up album was perhaps a bit too synth lead and the vocals a bit too conventional, here the band find a perfect balance between their earlier punkiness and a new found accessibility. The obvious stand out track is the hit single Love Like Blood, but almost every track could have been a single as they are all so strong. The remastered CD, with a good selection of session and non-album tracks makes this an essential buy even if you already own the original release.
on 4 May 2011
Not much to say really. This was, in my opinion, their best album. Virtually every track is a classic and the production is great too. The re-mastering has been done well and the sound quality is great, without losing the feel of the original album.
My only criticism, with both the original vinyl release and subsequent re-issues, is the muffled sound on the classic 'Eighties', compared to the crisp, clean mix of the 7" release which is so much more powerful. I hoped that this would be resolved with the re-mastered version but sadly it wasn't. Hopefully one day they'll re-master the 7" version of this (and the 7" cut of 'Love Like Blood') to complete the set of re-mastered classics.
Otherwise, I cannot fault the album - this is essential listening and a must-have for all fans of real music.
on 25 September 2015
Killing Joke's most successful album, and first mainstream success, featuring (arguably) their signature song 'Love Like Blood' which was a hit single after being released in February 1985. The bonus 'Gestalt Mix' of the latter is one of best tracks on this CD. Jaz Coleman abandons his 'football hooligan' vocals on this album in favour of actual 'singing'.
The album was preceded by the singles 'Me Or You' (Oct '83), 'Eighties' (Apr '84) and 'A New Day' (Jul '84). The 2 latter songs appear on this release, 'Eighties' being the final song on the original 8 track album. Track 4 'Kings & Queens' was released as a single in March 1985, and also appears on this CD as 'Geordie's Dub Mix'.
To my mind, the original side 1 (on vinyl) contains the best songs, such as 'Darkness Before Dawn', which has impressive guitar playing, 'Love Like Blood', and 'Kings & Queens', which may have been a poor choice for a single (No 58 in the charts), but again has good guitar breaks.
The original side 2 contains 3 weaker songs plus the 'Eighties' single. 'Multitudes' also appears as a different 'B side' version called 'The Madding Crowd'.
A Kid Jenson BBC radio session, with 4 songs recorded almost a year before, in April 1984, is released for the first time on this CD. The song 'Eighties' is unfortunately positioned next to the album version. The unremarkable songs 'New Culture' & 'All Play Rebel' seem to have been shelved by the time 'Night Time' was recorded. 'Blue Feather' also appears as a single version, but without its B side 'The Sun Goes Down'.
Killing Joke followed 'Night Time' with another excellent mainstream release, 'Brighter Than A Thousand Suns' in 1986, again produced by Chris Kimsey, who had previously worked with the Rolling Stones.
on 4 March 2008
As someone who had bought this album on CD first time round I have to say the most striking impression with this re-release is the re-mastered sound-and also reflect how poor the mastering is on many CD issues from the late 80s.
The vocals are clearer,the drumming louder and the guitars in particular sound sharper.
The bonus tracks are worthy enough reason to purchase this album-some excellent BBC session material and the highlight for me being the Dub mix of Kings and Queens-louder vocals and bass.
In addition more comprehensive sleeve notes than the previous re-issues complete the overall package.
As I type this review Jaz Coleman has just announced live dates later this year with the original KJ line-up! -The Joke live on....
on 7 January 2011
Not as raw as the earlier albums, but this is a band that never sold out to commercialism. The dominant, angry drum beats are still very much there, but without the real rough edges from previous releases (most notably revelations). They will never top the excellent first album, but this is a different and progressive album which is definately recommended.