Well what a treat. This largely forgotten band from South London produced three albums in the early 80s, the best two of which are featured here in their entirety on this exciting compilation. From A to B originally released in April 1980 featured four hit singles: the Band's debut Straight Lines as well as Living by Numbers, This World of Water and Sanctuary. In the days of vinyl, squeezing more than ten songs onto an album was a challenge. No such problems here, on From A to B we are treated to 6 bonus tracks which are as well crafted and catchy as any of the more familiar titles on the album, She's a Magazine being a particular favourite. I actually bought the package for the Groups second album "Anywhere" and have hardly stopped listening to it since. Tracks like Changing Minds and They All Run After the Craving Knife moved the band's concepts to a new level and reacquainting myself with them after all these years has been sheer joy! Again, there are extras to be enjoyed with a further three bonus tracks on offer. After the Groups demise, front man Tony Mansfield went on to pursue a successful career as a record producer working with bands such as Aztec Camera and A-Ha. Much of their influences can be found here in the exciting work of New Musik. Go on, treat yourself.
I bought both albums on vinyl when they first came out, but I've long since sold them on, which I've come to regret. I bought From A to B on CD through Amazon last year but couldnt find a copy of Anywhere. When I spotted this double CD I just had to snap it up and I'm glad I did. They bring back a lot of memories and I like the music just as much today as I did 30 years ago. My wife has always referred to this as submarine music and I can see what she means but its New Musik at their best, a very distinctive sound and I'll never grow tired of it. These CD versions have the bonus of extra tracks too.
I'm 40-something and New Musik were in the charts when I properly discovered music (and radio) in the very early 80's - for a long time I had great childhood memories of "World Of Water", "Sanctuary" and "Living By Numbers", plus a rickety old cassette of these and other various tunes I'd recorded from the radio back in the day... I bought "From A To B" a number of years ago, but I was tempted to buy this new version by the remastering and bonus tracks - I'm very glad I did! The sound quality is noticeably better and the master volume now matches that of other CDs in my collection, which is great when shuffling music on a digital player! There's only a couple of bonus tracks, which I think are all instrumental, but they are a nice addition.
Of course, I was delighted to see this was a 2-CD package which included the second album, "Anywhere". I've listened through it a few times and my verdict is that there are some great tunes (I have 8 tracks rated 4/5 in iTunes) - these seem to continue the style of the first album quite closely. There are also some rather dull tunes (6 I have rated 2/5) - so its a bit of a Jeckyll-and-Hyde album for me. I'm going to listen through again a few times and see if those lower-rated tracks don't grow on me...
Just a comment on New Musik overall - although the style of this music places it firmly in the early-80s I would say that the quality of the song writing is pretty strong and, to my ear, its that quality that shines through and doesn't make the music sound "dated". I'm an amateur musician and would dearly love to take some of these songs and play them in a modern band environment, I believe they would stand up very well!
The album is presented in a single jewel case that flips out the inner CD holder to access the second CD...
I'd made a mix-CD from the two vinyl LP's I owned, which I've always played up until the present, so I'd forgotten that one or two tracks I'd weeded out are a bit weak. The added tracks are also 'fillers' in the most extreme sense! You can see why they didn't reach the heights that Tony Mansfield felt they deserved. Having said all that, the best tracks (and there are many) are outstanding synth-pop, but probably too 'dense' for the kind of people used to Gary Numan or early Depeche Mode, especially on 'Anywhere' which was definitely ahead of its time. Probably a 3.75 stars taking both albums together.
Both brilliant albums, plus excellent additional "bonus" tracks, which makes a pleasant change because often the "bonus" tracks on these re-mastered pieces of music can be rubbish. Also, if you really don't want to be bothered with the additional tracks, they have sensibly added them to the end of each original album. If you want wierd & quirky plus catchy and pop - this is it.
Where do I start. I love these 2 albums and the more and more I listen to them the more I'm loving them. I've started too listen more to their 3rd album Warp and though this was seen as their weakest album out of the 3 I have to say it's growing on me day by day. Great work from Tony Mansfield and the boys. Wish they were still making music like this now.
Wonderful! I loved New Music then in 1982, missed it on CD and realise now how absolutely brilliant, ahead of its time and actually timeless this unique music is! Here are the two more popular albums on CD, but do not miss WARP. Good insight in booklet, too.