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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Art Of The 12 Inch
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
By rights, every ZTT 12-inch single should have had a compulsory bonus track with the sound of cash registers ringing, because Messrs Horn, Morley et al. certainly knew how to milk the fan for every penny. Not content to release merely a 7" edit of each song and a long version on 12" vinyl, ZTT cluttered record shops with multiple mixes of their current fave raves. "Got the latest Frankie 12-inch single?.... oh, but that mix is SO last Thursday...". In their favour, however, the 12" mixes from ZTT were at least designed for the punters to listen to as well as dance to, and so avoided most of the remix sins of the period - hey! drum machine solo! Nice.

This ambitious collection of extended artefacts tries its best to gather up some of those remixes and tinkered-with versions of songs that don't crop up on "12-inch/80s" and similar compilations. Some of these haven't been released on CD before and most were hard to find- until now.

There are some obvious gems here: the surreal "Young Person's Guide to the 12-inch" version of Frankie's 'Rage Hard' features a soothing female voice saying things like "Now... the funky guitar" in a detached manner, while slices of the song arrive and depart underneath. There is yet another mix of 'Dr Mabuse' which, no matter how many different ways you hear it, is still an astonishing recording. Propaganda's Claudia Brucken and Glenn Gregory wallow in the gorgeous 12-inch (6 minutes plus) version of "When Your Heart Runs Out of Time" and I was very pleased that the compilers left the little snatch of dialogue from the film 'Insignificance' that preceded the song so perfectly on the original 12" vinyl. The 'beaten' version of the classic "Moments in Love" by Art of Noise is a sumptuous soundscape and benefits from Anne Dudley's superb string (or, knowing ZTT, faux-strings) arrangement.

Elsewhere, ZTT acts that never really troubled the charts (Nasty Rox Inc, Anne Pigalle, Andrew Poppy, Instinct) turn in songs that range from perfectly respectable to excellent. Instinct's legendary lost single "Sleepwalking" sounds like it's built on a left-over Frankie riff, but works amazingly well with the hypnotic female vocal. Andrew Poppy teased us on the "IQ6 ZTT Sampled" compilation in the 80s and here delivers yet another excellent Philip-Glass-meets-Robert-Fripp piece of minimalism.

And, of course, ZTT wasn't just about mid-80s bombast and sampled slap bass... they also released some of the coolest early acid house tracks, evidenced here by Pacific 909 and Cubik, both by 808 State.

Just occasionally the quality drops from 'white hot' to just 'good' (Art and Act weren't quite as wonderful as I expected) and the weird Hibakush-ah mix of 'Two Tribes' seems to have kept just the annoying bits of the song and ditched the cool ones. But with over two and a half hours of ZTT excess on offer here, it's a trivial moan.

Ian Peel has done another excellent job of mastering and 'curating' the compilation and provides some Morley-esque liner notes in the booklet. He's clearly a fan and it's good to have this material compiled by someone who cares, rather than a man in a suit trying to sting us for a bit more cash. The sound quality is excellent - neither 'flat' nor 'too good to be true'.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2011
In the white-hot heat of the FGTH explosion the extended 12" remix was instrumental in promoting releases beyond the time that singles would normally drop down the charts and fall off the public radar. To some this smacked of exploitation, but to those fans who bought into all this it was anything but. The reason was these remixes were utterly superb - a multitude of arrangements, perfect production values, attention to detail (down to the artistry of the packaging) and a plethora of exclusive b-sides. ZTT did the same thing for all the artists in it's roster, thereby producing the delights you can hear on this compilation. As well as Frankie, there are rare cuts from Propaganda, Andrew Poppy, 808 State et al. There are also some of the little snippets that were buried across many ZTT 12"s beloved of the collector to round off this set.

Thoroughly Recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2012
love the 80s?
love the 12"?
love FGTH?
love Propaganda?

then this is for you!

get them both! pt.1 AND pt.2!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2012
excellent selection of remixes from ZZT haydays with great sleeve notes... can't wait for the next one! Saved me digging out old twelve inches...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2013
I think it has so many songs, with one cd would be enough. Of course some of those versions are good, very good indeed.
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2011
"MIXED ABOUT THE MIXES" this is a very difficult for me to rate,may have to review my review at a later date.let me explain...
i found many tracks over produced self indulged eccentric nonsense.
THEN i found "snobbery and decay" 8 mins 29 secs long of pure remixed heaven on earth...wow!!
THEN ! i found "sleepwalking" 9 minutes and 34 seconds long and possibly the best vocal/12" mix i have heard for an extremely long time.this track would make an angel weep.
buy this item purely for these two tracks,the rest may grow with more listening..
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2011
If you like music from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, you should buy this double CD with 12" versions of several artists. All from the ZTT label.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2011
The CDs are good - no great surprises for someone who has no end of mixes of most of the software but there are still enough to warrant the cheap price. The first disk didn't work so I contacted Amazon to arrange a return. This is where I feel Amazon really excel - the instructions were clear and I even got the new CD package before I had got around to send out the old! Well done Amazon!
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2 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2011
Whilst I do already own most of these because they are on the albums of the respective artists - which I like. I don't like or listen to any of these mixes mainly because they are second rate scrapings packed together on one album which is best used to scare birds on your allotment. (I don't have one of those) So if you haven't heard these artists before, buy their popular albums and be very happy. This is only for the most freakish of 'I must collect everything' fans. I'd rather listen to father christmas wrapping presents. Or even Glen Gregory changing his sock.
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