on 27 May 2000
I originally bought this when I was 17 and I spent a whole summer endlessy playing it. Tracks like 'PrivateFuture', 'Haunted..' 'Saudade' just have some fantastic melancholic feeling about them. Dual harmonies from J and Ash , haunting accoustic guitar intros and inspired keyboard touches from John A Rivers all contributed to make this album feel so fresh in 1985. It never got the recognition it deserved in Britain where the Stalinist music press dictacted that the boys just didn't deserve a second chance since they had accounted for 3/4 of the despised Bauhaus. This despite the fact that this record was far and away better than anything they did collectively as Bauhaus. Anyway, I avidly bought the subsequent 'Express' along with 'Earth Sun and Moon' albums but after that they somehow lost it. Be it a desire to finally make it big, or to to diversify into new musical territory, albums like 'Love and Rockets' and 'Hot Trip' were disappointing to say the least. If you like bands like Janes Addiction, Trex, David Bowie etc I would definitely reccomend this and if you already own it... well its worth buying again for new sleeve notes + pics and the inclusion of 12" mixes
on 4 May 2000
The under-rated debut album has been remastered by the original producer, John A. Rivers, and restored to it's complete vinyl running order. Previous USA and UK CD's mixed up different tracks and, since they used the 1985 vinyl masters, tended to sound 'thin'. This version is from the studio tapes, sounds much more muscular and includes both sides of the UK 12" singles plus some remixes as bonus tracks. On top of that, there's a 20 page booklet with notes by David J and Andy Brooksbank and a selection of contemporary photos. Dark psychedelia de-luxe!
on 14 November 2009
had walked in briefly onto the gothic rock scene when it was mourning the break up of their beloved Bauhaus. Ian Curtis and Joy Division were gone before most of the crowd had a chance to get to know their music and call them their own. Bauhaus were gods and now they were gone as well. Perhaps the lament was heard; their gods replaced their black cloth for blue and gave us this album, released in 1985, which became one of the best years in rock music.
God And Mr. Smith confuses us tremendously. It plays a game with its sound, distorts, ridicules itself and we are really not sure where we are heading. A Private Future, on the other hand, goes straight to the heart of this amazing album. Lyric-wise this is our wisdom sharing time. 'Believe in where you are going but don't loose your yesterdays', among many golden truths. We are also noticing that Kevin's drums are spectacular, as they are in charge of this song, which almost seems to have been composed to showcase his work. Dog-End Of A Day Gone By shows us that this great band knows how to pull you in and keep you involved even when it appears that the music at times can be... texture deficient. The Game pulls us in even more, especially if we play it on repeat 1 for a while. This song contains certain power which becomes apparent with repetitive listening. The words could be taken literally and be a nod to the amphetamine crowd left behind, but they can also signify a belief in incarnation where the win-loose situation gets some real traction. The lyrics of If There's Heaven Above reinforce that second possibility because we are walking over the same territory again. Musically the way the vocal tracks are built up here is beautiful and by the way, Love & Rockets have 2 great vocalists who really complement each other and often sing together really building up our experience. Inside And Outside seems to be a premeditated dance song composed for the clubs. Seventh Dream Of A Teenage Heaven is another nice song with a bizarre lyric I can't really comprehend. The final 2 songs are even greater jewels than A Private Future. Haunted When The Minutes Drag is one of the most unusual and unique, haunting and beautiful love songs I know. It is one of the most gorgeous songs of Love & Rockets. The following Saudade is one of the most beautiful instrumental acoustic moods (next to Black Sabbath's Fluff) in all of music. The guitar structure is phenomenal, as are the keyboards and all the effects and this is the song which in my eyes proves the genius of Daniel Ash as well as David J and Kevin. It is so rare to be able to capture the spirit of lightness and to project it upon us enveloped in such fullness of texture. The feeling I get when I am inside of this spectacular song is that I am the light at the back of the tunnel. Nothing could be better, cleaner, purer and closer to the truth. There is no place i'd rather be. Love & Rocket's second album Express is almost as great, and the following one is very good as well (very acoustic). You simply need to get to know this music if you haven't had a chance yet. I have gathered my favorite songs of Love & Rockets together with a couple of songs of their former Bauhaus and Tones on Tail incarnations, adding a couple of songs by Peter Murphy: Kingdom's Coming, All In My Mind (acoustic version), Real Life, Haunted When The Minutes Drag, A Strange Kind Of Love, Saudade, Hope, An American Dream, Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem, Body And Soul, Lions, A Private Future, King Volcano, Love Me, Performance, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, Youth.
on 11 September 2008
Now, I am not a big fan of the current trend in so-called "remasters" that seem to be about all we ever get from the major labels these days (and they wonder why sales are down? Try releasing some material, guys. Figures state that CD sales were indeed down 31% in 2007, but the figure that does not get mentioned so often is the one saying Major Label releases are down by 34%) as these are often badly (read "cheaply") done and often brutally overcompressed and maximized in the name of an ever hotter pressing.
Here is an exception, and it is a thing of joy to listen to.
I wore out my vinyl copies of this album on first release, and know it like the back of my own hand. This remaster is very, very true to the original and sounds simply great. From the opener "If There's A Heaven Above" (and I am happy to see the proper version back for this release, as my first CD version dropped this track in favour of the Canada mix which IMHO is not as good) the quality & attention to detail shines on through. A quick look at the sleeve notes reveals that the remastering was actually done by the original producer/engineer - John A Rivers - and what a rare thing that is. Top marks to beggars banquet for this and it is something the majors would do well to take note of.
The whole of the original album is there, and sounding better than ever before too.
Stand-Out tracks? Impossible to say. Personally, I don;t think there was a bad track on the album in the first place with material ranging from the beautiful instrumental track "Saudade" (apparently a portugese word meaning a state between deep menancholy & nostalgic reverie) to the driving "Dog End Of A Day Gone By" via gems like "Haunted While the Minutes Drag" - seriously, they are all superb.
The Bonus material is well-chosen too. I'd never heard the USA mix of "Haunted" before, and this was a surprise to see.
Highly recommended - and whatever you do, don't even think "Bauhaus", as this is as far from that outfit as you can get.