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"...This Train Is Full Of Songs...",
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This review is from: When The World Knows Your Name (Audio CD)
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2012 REISSUE ***
Named after the last track on Side 1 of Steely Dan's 1977 masterpiece "Aja" - 1989 was a breakthrough year for the Scottish Soul-Rock band Deacon Blue. Following on from the promise and songwriting sophistication of their 1987 major-label debut "Raintown" - their bombastic 2nd album "When The World Knows Your Name" delivered them a deserved Number 1 slot in the UK album charts in the Spring of that explosive year.
Featuring a truckload of hit singles (5) and a flashy gatefold sleeve with a lavish inner - this was CBS telling the world they believed in their boys and girl. And they were right too. Even now on this superb 2012 comprehensive Edsel reissue - the album still sounds incredibly confident (if not a little dated production-wise). Here are the finite details...
Released 22 Oct 2012 in the UK (16 Oct 2012 in the USA) as a 3CD/1DVD mini hardback book set - Edsel EDSJ 9003 breaks down as follows:
Disc 1 (78:04 minutes)
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "When The World Knows Your Name" released April 1989 on CBS 463321 (1, 4 and 2 after the catalogue number for LP, MC and CD).
Tracks 14 to 20 are BONUS TRACKS - non-album sides from the "Real Gone Kid" and "Wages Day" 7", 12" and CD single formats on DEAC 7 [tracks 14 to 17] and DEAC 8 [tracks 18 to 20]
Disc 2 (62:42 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are more BONUS TRACKS - non-album sides from all formats for "Wages Day", "Fergus Sings The Blues" and "Love And Regret" on DEAC 8 [track 1], DEAC 9 [tracks 2 to 5] and DEAC 10 [tracks 6 to 13]
Disc 3 (69:26 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 9 are more BONUS TRACKS - non-album sides from "Queen Of The New Year" [tracks 1 to 9]
Tracks 10 to 16 first appeared on the 2LP/2CD compilation album "Ooh Las Vegas" in September 1990 [reached Number 2 on the UK LP charts] which featured "When The World..." outtakes
DVD contains 6 Promo Videos - "Real Gone Kid" Version 1 and 2", "Wages Day", "Fergus Sings The Blues", "Love And Regret" and "Queen Of The New Year".
The album opens strongly with "Queen Of The New Year" and just never lets up - hit and after hit. But I particularly like the lesser-heard "Joshua Tree" feel to "Circus Lights" and the Talking Heads jaunt of "Silhouette" combining so well with the unexpected loveliness of "Sad Loved Girl" and "Orphans" (lyrics from it title this review) showing the band actually had real soul amidst all the pop. Mark Feltham of Nine Below Zero adds great harmonica backing to "Love And Regret" and while RICKY ROSS seems to grab the lion's share of the songwriting limelight - keyboardist JAMES PRIME is due an honorary mention too - especially for "Fergus Sings The Blues" and the truly gorgeous "Sad Loved Girl". The PHIL KINRADE remaster doesn't seem to have messed with the original that much - it's just punchier. Superb B-sides "Little Lincoln" and the happy vibe of "Born Again" have benefitted from that sonic upgrade. In fact "Born Again" could easily have been another hit single - "...Feel like a new man...with the whole world in my hand...ooh babe...I'm born again..." Those lyrics must have felt true to Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh back in 1989 - as the songs flowed like wine.
There was a time when DEACON BLUE 12" and CD singles used to go for real money precisely because their non-album sides were considered to be so good - and in some cases - better than what was on the album (with all its need to be commercial). Listening to Disc 2 and 3 - it's easy to hear why. There is some amazing stuff on here - "London A to Z" and "Back Here In Beanoland" while the 'Long Version' of "Sad Loved Girl" running to 3:17 is truly gorgeous stuff - as opposed to the album cut which is a snippet at 1:11 minutes. The only real dogs on here are the extended 12" mixes which all sport the usual Eighties excesses that now sound so unlistenable.
Another downer for me is the uber-polished Eighties production which drenches everything is super-slick sound and huge drums. Tracks like "The World Is Hit By Lightning" seems to want to hit you with instrument pop-ups every few seconds instead of concentrating on getting an actual song out. In fact I've found that many remastered 1980's albums are like this - there's something about the way they were recorded that gives a subsequent remaster a slightly disjointed feel to the whole sound stage. A personal opinion but one worth mentioning...
But these are minor quibbles in what is an astonishing overview of a great album. As you can see in the list provided below, Edsel have done Deluxe Editions on their whole catalogue and more - and they're to be praised for these superb presentations pitched at a more than reasonable price. Coming after the questionable and hugely disappointing reissue of Peter Gabriel's "So" which offers bugger all to long-suffering fans - this is one of those rare occasions where quality and quantity make good bedfellows.
In "Fergus Sings The Blues" Ricky Ross sings "...Can this white man sing the blues?"
Hell yes is the answer. And his band played a blinder too...
PS: the DEACON BLUE titles is this 2012 series are
1. "Raintown" (1987) - Deluxe 3CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSJ 9002
2. "When The World Knows Your Name" (1989) - Deluxe 3CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSJ 9003
3. "Fellow Hoodlums" (1991) - Deluxe 2CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSG 8021
4. "Whatever You Say, Say Nothing" ((1993) = Deluxe 2CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSG 8022
5. "Homesick" (2001) - 1CD Expanded Edition on Edsel EDSA 5015
6. "The Rest" (2012 Compilation) - Deluxe 2CD/1DVD Edition on Edsel EDSG 8023
7. "The Hipsters" (2012 New Album) - Edsel DEACON 001
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Nov 2012 12:27:21 GMT
SDB MELLONIE says:
Brilliant review! I wish amazon would now split those reviews for the original single CD release of the DB albums and these brilliant new deluxe releases through Edsel (which, I'm relieved to say, have not been a minor disaster in the way that their recent re-release of the Aztec Camera back-catalogue has been!). Never understood why they didn't use the full version of "Sad Loved Girl" on the original album..it can't have been to do with space on the vinyl! My only slight difference of opinion is as regards the remixes - above all the Wages Day remix which, IMHO, is actually better than the normal version. But this is a sublime album release. The original transports me back to some very good times in 89..this new release does it all again! By the way - if you didn't see them on the recent tour..Man Alive! They are as good as ever!!
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2012 18:27:18 GMT
I think "Sad Loved Girl" was edited for the original LP because of the space on the vinyl... even with it edited down the album ran to over 50 minutes.
I agree with your point on the extended mixes and think that Wages Day with great harmonica from Mark Feltham which wasn't used on the regular mix is a real joy as is hearing the longest mix of Love and Regret, Real Gone Kid's 12" mix is pretty acceptable too.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2012 17:09:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Dec 2012 10:42:18 GMT
Regarding the remastered sound, I have always found the original CD sound to be really poor. Hopefully this one will be an improvement.
Addendum: Just got it and the sound is much improved on the original release. By far.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 13:51:02 GMT
Mike the Fish says:
Useful info re-improved sound. Is there decent bass on this one now?
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 14:16:24 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2012 14:18:36 GMT
Re: the sound. In my view the sound is improved from what was always sonically the worst of the Deacon Blue albums. I play it through a bass-heavy system so it sounds acceptable. It may well not sound so good to you, so I am loath to recommend it! However much remastering is done, the original recording was always tinny, a product of its time, unfortunately.
Re: "rabid fandom". Not sure I am a rabid fan, I just felt the guy on the other review was blathering on about being "cheated" etc for buying an mp3 download which was not, obviously, presented like the CD. That was his choice. He was not cheated.
With regard to the presentation of this series, it is excellent.
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 14:46:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2012 14:47:44 GMT
Mike the Fish says:
Bad generalisation on my part - sorry. Thanks for the info re: bass. I don't know why this album sounded so thin on CD, but it's good to hear the bottom end has been improved. Maybe the original CD was sourced from the vinyl masters which would likely be bass light due to the long running time. Do you know if Whatever You Say... has been improved much - particularly in the bass dept?
In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2012 14:51:14 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2012 14:52:17 GMT
Personally, I feel all of them have been considerably improved. Whatever You Say has good bass reproduction, I believe, but as I say, that is just my opinion. It is the most "funky" of the albums so one would expect good bass. As I said, my own system gives a good deep bass, but as we know the original recordings were never exactly dub reggae, bass-wise!
I would recommend the whole series, not just for the albums, but for the immense bonus material.
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