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5.0 out of 5 stars "...The Wonder Of It All..." - Raintown by DEACON BLUE (2012 3CD1/DVD Remasters), 9 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Raintown (Audio CD)

Named after the last track on Side 1 of Steely Dan's 1977 masterpiece "Aja" - Scottish Soul-Rock band DEACON BLUE signed to CBS Records and released their superlatively melodic debut album "Raintown" in the Spring of 1987 - and it's now part of a massive full catalogue reissue campaign by Edsel Records of the UK (see list below). 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 9002 breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (76:58 minutes)
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Raintown" released May 1987 on CBS 450549 (1, 4 and 2 after the catalogue number for LP, MC and CD).
Tracks 12 to 21 are BONUS TRACKS. The "Raintown" album was re-released in August 1988 on CBS 450549 0 with a BONUS LP inside called "Riches" (XPR 1361). "Riches" contained non-album sides from their first four releases - "Dignity" on CBS DEAC 1 (Track 17), "Loaded" on CBS DEAC 2 (Tracks 12 and 13), "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" on CBS DEAC 3 (Tracks 14 and 18) and "Dignity - A Brand New Recording" - a 2nd issue on CBS DEAC 4 (Tracks 15, 16, 19 and 20).

Disc 2 (63:38 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 15 are non-album sides from all formats for "Loaded" (CBS DEAC 2 - Track 2), "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" (1st issue on CBS DEAC 3 - Tracks 3 and 4), "Dignity - A Brand New Recording" (CBS DEAC 4 - Tracks 1, 5 and 6), "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" (2nd issue on CBS DEAC 5 - Tracks 7, 8 and 9) and "Chocolate Girl" (CBS DEAC 6 - Tracks 10 to 15)

Disc 3 (47:02 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 13 are all of the Bonus Tracks that came with the 2CD Legacy issue of "Raintown" in 2005 (Disc 2) - they're mostly live versions and demos

DVD contains 6 Promo Videos - "Dignity - Version 1", "Loaded", "Dignity - Version 2", "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)", "Dignity - US Version" and "Chocolate Girl".

The PHIL KINRADE remaster doesn't seem to have messed with the original that much - it's just punchier - lovely clarity on each track - and thankfully the whole thing is devoid of the bombastic Eighties production that accompanied 1989's more commercial "When The World Knows Your Name" (see separate review). The album opens slowly with the mournful "Born In A Storm" followed by the uptempo synths of "Raintown". Songs like "Ragman", "Dignity" and the longing of "Love's Great Fears" are all good too - but for me the real magic begins with "He Looks Like Spencer Tracy Now" - a gorgeous floating melody that still sounds contemporary to this day. "Loaded" was the 2nd single off the album in June 1987 - a superbly Soulful song. Its followed by two more singles - the pleading "When Will You (Make My Telephone Ring)?" (lyrics from it title this review) and the so pretty "Chocolate Girl". And one of my other favourites ends the album on a high note with great vocal work from principal songwriter and lead singer Ricky Ross - "Town To Be Blamed". A smouldering debut album that defined their sound - and one that fans love...

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. Listening to "Riches" and Disc 2 especially - it's easy to hear why. There are fantastic tracks on here in upgraded sound quality - the mournful "Shifting Sands", their live cover of Van Morrison's sublime "Angeliou", the guitar jaunt of "Suffering", the wallop of "Ronnie Spector" and the joyful spelling song "S.H.A.R.O.N." which could easily have been another album A-side.

Downsides - as fans felt in 2005 - the bonus disc of the Legacy Edition (Disc 3 essentially) lets the side down terribly - unremarkable live versions and dismissible demos. But as with the "When The World Knows Your Name" reissue (their 2nd LP from 1989 that saw them go to Number 1 in the UK - see separate review) - 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.

There's a newspaper clipping on Page 17 of the booklet that reviews a dual concert in Aldwych King's College shared by THE BIBLE and DEACON BLUE (just reviewed The Bible's fab "Eureka" from 1988). Now there's a gig I would have sold my 'dinghy' and my 'dignity' for...

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 [see REVIEW]
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 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Nov 2012 13:12:02 GMT
Spot on re the "So" re-release. There's aheap of B-Sides, Remixes etc that could have been included. The additional CDs of Athens concert is less interesting than what could have been. Surprising given that Gabriel is so precious about what goes out and gets released.

Posted on 21 Nov 2012 17:23:45 GMT
Eric Generic says:
One day, when I can afford it, I will get all these Deacom Blue reissues. They appear to be done in exactly the right way, with a completism and attention to detail (and quality control!) which sadly is lacking in so many recent "deluxe" editions.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Dec 2012 11:23:52 GMT
LPpsb says:
Believe me, they are all fantastic reissues, sonically, presentationally (is that a word?) and stylistically. Magnificent effort all round. Are you listening, Rolling Stones?

Posted on 9 May 2013 11:44:54 BDT
Jiminy says:
I was at the Aldwych King's College gig Mark.
Now that was a night; a gig just eclipsed by another double header: Tom Petty/Nils Lofgren around the same time...

In reply to an earlier post on 9 May 2013 22:19:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 May 2013 22:22:43 BDT
Mark Barry says:
Tom Petty AND Nils Lofgren on the same bill - yummy!
I was listening recently to the "Live Anthology" 4CD Mini Box Set by Petty - so damn good - and brilliantly sequenced.
Best live double I ever saw was The Specials supporting Dr. Feelgood in Dublin - holy shit - what a gig!
I also saw Shawn Colvin support The Blue Nile on the "Hats" tour at the Dominion (as it was then called) - which was very special.

With regard to these DB reissues - all previous comments are right - these really are exemplary in their sound, presentation and (for what you're getting) - price.
Edsel have landed that WEA catalogue and have been doing great guns with The Doobie Brothers, Greenslade, Hall & Oates, Little Feat, Foghat - the only disappointment to me was the Todd Rundgren re-issues - I'd swear they're exactly the same as the Rhino 90's remasters which were (I thought) very dull.

But what I really want is the obvious stuff - Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Rickie Lee Jones, George Benson, Little Feat, Fleetwood Mac (Then Play On, Kiln House), Ry Cooder - where are the remasters for these huge artists?? In Japan it appears - and expensive too.

I'll have to settle for that "Carry On" Stephen Stills box to cheer me up.

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Mark Barry "Mark Barry"

Location: London

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