Into Battle With The Art Of Noise Collector's Edition, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
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This is where it all started. The first ZTT release. The first item in the Incidental Series. The first Art of Noise release. Into Battle sprang from progressive rock (the group had all been working together on the Yes album 90125), but it wasn t prog. It came from the team that made pop hit singles, but it wasn t pop. It went to number one in the US dance charts, but was it really dance music? It was actually an anomaly in the timeline of music; so abrupt and unexpected (but also so listenable) that, more than 25 years later, this 25-minute EP is remastered, expanded and reissued once more. The making of Into Battle is about a band dynamic developing at the same time as their first music. It s about how they decided not to be a band at all. It s about eschewing instruments in favour of samples. And about how the limits of the available technology shaped the music they made. But what happened next? The received wisdom is that Art of Noise then released their debut album (Who s Afraid?) and took over the world. But there was one stepping stone between these two great records that has been locked away in the vaults for more than 25 years: an album called Worship. Worship was the first attempt at turning six months worth of musical experimentation into an album. Like Into Battle, it takes more of a cut-up, collaged approach. With Worship, Art of Noise was set to dive deeper underground, experimenting freely. But then something unexpected happened. This subversive group of audio terrorists had a hit record. A hit record that would take them from behind the locked doors of their studio to the Top of the Pops studio, around the world, and make them a sonic reference point for a generation - such that when The Prodigy needed a hit record of their own, over a decade later, they built the Firestarter rhythm around this Art of Noise hit, Close (to the Edit) . With the curve-ball that was Close , Worship was stripped down, re-edited and compacted into something new and rather more straightforward for mainstream audiences. It became Who s Afraid of the Art of Noise? and the original Worship master tapes were locked away in a vault marked Do not open until Into Battle s 100th Anniversary (2083)/Into Battle deluxe reissue/Art of Noise induction into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/ZTT Tate Modern installation/ whichever comes first . For the members (Anne Dudley/Trevor Horn/ JJ Jeczalik/ Gary Langan/ Paul Morley), the battle never ends. It s never really left the consciousness of those that recorded it, or those that heard it when it came out. It s been referenced ever since and, while it wasn t prog, pop or dance, it was and remains the trigger-point for new directions in all these genres. One of the most influential EPs of the last 30 years considerably expanded. Direct from the mysterious Art of Noise archive: 18 previously unreleased and uncannily prescient tracks from never-before-heard Worship album (1984). Includes the hit singles Beat Box, Moments In Love and Close (to the Edit). Digitally remastered from the original master tapes for superb sound quality. Deluxe digipack comes with superbly designed, full colour 12-page booklet containing extensive notes by compiler/curator Ian Peel.
Top customer reviews
It sounds like a good remaster; clearer, punchier and brighter. However, like the version included in AWHYDWMBG - this has the cassette version of Moments in Love... It's a nice edit from the full version included on the original vinyl release (and the following album Who's Afraid of...), however it is marred by tape slip distortion in a number of places (particularly in the opening bars). It would have been nice to have the full version included in the expanded section of the disc.
Anther slight niggle is the transition between `Flesh in Armour' and `Comes And Goes' - on the original release (and the version included in Daft) there is no gap, here there is delay added to the last orchestral stab of `Flesh in Armour', followed by around 2 seconds of silence, then in comes `Comes and Goes'. It actually works quite well, but not true to the original release, which is a shame as that is the record that I grew up with.
The last niggle is that most of the expanded section is either renamed or lifted from sections of AWHYDWMBG, and the rest is from Who's Afraid of... and also what sounds like the 7" edit of Close (To The Edit).
I give this release a full 5 stars because of the innovation of the original material, however it seems to me that this is a slightly missed opportunity to celebrate an absolute classic, an opportunity that was used instead to cash in on all the AON fans out there. All that said, it's nice to have this masterpiece remastered. If ZTT remaster Who's Afraid of... in the near future I wouldn't think twice about ordering it, but I wouldn't bother expecting much from any expanded sections.
This 2011 album edition includes the aforementioned cassette version with Worship, the original unreleased debut album, that would later get re-worked and be released as (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise! (ZTT IQ2).
Into Battle... acts as episode one in an Art of Noise rebooted series of albums, but also as a prequel to what has gone before, along with being an alternative version of the 1986 CD compilation "Daft" (ZCIQ 2) and condensed version of the 2006 box set And What Have You Done With My Body, God? (ZTT201CD).
As a fan I never really felt that "Daft" worked as the tracks taken from Into Battle... didn't really fit that well together with the material taken from (Who's Afraid Of?)... as the latter was a more structured body of work. This CD hits the mark with all of the tracks blending in perfectly together, giving the listener a chance to hear what Art of Noise may have sounded like if they hadn't have restructed the material for their released debut long player.
After 27 years, fans can now get to listen to the original version of what many call the definitive Art of Noise album!
'Beatbox' has been imitated/sampled/alluded to many times, 'Close (to the Edit)' was a quirky hit single, all noise and bluster, with a definite middle, the long, slow, captivating 'Moments In Love' will simply leave you, well, in awe of the (faceless) musical genius of d'Art.
Experi/mental dance grooves, ethereal beeps and sounds you recognise because they are musical currency now, just remember where it all began: T Horn, A Dudley, JJ Jeczalik, P Morley, Gary Langan:ART OF NOISE!
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