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The best debut album of the eighties
on 11 October 2014
This album evokes so many memories of school back in the eighties that it has become my album of choice whenever I get the need to satisfy the strange nostalgia fix that I get once in a while. I remember the day that I bought "The Hurting" on vinyl which featured the same white cover as the cd does, and the much used cliche that the smell of the vinyl and brand new album cover was irresistible applies. I can still remember exactly the place (Andy 's Records, Ipswich), weather (overcast), day (Saturday), the fact that it was early in the afternoon, and also that like every other record that I bought, I was paranoid about not creasing the cover and treated the purchase like it was gold. But enough of all that.
For me, this was the best debut album by any band in the 1980's and after all these years it still sounds fresh and unique. The singles from the album "Mad World, Pale Shelter" and "Change" bring back so many memories to me and though I may be biased, they have stood up extremely well over thirty years later. In fact, I remember that the only track I struggled with as a teenager on the album was "The Prisoner", a track that wasn't as easy on the ear as the others - though I never skipped it. I always thought that in particular "Memories Fade" and "Watch Me Bleed" would have made hugely successful singles given the chance.
The tracks on the cd sound fantastic and although I am usually opposed to tampering with original releases, the bonus tracks here are excellent and help round off a brilliant package. A twelve page liner includes three pages of musings from Curt and Roland regarding the songs on the cd. Lyrics from the songs on the original album have been produced in the original typeface that was on the vinyl that I bought over thirty years ago. The lyrics by the way are remarkably mature considering that this was a debut album.
I recommend "The Hurting", my album of choice for nostalgia, to everyone.