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4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£73.53+ £1.26 shipping

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 October 2007
There's a lot to like about this expanded version of John Foxx's seminal album 'Metamatic'. Not only does this collection collate a lot of material from b sides/flexidiscs and double singles, it also includes 5 tracks not previously available. Of these five tracks, an early version of his later single 'Like A Miracle' will be of special interest to fans. The early version of the song sounds very much of the 'Underpass period' and is a total departure from the version latterly released as a single. Another previously unreleased song that's excellent is 'To Be With You'. It's not very often that the word 'love' gets a mention on a John Foxx record but it does here! While the song is by no means poppy, the structure and chorus of the song suggest that Foxx was at one time thinking about going down a more commercial route before deciding otherwise. This double cd also allows us a fascinating glimpse into the creative mind of Foxx as some of the previously unreleased tracks were re-assembled from 'fragments originally recorded on cassette'. As such, they are a little more rough around the edges and without John's usual double tracked vocal delivery which makes for interesting listening. If I have one criticism, it is that the cd booklet lacks much in the way of information. True, we do get all the lyrics and a few contemporary pics of John but for an expanded edition not to include say an interview or perhaps some info on the original recording sessions etc is a bit disappointing. Apart from this however established fans will be well chuffed with this. Worth a purchase.
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on 25 March 2015
I liked very much the fact that when Ultravox not only had lost their exclamation mark, but even lost their main man, then that guy did move on to equally great things. This disc is his first - and possibly best - outing when alone, and it is clear that he still resides in that bleak environment that created Ultravox's greatest moments. Why did he not hook up with Gary Numan around this time - it would have been fabulous!
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on 24 August 2012
I came looking for comments about the remaster on this one, and that's the only issue I'll address. This album is nearly 30 years old, the fact that we're all here means we like it!

I had the last release of this, which had the bonus tracks and album on a single disc. It was good, but the album tracks suffered a fair amount of tape hiss. I just wanted readers to know that this copy (2 discs) is MUCH improved. No tape hiss, and there are details I'd certainly not heard before (such as Foxx whistling). And no loudness wars.

This is a great release.
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on 18 October 2016
I had this vinyl record way back in 1980 and have to be honest, I never fully appreciated it then. This time around and still on vinyl, this album of music is stunning. This is just so modern and futurist even now, thirty six years later. Lots of analogue drum machine and analogue synths. Gorgeous.
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on 5 January 2011
raw , edgy , haunting , thought provoking .. cannot rate this 2 disc set highly enough .. pure electronic music at its very best .. don't think anyone is doing this sound today , truly insperational .. if you thought underpass was foxx's best , think again .. excellent use of sound ; powerfull , majestic , awe inspiring .. why was this not pushed on its original release .. i wish i could turn back time and buy the vinyl album .. i never heard of it until i checked amazons music list .. get it before cd dies like vinyl. electronic music lovers will play this until their ears give up !
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on 23 May 2008
I bought the album in the early 80's cos' I liked the cover, it turned out to be one of my all time favourites. However, what seemed to be deep and meaningful lyrics at the time (although I didn't understand them) now sound like deep and meaningless!! That does not however detract from the wonderful electronic music and the obvious talent of John Foxx. I love the lyrics - "I remember you from some shattered windscreen", "Tidal wave goes by my window". Excellent stuff - enjoyable and well worth anyone's money. Great memories and still great sounds.
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on 26 October 2007
Forget Midge Ure and Gary Numan as talented as they were ... Mr Leigh (sorry Foxx) deserves all the plaudits for introducing the U.K.to electronic music, under the influence of Kraftwerk with this groundbreaking piece of work."Plaza","He's A Liquid","Underpass","No One Driving" and my personal favourite "030" form a completely astounding collection that deserves much greater credit."Miles Away" should have been included. Bought this on vinyl in 1982 aged 15-Pure genius.Buy this,open your mind, be prepared for barren,dystopian landscapes (similar to those portrayed in "A Clockwork Orange") and enjoy.
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on 27 April 2013
The original was great but this one is a bit cleaned up and worth the investmwent, to me! Most John Foxx fans would appreciate this release. And thank ghod they put all the extras on a seperate disc.
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2008
The early pioneers of popular electronic music all had a common theme of rambling and evolving soundscapes. It was Kraftwerk who showed with 'Autobahn' that there was potential for short three & a half minute tunes that would be popular & marketable, although even that track was merely an edit of the much longer album track.
It was of course Numan who really launched the catchy & sellable electronic sound that was soon to take over the charts. Others like Ultravox & Human league joined in but they nearly all compromised & became irrelevant.
John Foxx however trod a different path. Numan always returned to his serious side but there were some pretty daft detours along the way,('warriors' anyone?), but Foxx has just refused point blank to either compromise or deviate.
With 'Metamatic' he at first listen appears to have cloned Numans sound perfectly, the opening of both 'Underpass' & 'Burning car' could easily have been Numans work. But listen closer & it becomes apparent that there is a far more intelligent & intangible aura that surrounds the whole album.
The opening track 'plaza' is a great example of this as Foxx sets out his stall straight away with an insistant backing track that burbles away in the background but is so insistant you find it stays with you long after the track has finished. This is aligned with Foxx's distinctive lyrical style that is as close to speaking as to singing but who places you there right with him in a dream like place that is slightly disturbing.
'He's a liquid' is a perfect example of how simplicity is best with a sparse & distinctly discordant theme being used as simply a hanger for the all important lyrics, again more spoken than sung.
'Underpass' is the Foxx track most remembered & here is an improvement upon the single with a longer running time & he keeps things pared to the bone but achieves a huge wall of sound that dominates the whole album... or at least it did until this special edition which contains the simply awesome 'burning car', a fierce & relentless tour de force of dark sweeping synths & a wall of white noise that in little over 3 minutes storms the senses & paints a faultless picture of J.G.Ballards disturbing story, gripping stuff. that it wasn't on the original release was lunacy.
There is so much of interest in this new edition that there simply isn't time to mention it all. Take a look at the other reviews & you'll see how everyone seems to have a different favourite track. One other honourable mention for me is 'Glimmer' which is not only a great instrumental but a huge pointer to the direction Foxx would eventually be headed with the sublime ambient landscapes of 'Translucence' & 'cathedral oceans'.
Throughout his musical career John Foxx has managed to continually move forward, surprise & improve. If he has always somehow managed to produce an other worldly atmosphere to all his work & leave the listener feeling that his back is slightly turned then that is no bad thing & has lead this quietly persistent man to leave his fans cherishing his back catalogue & eagerly awaiting the next journey with him.
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on 7 February 2003
John Foxx was considered hot property when the left Ultravox!, and was snapped up by Virgin and pushed into the studio as soon as they could get him there. This isn't usually a good formula for getting an album out, but he must have had quite a few ideas under his belt that he couldn't produce with Ultravox!
It's very sparse and cold for the most part, but this suits the songs perfectly. 'Underpass' is the standout track here for me, which I remember knocking me senseless at the time of its release. The electronic music of the time had these fat, warm synth sounds that everyone used, but John Foxx seems to have squeezed all life out of them to make them fit the lyrics that are mechanical and dark.
Other stand out tracks are 'No One Driving' and 'Burning Car', although some of the instrumental bonus tracks are pretty good too. This does sound dated now, particularly the drum machine, but it still has the same affect it had 20 years ago!
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