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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 October 2008
i can't believe all the fuss there is over this one.it isn't all that different to the previous 2 albums-melodic pop with an edge,as for jaz saying about singing in tune he sang in tune on nightime and even more in tune on btats!!!!apart from the song "america"which is way too commercial for me all the rest are cracking tunes with excellent rythyms and not as poppy as people will tell you-it's just good music.it wouldn't do if all their albums were the same anyway.i can listen to any of their albums and see it for what it is-stop labelling bands!
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on 4 February 2008
There has always been much argument amongst KJ fans as to whether this should have been a KJ album at all or a Jaz/Geordie side-project. I couldn't care less really. I just think it's a great album, though I don't think it's ever really been received that well. I've been a Killing Joke fan since 1981 and I don't think they've ever done anything as moving or beautiful as some of the songs on Outside The Gate (except for Exile and Goodbye To The Village from BTATS). My Love Of This Land, Tiahuanaco and the title track Outside The Gate (now there's a powerful song) complete with it's plaintive piano/acoustic guitar outro, are just sublime. This re-mastered release doesn't really add much to the original release except for the previously unreleased Mayday which has gone down as one of my favourite KJ tracks. The one downpoint to this release is that it doesn't have Stay One Jump Ahead: Extended Mix on it. It's a shame that this album caused KJ to split and cause so much bitterness. But KJ wouldn't be KJ without such tensions. Ignore at your peril!
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on 7 February 2008
A very strange album, and not immediatley accesible, but after several listens I've decided I do like this album. It's aged very well, it's quite atmospheric and sticks in your head for quite a long time afterwards. The only song I'm not keen on is The Calling which is a bizarre rant of a song with little melody to it. Not in the same league as Night Time or Brighter Than 1000 Suns, but a very inventive album and hugely underrated.
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on 6 May 2008
There is much dislike for this album. Joke fans will know that it was meant to be either a Jaz Coleman solo album or Coleman/Walker album but the record company insisted on it being released as Killing Joke due to the high production costs. However, Killing Joke lovers should not disregard this CD as it fills an important dvelopment gap between Brighter Than A Thousand Suns and Extremities.

Brighter is for me Joke's worst album - dull eighties twaddle with songs that are hard to distinguish between (although the new CD with the proper mixes on it is superior to the previous release.) All of the eight original Gate tracks are different in style to each other and very interesting to experience.

"America" kicks off the album and Coleman's left wing sympathies shine through in this critique of US values and attitudes. "I can survive the rat race honey" he declares in a repeated verse and the song finishes on "Showbiz and Hollywood still shouted out - America." Such a song points towards Age of Greed on Extremities in which Joke take this anger to the logical conclusion. There was little on Brighter Than A 1000 Suns that signposted any such intentions.

"My Love of This Land" is a beautiful song of nostalgia for the England of youth; "Memories of gentlemen and cricket fade away in the hot summer" evokes in the mind times gone by when, as children, we had beliefs in our nation that have been since soured by world politics and cynicism.

Yes, "Stay one jump ahead" has rap (and yes it is Wham style rap rather than Tupac) but this lasts for about 20 seconds and in terms of the album flies by. Attacks on paying for healthcare and the encouragement to own property are dealt with in a way that makes up for any shortcomings in the track elsewhere.

The other two stand out tracks are Obsession and the title track Outside the Gate. The former is an upbeat almost dance style track that itches in the memory and has much replay value. Outside the Gate is now one of my favourite Killing Joke tracks, period. Working on several levels and open to the interpretation of the listener, I find it works best as a song trying to encourage the holistic view rather than our narrow insular way of keeping ourselves to ourselves.

As with the other reissues there are remixes and unreleased material rounding the CD to 70+ minutes.

Overall, yes, the guitars are a minor element of the album and the keyboards are brought to the forefront. There is some great bass work from the late, much missed Paul Raven, especially on My Love of This Land. However the lyrics are open to what you bring to them which is how all the best music should be.

If you love Killing Joke and have avoided this CD because of the negative comments think again - it's cheap enough to take a risk on and you may well find yourself pleasently surprised like I was.
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on 3 October 2015
'Outside The Gate' (1988) is really a Jaz Coleman solo album, featuring Geordie on (rather muted) guitar. It has a big 80's drum sound, washes of synthesisers, and Jaz Coleman singing in an uncharacteristic, hammy, theatrical voice, and even 'singing in tune' as Jaz states in the sleeve-notes. Up to the time of this 2007 release, none of the songs have ever been performed live by Killing Joke. No songs were chosen for the 1992 compilation 'Laugh? I Nearly Bought One' either.

To my ears, this is not a very likeable record. Out of the original 8 tracks, the best song is 'My Love Of This Land', followed by 'Obsession' & 'Unto The Ends Of The Earth'. There are alternative versions of each one included in the bonus tracks, but the 6 minute instrumental (backing track?) of the latter seems like a pointless inclusion. The title track is nearly 9 minutes long, and is quite tedious. 'Stay One Jump Ahead' even features a rap section. This song is repeated as a 'Dub' version. If the latter song and 'America' were singles, they were not hits; nor were they likely to be. 'America' also appears in extended form.

The bonus tracks come as a welcome relief, initially at least. The unreleased 'May Day' is a decent enough short track, followed by the alternative versions mentioned above. The B side 'Jihad' is an instrumental which lives up to it's Middle Eastern title, but is unremarkable.

At least this CD has good sound quality, with 7 extra tracks, for those of us who are curious about the album.
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on 10 April 2008
Yeh, why not?! A complete contrast to the early 80s output, but still satisfying. The bonus tracks make this release even more worthwhile. Think of this album as quite progressive, and very dissonant in places (outside the gate springs to mind).
Think of the release as something more like a Jaz/Geordie side-project and you will not be dissapointed. In some ways, this release is quite similar to BTATS, so, if you liked that, why not try this?!
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on 16 May 2008
My favourite KJ era is the 80s. Night Time, Brighter Than 1000 Suns and Outside The Gate have the right balance of melody, clever arrangements and underlying KJ earthiness. Other releases (later and earlier) are a little one-dimensional by comparison.

But it seems Outside The Gate has been classed as the black sheep right from the day of release. I don't get it.

The album may not be immediately accessible due to it's complex layers and arrangements but that is it's lasting beauty. It's always been one of my favourite albums and 20 years later it still holds up. There are some truly divine musical moments on here.

At the time Jaz wanted to get away from the straight-forward 4/4 song structure and this album is pretty adventurous in places in that regard. It's a pretty intense journey, but unlike typical Killing Joke it's intensity is in the interesting arrangements themselves rather than being musically relentless.

I can see why some Joke fans don't like it. On the surface it is off the beaten path a little. It's quite keyboard heavy (which I like) and the bass hits some pretty low notes in places. But it's a hidden gem. It really is. If you like your music direct and simple then bypass this one. If you are willing to explore something deeper then it might just be for you. There is nothing really like Outside The Gate. Wonderful.
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on 27 August 2016
Some reviewers put me off getting this album for ages... Why did I pay attention?!!!!!! This album is superb. Obviously it's not The Wait, and it is very different to other albums. But aren't KJ a diamond? And isn't a diamond multifaceted? Yes to both, hence this album. What i love in an album is music to grit the teeth to and rock out to, but also I need that track or two I'd be happy to die to... Beautiful chords, melancholy... This album lacks the former but has the latter. Brilliant. Buy it!
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on 6 October 2013
Excellent and thoughtful lyrics, plus a host of extra material on this re-release make this a worthy addition. Ahead of its time.
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on 22 September 2013
Tiahuanaco gives the album 5 stars alone. My love of this land another fine tune. Admittedly far too poppy album overall.
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