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on 14 September 2009
After the massive disappointment of the 2006 Jehovah Kill remastering (a sonic disaster)you might have thought that island might have ensured they got this one right? Right? WRONG! UNBELIEVABLY SO VERY WRONG!
On first listening to disc one at least, the remastering seems to have avoided the distortion problems of the Jehovah Kill remastering which made the latter probably the worst remaster i had ever heard. Sonically, the Peggy Suicide reissue is ok:certainly brighter and crisper than the original, a tad more detail retrieval, but losing some natural warmth and depth compared to the original; a common trait in remastered discs. I guess this is just a matter of personal taste.

So my main problem with the new deluxe edition? The track inclusions, or rather the lack of...Where is 'uptight', the track which was on the original vinyl release of the album, but missing on the original cd due to time limitations of the cd format. All pre-release track listings for Peggy Suicide deluxe edition have included 'uptight' as track 15 on disc one. Never having owned the vinyl copy of this album i was so happy to be finally getting my hands on this long lost Cope track. So imagine my frustration and sense of betrayal when i arrived home from work today to find my amazon delivery waiting for me...only to look at the track listing and guessed it, no 'uptight'!!! AAAARRGHHH!!!! What is the problem with these idiots at island records? Are they so incompetent that they are prepared to misinform all musical retailers/publicists of an incorrect track listing? There are even discrepencies on the track listing for disc two: my cd has eleven tracks on it, amazon listed 13, hmv 15!!! What is going on?!!! Its an utter joke, and truelly unprofessional and shoddy in the extreme. On further inspection, checking out the amazon downloads, there is indeed no 'uptight' available to download and only eleven tracks as per my 2nd disc to download. But why the discepencies? I feel like a victim of false advertising! But more importantly, why has island wasted the obvious oppurtunity to finally put out on cd the complete Peggy Suicide album, ie, inclusive of 'Uptight'? If a deluxe edition is incapable of putting such a historical anomaly to rights, then really, what the hell is the point in the whole process anyway?

To say i am cheesed off with this is an understatement. My review still has to concede 3 stars simply on the strength of the music, as this is one of my favourite albums of all time, but really, what a total anticlimax! Shame on you, yet again, island records.
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on 23 September 2009
I have to agree with Mr. Top Cat; what a bodge job this is. No 'Uptight', no 'Port of Saints', no 'Bagged-Out Ken' and no Hiphoprisy versions of 'Soldier Blue', tchah! .... Island could have left off some of the remixes which have been available for years on the 'Dancing Heads' e.p.. Even the booklet in my copy is cocked up with two pages being printed twice... A five star album given a three star reissue.
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on 4 October 2014
Compared to the original release, the remastered sound on the Deluxe Version is "PRISTEEN!" If a remastered CD is done well, it is like "lifting a veil" to reveal all of the music in its full glory, much like a good audio system will do (versus an average or poor system).
The sound is so good, it gives you that visceral feeling normally experienced at a live music event. So, buy this CD for the sound, not the bonus disc, which was awful (but I could care less about that.)
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 31 March 2002
'Peggy Suicide' is a great double-album and one of Cope's finest efforts- as good & different as 'Wilder', 'World Shut Your Mouth', 'Fried' & 'Jehovahkill'...The autobiog 'Repossessed' sketches out the period leading to this- away from London & towards concentric circles in Wiltshire. The Millennium effectively occurred in 1989/1990- the world was changing for the better and then the worse: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the imposition of the Poll Tax, the end of the Cold War, the start of both Balkans & Gulf War. But for a second there- we could have had utopia- Ronald McDonald at the Berlin Wall predicted it all. This album is as vital as it was in 1991.
Phase One begins with 'Pristeeen'- a definite precursor of Spiritualized's blues-spacerock (Spacemen 3 had done zilch like this)- this builds up. Memories of the overproduced 'My Nation Underground' are erased. 'Double Vegetation' is a midpaced guitar overload- Michael Mooney is great here (pity he would have to work on Mac's excerable 2nd solo LP next!). The lyrics concerning fear of Islam might be more relevant today than ever. 'East Easy Rider' is a dumb semi-baggy rocker, dedicated to Sex God Andy Eastwood & the contradiction of the freedom of driving a petrol guzzling mobile & the encroaching pollution. 'Promised Land' is kind of an early 90's 'Desolation Row' or (apologies) the lyrical-reportage that Springsteen did on 'The Ghost of Tom Joad'- taking a long cold look at the country around him.The phase concludes on 'Hanging Out & Hung Up On The Line'- a Stooges thrash as good as 'Spacehopper'- note Copey was doing the Stooges influenced thing 10 years before The Hives!..Phase Two is short & guitar based- opening with 'Safesurfer' (an excerpt was on 'Droolian')- a Dave Gilmour guitar exploration- leading to a lyric decrying those ignorant of AIDS/HIV- which is on the rise in heterosexual males. It is also one of Copey's finest songs. 'If You Loved Me At All' has that Funkadelic/Parliament/Sly inspired funk thang going on (see the 'Peel Session' on 'Floored Genius 2' to see it in full effect!)- it is a wonderful building song:"you don't love me at all!", Copey intones. 'Drive,She Said' tackles a similar theme to 'East Easy Rider'- with a knowing allusion to Pere Ubu's 'Final Solution'...Phase Three opens with the funky 'Soldier Blue'- close to Barry Adamson's soundtrack work & taking issue with those who used the Poll Tax Riots as an excuse to knock off a stereo- ironic as that materialist item was/is the kind of thing Thatcher et al sold the people with their 'free market': "there is no such thing as society". 'You...' is a very old pre-Crucial Three song- this version has an overproduced sound- kind of ironic 'Rope& Colt'-Scott Walker. 'Not Raving,But Drowning' reapplies Stevie Smith's most famous poem to a drowning raver- and has a nice slow sinister funk. 'Head (On)' is where The Charlatans got their sound for a few years- apparently it's not about sex!. 'Leperskin' is a funk/rock out- taking issue with Thatcheration- but not in a sell-out Ben Elton way. The final phase opens with the top pop single 'Beautiful Love'- as divine as 'An Elegant Chaos', 'Sunspots' or 'Quizmaster'. It's a campfire love song- with Happy Mondays-keyboards & great trumpet. 'Western Front 1992 CE' captures female singers to the sounds of protest- the early 90's were the biggest time of social protest since the late 60's. As Naomi Klein suggests in 'No Logo'- the focus on PC and new conceptions of life took the collective eye off the ball & allowed for the rule of big business. 'Hung Up & Hanging Out to Dry' is a funk-inspired instrumental- with some Beefheart bluesy-guitar & waves of washing keyboard. This gives way to 'The American Lite'- a divine ode to Dorian- which sounds like it has been picked up from the same session as 'I Have Always Been Here Before' (from 'Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye'). So it sounds more like the Elevators than The Boss!. The album ends on the moribund 'Las Vegas Basement'- which gives the template for Radiohead's 'The Bends' album. This is as great as anything off the first two ultra-classic solo albums- the memory of Copey's blatant commercial period are erased (though 'I'm Not Losing Sleep', 'Disaster' & 'Charlatan' are great!). This album is as good as any released around the same time- 'Screamadelica', 'Out of Time', 'Nevermind'- it's eclectic and it's individual. And as 'The Modern Antiquarian' proves, the Stone-thing was not a front. And the crowning achievment?- a reference in 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' to 'Beautiful Love'!. Finally, at this price this is screaming good value and an excuse to discover the joys of an artist unfairly maligned by the tedious music press.
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on 5 November 2015
The 90s are a strange one for me in retrospect. At the time it seemed a lot of exciting stuff was going on in the UK but much of it now (especially the "Britpop/rock" stuff with the exception of Blur and Pulp) sounds safe, uninspired and lacking in any sort of ambition.

In my opinion, this and its' follow up, Jehovahkill, tower over pretty much anything else made during this era in terms of depth, scope and variety. It also doesn't sound dated at all, unlike much of the output from that time. Cope had put together an amazing group of musicians who were clearly at one with where he was coming from and what he was aiming for. It's all there from the frenetic rawness of "Hanging out and Hung up", the weirdness of "hung up and hanging out", the spooky balladry of "Las Vegas Basement" to the epic space rock of "safesurfer". Oh and when he feels like it he can still turn out perfect pop in the form of "beautiful love". My personal favourite is "Not Raving but Drowning" with its' hypnotic groove but ask me tomorrow and you'll get a different answer.

In terms of the remastered sound, I'm no audiophile, so I can detect little difference from the original. The music, however, remains great and as essential as ever.
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Peggy Suicide is an album of incredible variety and scope, especially the rhythmic textures & the impressive array of guitars. The arrangements are innovative and the music melodious. The opener Pristeen is a tuneful ballad with extraordinary guitar sounds, followed by Double Vegetation, a brooding number with nervous rhythms. The tender Promised Land starts out as a folkie rumination, turning into a rock ballad as the guitars enter for a powerful build-up.

The uptempo rock song Hanging Out & Hung up on the Line is reprised later in the atmospheric Hung up & Hanging out to Dry with its long instrumental introduction. There are two anti-road songs, the funky East Easy Rider and Drive, She Said, a mid-tempo rock ballad with lovely vocal arrangements. Julian sure didn't like the road. Safesurfer opens with tormented guitars and in its tempo shifts display lovely mini-moog & piano.

The percussive If You Loved Me At All is a catchy track with symphonic keyboards, massed acoustic guitars later joined by electric ones, and considerably less gravitas than the others. There are two songs that explore overt psychological themes, the jittery track You with its unusual baritone sax and the appealingly melodic Head, whilst the buoyant Beautiful Love is spiritual & uplifting with its joyful trumpet. The American Lite, a stirring love song, and Las Vegas Basement are tender ballads with beautiful melodies.
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on 12 June 2007
This is a bosting CD (excuse my lapse into local vernacular). Wierd and off the wall stuff - Safe Surfer, Pristine, Los Vegas Basement, Double Vegetation are all Cope classics, with that gentle sense of threat and disgust. There are no duff tracks here. The guitar work is squeezed and treated and distorted (although strangely sensitive at times)to make an exquisite counter point to the Arch Drudes offset lyrics. It makes it all different and outside the box - just what you need to counter the breadhead world. Roky must be proud of his disciple's continuation of hiws work. Truly counter culture music.
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on 12 November 1999
I first listened to this album around '95, and was immediately sucked into its deliciously deep and meaningful abyss of truly awe-inspiring tracks. At that point i didn't even know who Cope was. Now i'm a true convert to Drudism. If you reckon your any sort of authority on music, then this album will be there in your top 5. Just buy it and discover a new concept in music, this really kicks .........
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on 1 December 2009
Peggy Suicide was the album that got me listening to guitar-based rock again after I'd spent much of the previous three or four years listening largely to dance music, rap, and the remnants of 1980s keyboard-based pop music. It has remained one of my favorite albums over the years.

I was excited to learn that Universal were to reissue the album as a Deluxe Edition, particularly since they seem to take a bit more care with the mastering and packaging than record companies do with the typical CD these days.

However, the track listings on the various web sites (including this one) offering this disc have invariably been wrong, even though scans of front and back covers have usually been available. For starters, "Uptight" (which is referenced in the credits in the booklet accompanying the original CD, but was left off, presumably due to lack of space) is NOT included. This clearly indicates inaccurate pre-release information coming from the label.

Then, disc 2 contains just 11 tracks, not the 13 to 15 tracks typically indicated. The 11 tracks are:
* Easty Risin' (East Easy Rider remix)
* Ravebury Stones
* Love L.U.V. Remix (Beautiful Love remix)
* Dragonfly
* Heed: Of Penetration and the City-Dweller (Head remix)
* Bring Cherhill Down (Vocal)
* Safesurfer ('91 Tour 7" version)
* If You Loved Me At All ('91 Tour 7" version)
* Butterfly E
* Straw Dogs
* Anyway At All

A further disappointment is the previously mentioned mis-printing of the booklet, in which the page containing the liner notes for "Soldier Blue" "You", and "Not Raving But Drowning" is inadvertently replaced by the page containing the liner notes for "Hung Up & Hanging Out To Dry", "The American Lite", and "Las Vegas Basement" - which appears twice in the booklet as a result. Additionally, the album credits that appeared in the original CD booklet are nowhere to be found. I can't help but think that if the notes about the disc 2 tracks had not been placed in the middle of the booklet as a "4 page pull-out guide", the botched printing job would have been less likely to occur. (One would hope that they'd correct this by the time the Deluxe Edition is released in the US this coming February...)

On the bright side, my initial listen suggests that the remastering was properly done, with mastering engineer Andy Pearce wisely avoiding any temptation to heavily compress the audio signals in the name of loudness. The difference in volume levels between this reissue and the original appears to be minimal; what has changed is that the Deluxe Edition seems to gain a little bit of clarity.

Overall, I don't regret purchasing this edition. Ultimately, it is the music that is important, after all. But I'm not getting rid of my copy of the original CD, either.
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on 30 December 2014
Make sure you buy the 1991 original version of this wonderful album. A masterpiece does not need to be remastered. Julian Cope's first release ' World shut your Mouth' was pop heaven. This one is more than pop , It is a musical experience . Julian Cope is not scared to release sub-standard albums. Be assured that this one makes up for every wrong move he has ever made.
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