Over the weekend I picked up the deluxe reissue of The Teardrop Explodes' magnificent Kilimanjaro, their 1980 debut album. I already own a copy of this, but for various reasons I felt compelled to have it. For a start, it's got the better, not entirely terrible cover, and with two additional CDs worth of bonus material, and a nice booklet, it covers pretty much all you need to know about the early phase of the Teardrops' brief but glorious career. Really, this is one of the truly great rock albums, and I really ought to know as I've been listening to it for long enough. Not only is there not a weak track, there isn't a single track that isn't full-on genius. From start to finish it's just bug-eyed brilliance all the way through, and there's nothing remotely awkward or dated about the production. What an absolutely fantastic time it was, the cusp of the eighties, as punk shaded into post-punk. All doors were open and anything seemed possible, and vaultingly ambitious albums like this seemed to pop out at about one a month.
The only minor grumble, as far as I'm concerned, is the entirely justifiable omission of "Reward" from the reissue CD (although it's on one of the bonus sides included in the pack). "Reward" was not on the album when originally released, so it's "authentic" in that regard - even though it should therefore have the crappy cover, rather than the zebras one. But since I've only ever had a copy of the later 1981 release, having "Second Head" followed by "Poppies", rather than going straight into "Reward" ... it's just wrong, man. The seamless transition from "Second Head" to "Reward" is one of the most exciting moments in pop, and it's not here.
Never mind, I suppose - I still have the old album.
I love The Teardrop Explodes, and must get this reissue ASAP. It will find a position reserved for it on my New Wave classics shelf along with Beggars Banquet's incredible remastered reissues of Gary Numan's first six albums.ReplyDelete
Ah so this is who sang 'Reward'!ReplyDelete
Your website is nice but a bit out of date. Your latest book House of SunsReplyDelete
I'll let Julian know, I often see him down the supermarket.ReplyDelete
We are on a panel together (Far, far future, where Fantasy meets SF) at Aussiecon 4, and I'm hoping we can exchange a few ideas in advance so we can give a better show. My email address is email@example.com.
Sorry to post here, but I couldn't get contact info through Aussiecon.
I'll drop you a line. I'm about to start traveling, so won't be reading email regularly for a few days.
Bascule: ha! I went to university with someone who knew JC (slightly).
My mum used to run a museum in Avebury so when he was writing his first neolithic book he was regularly in there, he also lived next door to my mate. Some years back he bought me cream tea in Avebury where he now lives. He's nutty as hell but incredibly nice.ReplyDelete
Is this the album that has "When I Dream?" LOVE that song! I'll have to check out the rest of their stuff.ReplyDelete
"When I dream" is the last track on Kilimanjaro. If you like that, I doubt that you'd be disappointed with the rest of the album.ReplyDelete
Love this record. I know what you mean about Reward. I just wrote a feature on the origins of The Teardrop Explodes band name if you'd like to take a look - http://thequietus.com/articles/09596-the-teardrop-explodes . I got to talk to everyone involved (except Cope, unfortunately), even Gerry Conway, who wrote the Daredevil issue they found the name in.ReplyDelete