Monday, September 20, 2004

Here we go... I'd like to thank the Mystical Beast for giving me this space.

Here's a Virgin Prunes link. They were one of my favorite bands on the Rough Trade label back in it's late-70's/early 80's heyday. Today and the next two days will focus on "lost" tracks from these artists, hopefully in a Mystical Beast kinda way.

These Virgin Prunes records are hard to find. Straight outta Dublin in 1980, including The Edge's brother but headed in a very different direction. The first 7" EP, released on their own Baby label, was (like the 1st Essential Logic 45) distributed by Rough Trade but not actually on the label. Starting with the next 45, "Moments And Mine", they moved to the actual RT label. These first two singles were reissued on a CD called Artfuck, which was in print for about five seconds a while back.

But then, oh then, came the key statement. Throughout 1981 they released a series of records under the name of "A New Form Of Beauty", loosely conceptual and visually related. First, Part One - a 7" 45, "Sandpaper Lullabye"/"Sleep Fantasy Dreams". Many consider this their best, it's sure up there. Then Part Two - a 10" EP with the furious "Come To Daddy" on the whole first side. Part Three was a 12" EP, again with a long psycho-tribal death march on the A-side and three dreamier numbers to back it up, including my favorite "No Birds To Fly".

Part Four was a cassette, essentially a whole LP's worth, one side a crazed studio collage, the other a live gallery performance. The Italian Base label then put out a stunning double LP of the whole series, with more complete artwork. I don't have space to post from that, but while researching some of this I discovered that a massive 5-CD reissue series is coming out on Mute next week. Whoa, cosmic. However, as you can see on this thread, the artwork is different which is a real bummer. I have no scanner and therefore am visually challenged, my apologies dear reader.

The band had an extensive history after this, recording a double 10" in '82, the more well-known If I Die, I Die in '83, and an excellent collection of comp tracks and outtakes called Over The Rainbow. The final 1986 LP, after losing one key member, came out on Touch & Go in the US (The Moon Looked Down And Laughed). Weird. The scattered label output (New Rose, Baby, T&G, RT) has insured the near-unavailability of most of this stuff for years. I'm glad Mute is changing that.

Oh yeah, I'm Sleeve, a DJ and record geek from Oregon. Here's my web page. Tuesday we'll have "lost tracks" from This Heat, another great RT band!

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