At The Bbc 1103


rovi.MR0000839167 10/14/03 Used
$14.39 $17.99

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    At The Bbc 1103 Strange Fruit

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Review Text Among the few recordings that haven't been reissued and repackaged nearly constantly since Soft Cell's original breakup are the duo's two sessions for BBC Radio -- not for John Peel, as almost seemed to be required for just about any other British group of the time, but for Richard Skinner in 1981 and David "Kid" Jensen in 1983. At the BBC fills this gap along with including two CD-ROM video tracks as a bonus, taken from their appearance on a 1982 edition of The Old Grey Whistle Test, along with appreciative, context-placing liner notes from critic David Stubbs. The Skinner session, at five songs, captures the band right when "Tainted Love" was a few weeks away from going number one -- but perhaps already weary and wary of the song that essentially grew to overshadow the band, Marc Almond and David Ball concentrate on originals from Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret instead. Though the more straightforward one-take production often lacks the sense of space and careful arrangements from Mike Thorne, on the flip side these takes probably capture what a live set would have sounded like, Almond's voice rushed but clear, Ball throwing in unexpected touches and different sounds as the mood seizes him. "Chips on My Shoulder" is a frenetic standout, while the version of "Youth," though far less murky than the album take, is still entrancingly unsettling, Ball's keyboards sounding downright creepy. The three-song Jensen session, in contrast, covers This Last Night in Sodom material, a snapshot of a band soon to call it quits for reasons of mutual sanity. "Soul Inside" is strong but not quite as harrowing as the 12" mix, but "Where Was Your Heart When You Needed It Most?" is excellent. As for the TV performances, featuring Almond in (apparently) full leather and playing up the drama, "Youth" is a strong slow burn while "Sex Dwarf," hyperactive TV lighting aside, is hysterical, evil genius, vocal samples and drop-ins adding even more crazed atmosphere. ~ Ned Raggett

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Bedsitter
  2. 2. Chips on My Shoulder
  3. 3. Seedy Films
  4. 4. Youth
  5. 5. Entertain Me
  6. 6. Soul Inside
  7. 7. Her Imagination
  8. 8. Where Was Your Heart When You Need It Most?
  9. 9. Youth
  10. 10. Sex Dwarf

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