ART & ILLUSION: Singer ANDY SEARS sleevenotes written to accompany the CD release in 2010... Hi, and thanks for listening. After an extensive tour early in '84, my first with the band, we were ready to start working on new material. Everyone wanted to move away from lengthy tracks and change the approach to composition. The musical bus was leaving, and we either got on board - hopefully in one of the front seats - or we stayed behind to stagnate. The emergent ideas of our first writing sessions, subsequently honed into shape by all five in rehearsals, were First New Day, Counterpoint, Kings & Queens, Take A Look, Blue Powder Monkey, and Blonde On Fair (later re-titled Blondon Fair during it's cryptic transmutation, and my favourite Rev solo). Other songs from this chapter, such as Graffiti, Requiem, and Barriers, were eventually dropped as stronger contenders made themselves known. Our aim was a transitional album of 9 to12 tracks, with Take A Look and Blue Powder Monkey as starting points; the former derived from my own ideas, the latter from an idea of Rick's and greatly expanded by Clive, who also composed the instrumental backing for Counterpoint and Kings & Queens. First New Day comprised a verse progression of mine and a chorus progression of Clive's, complementing each other perfectly. Then Hit & Run management came onto the scene, and talk turned to securing a major deal. Our contractual farewell LP for the independent MFN was reduced to an EP, and newer tracks were held back, substituted by the older Art & Illusion and C.R.A.B. 1984 was the eponymous film of the year, and lyrically many were focusing on Tolkienesque fantasy or Orwellian dystopia. Despite my diminutive stature I considered myself neither elfin nor paranoid, preferring to target real issues, in common with TN philosophy. We were surrounded by corruption, hypocrisy, destitution, disillusionment, and massive world unemployment; all contemporary facts of life in the mid 1980's under the Thatcher government. Britain's manufacturing concerns were being sold off, public utilities privatised, and 'Quick cash' service industries spread like a cancer. It was dog-eat-dog. Paper and nickel ruled, and if you didn't have it, you didn't play. Information technology was spilling out into the consumer market, and the future was automation and robotics. Under tremendously heavy tax increases, it felt like feudal England had returned. The world was their stage, and we were merely spear-carriers. History repeating itself: ad nauseam. High unemployment renewed racial tension and old prejudices were reasserted. Once again, the Holocaust-Never-Happened theory was aired. 1960's experiments on obedience to authority had already shown that any one of us could have been wearing that swastika and closing those infernal doors. Blondon is the epitome of hatred and fascism. For an instant we see the world through darker eyes. And where there is political unease, rebellion is never far behind. Punk had diluted into New Wave, whilst social tensions remained high. Like press-ganged powder monkeys on galleons of olde, we were being brow beaten into lighting the proverbial fuse. That rebellion had to wait until 1990 and the poll tax riots. I like to think we got there 6 years early. During this time, through lack of research funding, I lost both my brother and sister, Nicky and Sally. Meanwhile, billions were being injected into creating new ways to kill en masse with new 'defence' armaments. Despite Sir Bob Geldof's impassioned pleas for third world aid, the deaths of thousands for want of food and medical assistance continue to fall on deaf ears. And the mankind, apparently, is distinguished by it's ability to reason. Andy Sears Barcelona 2010.