"Great" is spot-on. And "1980s" is more or less accurate (they did release some stuff in the Nineties but the late Eighties was A.R.
Kane's recording prime). No, it's the "lost" bit that is misleading. It gives the impression that this was a group that was neglected,
overlooked...if not utterly unknown, then certainly marginal in the scheme of things. And that is inaccurate.
Not only were A.R. Kane renowned and revered, but, in certain quarters, they were regarded and written up as one of the central
groups of their era. The singles and albums received rave reviews (and when I say "rave" I mean frothing at the mouth, purple-
prose-drooling paeans). Their faces appeared on the front covers of the British music weekly papers. But A.R. Kane weren't just
critics's faves either. Sixty nine, their debut album, topped the independent charts in the summer of 1988.
But wait, there's more: bizarrely, A.R. Kane actually made it to Number One in the UK pop charts, via M/A/R/R/S, their short-lived
and fraught collaboration with Colourbox. Okay, it was "Pump Up the Volume", the mostly-Colourbox side of the double A-sided
12 inch single that got the radio play and the club action (although the song evolved as much out of A.R. Kane's experimentation
as any other A.R. Kane song). But A.R. Kane could take consolation from the fact that the all-our-own-handiwork flipside "Anitina"
--included on this collection-- is by far the more remarkable and enduringly captivating piece of music. (Not that they need
consolation, really, what with all the money they earned from M/A/R/R/S).
Still, the "lost" bit of "great lost group of the 1980s" does apply, in so far as A.R. Kane are now the stuff of cult memory. As often
happens, the passing of the years resulted in History shaking out and settling into a shape that doesn't necessarily reflect how
things were seen at the time. So some late Eighties groups (My Bloody Valentine, Pixies) have maintained a high profile, while
others, considered their contemporary equals, have faded into the background (A.R. Kane, Throwing Muses). Hopefully this
long-overdue collection of A.R. Kane's EPs and singles, which has arrived--funny coincidence--the same year as MBV's own EPs
compilation, will serve to redress this injustice.