Lexicon Of Love (Deluxe Edition +20 Bonus Tracks)
Audio CD | Import, Remastered, Box Set
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Audio CD, Box set, Deluxe Edition, November 22, 2004
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Deluxe remastered reissue of the new wave act's classic 1982 album includes ten bonus tracks ('The original Singles') 'Tears Are Not Enough' (7-inch), 'Alphabet Soup' (12-inch), ''Theme From 'Man Trap''. & 'Poison Arrow' (Jazz Mix), (An Out-Take & An Oddity) 'Into The Valley Of The Heathen Go' ('Lexicon Of Love Out-take, 5/82), 'Alphabet Soup' (BBC Swap Shop Version 29/11/81), (The Route To Lexicon) 'Tears Are Not Enough' (Phonogram Demo 20/07/81), 'Show Me' (Phonogram Demo 20/07/81), & 'Surrender' (Phonogram Demo 20/07/81), & a bonus disc ('The Lexicon Of Love Live At The Hammersmith Odeon, Nov 1982') with an additional 11 tracks. Mercury. 2004.
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Top Customer Reviews
The deluxe edition is amazing and features live versions of virtually every song from the album. There are remixes included and the booklet alone is worth the cost of this CD. Lexicon of Love is one of the best albums in my collection and is truly an iconic classic.
While Martin Fry still tours he never seems to make his way to the US and I really wish he would. I'd even break out my gold lame suit for the concert!
The curtain lifts on with the dramatic opener "Show Me" with Fry soaring to a wonderful falsetto at points amid a lush orchestrated backdrop, the perfect set up for "Poison Arrow," perhaps one of their best tracks. The video of "Poison Arrow" is perhaps most indelibly etched in people's memories for the band in white ties and Martin cavorting in the infamous gold lamé suit with an 80s beauty. On the pulsating track the wonderful Tessa Niles plays vocal foil to Martin who posits "I thought you loved me, but it seems you don't care" to which Tessa counters "I care enough to know I can never love you" to a crescendo of drums. The song is absolute ecstasy and my all-time favorite. "Many Happy Returns" starts off with a spoken into and then rapidly picks up tempo and actually points the direction ABC would go with the following release "Beauty Stab." Fry's lyrics and the raw emotionalism of the song is quite striking and it gives yet another chance to show off his astonishing falsetto. "Many Happy Returns" glides into the rambunctious "Tears Are Not Enough" which kicks off with Martin's highest falsetto. The track crackles with life recalling Haircut 100 (a contemporary New Romantic band) with its lively horns and prominent bass line. While it bears a passing resemblance to the demo version it's clear that Trevor Horn is the mastermind pumping life and energy into the recording. Heavy strings and glockenspiel (or is it fairlight?) open "Valentines Day" with Martin pushing his vocals to their very limits building to a crescendo where Martin implies "I'd be a Millionaire; I'd be a Fred Astaire." There's nowhere to go but the first single that broke ABC in the USA, "Look of Love (Part One)" which summons up images of the dapper band from their music video. Vocally this is a showcase for Martin's full range, from low spoken asides and growls up to his falsetto. Musically its ABCs absolute zenith with full orchestration and once its over its hard to imagine where you could go from such ecstasy, but there's more cards up Martin's sleeve. "Date Stamp" is pure Trevor at the intro pointing at things to come for Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda, and others. Martin and Tessa heat things up in what is practically a duet against a thumping bass line. What follows is perhaps one of my favorite track "All of My Heart" a profoundly felt song on love, loss, and regret reflected in Martin's vulnerable and heartfelt vocals. For me the recording could and should have ended here as there's no way you could top the sentiments and raw emotionality in "All of My Heart." Recalling not so much "Manifesto" or "Flesh and Blood" era Roxy Music as it does "Avalon" it would be the obvious direction for ABC to continue. Instead things resume with "4 Ever 2 Gether" a slight tune with a rather creepy intro and eerie backing track that hints somewhat at where they would go with "Beauty Stab." The rather fitting coda to it all is the closing blast of "Look of Love (Part Two)."
This particular collection adds a number of live tracks recorded around the same era this was initially released that give you a sense of how good a live band ABC was at the time. ABC epitomized everything great about the New Romantics and this recording perfectly encapsulates 1982 and that era. ABC were on the cutting edge with sumptuous videos and sterling production. From "Lexicon..." they moved to the perceived misstep of "Beauty Stab" from which they would recover. "Lexicon..." has nary a dull track and will have you enthralled from start to finish. A must for any fan of 80s or New Romantic music!
The songs are an endless stream of witty couplets, like Satan himself had possesed your average dictionary of qoutations and was using it to sing the evils of love! The lowbrow take on highbrow lyricism all the while laughs at it's own haughty pretension, and Fry's ever-straining (though succeeding!) vocal delivery is emotive and leavening all at once! Tessa Niles (then Webb) made her mark as the angel of the New Romantic bands with her cameo parts here. Duran Duran would allude to her spots on Lexicon with their "Come Undone" single (that record seeming to mourn a bygone era).
Trevor Horn (I know what one is now!) assembled the core army that would march forth as ZTT (and the before-mentioned Frankie) around this effort, and the collective genius of all concerned, coupled with an exacting attention to recorded sonics (predicting the digital era to come...) would rise to heights unimagined. This record is every bit as engaging and lofty as any classical symphony or suite. Horn even managed to "tart up' and incorporate a track produced by someone else (Steve Brown on "Tears Are Not Enough") seemlessly. Fortunately for listeners, the original 7 inch single version is here for comparison. Also of note is the FABULOUS jazz mix of "Poison Arrow" (which i long treasured on vinyl) that proves Trevor's chops as an ombudsman arranger and mixer! Some of you may like to know that a "scratch" mix of 'Look of Love" is out there (part 5), it has it's moments, really, but I can see why it missed the cut here...
ABC's graphic sensibility PRE dated Pet Shop Boys and was in no small measure responsible for their success first time out. The Deluxe version exquistitely re-tailors the original graphics (Universal/Polygram in-house art has long been a leader in tasteful treatments, even when assigning such work to outside firms). Lots of Goodies for the eyeballs here, as well. The Live and Demo cuts are great, academically speaking. I only wish disc one had incorporated "overture" and "look parts 2 and 3" and left all else to disc two, it would have been less jarring. The sound has a certain "punched and compressed" quality in the percussion parts that was (like vintage Motown singles) a big part of it's vinyl success. It has obviously been decided to not mess with perfection in the audio approach, and the oddness of this approach is preserved (wise choice in my book!).
I sincerely hope this album is one day given the 5.1 surround mix it so desperately deserves. It would definitely pose a challenge to Mr. Horn, and he may well feel it is too risky to mess with perfection. This album deserves that extra detail every bit as much as Roxy's "Avalon" did, and "Avalon" succeeded as such, so please Trevor, give a try for the old guard! THANK GOD THIS ALBUM HAS GOTTEN IT'S DUE HONOR AT LAST! You will proudly own the very best if you buy it, even the original vanity "Neutron" label is used! Purveyors of Supa-Fine Product, indeed!