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  • Rob


Updated: Jun 14

An article about this record appeared on my Facebook feed, so I thought I'd blast it for old-time's sake.  First things first, it is a picture disc, so it looks pretty but suffers from an almost permanent hiss in the quieter parts.  This version is not one for the audiophiles.

Released in 1989, it was the first with new singer Steve Hogarth after the band parted ways with Fish.  I can still hear the DNA of their previous records throughout the album, but Hogarth's distinctive voice gives it a new band feel.  They come out of the traps with the epic 'The King Of Sunset Town', setting the album's tone.  The sound is familiar, but there is a marked difference.

The album spawned three singles: 'Hooks In You', 'Uninvited Guest', and 'Easter'.  I adore 'Easter' and pestered the guy at Penny Lane Records in Liverpool to give me the giant promo poster they had in the window (I was 16 then).  It was on my bedroom wall for years…

There are some heavy themes on this record.  'Easter' is about The Troubles in Northern Ireland, elsewhere, 'Seasons End' is about global warming, 'Berlin' is about the divided city recorded just before the wall came down and 'The King Of The Sunset Town' has lyrics about the Tiananmen Square murders that happened earlier in the year.   Not exactly laugh a minute, but definitely thought-provoking.

The band have recently released a deluxe edition with a new mix; I'd be interested to hear the differences as, for me, the original sounds pretty effin' good!  The deluxe edition will set you back about £25 and includes new artwork and 'After Me', which wasn't on the original vinyl release.

It is also available in a five-LP box with the remastered record and three extra discs containing the entire album played live in 2022.  This will set you back around £100, probably one for the fans rather than the casual listener.

If you fancy an original '89 copy, this picture disc is going for about £25 on Discogs; the standard vinyl is about £20 on eBay.

Tracks To Try: 'The King Of Sunset Town', 'Easter', 'The Uninvited Guest', 'Holloway Girl', 'Hooks In You'.


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