Thursday 21 May 2020

The Sound - Resonance (1979-1987)

For me, The Sound were one of the more important bands in the early 80s. Largely ignored by the record buying public, despite the wide acclaim for the band in the UK music press back in the day, why they never broke through remains a mystery.
For a full bio of the band, look here:

When I was asked to make recommendations of certain albums for a music site as a "musicologist", picking their 2nd album "From the Lions Mouth" was a natural choice. Quoted below is an excerpt of what I had to say about my pick:

"I always thought 1981 was a rather special year for music, but one of the albums which stood out for me the most back then was The Sound - "From the Lions Mouth." I couldn't comprehend back then why this album was never a commercial success. Maybe because the band didn't have a charismatic frontman like Echo & The Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch, or even U2's Bono (remember this was 1981 when even U2 were considered part of the post-punk scene). In fact the lead singer and guitarist for The Sound, Adrian Borland, looked more like a bank clerk than a musician in a rock band.After the relative failure of this release their record label pressured them to come up with something "commercially successful" for their next release. Borland rebelled against that idea, and instead they released the album "All Fall Down" which was basically their "fuck you" to their record label. Thus ended their flirtation with major labels, and led to their eventual decline until they finally broke up in 1988. As Trouser Press questioned: "It's hard to understand why this London quartet never found commercial success. At their best, The Sound's excellent neo-pop bears favourable comparison to The Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen." For me, I found them better than those bands and it is indeed a tragedy they never found the success they deserved. Sadly, Borland committed suicide in 1999, after suffering for several years with depression."

After their 3rd album release, "All Fall Down" in 1982, I kind of lost track of them and never heard the later albums until many years later. It was thanks to a free CD featured on Uncut back in 2002, featuring a track from the recently reissued "From the Lions Mouth", that my interest in the band was reignited. I dug out my old vinyl copy of the album and fell in love with it all over again. This renewed interest had me seeking out the releases I had missed. While the later albums were not, for me, of the high level of their first 3 releases, they still featured many excellent songs.

This collection features tracks from all 5 of their studio albums, plus the previously unreleased album "Propaganda" (recorded in 1979), a few B-sides, one outtake from "All Fall Down" and one track from a BBC session. Not surprisingly "From the Lions Mouth" features the most heavily, with 4 tracks taken from the album. Thanks once more to Manerg for his help in choosing the artwork, plus a couple of track recommendations. As ever, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Brute Force (3:18)
  2. Deep Breath (2:41)
  3. Glass and Smoke (6:50)
  4. Fatal Flaw (4:32)
  5. World As It Is (2:08)
  6. Shot Up and Shut Down (4:19)
  7. Sorry (3:42)
  8. No Salvation (3:12)
  9. The Fire (2:49)
10. Winter (4:16)
11. Unwritten Law (3:38)
12. Party of the Mind (3:55)
13. Whirlpool (3:59)
14. Judgement (4:58)
15. I Can't Escape Myself (3:44)
16. Coldbeat (3:19)
17. New Way of Life (4:37)
18. I Give You Pain (5:04)
19. Heyday (3:01)
20. New Dark Age (5:50)

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