Friday, 2 April 2010

Perfect Pop as easy as ABC

The Lexicon of Love- ABC (1982)
A phenomenal example of perfect pop, this album came out of a Sheffield music scene generally associated with cold dour electronic themes. With Heaven 17 and The Human League forming in the aftermath of the split of the original Human League pop was on the agenda.
ABC created an album that was rich and tinged with funk and sumptuous orchestration an amalgam somewhat akin to the sound of the Chic Organisation, alongside this lyrically the songs are as clever as Elvis Costello at his best.
The original Album has been re released in a number of forms but there is a deluxe version available that completes the picture. look of love

Disc one
The Original Album
1. "Show Me" – 4:02
2. "Poison Arrow" – 3:24
3. "Many Happy Returns" – 3:56
4. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 3:31
5. "Valentine's Day" – 3:42
6. "The Look of Love" (Part One) – 3:26
7. "Date Stamp – 3:51
8. "All of My Heart" – 5:12
9. "4 Ever 2 Gether" – 5:30 [co-written by Anne Dudley]
10. "The Look of Love" (Part Four) – 1:02
The Original Singles
11. "Overture" – 3:59
12. "Tears Are Not Enough" [original single version] – 3:36
13. "Alphabet Soup" – 8:03
14. "Theme from Man Trap" – 4:19
15. "Poison Arrow" [North American Jazz Mix] – 7:06
An Oddity and An Out-Take
16. "Into the Valley of the Heathen Go" – 2:00
17. "Alphabet Soup" [BBC Swapshop version] – 3:13
Disc two
The Route to the Lexicon
1. "Tears Are Not Enough" [Phonogram Demo 20 July 1981] – 3:32
2. "Show Me" [Phonogram Demo 20 July 1981] – 4:03
3. "Surrender" [Phonogram Demo 20 July 1981] — (song deleted from album’s original release at "the 11th hour") – 3:29
The Lexicon of Love—Live at Hammersmith Odeon November 1982
4. "Overture" – 3:56 [co-written by Anne Dudley]
5. "Show Me" – 4:21
6. "Many Happy Returns" – 7:02
7. "Tears Are Not Enough" – 5:33
8. "Date Stamp" – 7:07
9. "The Look of Love" [Complete Suite] – 5:59
10. "All of My Heart" – 6:45
11. "Valentine's Day" – 4:44
12. "4 Ever 2 Gether" – 6:53
13. "Alphabet Soup" – 8:26
14. "Poison Arrow" – 5:22

Listening to The Lexicon of Love again it still retains a freshness a=whilst conjuring up memories of it’s initial release.
The well known singles from it; Poison Arrow, Tears are not enough and the Look of Love are all perfect in execution and the whole album ,when listened to in one sitting is a rewarding experience. Unfortunately albums nowadays are not put together as a complete work (mores the pity).
A curious spin off was a film made by Julien Temple with ABC playing themselves in a musical, come thriller Mantrap. This little seen Movie is a good companion piece to the album and blends eighties pretensions with originality. To Download
For those who have not heard The Lexicon of Love I recommend getting hold of a copy and for those who have not listened to it in a while, dust it of and give it a go, you will be rewarded .

‘When I'm shaking a hand, I'm clenching a fist
If you gave me a pound for the moments I missed
And I got dancing lessons for all the lips I shoulda kissed
I'd be a millionaire
I'd be a Fred Astaire’
-Martin Fry

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having said that;