Associates Radio One Sessions, Volume 2: 1984-1985
- Released: September 2, 2003
- Label: Strange Fruit Uk
- 1.The Crying Game
- 2.Gloomy Sunday
- 3.A Matter of Gender
- 7.Heart of Glass
Associates includes: Billy MacKenzie.
Recorded between 1984 & 1985.
Recorded and aired during 1984 and 1985, the second volume of Strange Fruit's complete restoration of the Associates' BBC sessions, Radio One Sessions, Vol. 2, isn't quite as thrilling as the first. Those familiar with the difference between the Alan Rankine era and the post-Rankine era of the group need little explanation. Though Billy Mackenzie carried on making respectable records with a talented group behind him, none of the material at any point threatened to rival what was accomplished with The Affectionate Punch, Fourth Drawer Down, and Sulk -- three very different records that continue to sound like no one else's. Still, the trips to the BBC documented here feature some alternate versions that followers won't want to live without. The first session, from July of 1984, features reworkings of Rankine-era material. Each song is torn through with blustery force, and none of the arrangements are altered greatly; "Message Oblique Speech" hardly sounds as alien and just plain strange as the original single, and "A Matter of Gender," "The Affectionate Punch," and "Kites" (originally released under the name 39 Lyon Street) are nearly bombastic in their power. The two performances from Saturday Live are stripped-down, intimate renditions -- of "Gloomy Sunday" and "Even Dogs in the Wild" -- that will make the purchase worth it for some. From that point on, the disc takes a bit of a nosedive. The group's tradition of playing yet-to-be-released material continued with an early look at their version of Blondie's "Heart of Glass," along with songs that wouldn't be released at all ("Obsession Magnificent," "Give"). One thing that's worth pointing out is that the drummer on one of the sessions, Moritz von Oswald (aka Maurizio), would become the key player in Berlin's minimal techno scene throughout the '90s. ~ Andy Kellman
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