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Timewatching: The Divine Comedy Album-by-album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by LivingForever, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. drykid

    drykid Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hereford, UK
    I have the original stream from the WDR website; audio is 48Khz AAC, can easily demux it to a separate stream if it's of use to you...
     
  2. The Turning Year

    The Turning Year Lowering average scores since 2021

    Location:
    London, UK
    Agree with these two. They are surprisingly good, given how embarassed Neil seems to be by them, and the writing seems quite mature considering he was maybe only 17 or 18? It's not a style of music I love, but I think they stand up pretty well alongside other emo indie-type Smithsy stuff (could be totally wrong but they sound pretty decent to me! ;)). However, I am very glad he went his own way :)
    Yeah, not much on there! I watched the video the other night actually and really enjoyed it. There are a few nice moments where Neil looks really emotional about it all, and it was certainly a moment in time that can never be repeated, and was well worth capturing.
    So he's turned Turning Japanese a bit Japan-ese? :p
     
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  3. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    The best mistakes
    Sorry, catching up. I think, like many others, I was reluctant to score this straight away due to being not entirely sure about it. I’ve read some of the other comments and I think I like it a little more than most. It’s a tad clumsy at times, the repetitive strings remind me somewhat of ‘Indie disco’ (a song I’m very keen on) but I don’t mind Neil reflecting on his past. That said, the idea of someone three months younger than me suggesting a coda on their career is not exactly cheering. Hey, I won’t be hanging up my boots any time soon, Mr Hannon! I guess it still reflects pop music being a ‘young (wo)man’s game.’

    3.5/5
     
  4. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Where have all the milkmen gone?
    I like the OTT portentous feel to this. Almost operatic in its melodrama. Silly but not without charm.

    2.5/5
     
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  5. jon-senior

    jon-senior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eastleigh
    I'd be delighted by this, thank you!
     
  6. ericthegardener

    ericthegardener Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    400 pages! Another milestone.
     
  7. LivingForever

    LivingForever Forum Arachibutyrophobic Thread Starter

    And we’re still closing in on that 10,000 posts! :D
     
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  8. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Take your drum
    I can see how this might fit with Neil’s other noodlings on the synthesiser tracks from ‘Office politics.’ Reminds me a bit of Trio’s ‘Da da da’ and also generic mid-80s electronic pop nonsense, so feels a little nostalgic for me.

    3/5
     
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  9. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Olivia, new Tron song
    I guess this is a bit of a treat if you like the mellatron?

    1.5/5
     
  10. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    The erotic dreams of Andrea Palladio
    I know the temptation is to riff on 80s references for these electronic tracks but this sounds much more like ambient dance music from the mid-90s. Very spacey and probably a little drugged up too.

    3/5
     
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  11. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Death and the mellotron
    Blimey, I‘ve missed a lot of songs. This sounds like the sort of thing you hear accompanying silent pictures. Like ‘Metropolis’ to bring it back to ‘Office politics’.

    2/5
     
  12. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    The Berlin airlift
    Bit more menacing this. Definitely an espionage thriller. Here comes a latter day Harry Palmer being chased down by Soviet spies on the wrong side of the Wall in the early 80s (the synth sound reminds me of New Muzik, if anyone remembers them).

    3.5/5
     
  13. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Pop muzik
    I was beginning to lose the will to live but at least I know this. Daring to use the uke here. Perhaps Neil was inspired by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s brilliant cover of Chic’s ‘Le freak’. This is clearly one to keep @The Turning Year up in a cold sweat at night.

    3/5
     
  14. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Large mellotron collider
    Loopy stuff (getting bored now, sorry).

    1/5
     
  15. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Turning Japanese
    Well, certainly doesn’t sound like The Vapors’ original, which might have merited inclusion. Although there are (allegedly) urban myths about the song’s meaning, I’m still a little concerned about potential racial overtones in the songs. Which is a shame, because this sounds great.

    4/5
     
  16. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Nordyland 83
    Quite frankly sounds nothing like Northern Ireland circa 1983. Where’s the Lambeg drum? Or wistful Clannad whispers?

    2/5
     
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  17. Radiophonic_

    Radiophonic_ Electrosonic

    Location:
    Royal Oak MI
    There was a thread on this board about box sets you'd like to see happen, and about a month or two before the announcement of the DC set, I had posted asking for just such a set, basically. So I was a little shocked when it actually came to pass. I have way too many box sets and have seen just about every permutation of the format, but the set put together by Neil and company is, generally speaking, exactly what you want from such a set. Career spanning, includes virtually everything you could want, the odd missing song not withstanding (though not including each and every b-side, regardless of quality, is a big pet peeve for me), has notes for each album, a lyrics booklet, is well laid out, and is handsomely designed. I suppose the only other type of thing I like to see included which wasn't here is even more more archival material; I've been working my way through the recent box set by early 80s band Pylon, and they obviously had someone who cared about keeping everything, as the book includes all sorts of their documentation and personal/promo photos, pics of tape boxes, ads for gigs, even pictures of the instruments played by band members and some of the dresses worn by the lead singer. If you don't already have all that stuff, then there's probably no way you're going to gather it all together for a box set after the fact, as it's just too much work. I suppose the only disappointment I have with it is that with the decline and disappearance of the physical single, the b-side is more or less dead, and so with the two most recent bonus discs we get a lot of piffle that isn't really worth more than a cursory listen, if even that. What really is there to say about half finished ideas? All in all though, I'd give it a 4.8 stars out of five, as a product. I do hope we get the new mix of Promenade in a physical format as some point, though I imagine the appeal would be limited.
     
  18. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Don’t mention the war
    Heh, feels very timely. An elegant waltz that perhaps suffers from comparison in its echoes of one of Neil’s most famous and popular tracks.

    3/5
     
  19. DaniMoonstar

    DaniMoonstar Forum Resident

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Box set
    I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t really a diehard DC fan. I bought ‘Casanova’ in the 90s. On cassette. So I hadn’t played it in forever. I did have both DLM albums and, thanks to YouTube and Spotify, I’d been keeping an eye on the lad from Enniskillen.

    But I did really like the cricket detours and, when I came across a Divine Comedy song, I more often liked it than not. Then I saw the box set. Can’t quite recall how I first heard of it but, well, it looked really great. I even (blushes awkwardly) watched an unboxing on YouTube. It looked really great. I thought, I’d quite like that. My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and the rest is history.

    I can honestly say that the music was better than I expected. I was concerned I just wouldn’t like the majority of it past the tracks I knew but, actually, the opposite was the case. Frankly I was surprised how infrequently the quality dipped and I was often bowled over by how good and lush the albums were. And, on the shelf, next to the other CDs in their horrid jewel boxes, it looks like a class above. A lot of thought went into the elegant design. And hats off to whoever conceptualised the whole thing.

    This has been a blast, everyone and thanks to @LivingForever for making it happen.
     
  20. The Booklover

    The Booklover Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    This is good fun, nice to listen to as a one-off live performance but not something I'd need as a studio cover. It's interesting that he picked this track, which despite being on Gold - Greatest Hits actually was a lesser hit in the UK as it was only released on 12" and reached #7 (not as low as "Thank You For The Music", though, which only got to #33). In contrast, "Summer Night City" reached #5 and charted higher in other countries as well but was relegated to the More Gold compilation. I'm pretty sure it was Erasure's inclusion of "Lay All Your Hands On Me" on their #1 EP of ABBA covers that's responsible for its appearance on Gold, which just goes to show that Erasure really were the main reason for the ABBA revival and reappraisal in the 1990s.

    Neil also genderflipped the lyrics: He sings A grown-up man (instead of woman) should never fall so easily. He even keeps things more ambiguous with Now every person (instead of woman) I see is a potential threat.

    It's not the full song, though, as they leave out the last verse and bridge, but maybe the style of this cover would have outstayed its welcome otherwise.
     
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  21. The Booklover

    The Booklover Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Don't Mention The War
    Exactly, which is my main problem with it. After the brave experiments and expansion of styles on Office Politics, this sounds like a massive step backwards. It's not a bad song and is arranged beautifully, but it's such an obvious imitation of past glories that I don't really need to hear any new songs in that style for the foreseeable future. On the contrary, I wish he'd branch out even more.

    I actually like that bit and Neil's intonation of "for" as it's the only thing that sounds not like by-the-numbers old-school TDC.

    2.5

    I agree. Even though I'm not a fan of the song itself, it would still be good to have on CD for completion's sake. Could be licensing issues, but maybe he thinks it's hackwork, too.
     
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  22. The Booklover

    The Booklover Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    It starts out great with what Julian Cope has termed the glam descend of the guitar. Unfortunately, the whole affair quickly turns into a cover of Joe Cocker's cover, which I have an aversion to because its muso pseudo-soulful dirge-like rendition takes all the fun out of the swinging original tune. As that's my least favourite Beatles cover I've ever heard, I can't stomach this one either. That said, from the looks of it, they seem to have fun playing it and certainly can't be accused of lacking enthusiasm.
     
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  23. LivingForever

    LivingForever Forum Arachibutyrophobic Thread Starter

    Going back to the boxset, I guess I would say that the only thing I would really have liked to have added would have been a couple of unreleased full live concerts on audio and/or video. But then I don’t know how many such things Neil recorded at the time.

    A gig from the “Fin” tour, another one from the “Regeneration” tour and one from the “Victory” tour would have nicely filled the gaps between other officially released shows.
     
  24. The Booklover

    The Booklover Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Box set
    The artwork and design are top notch and could be a gold standard for other box sets.
    Unfortunately, this is not the case:
    I'm still disappointed about that, especially the out-of-print early stuff I hadn't bought previously. It also contradicts the slogans of professionalism regarding the record manufacturing on "The Divine Comedy Ltd".
    Yes, that was a pleasant surprise! I just wish more care had been put into avoiding glitches on the non-remastered material.

    Were "Girl Overboard" and "The Bitter End" previously unreleased, too? If so, I'd include those as well.

    Also, I think the early version of "Queuejumper" and the alternate version of "After The Lord Mayor's Show" are great bonus tracks and fit Office Politics better than the final versions.
     
  25. The Booklover

    The Booklover Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Seconded.
    Of these, I'm really sad that "This Side Of Paradise" and "Oscar The Hypno-Dog" weren't included. The rest I can live without.
     
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