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Alphabet City [Original recording remastered]

ABC Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 64.97
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Product Description

Product Description

Remastered reissue of the 1987 album features 18 total tracks and includes the 7 bonus tracks 'Minneapolis', 'Chicago', 'When Smokey Sings' (7 inch mix), '24 Carat Plastic', 'Night You Murdered Love' (the reply with Lady Contessa V), 'One Day' (instrumental w/ real strings) & 'King Without A Crown' (the Monarchy Mix). Universal. 2005.

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ALPHABETICALLY YOURS May 19 2003
Format:Audio CD
When looking back to those dazzling disco/techno pop days of the eighties, there are so many acts that had one or two songs that were really memorable. ABC, however, rises above this "one hit wonder" status, and none so as eloquently as in this "Alphabet City."
What has always worked for these debonair gents is their flair for esoterically correct vocals and their stunning string arrangements. And while many of their songs can be considered a little "glitzy" or "forced," the songs on this collection work because of their unique approach to their subject matters. "When Smokey Sings" is a tribute to Smokey Robinson, and has some clever lyrics, and while it may be seen as a self-confident ode to themselves, I think it's more of a salute to a man whose influence in popular music cannot be underestimated. The synthesized instrumentals saluting "Minneapolis" and "Chicago" are filler fluff, but not bad in that respect. For me, the album's showcase is both the opening "Night You Murdered Love," and it's counterpart (The Whole Story). In this version, the female responds to the male's accusations. It's done in rap and it's so funny and appropriate; also shows that rap music can be done with orchestral backups and gives the singer much more support and is much more interesting than the garbled garbage that exists in rap today.
A clever, well produced and truly listenable musical experience. Hats off to Martin Fry and Mark White.
RECOMMENDED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing can compare! July 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
What is it about ABC? If you're familiar with their albums, you know what I mean... there's something about them that seems so wonderfully starry-eyed, from the twinkly styles that decorate their music to their love of filling both their lyrics and their album covers with references to beautiful clouds, starry nights, stars (LOTS of those!) and lovely cityscapes at midnight. That's part of the reason I love them so, of course. There's no denying that their work, as catchy and funky as it is, is part of the great "starry-eyed disco" tradition, if you know what I mean, music created that seems to be dropped from the same edge of heaven that gave us Saturday Night Fever's gorgeous Bee Gee tunes and The Electric Light Orchestra--music which is not only dazzlingly fun to dance to but is also beathtakingly beautiful at the same time. And WOW, WHAT A VOICE that Martin Fry has (in elegance and range, it can top George Michael's)! The only thing that amazes me is how this album can be out of print in the USA when it had so many hits on it in this country--deservedly so. "When Smokey Sings", their tribute to Smokey Robinson, still shines on and the entire album continues from there in the same note. A masterpiece--and be sure to also check out "How To Be A Zillionaire" and "Abracadabra", if you can! CHEERS!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lexicon Of Love revisited July 30 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This fourth ABC album marked a return to the sound of their debut, and even though Beauty Stab and How To Be A Zillionaire were good albums, this blue-eyed soul is the type of music that suits Martin Fry and Mark White best. The sales revealed that the public thought so as well. Big, lush production with layers of keyboards and string arrangements on funky rhythm tracks is the essence of this album, on which The Night You Murdered Love (a great Chic pastiche), funk/disco thumper Think Again, the rocking Ark-Angel and the delicate ballad Bad Blood stand out, showcasing Fry's typically quirky lyrics. I'm probably not the only person wishing that ABC will one day return with more of this. Please.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hits Highs May 30 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
It's amazing that "When Smokey Sings" works at all. Basically they're singing "We know we're not as good as Smokey Robinson!" But it works. Maybe it's because this band has been so stuck on themselves that any change was welcome. The rest of the album is good too - they are obviosuly paying more attention to songwriting here ("King Without a Crown" excepted). Their last hurrah, I'm afraid.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALPHABETICALLY YOURS May 19 2003
By Michael Butts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When looking back to those dazzling disco/techno pop days of the eighties, there are so many acts that had one or two songs that were really memorable. ABC, however, rises above this "one hit wonder" status, and none so as eloquently as in this "Alphabet City."
What has always worked for these debonair gents is their flair for esoterically correct vocals and their stunning string arrangements. And while many of their songs can be considered a little "glitzy" or "forced," the songs on this collection work because of their unique approach to their subject matters. "When Smokey Sings" is a tribute to Smokey Robinson, and has some clever lyrics, and while it may be seen as a self-confident ode to themselves, I think it's more of a salute to a man whose influence in popular music cannot be underestimated. The synthesized instrumentals saluting "Minneapolis" and "Chicago" are filler fluff, but not bad in that respect. For me, the album's showcase is both the opening "Night You Murdered Love," and it's counterpart (The Whole Story). In this version, the female responds to the male's accusations. It's done in rap and it's so funny and appropriate; also shows that rap music can be done with orchestral backups and gives the singer much more support and is much more interesting than the garbled garbage that exists in rap today.
A clever, well produced and truly listenable musical experience. Hats off to Martin Fry and Mark White.
RECOMMENDED.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lexicon Of Love revisited July 30 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This fourth ABC album marked a return to the sound of their debut, and even though Beauty Stab and How To Be A Zillionaire were good albums, this blue-eyed soul is the type of music that suits Martin Fry and Mark White best. The sales revealed that the public thought so as well. Big, lush production with layers of keyboards and string arrangements on funky rhythm tracks is the essence of this album, on which The Night You Murdered Love (a great Chic pastiche), funk/disco thumper Think Again, the rocking Ark-Angel and the delicate ballad Bad Blood stand out, showcasing Fry's typically quirky lyrics. I'm probably not the only person wishing that ABC will one day return with more of this. Please.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing can compare! July 27 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What is it about ABC? If you're familiar with their albums, you know what I mean... there's something about them that seems so wonderfully starry-eyed, from the twinkly styles that decorate their music to their love of filling both their lyrics and their album covers with references to beautiful clouds, starry nights, stars (LOTS of those!) and lovely cityscapes at midnight. That's part of the reason I love them so, of course. There's no denying that their work, as catchy and funky as it is, is part of the great "starry-eyed disco" tradition, if you know what I mean, music created that seems to be dropped from the same edge of heaven that gave us Saturday Night Fever's gorgeous Bee Gee tunes and The Electric Light Orchestra--music which is not only dazzlingly fun to dance to but is also beathtakingly beautiful at the same time. And WOW, WHAT A VOICE that Martin Fry has (in elegance and range, it can top George Michael's)! The only thing that amazes me is how this album can be out of print in the USA when it had so many hits on it in this country--deservedly so. "When Smokey Sings", their tribute to Smokey Robinson, still shines on and the entire album continues from there in the same note. A masterpiece--and be sure to also check out "How To Be A Zillionaire" and "Abracadabra", if you can! CHEERS!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 24 Carat Plastic! Jan. 31 2006
By G. Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another very nice ABC reissue CD package - this one contains many 80s PWL remixes and BONUS tracks, including the cool B-sides "Minneapolis" (paying homage to Jam & Lewis) and "Chicago" (paying homage to Marshall Jefferson and the early house scene), but the real gem here is the previously unreleased "24 CARAT PLASTIC," which sounds like "When Smokey Sings - Part Deux" - a really amazing "lost" ABC track I have never heard before - and I'm a big fan, so that's worth the price of admission alone, but new liner notes/original sleeve graphics are nice, too!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Blue Eyed Soul - Still Classic 25 Years On March 4 2012
By Morgen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I know this will appeal to no one but the most avid of '80's music fans, but I bought this album on cassette back in 1987 and, for whatever reason, their label never thought the album worthy of the transition to digital media (at least, not in the US).

I've finally tracked down a digital copy (thank you, internezz) and I'm listening to it for the first time in probably 20 years. A couple of things amaze me about this album - first, I remember every song off the album, which is incredible, given how long it's been since I've heard it. Secondly, with another 20 years of musical exposure, I think I appreciate this album more now than I did when it first came out; Martin Fry's soul crooning is fantastic and that element of the music allows this album to hold up much better than so many other 1980's synth-pop bands.

The remixes are easily dismissed - honestly, they're pretty crap - but the album and its b-sides (included here) are well worth seeking out if you've got any fond memories of this undeservedly b-listed 80's pop powerhouse.
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