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Laughter Tears & Rage Original recording remastered, Import


Price: CDN$ 154.45
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 26 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Ztt
  • ASIN: B0000TCRY8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description

2004 reissue of 1988 album from Act, a short-lived collaboration between synthmeister Thomas Leer & German pop diva Claudia Brucken, features 22 tracks including 8 bonus tracks, 'Short Story' (Thinker), 'Laughter', 'I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You', 'Snobbery & Decay', 'Absolutely Immune' (7 Inch Mix), 'White Rabbit', 'Dear Life', & 'I Can't Escape From You'. ZTT.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
This previously impossible to find cd has been remastered and reissued from ztt records in 2003. 22 tracks and nearly 80 minutes worth of music. Post Propaganda project for german pop chantuese claudia brucken who carries the album over the once complex but now dated sounding late eighties electronic production from wizard partner thomas leer. Still its a great guilty pleasure and reminds me of a more electronic version of the style council-paul wellers allover the place popjazzsoul band that dabbled with house and syncopated eighties techno late in its career. Theres the same intelligent well written map explored by both- and claudia brucken is like an avantegarde new wave diva whose voice is unique-very german though the words ofcourse are in english. Theres hints of lounge-house-techno pop funk rock jazz-over the top at times but always interesting. Act shines where the style council failed late in its career-with synths and drum machines perfectly at home with bruckens past- it just seemed laughable behind the once angry guitar hero weller. This new version is worth the money for the original album plus all extra cuts including a very cool stab at white rabbit(grace slick classic). The other boxset version seems silly but i guess hardcore wants would want it all. For the newbie or old fan looking-this is perfect. Booklet is nice with history text and pictures of the beautiful brucken. A must for propaganda fans and fans of lost eighties classics and newwave alternative. Looking back a weller/brucken collaboration would have been a good idea. Also recommended is Claudias rare solo album love and a million other things cd and the style council collection import.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely The Best! Sept. 20 2005
By T. Garrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you like Propaganda, Art of Noise, or Trevor Horn, this is definitely a must have record. Originally, Act only produced one album entitled "Laughter, Tears and Rage", around 1990, which was largely overlooked and definitely under-rated. This Anthology contains many of the same tracks as the original Act album, but includes tons of remixes and extended versions of many of the songs. It also includes some previously unreleased tracks that you've probably never heard, as well as instrumental versions of some of my favorite Act songs.

My favorite song from Act has always been "Laughter", and to my delight this new album includes the instrumental version as well. Another favorite is the well done "Absolutely Immune", which in my opinion should have been a hit song, with its catchy melody; most exciting is that you get no less than 6 different versions of it here! "Snobbery and Decay" is another favorite included here with several remixes. "Body Electric" is a tune that I had never heard before, also included in the album.

In my opinion, Act and Propaganda were way too sophisticated for any kind of broad acceptance, especially in the United States. They were ahead of their time. In Act's case, one of the problems was a lack of promotion and exposure, but even with that I don't think the majority of music audiences were ready for them at that time.

This album has been limited to 5000 copies worldwide. In my opinion, Act is the best kept secret in music, even if they did only produce these 2 albums. In this world of copy-cat and "cookie cutter" music, "Laughter, Tears and Rage: The Anthology" is a complete delight, and a very original treat. I hope you enjoy it as I have.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This Band Had Something To Say Dec 24 2003
By Alexandre Avezou - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This review refers to the original **Laughter, Tears & Rage** album as well as to the 3 CD-boxset recently released by ZTT Records. Sorry for the cliche, but this is really an underrated gem from an otherwise musically mind-destroying decade. Act was basically a duet: Claudia Brucken, from Propaganda, and experimentalist Thomas Leer made this one-shot attempt in 1987-1988, a record supposed to shake the pop industry and audiences up, but which shook only a few lucky listeners, not due to a lack of talent, but rather to a problem of that-was-not-what-people-were-ready-to-hear-at-the-time. In short: too much brain.
Let's talk of the music: it ranges from fairly good to excellent, which, for a pop/dance album, is to be noticed. Remains of Propaganda weigh heavily on songs like "Under the nights of Germany", "Bloodrush" and "A friendly warning", which are not, in my opinion, really representative of the band's project. Act was a more straightforward band than Propaganda. Songs like "Absolutely immune" (2nd single, issued in 1988), "Gestures", "Chance", "Laughter", with their sophisticated groove, are more down-to-earth and are probably more ambitious in the sense that they try to melt different musical influences (new age, funk and rock). Thus, despite some unavoidable fillers, the musical texture of the album is rich, the harmonies inspired, the interpretation first-class, and - most important of all - the feeling is there.
The first 13 tracks alone justify the purchase of the album. But the 14th is a real, real masterpiece, a work of genius which clearly stands out from the rest: its title is "Snobbery and Decay" and, to any true MUSIC fan, it MUST be a kick in the ass. This song was issued as a single in 1987 and was a total commercial flop, but it contains everything the song of your dreams has: 1/ an implacable rhythm 2/ 2 great voices 3/ tense lyrics 4/ a chorus whch raises the roof 5/ a cool, powerful sound 6/ a tremendous sax solo 7/ a strong emotional content. 15 years later, I still find it so damn good than almost any other song I play right after sounds bland. This song, depicting "the lifestyles of the rich and famous" (in fact, the yuppies of the Thatcher era) is some sort of manifesto, the musical war cry of two artists who were at the top of their creativity, who had perfectly integrated the musical and the sociological trends of their time and who had sufficient know-how to condensate them into a five minutes song. I personally don't expect more from a pop song or from music in general.
The 2nd CD of the boxset contains the (in)famous 1988 remixes, the 3rd more recent ones. Both contain unreleased tracks, some of them not bad at all ("Body electric", "White rabbit" and "Winner 88") if not at the same level as the rest. The first CD also contains minimalist piano versions of "Laughter", "I can't escape from you" and "Snobbery and decay" which are worth the ride.
Their was too much substance and too much taste in this record for the world of 1988. For those who missed the boat then, here's another chance: don't miss it, or **Laughter, tears and rage** will disappear from the shelves as quick as the 1988 edition - and for good this time.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic boxset from a pretty good group Jan. 28 2004
By D. H. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This 3 CD boxset is a really great documentation of the short lived, post Propaganda band Act. (Not to be confused with The Act, which had the guy from the Dream Academy in it). Act had several singles out at the height of the ZTT's labels heyday in the mid 80s. With post Frankie Goes to Hollywood cash, and based on the semi-success of Propaganda, ZTT poured money into Act with multiple singles and formats designed to push songs up the charts. The result were many 7 " singles, 12" singles, CD single and Cassingles, all with different tracks.
This set neatly collects all (most?) of these tracks plus the album, Laughter Tears and Rage into a neat 3 CD set. Music-wise consider act a slightly less aggressive Propaganda, and also slightly less interesting. I think as Propaganda Claudia Brucken and Co. made interesting, challenging posy modern pop. Act, well, Act made less interesting music, but still present well polished pop. "Snobbery and Decay" is a fave here, but "Absolutely Immune" and "Chance" are as good as anything Propaganda did.
So why not 5 stars? Well, aside from some brilliant moments, a lot of what is here sounds like the by-the-numbers stuff that would mare FGTH's "Liverpool" album. Lots of sequencer runs and funky basslines, big beats, but in the end not much there. And for goodness sake whoever though that their cover of "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" was a good idea should have been ashamed.
Fans will already have picked this set up (right? It is limited I hear!) Casual fans may want to stick with the single CD reissue also out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Winner! March 20 2005
By Lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This box-set is really everything what you can expect from a good anthology of a band. (Nearly) Everything is on here (except 2 remixes that came out of S&D in the same period, but they were on a white label, so no official one!) and I think it's a good choice to do the album with bonus tracks on the 1st disc, the remixes on the 2nd and the rarities on the 3rd. The 1st one is still available in stores and has the booklet as the cover. All 3 CD's are full of music, so there was no space left for anything more (if there was any). It has the original ZTT-logo on the box-set (very cool) and if you want a copy of it, search on ebay or something, because it's not available anymore (limited). Don't be surprised if you must pay twice the price of the original box-set. Otherwise... buy the single disc, it's not limited.

Pick a number!, spin the wheel!, play the game of chance! ;-)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
eighties oddity- claudia brucken meets late style council April 19 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This previously impossible to find cd has been remastered and reissued from ztt records in 2003. 22 tracks and nearly 80 minutes worth of music. Post Propaganda project for german pop chantuese claudia brucken who carries the album over the once complex but now dated sounding late eighties electronic production from wizard partner thomas leer. Still its a great guilty pleasure and reminds me of a more electronic version of the style council-paul wellers allover the place popjazzsoul band that dabbled with house and syncopated eighties techno late in its career. Theres the same intelligent well written map explored by both- and claudia brucken is like an avantegarde new wave diva whose voice is unique-very german though the words ofcourse are in english. Theres hints of lounge-house-techno pop funk rock jazz-over the top at times but always interesting. Act shines where the style council failed late in its career-with synths and drum machines perfectly at home with bruckens past- it just seemed laughable behind the once angry guitar hero weller. This new version is worth the money for the original album plus all extra cuts including a very cool stab at white rabbit(grace slick classic). The other boxset version seems silly but i guess hardcore wants would want it all. For the newbie or old fan looking-this is perfect. Booklet is nice with history text and pictures of the beautiful brucken. A must for propaganda fans and fans of lost eighties classics and newwave alternative. Looking back a weller/brucken collaboration would have been a good idea. Also recommended is Claudias rare solo album love and a million other things cd and the style council collection import.


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