|1. If There's A Heaven Above|
|2. A Private Future|
|3. The Dog-End Of A Day Gone By|
|4. The Game|
|5. Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven|
|6. Haunted When The Minutes Drag|
|8. Ball Of Confusion (12in UK Mix)|
|9. Inside The Outside|
|10. If There's A Heaven Above (12in UK Mix)|
|11. God And Mr. Smith|
|12. Haunted When The Minutes Drag (USA Mix)|
|13. If There's A Heaven Above (Canada Mix)|
"If There's A Heaven Above" - "Throw the world off your shoulders tonight Mr. Smith . . ." This joyously hopeful song dives right into the main themes of the album, namely - youth, the mystery of religion, the nature of human existence and the progression of time. *****
"A Private Future" - Starts off as a pretty, idyllic song that progresses into a more ominous exploration of religious beliefs. Culminates in the line "Live the life you love/ Use a god you trust/ And don't take it all too seriously" which instantly brings their sermonizing back down to earth. ****
("Snuff out the ") -- "Dog-end Of A Day Gone By" - A steady rock workout drenched in omnipresent guitars, organ and rumbling drums. ****
"The Game" - This one sounds like being caught in some Twilight Zone timewarp. Ticks along at a deliberate pace like a clock that intensifies as the song progresses. ****1/2
"Inside The Outside" - This one's a cool rocker. Dominated by drums that tumble all over the place and tortured single-note shreds of fury on guitar. ****
"God And Mr. Smith" - a wigged-out remix of "If There's A Heaven Above" sans words. Strange Middle Eastern vocal distortions and other effects swirl around to trippy effect.Read more ›
Anyway this really is a great album with lots of good stuff. "Dog End of a Day Gone By", "If There's a Heaven Above" and "God and Mr. Smith" are all excellent downbeat pop songs. "The Game" is more dark and strange, feeling like it could have come straight from a Bauhaus session; you can hear this song's main hook sampled on Snog's "Reigning Terror". "Saudade" is a wonderful instrumental piece. "Private Future" is excellent as well.
There is a slight issue though... the album is very slow overall. With the exception of the up-tempo "Inside the Outisde" the entire CD runs at about the same pace. (Note: "Ball of Confusion" is faster too, but it wasn't on this album originally and I don't know why it's here now - it was released with "Express"). I love the album but I think this lack of differentiation hurts the way the album is remembered and maybe even is part of the reason this band's legacy is not a powerful as it deserves to be. My guess is that had these great songs been sprinkled in throughout the L&R collection, placed side-by-side with the upbeat, catchy songs that not only would these songs be more remembered but the band as well. Hey, maybe that's why they threw "Ball of Confusion" in - still not appropriate to revise history like that.
Love and Rockets ought to be in the pantheon of great 80's/alternative/post-punk (pick your cliche) bands with the likes of The Cure, The Smiths or whomever. For some reason they are overlooked a bit.
This edition consolidates 4 fairly different remixes from 3 different markets. (UK, USA, Canada). It doesn't include the (superior?) US mix of 'Dog-End of A Day Gone By', a major oversight. Oops! The budget for 'remastering' the album may not have been high - the new sound is louder but not as detailed as I hoped. That said - it sounds far better than the old mid-'80s CD master.
The real test will be the remastered "Express" - a much more exciting album. Except for 'Inside the Outside', most of this album is slow-tempo in the Bauhaus style, with a small hint of the 'poppy' melodies they would soon adapt. Still, a good record from a band that seems to be slipping through the cracks in recent music history.