Sheep Farming in Barnet//Blue Meaning Import
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|1. Neon Womb|
|5. Victims Of The Riddle|
|6. Elusive Stranger|
|7. Our Movie|
|9. Last Goodbye|
|10. Victims Of The Riddle (Vivisection)|
See all 13 tracks on this disc
|2. Spaced Walking|
|5. Blue Meanings|
|6. Tiger Tiger|
|9. Love Me|
See all 12 tracks on this disc
UK exclusive reissue of the British alternative act's first two albums, together in one package, 'Sheep Farming In Barnet' & 'The Blue Meaning', both from 1980. Includes 4 bonus tracks 'Bird In Flight', 'Tribal Look', 'Sphinx' & 'Street Addict'. For fans of Kate Bush.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So, what is the music like? Imagine the Talking Heads meets Trent Reznor of NIN meets Blondie at a Trekkers Con. One could say this is conventional rock with a goth bent -- You'll just have to get some music samples. Just note there's hardly any top-ten bubblegummy stuff here. This is not light music and bears repeated listenings.
Closest matches in style: Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich.
If you like this album, please search out my other favourite Toyah "The Changeling" which is brilliant in its own way.
"Blue Meaning" is Toyah's first official album. It opens with a song that would normally be the climax to most albums. Hearing "Meaning" after twenty years is a different experience. It is genuinely terrifying and quite transfixing. When you're young you don't really notice, everything's a riot. Again, hard to describe musically, but the tone is a sort of daemonic erotica, sinister but poppy and sublime. The keyboard work alone is unique. An absolute masterpiece.
The only downside to this CD is I can't take the pace anymore at my age. For the young and energetic, this is a must-buy.
Not that they're *bad* mind you, it's just that I found both "Sheep Farming" and "Blue Meaning" to be... very average musical efforts. Both are for the most part lacking in energy. The musicianship is alright although the band isn't really doing anything new here. Toyah Willcox has an okay voice - it sort of sounds like a cross between Siouxsie Sioux and Nina Hagen, although she lacks the emotional range of the former and is not as guano fornicating insane as the latter. Everything is just... okay, neither offensive nor sublime. Also, 75% of both albums lack a catchy melody... even after repeated listening (for the purpose of reviewing this) I can't remember how most of the songs go. And no, this doesn't mean that I'm some pop-hound that needs insanely catchy songs for the album to be good... I mean, I listen to The Residents for crying out loud (actually, The Residents just might be catchier than this in their own weird way). Overall I just found this CD set to be musically dull and uninspired.
On the positive side though I must admit that Toyah has a talent for writing some interesting lyrics, which make it a damn shame that there is no lyrics booklet included in this set. Also, "Danced" and "Ieya" are both awesome songs, and "Victims of the Riddle" is pretty good as well. Seeing as these are the singles off of these albums, I suspect that Toyah might be a better singles artist than an album artist (I wouldn't know, as I haven't heard any of her other stuff).
In the end I really can't recommend this product to anyone except maybe Toyah fans who have heard her later albums and want to see where she started out. While her lyrics are good and the singles on here are great, the rest of the material on these two albums is just too dull and average to recommend a purchase - I would suggest picking up stuff by Siouxsie and the Banshees, Wire, Bill Nelson's Red Noise or Lene Lovich instead. If you want the good songs off of here, I would advise getting a singles collection and giving this a miss.