Correct Use of Soap Original recording remastered
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2007 digitally remastered and expanded edition of the third album from the Post-Punk band led by former Buzzcocks vocalist Howard Devoto. Originally released in 1980, this reissue now features four bonus tracks: 'Twenty Years Ago', 'Book', 'Upside Down' and 'The Light Pours Out Of Me' (Single Version). Virgin.
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Top Customer Reviews
You Never Knew Me with Laura Teresa's atmospheric backing vocals is particularly graceful and moving. Ever the poet, Devoto rhymes "philadelphia" with "healthier" on the song of that title. I Want To Burn Again has its eerie moments and the arrangement, especially the swirling cascading synths, reminds me of what Peter Murphy would do later in the eighties.
The Sly Stone cover Thank You (Fallettin Be Mice Elf Agin) could probably be termed "plastic funk" by analogy with David Bowie's plastic soul on Young Americans. But the highlight of the album for me remains the weird atmospheric Song From Under The Floorboards, a magical number with mysterious hypnotic appeal. To me, it's on a par with Devoto's strange masterpiece called Rubbish on the Luxuria album. Devoto is a man of many talents but unfortunately not prolific enough. This album is therefore to be treasured.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Howard Devoto has an almost literary lyrical style which, to my ears at least, still stands unique among his popular music contemporaries and well beyond. His lyrics are playful, whimsical, evocative and thought provoking at the same time. Franz Kafka with a sense of humor describes it best for me. Musically, The Correct Use of Soap is a strange mashup of influences from the post-punk era from which it hailed, to jazz and almost cabaret in places. I have always loved John McGeoch's searing, yet very restrained, guitar work and Barry Adamson bass playing in nothing short of magical on this album.
If I were forced to live out my remaining years on a desert island and could only take only ten albums with me, The Correct Use of Soap would most definitely be on my list. The music contained herein is not dated or anachronistic in any way. It's still as awe inspiring and vital as the day I first heard it.
SOUND: The mastering job makes a noticeable difference. The mix remains true to the originals, but there's more definition around the edges of each part - resulting in more powerful dynamics and an overall clearer sound. They refrained from maxing out the volume, which also helps with the dynamics.
MUSICAL CONTENT: They did it exactly right. Every non-album studio-recorded a-side and b-side has been slotted onto the ends of the appropriate albums. Previously, you had to buy the four albums, the non-album collection "Scree," and an additional disc to get the original a-side version of "Shot By Both Sides." (There was a great live 3-song b-side on an e.p., which is now only available on "Scree." Some alternate 2002 mixes of "Magic Murder and the Weather" songs are only available on the boxed set, "Maybe It's Right to be Nervous Now." The third disc of that box - the complete Peel Sessions - was released as a stand-alone cd in November, 2008.)
PACKAGING UPSIDE: Magazine had great album covers, but the Virgin cds all printed a diagonal banner across them indicating that they were budget cds. So that has been rectified. Also, the new cds come in clear jewel boxes and have nice artwork adaptations beneath the cds (which also have album-specific graphics on them). Typography on the spines is also specific to the albums and their visual aesthetic.
PACKAGING DOWNSIDE: The Virgin cds did a good job of adapting the back covers of the albums for the jewel box, and only the new "Correct Use of Soap" really tries to do that (poorly). The printing job is okay but not great. The typography on "Soap" and "Magic" is a little wonky, and the background color on "Soap" far more yellow than the original artwork/album. The Virgin cds also included the complete lyrics. The new cds do not have any lyrics. There's no additional graphic content either - photography, single covers, or anything else. Aside from the credits, all you get are mediocre essays that don't tell you much if you're already a Magazine fan.