Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Garden

Back in June I did a John Foxx post about having just acquired the remastered and expanded edition of his great debut Metamatic. I also got it's follow-up, 1981's The Garden. This album sees John returning to the electronic art rock he explored as the singer of Ultravox! Where Metamatic is pure synth minimalism, The Garden features plenty or real bass and guitar (provided by Jo Dworniak & Duncan Bridgeman) and even drums. There's still lots of electronics, including the so-of-their-time Linn drums that everybody was using. I was captivated by first single Europe After The Rain. So lush and melodic, it's a lovely, warm and even a bit psychedelic pop tune that has a nice acoustic strum and some very pretty piano. When this song came out I was convinced that it would be a huge hit - it wasn't. Still sounds pretty good to these ears - after years of playing my crackly 45, this remaster sounds amazing. Dancing Like A Gun is a return to the style of music his old band played. It features big drums, great double tracked vocals, big rock riffs, and those distinctive synth melody lines. These remasters are great because they all have bonus material - this one has 5 extra tracks. In my opinion, this record is an unheralded classic of the early '80s.


Paulo X said...

I completely agree with you, regarding "The Garden".

Going even further, I'd say that Ultravox was a better band with Foxx.

Alice D. said...

ah, yes, Mr Foxx; or as Mark E. Smith would have it on 'Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul'-- "...John the ex-fox, sleeping in some outside bogs...".
i remember this being issued on 12" back in 1981, with a lovely red sleeve with detail of a renaissance painting (can't remember which one. saw the video for it once, and it disappeared without a trace, or at least into the bargain bins. nice rediscovery!

rockinwiththepin said...

Paulo X is dead on - Ultravox became a less interesting band once JF left. "HA HA HA" and "Systems of Romance", two of Ultravox's albums with Foxx, are classic forgotten masterpieces.

Also liked "Your Dress" from The Golden Section, which I think came along after "The Garden".