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Good Times

October 2nd, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

Today and yesterday I have been working my way through the Yazoo box set In Your Room.   I have been able to give it my full attention because all my subtle hints about the new Metallica album coming out a week before my birthday fell on deaf ears.

On the face of it, putting together a 4-disc box set for a band that were only around for about 18 months, in which time they put out two albums, is quite an achievement, but its a nice package. Both full albums are in there, all remastered, then there is a disc of remixes and b-sides, and a DVD.  The DVD contains both the full albums again but in either Dolby Digital or DTS surround mixes, half a dozen promo videos, nine TV appearances of the band playing on such shows as Top Of The Pops and Cheggers Plays Pop, and a short documentary film.

I listened to the full albums in the car over the last couple of days, skimmed through the remix album before ripping it (I didn’t listen to all five versions of Situation all the way through; I shall wait for them to appear on shuffle some time), and tonight I listened to the 5.1 surround mixes after watching the documentary.  I could only get halfway through listening to the surround mixes before I could not resist the temptation any more and went up to retrieve my keyboard from under the bed…  I now know exactly how to annoy young Rojo!

The documentary was fun. There were lots of contributions from Vince and Alf, Andrew Fletcher, Andy Bell, Daniel Miller and others.  Including Paul Morley. Of course. He gets everywhere doesn’t he?  It was all very informative: I didn’t know that Moyet played the piano on Winter Kills, for example.  Also Vince spoiled the myth that the band got together just as the result of an ad in the Melody Maker.  Of course he knew Alison already – was there anyone in Basildon who was even remotely interested in music at that time who didn’t? Even I knew who she was, having seen her play a couple of times with her old blues band.

Personally I was just a little fascinated to see Daniel Miller talking about stuff.  I don’t think I had ever seen him on TV before.  He seemed a lot more normal than I would have expected from hearing his TVOD/Warm Leatherette single.

I particularly liked the comments about when the Situation single took off in America.  This was before remixing was common, and the American record label, Sire, asked if they could have it remixed by François Kevorkian.  When the result was played back to Vince he really didn’t like it.  Looking back on it he said that he didn’t like it because it was different to what he intended and added “of course, that is the whole point of remixes but I didn’t realise that.”

Just listening to Upstairs At Eric’s and You & Me Both was a real trip back in time – was it really 26 years ago?   As my copies of both are on vinyl I had not listened to them for ages.  I have the greatest hits CD, but I was reminded of so many favourites that didn’t get on that album: In My Room, Bring Your Love Down, Sweet Thing, Happy People. I was listening to them for the first time in at least ten years.

I had also forgotten just how experimental Yazoo was, especially on the first album, and how often Vince popped up on vocals.  I know it was bloody expensive, but I am now regretting that I didn’t get to see last year’s Yazoo tour when it hit Brighton.

All in all its a really decent box set, and I haven’t even looked at the booklet properly.  I flicked through it and it looks good.  Unlike many such inclusions in sets I think I will get round to reading it.

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