Interview

Lloyd Cole on new Commotions box

lc

In the next seven days Lloyd Cole and the Commotions’ new six-disc box set – Collected Recordings 1983-1989 – will be released. The set collects the three studio albums (Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces and Mainstream) and provides two bonus audio discs of B-sides and unreleased demos and outtakes. A DVD with TV appearances and videos completes the box set.

SDE caught up with Lloyd Cole last week to discuss the new set. He was actually feeling under the weather, so our chat became an email Q&A which you can read below:


SuperDeluxeEdition:  How did this box set come about?

Lloyd Cole: Universal proposed it.

SDE: Do you enjoy ‘looking back’ and putting archival sets together? You’ve created some good ones.

LC: I’m not against it, but I wouldn’t want to be devoting the majority of my time to it as it has felt the last year or so, every year. Also I was lucky to be in a pretty great band so looking back isn’t painful. I do like having my albums in print, and if a box is what it takes, then I’m ok with that.

SDE: Do you learn anything from the process?

LC: Sure, but it’s too late to benefit from the insight.

SDE: Have you always been aware of all the demos and unreleased songs that fill out disc five of the box, or did some of that material come as a surprise?

LC: There were one or two I’d forgotten – Eat My Words, the Patience demo, and I hadn’t forgotten Poons but I’d given up trying to find a copy…

 

 

SDE: Do you agree with the generally accepted view the Rattlesnakes is your best album?

LC: Ours, certainly. Mine, I don’t know. It is certainly flawless for what it is and I’m not sure I’ve made a flawless record

SDE: What are the factors that contributed to it being better than the two that followed?

LC: Luck. The songs. The unified shared vision.

SDE: Was this the happiest period, looking back?

LC: 1984 for sure. All year was wonderful.

SDE: Did you start working on Easy Pieces with Paul Hardiman?

LC: Well, we recorded 4 songs, as you know. But we didn’t embark on an album. That session was badly planned. I think we just thought – we’ll just carry on as before… but it was different and a big studio with a well known (London Calling) engineer, instead of just us and Paul in the garden… Brand New Friend and Perfect Blue were in the wrong key for my singing voice … none of us spotted this…

SDE: Were you happy with the initial work, or were the record label justified in having concerns?

 LC: We were happy with it and they were justified.

SDE:  How was the working relationship with Langer / Winstanley?

LC: Frenetic, mostly fun. Upbeat. We just got on with it. We trusted them.

SDE:  At the end of the process did the label feel vindicated in changing producers because you’d had three top 40 hits?

LC: I’m sure they did. The production isn’t the only weak element of the album. The poor songs are just poor.

SDE: Was the commercial success of Easy Pieces as satisfying as the critical success of Rattlesnakes?

LC: I retain my position that easy pieces initial success was entirely down to Rattlesnakes. Any album after Rattlesnakes would have sold well.

SDE: Can you describe the beginnings to Mainstream?

LC: Not really. We didn’t have a plan for the album so we just tried this producer and that. We weren’t on great form working with Chris Thomas in Paris, and neither was he… we tried Stewart [Copeland]- my idea – that didn’t work. I don’t know how we ended up with Ian [Stanley], I’m guessing Chris Hughes must have suggested him. Chris stopped by often to check on the sessions.

SDE: Ian Stanley produced the album in the end. Was it really that painful, the process of working with him? If so, why?

LC: It wasn’t painful for me. Ian was mostly good with me, but the rest of the band found it very difficult. Ian was very detail oriented, and taking three days to get one guitar track, or drum track done really wore us out…

SDE: Looking back on the three records how easy is it to identify cause and effect that contributed to perceived dissatisfaction? e.g. Production, song-writing, band friction, label pressure….

LC: Relatively. The biggest error was aiming for a Xmas 1985 release for Easy Pieces. With a little more time and thought that album could have been much better and then we might have learnt how to make records when we didn’t have 10 perfect songs and the ideal recording environment. And a holiday would have helped.

SDE: What exactly stopped the band staying together for a fourth album? Were you frustrated with working within a democracy?

LC: A little. But I would have stayed if we’d had a great idea for album 4, but we didn’t. We didn’t have a great idea for albums two or three… in the end we made good records because the band was so strong, and only one great one – when we had a unified vision for the album…

SDE: Are there any of the demos that you really wished had made it on to an album?

LC: Not any of the final albums but I think it’s clear we could have made a very different third album which might have followed the lead of tracks like Nevers End and Poons.

 

 

SDE: Everybody’s Complaining sounds like a classic. How did that not end up on the album?

LC: The album moved away from that type of song.

SDE: Tell us about Old Wants Never Gets – that’s quite a fast-paced track.

LC: Not sure what to say. I think it’s me with Blair backing me up trying hard to sound like prince.

SDE: Why did the Rattlesnakes outtake Beautiful City not earn a place here?

LC: Because it’s on the 2004 Rattlesnakes 2 CD set. That isn’t deleted and I’m working towards remastering it, to bring it in line with this set.

SDE: You have avoided most of the 12-inch versions and radio edits – the staple of many expanded deluxe reissues – why?

LC: Because they were atrocious. The one included is the only decent one.

SDE: Will we see any of this material issued on vinyl?

LC: Not by Universal. Maybe a 3rd party. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

SDE: Finally, do you still enjoy buying physical music such as vinyl, box sets etc.?

LC: Absolutely. Files are fine work-in-progress or the odd individual track I might like a little. I buy everything else on cd or vinyl.


Lloyd Cole was ‘talking’ to Paul Sinclair for SDE. The Collected Recordings 1983-1989 box will be released on 29 June 2015.

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions / Collected Recordings 1983-1989


Disc one – Rattlesnakes

  • 1 Perfect Skin
  • 2 Speedboat
  • 3 Rattlesnakes
  • 4 Down on Mission Street
  • 5 Forest Fire
  • 6 Charlotte Street
  • 7 2cv
  • 8 Four Flights Up
  • 9 Patience
  • 10 Are You Ready to be Heartbroken?

Disc two – Easy Pieces

  • 1 Rich
  • 2 Why I Love Country Music
  • 3 Pretty Gone
  • 4 Grace
  • 5 Cut Me Down
  • 6 Brand New Friend
  • 7 Lost Weekend
  • 8 James
  • 9 Minor Character
  • 10 Perfect Blue

Disc three – Mainstream

  • 1 My Bag
  • 2 From the Hip
  • 3 29
  • 4 Mainstream
  • 5 Jennifer she said
  • 6 Mr. Malcontent
  • 7 Sean Penn Blues
  • 8 Big Snake
  • 9 Hey Rusty
  • 10 These Days

Disc four – B-Sides, Remixes & Outtakes

  • 1. The Sea and The Sand (B-side to Perfect Skin)
  • 2. You Will Never Be No Good (B-side to Perfect Skin)
  • 3. Andy’s Babies  (B-side to Forest Fire)
  • 4. Glory (B-side to Forest Fire)
  • 5. Sweetness (B-side to Rattlesnakes)
  • 6. Perfect Blue (Hardiman mix) B-side to Jennifer She Said
  • 7. Jesus Said (B-side to My Bag)
  • 8. Brand New Friend (1985 Wessex Studio recording. Previously unreleased ***
  • 9. From Grace (Unfinished 1985 Wessex Studio recording. Previously unreleased ***)
  • 10. Her Last Fling ( B-side to Brand New Friend)
  • 11. Big World (B-side to Lost Weekend)
  • 12. Nevers End (B-side to Lost Weekend)
  • 13. Mystery Train  (Recorded live at The World, New York, 1986) B-side to Jennifer She Said
  • 14. I Don’t Believe You  (Recorded live at The World, New York, 1986) B-side to Jennifer She Said
  • 15. Love Your Wife (B-side to From The Hip)
  • 16. Lonely Mile (B-side to From The Hip)
  • 17. Please (B-side to From The Hip)
  • 18. My Bag (Dancing Mix) 12” single

Disc five – Demo Recordings & Rarities (ALL UNRELEASED except Trk 2 & 6)

  • 1. Down At The Mission [Unreleased single A-side]
  • 2. Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? [Unreleased single B-side (appeared previously on Rattlesnakes Deluxe Edition 2004)]
  • 3. Patience [Demo recording]
  • 4. Eat My Words [Demo recording (Never before heard)]
  • 5. Forest Fire [Demo recording]
  • 6. Perfect Skin [Demo recording (appeared previously on Rattlesnakes Deluxe Edition 2004)]
  • 7. Poons [Demo recording (Never before heard)]
  • 8. Old Hats [Demo recording]
  • 9. You Win [Demo recording (Never before heard)]
  • 10. Old Wants Never Gets [Demo recording (Never before heard)]
  • 11. Another Dry Day [Demo recording. (Never before heard)]
  • 12. 29  [Demo recording]
  • 13. Jennifer She Said [Demo recording]
  • 14. Hey Rusty [Demo recording]
  • 15. Everyone’s Complaining [Unreleased recording. Studio Grande Armée (Paris). Produced by Chris Thomas]
  • 16. Mr Malcontent [Unreleased recording. Studio Grande Armée (Paris). Produced by Chris Thomas]
  • 17. Jennifer She Said (Polished Rough Mix) [Unreleased recording. Sarm Studios (London). Produced by Stewart Copeland and Julian Mendelsohn]
  • 18. Hey Rusty [Unreleased recording. Sarm Studios (London). Produced by Stewart Copeland and Julian Mendelsohn]

DVD – Promotional videos & television performances

Promotional videos

  • 1 Perfect Skin
  • 2 Forest Fire
  • 3 Rattlesnakes
  • 4 Brand New Friend
  • 5 Lost Weekend
  • 6 Cut Me Down
  • 7 My Bag
  • 8 Jennifer She Said
  • 9 From The Hip
  • 10 Mainstream

Television performances

  • 11 Perfect Skin (Top of the Pops, June 1984)
  • 12 Rattlesnakes (The Old Grey Whistle Test, November 1984)
  • 13 Speedboat (The Old Grey Whistle Test, November 1984)
  • 14 Brand New Friend (Wogan, September 1985)
  • 15 Brand New Friend (Top of the Pops, September 1985)
  • 16 Lost Weekend (Top of the Pops, November 1985)
  • 17 Mister Malcontent (Recorded live in concert at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, June 1986)
  • 18 My Bag (Wogan, September 1987)

lloyd cole collected recordings

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36 responses to Lloyd Cole on new Commotions box

  1. Harry Williams says:

    Nice set of questions Paul. So refreshing when the interviewer knows their stuff.

    • Mike the Fish says:

      Yes, I agree!

    • tim says:

      Pity the interviewee wasn’t as engaged in the interview. I’ve read a lot of music pieces that run the gamut from agog fanboy to overly critical. Mr. Cole did himself no favors in this interview. Why did he even bother? He doesn’t seem like he cares. I was on the fence about buying this and honestly after reading this “interview” I feel compelled to spend my money on something else.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        As referenced on the piece, unfortunately Lloyd and I weren’t having an actual conversation which would probably have been more engaging for the reader and probably resulted in some more expansive answers from LC. Still very grateful for his time and I’m looking forward to seeing a finished box.

  2. Martin Lee says:

    I have always been aware if Mr Cole from back in the day and only the songs which received airplay in one form or another. I did not buy any of their work as my musical tastes were in a slightly different genre and that cash was limited.

    But now with the beneit of disposable income and an a much broader taste in music I will definitely be picking up this boxset.

    The interview was a good read too.

  3. Chris says:

    I agree that Mr. Cole seems a bit disinterested in the tone of his responses; but sometimes that’s just a function of writing email. Some people just don’t like to write email, and how they come across in email is completely different from how they come across in other contexts.

    Anyway, I’ve loved his music for a long time and I expect I’ll get this. But I had thought this was to be a “complete recordings”-type set. The respond to the question about “Beautiful City” is a bit of a bummer: I don’t have a lot of enthusiasm about buying this set *and* buying a 2CD Rattlesnakes where half the material is already on this set.

    Ah well.

  4. Gazelle says:

    Many thanks for sharing the interview – an interesting read.

    Despite the answers given above, I would still have included ‘Beautiful City’ on disc four and moved the dancing mix of ‘My Bag’ to a seventh “completist’s disc” of all the single mixes, extended mixes and remixes:

    (01) ‘Brand New Friend’ [Single Edit] (from ‘Brand New Friend’ single)
    (02) ‘Cut Me Down’ [7” Remix] (from ‘Cut Me Down’ single)
    (03) ‘From The Hip’ [7” Remix] (from ‘From The Hip’ single)
    (04) ‘Forest Fire’ [Extended Version] (from ‘Forest Fire’ single)
    (05) ‘Brand New Friend’ [Long Version] (from ‘Brand New Friend’ single)
    (06) ‘Lost Weekend’ [Extended Version] (from ‘Lost Weekend’ single)
    (07) ‘Cut Me Down’ [12” Extended Remix] (from ‘Cut Me Down’ single)
    (08) ‘My Bag’ [Dancing Mix] (from ‘My Bag’ single)
    (09) ‘Perfect Skin’ [Commotions Meet The Irresistible Force] (from ‘My Bag’ single)
    (10) ‘My Bag’ [Dancing Remix/Mixed by Francois Kevorkian] (from ‘My Bag’ single)
    (11) ‘My Bag’ [Dancing Remix Dub/Mixed by Francois Kevorkian] (from ‘My Bag’ single)
    (12) ‘From The Hip’ [12” Extended Remix] (from ‘From The Hip’ single)
    (13) ‘Forest Fire’ [7” Remix/Mixed by Bruce Lampcov] (from ‘Forest Fire’ 1989 reissue single)
    (14) ‘Perfect Blue’ [Paul Hardiman Recording/Remixed by Bruce Lampcov] (from ‘Forest Fire’ 1989 reissue single)
    (15) ‘Forest Fire’ [12” Remix/Mixed by Bruce Lampcov] (from ‘Forest Fire’ 1989 reissue single)

    Still, fantasy track listings aside, I’m looking forward to the box set; the two new tracks shared above sound great.

    • JuzzyB says:

      Mr Cole is far too hard on Easy Pieces; it’s a very good album, and Mainstream is still one of my favourite records, I love every track and the production is great.
      I don’t really want to buy it again, though.

  5. trash says:

    Generally Lloyd is pretty open in interviews and on his website he takes the time to answer even the obscurest fan questions (“What guitar effects did you use on such and such?” type questions) so I suspect that the slightly terse tone of his responses comes from feeling under the weather and the fact that it was an email interview (never the easiest medium for interviews)

    Having said that I found it very interesting and has certainly increased my anticipation of the Boxed set. Many thanks Paul!

    @Chris, I get where you are coming from – the comment about ‘Beautiful City’ also made be pause.
    However as an owner of the 2CD edition I’m kind of glad it has not been rendered totally redundant. Also, to be completely fair, the set is not billed as being complete but I do still see your point.

  6. RJS says:

    Looking forward to this but I do think the extended mixes should have been included. Yeah, 12″ mixes from the 80’s probably belong in the 80’s but anqyone buying this is an enthusiast of LC and I don’t think they’d have been unwelcomed.

    As for the remastering of the two disc version of Rattlesnakes mentioned in the interview, it could result in, if you include the copy in this boxset, the obsessives buying / owning four copies of the album!

  7. trash says:

    I must be one of the only people that does not feel that deluxe editions should include every single remix under the sun. I usually find most of them are novelties (i.e. only worth listening to once or twice) and boring when strung together on the same CD (3 versions of track x, followed by 4 versions of track y etc etc).
    Not for me (no offence meant to others that love collecting remixes).

    As regards this boxed set in particular I have to agree with Lloyd’s view that the Dancing Mix of My Bag is probably the only remix of any worth in their catalogue (apart from possibly the alternate mix of Perfect Blue which is lovely). A friend made me a CD of all the remixes (tracklist below for those that are interested) and as big a fan as I am of LC&TC I’ve probably played it twice in the 15+ years I’ve had it.

    The tracklist of that CD:
    – Perfect Skin (remix)
    – Forest Fire (extended version)
    – Brand New Friend (long version)
    – Lost Weekend (extended version)
    – Cut Me Down (extended version)
    – Cut Me Down (remix)
    – Cut Me Down (extended remix)
    – My Bag (dancing mix)
    – Perfect Skin (’87 remix)
    – My Bag (dancing remix)
    – From the Hip (remix)
    – From the Hip (extended remix)
    – Forest Fire (’89 7″ remix)
    – Forest Fire (’89 extended remix)
    – Perfect Blue (’89 remix)

  8. Chris says:

    Great interview in that it mined some very good insight! Shame that Lloyd wasn’t feeling well as an email exchange definitely lacks any enthusiasm on the part of the interviewee. Still, great questions and the answers were just informative enough to give anyone who reads it a look at how Lloyd felt about this project and some interesting takes on his albums. Obviously music is one of the most subjective topics to discuss and someone who went through the process of actually recording it will most likely be much more critical when compared to the diehard and casual fan’s thoughts. When you record a song then listen to it, you start thinking about all the steps taken from the first notes, any changes, arguments…..etc. It seems that it’s rare when someone as accomplished as Lloyd Cole actually thinks….yep, got that one perfect. Interesting to read this, thanks very much!

    • trash says:

      Well said Chris – and you are absolutely spot on.
      As someone that dabbles in writing and recording my own songs its actually very difficult to listen back to something without spotting all the flaws (or at least things you would like to change).
      This actually gets worse with time. As your skills improve and change you tend to look at your older work and spot even more things you could improve on. So I can imagine for Lloyd, looking back on work that was done at the start of his career might not be that enjoyable.

      I love Easy Pieces (although less than the other two) whereas the band as a whole seem to feel it is very week. Indeed I read somewhere that Lloyd thinks that one of the tracks (possibly ‘Minor Character”? can’t quite recall) is the worst thing he has *ever* written – which certainly sounds very harsh.

  9. Steven says:

    I still think all the extended mixes should have been included. Just because Lloyd isn’t a fan of them doesn’t mean that the fans (ie the ones expected to actually pay for the box set) aren’t…

    I mean, if the remixes were really so ‘atrocious’, then what was the record company doing in releasing them in the first place?….

    • trash says:

      > I mean, if the remixes were really so ‘atrocious’, then what was the
      > record company doing in releasing them in the first place?….

      Ha Ha – I presume you are being ironic when you say this? :-)

      Seriously record companies (not all but most) will release *anything* to make a buck.
      Witness Talk Talk who absolutely insisted that none of their songs should be remixed (the latter ones anyway) but the record company went ahead and released an abominable collection of remixes. I believe Mark Hollis eventually had to sue the company.

      Not saying that all artists don’t want remixes released but a lot of the time the artist is not even involved in the selection of the remixer and the remix itself.

      Of course as fans we are within our rights to want to hear remixes (I believe the Talk Talk remix album sold pretty well for example) unfortunately the artist often begs to differ it seems….

  10. Paul English says:

    Some rock guys [bands and fans] tend to be uncomfortable about the inclusion of single and extended mixes. No such hang-ups in the pop world.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      This is true. I will eat my SDE hat if the “House Upon The Hill Mix” of Big Love ever gets on a reissue of Tango In The Night.

  11. Mark A. says:

    Euro-centrism? The box is $62 (equivalent) on Amazon.co.jp today.

  12. Eric says:

    I recently watched Lloyd’s interview on the Vintage TV channel, with Neil McCormick, and if you’ve seen that you’ll know Lloyd Cole thinks about his answers, and offers very candid but quite serious musings when posed a question. It’s refreshing. He doesn’t waffle on for the sake of it, and I can hear his conversational voice coming through even in the stiff medium of an email Q&A.

    Like others, I don’t think Easy Pieces or Mainstream are remotely poor albums by most people’s standards, but I do understand where he is coming from with his views on that era. There is a bit too much filler on Easy Pieces, but Mainstream is very underrated even if I can well believe it was a nightmare to record.

    Thanks for the interview, Paul.

  13. trash says:

    Bonanza delivery today:

    – Joy Division Closer and Unknown Pleasures (very good reproductions of the covers including the texture of the sleeves).

    And more pertinently – the Lloyd Cole & the Commotions box arrived as well.

    First impressions very good indeed:
    – Packaging mirrors the quality of the Tears for Fears packages
    – Hardcover booklet looks and feels high quality
    – Albums, although not Japanese mini-sleeve editions, feature reproductions of the outer and inner sleeves rather than being re-worked versions like some boxes tend to do.

    Unfortunately no song by song analysis which would have been a real bonus, and no lyrics unless your eyes are good enough to read the ones on the Easy Pieces inner – their difficult enough to follow on the vinyl :-). Lyrics would have been interesting given what a Cole is such a wordsmith.

    Having said that – no complaints from me so far.
    Others with greater attention to detail may spot issues (but hopefully their aren’t any).

  14. Chris says:

    This reminds me of some of the conversations with Jim Kerr regarding Sparkle in the Rain. Obviously Simple Minds did not have the stunning debut album like Lloyd Cole but New Gold Dream might be a good comparison to Rattlesnakes with respect to how easily the albums came together compared to the difficulties or perceived difficulties with the follow-ups. Easy Pieces is a good if not great record to me but you can sense the difference between that and Rattlesnakes in the way that Rattlesnakes does seem like such a happy album resulting from a period where the band were tuned into each other as opposed to an album where there were differing approaches that needed to be worked out through compromise, argument….etc.

    New Gold Dream, another timeless album was said to have come together extremely easy and was the result of the hard work that was invested in the previous efforts. The album sort of recorded itself and was the result of a time where the band were enjoying being in a band, having welcomed a new member who brought a fresh perspective in Mel Gaynor and those happy times resulted in what is to me, a classic and one of my very favorite albums. Sparkle in the Rain may have been the hangover from that previous party, as good as it is. I think the band tried too hard to avoid making NGD2 and that extra labor caused the difficulties that caused the album to lose its cohesiveness on side 2 and caused the less than golden praise the band members have for the album.

  15. Eric says:

    A lot of acts are rushed into a 2nd album, when the debut was the result of years building up to a point where lots of material was honed and everyone had a clear idea of what they wanted to do. Follow-ups are inevitably cobbled together in moments on tour, holed up in tax exile abroad, and with the label gunning for a lucrative release date so they can cash in (as Lloyd alluded to with Easy Pieces’ 1985 deadline).

    Same with Nik Kershaw’s The Riddle, Bowie’s Tonight, even something like Duran’s Seven & The Ragged Tiger. It was just what happened back then, before adding a few bonus tracks created an expanded version to extend the album’s lifespan by another year as happens now.

  16. Renato says:

    I can’t wait to get this box and finally have Easy Pieces back in my collection. I wish this was a complete collection, though – too bad the single versions and remixes were left out. Who knows, maybe some nice 2 CD deluxe editions of all three albums will be released some day (could be, considering Mr. Cole revealed that he’s working on the deluxe edition of Rattlesnakes in order to bring it in line with this set), so we can get lots of other rarities, possible outtakes, radio sessions and all those single versions :)

  17. Wayne Klein says:

    I find it a pain in the butt that Lloyd didn’t choose to include “Beautiful City”. Why do we need to rebuying something else to get a small number of tracks?

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  19. Saad says:

    A separate disc of remixes and edits wouldn’t go amiss or effect the beauty of the box set!

  20. trash says:

    Watched the Video disc last night.
    Interesting but not essential.

    I think I was most struck by the fact that they obviously had to remove one of the drug references from My Bag (“Powder my nose” became “Launder my clothes”) to appear on Wogan. Clearly the “20-storey non-stop snowstorm” escaped their notice.

  21. L Cole says:

    Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989

    5 CDs, 1 DVD and a book, in a box.

    We began work on this in February 2014. It’s been a lot of work. There were two product managers. Joe Howard (son of Dr Robert Howard) initiated the project and then moved on. Lewis Robinson took his place. Lewis and I have exchanged hundreds of emails as we tracked down the original tapes, cassettes, u-matics, and Ian Jones at Abbey Road has done a fabulous job in transferring them to CD.

    All three studio albums are included, all three are re-mastered, but we did very little to Mainstream other than adjust level. Bob Ludwig’s original work was near perfect and still sounds great almost 30 years later. The original 1/2″ mixdowns of Easy Pieces could not be used as the tape had disintegrated and baking, etc could not save it. We worked from the 1/4″ back up (made the same day as the 1/2″ for this very reason) and to my ears the album is significantly improved. The big news, to my ears, is Rattlesnakes. We were able to use the original 1/2″ tapes and upon hearing a ‘flat transfer’ I was shocked at how far we had strayed from the original recordings over the years. I sent the files to the band to listen to to be sure I wasn’t imagining things. Is this as great as I think it is? They agreed. We decided to make the new CD as close as possible to the original tapes. The trade off would be volume. If we wanted the album to sound loud, then we would lose the dynamics which were what was making it sound better. We chose the sound over the loudness. You have a volume control on your stereo. You can turn it up if you need to.

    The first bonus CD is all our collected b-sides, not including live recordings, unless they were songs we hadn’t recorded in the studio – so the 1986 recordings from New York are there. The only remix included is our own extended mix of My Bag, as we all pretty much agreed it was the only decent dance mix we ever made.

    The final CD is rarities, from the unreleased 1983 single Down At The Mission, the 1985 Paul Hardiman recordings, the 1986 Paris recordings with Chris Thomas, demos, etc. Pretty much everything we recorded which wasn’t a complete disaster is here. Full track listing below.

    The book contains an extensive essay by Pete Paphides, who spent way more time and wrote many more words than was originally the plan. He spoke to all the protagonists. It’s a lovely story, if a little sad, at times.

    • Wayne Klein says:

      Lloyd, thanks for the comments.

      I have to say after hearing this I agree that Rartlesnakes hasn’t sounded this good since the original vinyl. I also appreciate the fact that you elected to go for dynamics over volume as compression would have squeezed the life out of the albums and the first album had such a wonderful, organic sound to begin with and compressing it would have compromised it.

      Mainstream–I quite agree that Ludwig’s original mastering sounding marvelous and this edition certainly compliments it.

      Altogether this is an exceptional set. For the record I’d love to see Rattlesnakes reissued with a live performance if possible and any existing vintage era shows on DVD since the bulk of the b-sides and out takes are on this set.

      Hopefully you’ll do a U.S. Tour to support the set (a Northern California appearance in San Francisco or Napa Valley would be much appreciated!)

    • russell finch says:

      Perfect Skin, Patience and Four Flights Up sound very very different to the previous releases. Apparently Ric Ocasek remixed those tracks back in the 80s, so I suspect those mixes have been used in the box set in error. Also Mainstream sounds identical to the original CD, no sign of level being adjusted as LC claimed above. can anyone shed any light here?

      • Wayne Klein says:

        I took a closer listen as well and agree with your conclusion about the Ocasek remixes being used by accident (or on purpose–was this done to help sell the remastered deluxe Rattlesnakes? I would hope that Lloyd wouldn’t pull such a cynical trick on fans).

        • Wayne Klein says:

          So it appears I was wrong on this and will eat crow. The difference in sound is clearly the result of the mastering. Either way, it sounds excellent.
          Maybe we will get the Ocasek remixes (which would be nice to hear…I heard those when they were first released and frankly didn’t notice that big a difference when I first heard the original CD with the original mixes).

  22. russell finch says:

    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/new-box-set-collected-recording-1983-1989-by-lloyd-cole-the-commotions.427220/page-5

    Wayne – see post 120, have a listen and tell me if you still think you were wrong….

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