Swing Out Sister have re-issued their originally self-released Private View collection in the US as a deluxe edition – upgrading the packaging to a DVD-style digi-pack and pairing the CD with a Toyko Stories, a DVD documenting a live concert they performed in Japan in 2010.
Corinne and Andy from the band told SuperDeluxeEdition recently (interview coming soon) that Private View originally came about as a result of a US tour that never happened.
In April 2010 ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland moved south resulting in all flights in and out of the UK being suspended for a number of days. The band waited in vain for the ash cloud to clear so they could head off to the US.
During rehearsals, they had come up with new arrangements for some of their best known tracks and rather than simply file them away for some possible future use, they headed straight to the studio with the tour band and recorded them.
The result is a 10-track album of ‘live’ re-arrangements of some fairly well known tracks (albeit only Breakout makes it from It’s Better To Travel) sprinkled with a couple of chilled ‘interludes’. Private View successfully achieves a homegrown feel – count-ins and occasional studio chatter seep through – but doesn’t slavishly adhere to a live, ‘no-overdubs’ ruling, which allowed Andy Connell to overdub strings and horns where needed after the original sessions. This works delightfully on La La Means I Love You with it’s grin-inducing nod to Marvin Gaye during the break, and Am I The Same Girl? (their last UK top 30 hit).
Breakout on Private View (“Fabulous Party Mix”) is quirky and interesting, although the slow, tortoisian reworking might leave you yearning for the hare-like pace of the original. The brilliance of Notgonnachange hasn’t, er, changed, and it sounds delightful here, shorn of its beats and Frankie Knuckles remixes but extended to over six minutes (the longest track on the album).
The Tokyo Stories DVD which comes with this set (identical to the DVD available separately, incidentally) is the perfect accompaniment to the audio CD. Running for an hour, this documents an evening at the Billboard venue in Tokyo in 2010, with some of the arrangements repeated or developed from the Private View sessions (notably Breakout).
Rather than just playing out the concert straight, this presentation has occasional diversions behind the scenes, as the band are interviewed on local radio stations, fool around in rehearsals or just take in the beauty of the city. The concert setting, combined with incidental music and intimate, often beautiful filming, really does fuse into something rather magical. Swing Out Sister’s long and warm relationship with the people of Japan is self-evident.
Die hard fans may well already own both elements within this set, but for those who may have bought last year’s It’s Better To Travel reissue but have not really kept up with Swing Out Sister over the years, this special ‘Souvenir’ edition of Private View will bring you right back up to date.
- • UK Order: Private View (Special Deluxe CD + DVD)
- • USA Order: Private View (Special Deluxe CD + DVD)
- • CANADA Order: Private View (Special Deluxe CD + DVD)
- • GERMANY Order: Private View (Special Deluxe CD + DVD)
Private View (CD)
- 1. Incomplete Without You
- 2. You On My Mind
- 3. It May Not Be Enough (Interlude)
- 4. La La Means I Love You
- 5. And the Flowers Will Grow (Interlude)
- 6. Am I the Same Girl
- 7. Notgonnachange
- 8. Breakout (Fabulous Party Mix)
- 9. Mama Didn’t Raise No Fool
- 10. Now You’re Not Here (Taj Calder Instrumental)
Tokyo Stories (DVD)
- 1. Prelude
- 2. Twilight World
- 3. Breakout Slow
- 4. Crazy Radio
- 5. Good Morning Tokyo
- 6. Everyday Crime
- 7. Butterfly
- 8. You On My Mind
- 9. Trippin’ On Trains Now You’re Not Here
- 10. Trombone Kimono
- 11. Nature Boy
- 12. Alpine Crossing
- 13. Tune In/Tune Up
- 14. Who’s Been Sleeping
- 15. Spooky Backstage
- 16. Stoned Soul Picninc
- 17. Flugel Noodle
- 18. Breakout Encore
- 19. Happy Ending
- 1. Surrender
- 2. Opium Kiss