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Apr 12 2010

One November Monday

Back in the winter of 2009, on a bleak, windy Monday, I died and went to heaven.

Actually, I tell a lie, it was Slough.
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When I think of Slough I see the opening credits to the UK comedy ‘The Office’ which was supposedly based there. It’s all industrial buildings, dull office blocks and council estates, absolutely nothing to write home about (sorry any Slough dwellers reading this). I’d been invited by my friend Ian Peel to visit him at an address owned by the record label ZTT – home of Trevor Horn, his associated productions as well as the back catalogue of Stiff records, which they acquired in the mid 80′s. Arriving at the address revealed a nondescript ‘premises’ – it wasn’t a house or office in the conventional sense and – while searching for an entrance round the back – Ian popped his head out and beckoned me inside.

I’ve known Ian for a few years now, initially through a shared love for the Zang Tuum Tumb (ZTT) label and it’s golden period in the 80′s, but also for our fondness of the music of that decade. He regularly writes for the Guardian, Record Collector and the like as well as co-ordinating reissues and releases for ZTT, Stiff and occasionally his own label Karvavena. On occasion he picks my brains for something and disappears back into the ether although this time I’d provided him with much more than a soundbite for a magazine feature. An email arrived one day from Philip Marshall who was helping Ian with the reissue of a deluxe 2 CD edition of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ album for ZTT. Could I help with sourcing images for the release?

For those unaware, (probably most of you) Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and more importantly the whole aesthetic of the ZTT label in the 80′s, had a huge effect on me in my formative years. Most people have one or two bands that they ‘grew up’ with, moments where a bands rise to fame and the mania that surrounded them dovetailed with your own musical tastes and that group becomes forever linked with your memories of the period. For most of ’84 and ’85 I bought little else than the bands on the ZTT roster, Frankie, Art of Noise, Propaganda, Grace Jones’ incredible Slave To The Rhythm LP, even venturing into contemporary classical waters with Andrew Poppy, and of course, the Frankie Say… T-shirts.

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Jumping 20 years forward in time I was perusing a ZTT fan forum when I chanced upon someone selling the original artwork for the ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ album. To cut another digression short, I ended up buying the paintings of the front, inner gatefold and back from the original artist Lo Cole and they now hang proudly in my studio. Another jump, 5 years to the present, and Ian is trying to source unique images for the 28 page booklet that will accompany the reissue. The ZTT archive is incomplete, a lot of it having either been binned over time or destroyed in a fire at an Island records warehouse over a decade ago and this was where I fitted in.

Being a fan, over the years I’ve been trawling eBay and used magazine shops for copies of the music press from the 80′s and collecting the ads for all the releases – mini graphic masterpieces in themselves that had influenced my design tastes greatly. Ian had seen this collection and asked if I had any more including the scans of the Pleasuredome preliminary sketches and paintings Lo had sent me when I’d been discussing the purchase of his work. I did and photographed various promo and flyposters too big to include in the folders as well as details from the cover paintings. Then he dropped the bombshell. He was spending a couple of days a week in a property owned by ZTT, sorting out all the master tapes from their archive – the fabled ‘ZTT cupboard’ as it’s known to collectors. Because the artwork required from my collection was so valuable, we agreed I should should drop it off in person to Ian whilst he was working there.
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The thought that I would be in a room with boxes of master tapes all connected directly to the label and music I loved was thrilling but nothing prepared me for the sight I saw upon stepping into the room. It was the whole downstairs floor of the building, the size of a small office or a very large living room. Boxes covered nearly every inch of floorspace and were piled up to chest height, Ian had started to sort them into stacks relating to each artist and there was a small warren of footpaths between the piles. Half of the room was barely touched and the sheer volume of boxes was overwhelming.

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I looked down and saw a stack marked ‘Grace Jones’, in it were various master tapes for the ‘Slave To The Rhythm’ LP and single, duplicates for different territories but no session tapes, yet. Several boxes of Art of Noise reels revealed 24 track tapes of various ‘Moments In Love’ versions, the ‘Beatbox’ and ‘Into Battle’ 12″s, an early, unreleased version of their first album entitled ‘Worship’, already split into an A and B side for the cutting house. Fairlight discs and studio session sheets where inside the boxes too, containing info on what was recorded when, by whom and, no doubt, the original samples used on the tracks. One had the words “I never want to hear this ever again – A. Dudley” on it, another “Anne in tears” written on the metal reel itself.

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“Here’s the Frankie pile”, offered Ian, pointing to about 50 boxes, each stuffed with reels of master tape, cans of film used for videos, VHS, Hi-8, DAT and cassettes. There were session tapes for the ‘Liverpool’ album, I think I saw at least 50+ reels, mixes upon mixes, vocal sessions from actors like Joanna Lumley, Pamela Stephenson and Jeff Palmer. A version of ‘Two Tribes’ finished on my birthday in 1984 marked ‘mix 115′. The reels of an unreleased 7 & 12 inch remix by Paul Morley of their last single, ‘Watching The Wildlife’, ready for the cutting house to master. A ‘Welcome To the Pleasuredome’ ‘continuous wacky jam’ between Trevor Horn Steve Lipson and JJ Jeczalik entitled ‘the shit mix’. This was like entering one of those lost temples in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the ultimate digging in the crates session with the added appeal of teenage nostalgia.

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After four hours my hands were black and I had to get back to London but I felt I’d barely scratched the surface. A couple of boxes were filled between the two of us, full of interesting or important tapes that needed to be baked and transferred to DAT for future compilations. Pleasuredomes indeed as an old Paul Morley-penned sleeve note read.

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The deluxe reissue of Frankie’s ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ is out April 12th from ZTT / Salvo / Union Square Music. It comes with a second CD of unheard works in progress, rare alternate 12″ and cassette only cuts including a completely unheard extended version of ‘Ballad of 32′ from the original album. Included is a 28 page booklet featuring text by Ian, design and layout in the style of the original releases from Philip and many picture contributions from myself. Ian even let me have a hand in the track selection and order on the bonus CD, running it past me and taking on board suggestions for inclusions and omissions. Last but not least, I get a nice credit inside :)

Buy it here

More design, visuals and tape shots in the gallery below, click to enlarge. I’ve been writing and researching a long piece entitled ‘Who’s Afraid of the Art of ZTT?’ for about 5 years now, it’s nearly finished and will make an appearance someday…

Posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 2:41 am under Design, Event, Music, Records. You can follow these comments using the RSS feed. You can trackback from your own site or leave a comment below..

Comments

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by wrongtothetom, Arr Too. Arr Too said: @TheHollyJohnson Great article here about the artwork: http://www.djfood.org/djfood/one-november-monday [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention DJ Food | One November Monday -- Topsy.com on April 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

  2. great read kev!

    Comment by si on April 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm

  3. Great story and pics from the vaults. Esspecially the ones from Art of Noise!

    Comment by Hub Hamers on April 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

  4. That’s incredible, fascinating stuff. Amazing pics. Very jealous here.

    Comment by osymyso on April 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm

  5. Seriously jealous also – one hell of a collection too! Looking forward to hearing the re-release – was coincidentally trying to rip my original WTTPD CD today, but it proved too scratched up, so this arrives just in time!

    Comment by Eric K on April 12, 2010 at 10:35 pm

  6. Should have titled it “Tuum Raider” though ;-)

    Comment by Eric K on April 12, 2010 at 10:43 pm

  7. Very good :)

    Comment by kev on April 12, 2010 at 10:45 pm

  8. Serious jealousy going on here! I too have deep affection for this era, this label, this band, the people behind it all… An amazing experience for you and thank you for sharing. I have given this article a mention on my blog too…

    http://www.failedmuso.com/blog/?p=707

    Comment by Failed Muso on April 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm

  9. Thanks Rob, nice blog you have there, we have similar tastes it seems

    Comment by kev on April 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm

  10. I would say VERY similar! :o )

    I worship at the temple of Trevor Horn!

    Comment by Failed Muso on April 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm

  11. And thanks for the kind words about the blog :)

    Comment by Failed Muso on April 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm

  12. If you liked this then keep an eye out for a forthcoming tribute to McLaren’s Duck Rock and, eventually, the most indepth article about the art of ZTT you’ll ever read.

    Comment by kev on April 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm

  13. Ah, Duck Rock. What a classic. Been on heavy rotation here these past few days since the passing of Malcy.

    I have you bookmarked (and now linked to on my blog) and looking forward to it :)

    Comment by Failed Muso on April 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm

  14. My mouth started watering when you said Master Tapes and then my jaw dropped when I read “boxes” of Art of Noise. This is so exciting to read. And I’ll join in with the other folks and say, oh man am I jealous too! Great post, keep ‘em comin’

    Comment by Otis on April 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm

  15. top notch as ever kever

    Comment by Jim on April 16, 2010 at 5:34 am

  16. Great article and great scans. Quite exciting! Definitely looking forward to hearing more about this in the future. Also looking forward to your Duck Rock/art of ZTT articles.

    One question, is all this information being put into a database or something like that? Any chance it would be possible to open it up to the fans? Or maybe include that as some bonus on a future release? I think fans would get a kick out of browsing through pictures of all the tapes and stuff as well as being able to search the the tracks by date etc. Could also probably help with identifying mystery tracks or something. I do have some database skills that I could offer.

    Sounds like Ian needs some assistance to finish this up in the next couple of years! :)

    P.S. looking forward to hearing the Shit mix someday :D

    Comment by Mark on April 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm

  17. Loved this and the introduction to your site. Love the site! Looking forward the Duck Rock stuff that is coming up. I wish and hope they will release and remaster Malcolm Mclaren’s back catalog soon. Hope they use your art you collected for them!

    Comment by Kirk on April 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

  18. will the remastered frankie album be available in 24 96 flac format as well as the remastered cdz

    Did you see any boxes there marked “Wendy and Lisa” containg the album they were working on in the 90′s? Now that is a raiders of the ark/pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

    Comment by antonio on April 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm

  19. No, no digital on this release. I didn’t see any W&L tapes but they might be there. I doubt they’ll ever see the light of day though as I think that ended a bit acrimoniously.

    Comment by kev on April 28, 2010 at 10:52 pm

  20. One question, is all this information being put into a database or something like that? Any chance it would be possible to open it up to the fans? Or maybe include that as some bonus on a future release? I think fans would get a kick out of browsing through pictures of all the tapes and stuff as well as being able to search the the tracks by date etc. Could also probably help with identifying mystery tracks or something. I do have some database skills that I could offer.
    +1

    Comment by Aviva on May 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

  21. yes it is, the fruits from this will see daylight sooner or later, there’s a new Art of Noise compilation called ‘influence’ on the way that includes some of the tracks featured here.

    Comment by kev on May 26, 2010 at 8:06 pm

  22. you lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky b*gger :o )

    Not jealous…. Not jealous…. Not jealous…. much :o )

    seriously… good article, chance of a lifetime. Just bought the 25th anniversary remasters. Great days….

    Comment by Steve on November 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm

  23. I took the photo of Frankie back stage at the Camden Palace after their first ever public performance of RELAX… (poster of holly pointing gun at camera with rest of band behind him) it got used by Island press office on the Frankie Poster you have used here… please let me know if your research ever gets published. I also have all the wild back stage dressing room shots before and after the performance which never got published!! :-)

    Poster photo © Stephen Rumney
    Please contact me via facebook to clear copyright for all usage,
    thx

    Comment by Stephen Rumney on August 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm

  24. ver Lucky for the art of noise records !!!!!

    Comment by shogun HD on November 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm

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