Sound, The – The BBC recordings

In recent years the albums of The Sound were (finally) reissued in nice digipacks with extensive liner notes and bonus tracks. But the fans craved for more. They were already treated to ‘Propaganda’, the ‘lost first album’. Now they are really spoiled with ‘The BBC Sessions’, A double album with 23 tracks recorded live in the period 1980-1985.

‘They had the ferocious intensity of Joy Division, the melodic sturm and drang of U2 and, in Adrian Borland, the roar of a classic frontman.’ These words of praise, taken from The Times, can be found at the back of the sleeve. That The Sound was a good and tight live band could already be heard on the classic live album ‘In the Hothouse’. On stage their songs sound a bit rawer and even more passionate than on their studio albums. In the BBC studios this intensity was also reached.

If you are familiar with the work of The Sound it is very nice to hear all their classics in powerful live renditions, such as ‘Heartland’, ‘Missiles’, ‘New dark age’, ‘Winning’ or ‘Sense of Purpose’. Funny to hear are the announcements by presentor Pete Drummond of the ‘studio concerts’. Nice to read are the comments by drummer Mike Dudley.

The ‘Mike Read session’ from 1980 sounds really raw and punkish, and more powerful than the debut ‘Jeopardy’. One year later, when they had the honour to play a John Peel session, they already sound more polished, with more focus on synths, just after releasing their masterpiece ‘From the lion’s mouth’. I will not go into detail about each track, except for the instrumental remix of ‘Monument’ which functions as an intro. This version really sounds majestic! It is followed by a blistering version of ‘Golden soldiers’. Oh, and there is also a nice version of ‘Hothouse’ , which is rather different than the single version.

This compilation of radio sessions is a very nice gift, which cannot be missed by fans of The Sound and the late Adrian Borland. Probably the last material we can expect from the Sound legacy is a ‘B-sides & rarities compilation’. Hopefully there will also come a digipack reissue of ‘Thunder up’ one day, which is still available in its original form as released by Play it Again Sam in the late 80’s. Then the series will be complete.

Avaibale from Renascent or Red Sun Records.

artist: Sound, The
label: Renascent
details: 2cd, 23 tracks [ren cd 8]