Legendary Pink Dots

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Brighter Now

Legendary Pink Dots - Brighter Now ©1982 Soleilmoon
1. Red Castles
2. Louder After Six
3. The Wedding
4. Apocalypse Then
5. Legacy
6. City Ghosts
7. Hanging Gardens
8. Soma Bath
9. Premonition 4

Being one of the earliest Dots recordings available, Brighter Now stands as more of a stepping stone for the rest of the Dots career. At the time, you could say the band was technologically impaired, as their equipment couldn't have been exactly top of the line. However, as with any Dots recording, it's the of the songs that shines through. Though most of the latter day Dots albums are more in key with my tastes, this is of course a decent listen that only shines more light on the musicial enigma of the Dots.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/1998


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Curse

Legendary Pink Dots - Curse ©1983 Soleilmoon
1. Love Puppets
2. Wall Purges Night
3. Lisa's Party
4. Aarzhklahh Olgevezh
5. Pruumptje Kurss
6. Waving At The Aeroplanes
7. Hiding
8. Doll's House
9. The Palace Of Love
10. Stoned Obituary

Another fine reissue of an early Dots LP, Curse contains much the same mood and psychedelic style that marked most of the early days of the band. Though limited somewhat by fairly cheap technology, the Dots have always been remarkable in their ability to craft entrancing songs no matter what instruments were at their disposal. Creativity has long been their calling card. Much of Curse is in the same field as 80's new wave, as "Wall Purges Night" or "Aarzhklahh olgevezh" demonstrate. But as with much of their early material, the certain innocence to the music entails a lot of simple catchiness. "Doll's House" and "Lisa's Party" both are very memorable pieces. As with many of the early Dots albums, Curse is great for historical purposes and the occasional fun listen.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998


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Faces In The Fire

Legendary Pink Dots - Faces In The Fire ©1984 Soleilmoon
1. Blasto
2. Love In A Plain Brown Envelope
3. Sleezo
4. Neon Gladiators
5. Kitto
6. Eight Minutes To Live

Possibly in the same spirit of the Residents' Commerical Album, the Dots have a great, jingle filled album that is quite madcap and downright uplifting in spirit. Edward Ka-Spel (known as the Prophet Qa'Sepel here) has honed his lyrics to razor sharp perfection (especially in "Kitto", where he laments "You could have left the cat, a little company to talk at/He never said a word except when he was hungry"). And his sexually laden "Love in a Plain Brown Envelope" is downright fantastic, bolstered by the excellent droning (alternating with great violin work) music. (Besides, who can deny the poetry of "Heaven is hole/There's a whole lot of heaven in your cavern, in your avenue...enjoy it?".) The biggest flaw in this album is that it's WAY too short.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/1998

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The Tower

Legendary Pink Dots - The Tower ©1984 Soleilmoon
1. Black Zone
2. Break Day
3. Tower 1
4. Vigil-anti
5. A Lust For Powder
6. Poppy Day
7. Tower 2
8. Astrid
9. Rope & Glory
10. Tower 3
11. Tower 4
12. Tower 5

By far one of the all time best unknown bands, the Legendary Pink Dots' The Tower is a dark and exceptional trip into their warped and bizarre musical psyche. Compared to other Dots records, this one doesn't quite have a whimsical feel that marks quite a bit of their style. As always, there is tons of musical inventiveness in their use of exceptionally low-tech drum machines matched with dissonant guitars (such as they use in "Break Day") and the ever-present violin of their earlier years. "A Lust for Powder" and "Poppy Day" are the catchiest of the lot, while all the Tower tracks tend to move into ethereal territory. Soleilmoon has done quite a favor for the underground world by rereleasing these gems.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1998

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Asylum

Legendary Pink Dots - Asylum ©1985 Play It Again Sam
1. Echo Police
2. Gorgon Zola's Baby
3. Fifteen Flies In The Marmalade
4. Femme Mirage
5. The Hill
6. Demonism
7. Prisoner
8. So Gallantly Screaming
9. I'm The Way, The Truth, The Light
10. Agape
11. Golden Dawn
12. The Last Straw
13. A Message From Our Sponsor
14. Go Ask Alice
15. This Could Be The End

Oh the joys of another Dots CD. Somewhere in the past several years it seems that the Dots have finally gotten their due and many of the older releases are starting to find their way on American shores. This particular CD was released during a rather trumultous time in the Dots long career and the strange nature of the music indicates a lot of tension.

With any band that has this prolific of a career, it is hard for a new potential fan to figure out which album would be a good jumping in point. This particular one is not recommended for a new listener. Rather, it is a very well-earned listen for the longtime Dots fan. Filled with more strangeness than usual, it took me quite a few listens before I really appreciate the album as a whole. Some of the songs, such as the operatic but macabre "Femme Mirage" are difficult to assimilate. Others are whimisical (almost as if the Residents had snuck into the studio), though quite dark in content ("The Hill", which describes a sniper outside a schoolyard, is a good example of this). Fortunately, the excellent usage of violins and strings creates a very trancelike mood and by midpoint in the album you are hooked. As with any Dots album, Edward KaSpell's amazing lyrics are worthy of a doctorate thesis and his accented voice immediately lets you know this is indeed a Dots album.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1998

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Any Day Now

Legendary Pink Dots - Any Day Now ©1988 Play It Again Sam
1. Casting The Runes
2. A Strychnine Kiss
3. Laguna Beach
4. The Gallery
5. Neon Mariners
6. True Love
7. The Peculiar Fun Fair
8. Waiting For The Cloud
9. Cloud Zero
10. Under Glass
11. The Light In My Little Girl's Eyes
12. The Plasma Twins

An exceptionally fine piece of work from the mid-era Legendary Pink Dots. Easily the best thing about this period for the Dots is the lush and remarkable violin of Patrick Wright and the way the band so flawlessly melds it into their psychedelic pop format. Tracks like "True Love", "Under Glass" and "The Plasma Twins" are instantly memorable, profound and lush with a full sound. Compared to some of the other Dots albums, this one is definitely more pop-oriented, though still containing the signature Dots sound. It is certainly an album that will continually grow on you, the same way The Golden Years (released not long afterwards) did. Good, good stuff.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

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Stone Circles: A Legendary Pink Dots Anthology

Legendary Pink Dots - Stone Circles: A Legendary Pink Dots Anthology ©1988 Play It Again Sam
1. Love Puppets
2. Curious Guy
3. Black Zone
4. Hanging Gardens
5. Golden Dawn
6. Fifteen Flies In The Marmalade
7. Our Lady In Darkness
8. Gladiators Version Apocalypse

Stone Circles is an anthology (as the title so helpfully points out) that covers the earlier era of the Legendary PInk dots from 1982 to 1987. Of the eight tracks included, seven are previously released while the eighth and final track is a re-recording of "The Neon Gladiators" from Faces in the Fire. Retitled "Gladiators Version Apocalypse", this song is probably the only thing that might encourage a hardcore Dots fan to pick up this disc. Chances are those fans already own all the studio issues of the earlier Dots albums. That of course brings up my beef with anthology packages. Unless there is a hefty amount of unreleased material or otherwise unique songs, there is no real burning need to actually own this. The track selection is nothing spectacular, but indeed representive of that era of the band. For someone curious about the first few Dots albums, this album might be worth digging up but it isn't the most spectacular thing the Dots have released.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/1999

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The Golden Age

Legendary Pink Dots - The Golden Age ©1988 Play It Again Sam
1. Maniac
2. The Talent Contest
3. The More It Changes
4. Hotel Noir
5. Stille Nacht
6. The Month After
7. Lisa's Separation
8. The Golden Age
9. Black Castles
10. And Even The Vegetables Screamed
11. Regression
12. Black List
13. Methods
14. Our Lady In Cervetori

Something I've noticed with bands who have a vast, expansive back catalogue of albums such as the Legendary Pink Dots is that generally the albums you pick up first in your collection are the ones that are the most endearing and enduring. If I recall correctly, The Golden Age was perhaps the second Dots album I ever purchased and to this day it remains one of my favorites. There is a certain charm to this record, perhaps in the warm combination of the keyboards and violin of Patrick Wright (whose contributions to the Dots in the 80's represent some of my favorite material). The main focal point of the album is the haunting, waltz based violin epic of "Hotel Noir". Featuring a great Ka-Spell narrative and smartly composed music, this is easily one of the best songs in the Dots history. Some of the other great tracks on the album are "The More It Changes", "Black List", "The Month After" and "Methods". The album flows through a more accessible, quaint and charming sound to very abstract soundscapes and then right back into safe ground again. Regardless of all else, The Golden Age is highly responsible for capturing my initial interest in the Legendary Pink Dots and gets high praise, if nothing else, for that.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

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Shadow Weaver

Legendary Pink Dots - Shadow Weaver ©1992 Play It Again Sam
1. Zero Zero
2. Guilty Man
3. Ghosts Of Unborn Children
4. City Of Needles
5. Stichting Time
6. Twilight Hour
7. The Key To Heaven
8. Laughing Guest
9. Prague Spring
10. Leper Colony

The Shadow Weaver albums (including the followup Malachai) are intentionally two of the most difficult of all the Legendary Pink Dots albums to assimilate and grasp. Perhaps Ka-Spel and company had ingested a mushroom found in left field or perhaps they were just feeling rather esoteric, but Shadow Weaver is certainly not going to be a pleasant little security blankie. Much of this album has the sporadic, elusive nature of Ka-Spel's solo works rather than the immediacy of Dots releases. Sections break down into improvised-sounding sessions of electronic effects, occasional saxophone noises from Neils van Hoornblower, and basic randomness. "City of Needles" is a throbbing piece of work that is tense and crouching to attack. "The Key to Heaven" has the feel of mid-80s Dots, though, with some amusing instrumentation. "Prague Spring" is a great song as it features Dots alumni Patrick Wright guesting with a little bit of his viola magic. The song itself has a bittersweet romantic feel, lush instrumentation and heavyset mood. Possibly the biggest problem the Shadow Weaver has is many of the quiet moments cause the listener to anticipate something should be happening while sitting through those moments. It'll take some time to properly understand where this album is going.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

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Malachai: Shadow Weaver Part 2

Legendary Pink Dots - Malachai: Shadow Weaver Part 2 ©1993 Play It Again Sam
1. Joey The Canary
2. Kingdom Of The Flies
3. Encore Une Fois
4. Wildlife Estate
5. Pavane
6. Window On The World
7. On The Boards
8. We Bring The Day
9. Paris 4 AM

Certainly one of the more eclectic of the Legendary Pink Dots albums in their catalogue. Malachai (which follows up the Shadow Weaver, which I have not yet heard at this date) tends to be quite deconstructed in terms of songwriting and defintely sports some seriously disjointed arrangements. On most Dots albums, you can count on at least a couple songs that stand out as very friendly and cozy psychedelic pop gems. Here, only "Joey the Canary" will take your little hand and hold it. The rest of this trip is very unusual and complex. Relying somewhat on echoing sounds, sparseness of arrangement and just flat-out weirdness, Malachai is not the Dots your daddy drove.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1999

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9 Lives To Wonder

Legendary Pink Dots - 9 Lives To Wonder ©1994 Soleilmoon
1. Madame Guillotine
2. On Another Shore
3. Softly Softly
4. Crumbs On The Carpet
5. Hotel Z
6. Oasis Malade
7. A Crack In Melancholy Time
8. Siren
9. The Angel Trail
10. Nine Shades To The Circle
11. A Terra Firma Welcome

Overall I'm not precisely sure what to make of this album. It's probably the most subdued and reserved album of theirs that I've heard, as they seldom turn up the insanity meter at all. (Well, actually the bit about the girl searching for pyramids in Belgium in "Oasis Malade" was kinda zany.) Most of the album features live drums (several tracks worth of ex-Skinny Puppy and Tear Garden cohort Cevin Key and the rest supplied by Ryan Moore and Martijn de Kleer) and less electronic devices than in the past. The result is an airy, organic feel that is multiplied by the quiet nature of most of the songs. Edward Ka-Spel gets so low-key in his approach that you, as a listener, can almost forget it's on. Out of all the many listens I've given it, it is still hard to really pick out any key moments (aside from Cevin's...ha ha). It is definitely quality Dots material for the long-time fan but this wouldn't be a good first album for a new inductee to the Dots Cult to try.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1999

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Chemical Playschool Volumes 8 & 9

Legendary Pink Dots - Chemical Playschool Volumes 8 & 9 ©1995 Terminal Kaleidoscope
CD one:
1. A Triple Moon Salute
2. Cease Your Lonely Mourning
3. Little Oyster
4. Catch A Match
5. Invaders In The Raita
6. The Artificial Silence
7. A Chrome Zone In Powder Park
8. Pandora's Socks
9. Andromeda Suite
10. Pastorial
CD two:
11. A Pause In A Melancholy Silence
12. Burned At The Steak-House
13. New Shoes
14. I Dream Of Jeannie
15. She Gave Me An Apple
16. Stirred But Not Shaken
17. The Ballad Of Ron & Popo
18. Where No Man
19. Premonition 7

This is actually one of the more difficult Dots CDs to wade through. Featuring two full CDs of various experiments in ambience, outtakes and otherwise unused recordings throughout the nineties, the sheer peculiarity of much of the music is unsettling at first and requires quite a few spins before one gets an inkling of what's going on here. In comparison to normal Dots albums, there is less centering on identifable songs and more on mood. The twenty-five minute opus of "Andromeda's Suite" is the prime example of ambience before compact songs, while "New Shoes" is a bit creepy in a private-eye soundtrack sort of way. At times the use of electronics is downright annoying (check out the incessant buzz on "The Ballad of Ron and Popo", but not for too long because it'll drive you bonkers). Again, as with some of the other compilations of Dots outtakes, this release is recommended for longtime Dots fans rather than a newbie rushing to find out what this amazing band is all about.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1998

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Canta Mientras Puedas

Legendary Pink Dots - Canta Mientras Puedas ©1996 Soleilmoon
1. Belladonna
2. I Love You In Your Tragic Beauty
3. Green Gang
4. Princess Coldheart
5. Disturbance
6. The Grain Kings
7. Prague Song
8. A Triple Moon Salute
9. Joey The Canary
10. Siren
11. The Angel Trail
12. A Velvet Resurrection
13. Friend

Subtitled "An Anthology of the Years '90 to '95", this could very well be the best jumping in point for the new Legendary Pink Dots fan who doesn't know where to begin. This excellent compilation covers seven of the 90's releases from the Dots and is so well sequenced that it almost feels like one strong album. Throughout this decade, the Dots have become increasingly more impressive, this in part to Ryan Moore (drums/bass) and Nels van Hoornblower (lots of wind instruments) adding their collective talent to the pool. Their palette of musical colors is in full force throughout, giving you a feel for all the facets of this enormously talented band. From the tranquility of "Prague Spring" to the weirdness of "Green Gang" to the dub feel of "Joey the Canary", the diversity of the band is strong and wonderful. If you've heard the Tear Garden as a Skinny Puppy fan or have been curious about the Dots, pick up this album and allow yourself to experience the most dynamic band of the past two decades.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1998

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It's Raining In Heaven

Legendary Pink Dots - It's Raining In Heaven ©1996 Soleilmoon
1. Puppets Apocalypse
2. Poppy Day
3. A Lust For Powder
4. Only When I Laugh
5. La Cazza Nova
6. Lyriex
7. Premonition 11 (full Length Version)

Exploring some of the more airy, ambient sides to the Dots, six of the seven tracks presented here are from a couple live shows recorded in 1988. I've found that this particular album is best listened to late at night with headphones and a relaxed state of mind as you will find yourself lightly floating away. The seventeen minute "Premonition 11" is a strange ride through sonic textures before Edward KaSpell implores us to "Pretty pretty please me" over and over. I know I'm disturbed now. But hey, it's worth it.

Incidentally, this CD was originally released under an Italian label as Greetings 9 & Premonition 11. There is no difference between the two titles except for the name. This is a case where I wish Soleil Moon had left the original title intact so that there could be no confusion between the two discs.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1998

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From Here You'll Watch The World Go By

Legendary Pink Dots - From Here You'll Watch The World Go By ©1996 Soleilmoon
1. Clockwise
2. Citadel
3. Friend
4. A Velvet Resurrection
5. Kollusim
6. 1001 Commandments
7. Remember Me This Way
8. This One-eyed Man Is King
9. Straight On 'til Morning
10. Damien
11. This Hollowed Ground

The Legendary Pink Dots, though long familar to me by name alone, are one of those bands that you just don't seem to hear. Sure, Skinny Puppy fans know of the Dots' connection to the Tear Garden and some record critic is waving his import records screaming, "I knew!" But for the most part the Dots are unfamiliar to American ears. Hopefully this new CD will help change that.

The neatest thing about the Dots is their lack of set rules for songwriting. Over the years there has been a constant revolving door of members (excepting singer/yarn-weaver Edward Ka-Spel), each bringing something new to the table. And thus each new record brings a variation on the sound as some members play completely different instruments than their forebearers. (Ask Niels van Hoornblower, who toots on all sorts of horns.)

Sometimes soothing, sometimes jarring, the Dots create grand tapestries of sound. Anyone familar with the Tear Garden will hear instant comparisons, but most of the current Dots played on To Be an Angel Blind. Edward still uses that dry, heavily accented voice of his, weaving incredible tales of all sorts of people you might envy, love or hate. Very suitable music for late night roadtrips under dark skies.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1997

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Remember Me This Way [single]

Legendary Pink Dots - Remember Me This Way ©1996 Soleilmoon
1. Remember Me This Way (full Length Version)
2. Beautiful Machine
3. Day Zero
4. Damien (remix)

This five song single derived from From Here You'll Watch The World Go By revisites one of the more memorable songs in its full length version, provides a remix of "Damien" and three non-album tracks. Of the non-album tracks, "Beautiful Machine" is a bit of a throwback to the band's simple, childlike past, though approached with their excellent expansive and organic mid 90's sound. "Anastasia" and "Day Zero" fall into that innocent vibe as well. To a certain degree I'm glad these sort of songs were withheld from the full length release. While the band's roots are derived from that childlike sound on early albums like Curse, it would be a bit of an unnecessary retrogression to return fully to that. As b-sides, these songs are a nice little package. Needless to say, this single is best saved for those who are already hardcore Legendary Pink Dots fans and does provide a nice addendum to the full length release.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2000

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Chemical Playschool 10

Legendary Pink Dots - Chemical Playschool 10 ©1997 Soleilmoon
1. Scarlet Wish
2. Inside
3. Colour Wheel
4. The Disaster Area
5. Nouveaux Modes Exotiques
6. Glasshouse
7. The Man With The Cut-glass Heart
8. Little Romeo
9. Kleine Juliet
10. Saucers #1
11. Premonition 19
12. Wonderdome

The Chemical Playschool series from the Legendary Pink Dots features primarily tracks that weren't intended for release on the main albums. Thus, on earlier editions, such as Volumes 8 & 9, the result was a seriously mixed bag of material that could either be interesting or very annoying. However, on Volume 10, the Dots have pieced together some oddball stuff that serves as one of the better overall releases in their long existence. Compared to the previous issues in the series, 10 is more song oriented rather than mood/soundscapes. From the jangly guitars of the opener "Scarlet Wish" to the very open and expansive "Nouveaux Modes Exotiques" (featuring Tear Garden-esque warm percussion and lots of cool electronic sprinkles and effects) to "Saucers #1", the album is smooth and enticing. Even the weirder moments, such as the distorted voice narrative of the eerie "Glasshouse", are accessible. My favorite of course is "Premonition 19", which apparently is an earlier version of "The Saucers are Coming" from Hallway of the Gods. Matched with a classic Ka-Spel rant and some very cosmic keyboards, this song is frankly the highlight of this album, with the segue from "Saucers #1". With this album, my appreciation for the Dots is very much rekindled.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/1999

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Hallway Of The Gods

Legendary Pink Dots - Hallway Of The Gods ©1997 Staalplaat/Soleilmoon
1. On High
2. Mekkanikk
3. Sterre
4. Spike
5. All Sides
6. Harvest Babies
7. Lucifer Landed
8. The Hanged Man
9. The Saucers Are Coming
10. Destined To Repeat
11. Hallway

One of the bands that has been spending quite some time lately in my CD player is the enigmatic Legendary Pink Dots. While lately I've mostly been listening to their mid-80's output (which is quite a few albums worth from this terribly prolific group), this proper new studio album from 1997 is a bit of a musical departure. Not that this implies anything as nearly everything they've done is a musical departure. Their last studio album From Here You'll Watch the World Go By was very earthy and airy, this one heads directly into a somber and psychedelic feel previously untouched by the Dots. Niles van Hoornblower's horn and flute contributions are probably the most singularly important aspect to the album as a whole, adding a very unique and exotic touch. The rhythms are both mechanical and live, depending on the mood of the song. "On High" opens the album in a very subdued manner that slowly rises in crescendo in the next three pieces to the throbbing, disturbing "Spike". It takes a few listens before the sequencing of the album will be fully appreciated. In other places, the Dots land directly in the field of space rock with the very Hawkwind-ish "The Saucers are Coming".

As with most great releases, Hallway of the Gods takes a bit of time before the compositions will completely affect you. Edward Ka-Spell and Co. continue to demonstrate their unbelievable durability and willingness to always push forward. I can tell you already this is going to become one of my favorite Dots discs.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1998

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Sterre [single]

Legendary Pink Dots - Sterre ©1997 SPV Poland
1. Sterre
2. Spike Psychomix
3. The Elefant's Graveyard
4. Sterre Instrumental

Culled from the excellent Hallway of the Gods album, Sterre is a great four song bookend to that release. "Sterre" is one of the best songs from the album and a quiet emotionally stirring piece that strongly serves to enhance an EP release. "Spike Psychomix" is a reinterpreted version from Hallway, that seems to capture the same vibe of bitter and restrained anger, although done in a somewhat parallel fashion. The song is different in approach, yet fulfills the listener in nearly the same way. "The Elefant's Graveyand" is a somewhat of a jam session, featuring some of the airy percussion that has defined The Legendary Pink Dots through much of the 90s. Ryan Moore's dub influence plays a large part to the feel of this song. The EP closes out with an instrumentally skewed version of "Sterre". While faithful to the original, it is just warped enough to justify its existence. Sterre is definitely a required addendum to any LPD fan's collection.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2000

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Stained Glass Soma Fountains

Legendary Pink Dots - Stained Glass Soma Fountains ©1997 Soleilmoon
CD one:
1. A Pale Green Introduction/Love On A Pale Green Postage Stamp
2. Premonition 12
3. Mmmmmmmmmmmm...(first Version)
4. The Lifesucker
5. The Divorce
6. Jungle (first Version)
7. The Haunted Supermarket
8. No Bell No Prize
9. Plague 2
10. Find The Lady
11. Judith A Hum/Praum Naizh/A Pale Green Sequel
12. Suicide Pact
CD two:
13. Waiting For The Call/You N Me
14. April's Song
15. Frosty
16. Defeated
17. A Message From Our Sponsor (version 1)
18. Ice Baby Cometh
19. Hanging Gardens (flowmotion Version)
20. Jack/Thursday Night Fever #1/Die With Your Eyes On/Opus Dei
21. Premonition 18 (Part One)
22. Premonition 18 (Part Two)

This two CD set is a compilation of the earliest days of the Pink Dots' lengthy and impressive career. Mining various compilation albums and even the oldest surviving Dots' recording ("April's Song", which was recorded when the band was still known as One Day), this on the whole will serve as a historical footnote and curiosity piece for any hardcore Dots fan. There is a certain amount of primitiveness in the sound quality as many tracks were probably recorded as cheaply as possible (and considering the band was self-releasing cassettes during the early part of their career, it's not surprising). However, even on the earliest recordings, the true sound of the Dots is evident, from Edward KaSpell's wonderful rants and the ambience in the music (check out "Premonition 18" for an example of their early ambience). This collection isn't the first thing I would recommend when it comes to the Dots, though. Instead, see it as their baby steps and enjoy it for what it is.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/1998

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Under Triple Moons

Legendary Pink Dots - Under Triple Moons ©1997 ROIR
1. As If
2. Splash
3. Submerged
4. Digital
5. Dying For The Emperor
6. Oceans Of Emotion
7. Small Anthem
8. Intruder
9. Premonition 2
10. Frosty
11. One For The Pearl Moon
12. The Whore Of Babylon
13. The War Of Silence
14. Garlands
15. A Lust For Powder (version Apocalypse)
16. Punishment
17. Down From The Country
18. Premonition 1

Comprised mostly of early Dots material that was released on their DIY cassettes, this ROIR collection is best left for the rabid Dots collector, rather than a curious onlooker wondering about this phenomenal band. This is not to say the music is terrible or anything; however, considering the low-fi quality and definite amateur undertaking (hey, keep in mind the band is self-taught and this represents them at the beginning of their learning curve), I'd direct the new listener elsewhere. For the Dots fanatic, this is yet another compact disc full of rarities and unpolished gems. Only a couple tracks appear elsewhere in different form ("Frosty" and "A Lust for Powder" are the couple that I'm aware of) and the rest are neat little pieces of raw songwriting. Definitely not the pedestal placer for the band, but good for historical purposes.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/1998

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Nemesis Online

Legendary Pink Dots - Nemesis Online ©1998 Staalplaat/Soleilmoon
1. Dissonance
2. Jasz
3. As Long As It's Purple And Green
4. Ghost
5. Under Your Wheels
6. A Sunset For A Swan
7. Is It Something I Said?
8. Zoo
9. Fate's Faithful Punchline
10. Cheating The Shadow
11. Abracadabra
12. Slaapliedje

Phew! This new release from the Legendary Pink Dots is certainly a handful to devour. All at once encompassing and incorporating their various musical ideas (and with this crowd, there are many) from the scope of the 90s, Nemesis Online becomes the most challenging and potentially rewarding new Dots CD in ages. While the past two studio albums have been strong on an innocent vibe, Nemesis is entirely darker. Basing the sound more in line with Ryan Moore's dub influence, along with Niels van Hoornblower's various wind instrument contributions, much more is going on than ever before. Sometimes unstructured and barely hanging on the thread of a song, sometimes forceful and in your face, the Dots have never covered as much ground in an hour's time before. High points must include the moody piano based "Ghost", the echo laced "Is It Something I Said?" that degenerates into free form music, the pulsating "Zoo" and the equally haunting "Abracadabra". Admittedly there is still a lot more to discover within the confines of this record, as it is limitless in discovery. I need another listen...

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1998

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