Archive for the 4ad Category

Persian Rugs- Burning Passion Pain 7”

Posted in 1981, 4ad, Pale Saints, Persian Rugs, post-punk, uk on August 10, 2018 by Frankie Teardrop

Here’s an oldie but a goodie – a 7” that has been ripped and shared before but always at a curiously low bitrate. It’s a rather affordable sliver of new wave-y/dreamy post-punk, the first in an otherwise hit-or-miss catalog from UK band Persian Rugs, released in 1981. The a-side is a very catchy affair, but it’s the b-side that not only is the winner of the two tracks for me, but also has a direct lineage to classic 4AD, in a very unsuspecting way.

So the story goes: When Ian Masters left Pale Saints to form Spoonfed Hybrid, the band continued on with co-vocalist Meriel Barham taking the reigns. Their third and final record Slow Buildings is a divisive affair, but has one standout track, the immaculate, powerful, and weepy “Fine Friend,” which was released as a single. If you’re familiar with that cut, you may immediately hear shades of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” throughout, and no doubt, there is some correlation there as well, but if you listen to “Poison in the Airwaves” and “Fine Friend” back to back, you can’t miss the similarity. This was completely intentional, as 4AD’s Ivo-Watts Russel pitched the song to Pale Saints as a cover, in the vein of a This Mortal Coil-esque retelling. Rather than cover it directly, the band rewrote the lyrics, kept the chorus melodies, and added the entire second half of the song to prove their own power was still intact.

I love this story, love both tracks, and adore that this otherwise obscure nugget is woven into the fabric of my favorite record label, an easter egg that most still are unaware of. With that in mind, please enjoy this single, and have a great weekend, y’all!

Persian Rugs- Burning Passion Pain 7”
1. Burning Passion Pain
2. Poison in the Airwaves

*download it here*

Various Artists- Dreams and Desires K7

Posted in 1980s, 1984, 4ad, coldwave, compilations, goth, goth-rock, minimal synth, pleasantly surprised, post-punk on June 12, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Have a few tapes here to share over the next few weeks… Some more rare Italian demos, a 2xK7 French compilation, and much more, but here’s an old classic as donated by Jeffo and re-ripped at VBR for maximum enjoyment.  You may have heard this over at Return of the East back in the day, an old favorite blog of all things dark that’s since purged from Blogger.  PS- You should all take a listen to The Anxiety of Love if you want to hear more from the excellent chap who ran that blog, here’s to more great sounds from them to come.

This tape, released in 1984, essentially reads like a who’s who of the classic 4AD roster, with some other amazing contributions from favorites such as Pink Industry (and a track by Ambrose working on her own), Vazz, Clair Obscur, In the Nursery, Band of Holy Joy, etc.    Many of the tracks that appear here are in demo form, some of which (like the sketch of Cocteau Twins’ sublime “Pearly Dewdrops Drops” and Dead Can Dance’s excellent demo of “The Arcane”) haven’t been compiled in even the most thorough retrospectives.

Pleasantly Surprised, the Scottish label run by Robert H. King, eventually became Cathexis Recordings (Vazz and Clair Obscur vinyl releases), which then turned into Total, a music magazine, by the 1990s.  Pleasantly Surprised were notorious for these compilations, as well as for releasing a rare Dif Juz tape and providing reissues/alternate distribution methods for an early Clair Obscur release, just to name a few standout credits.  I haven’t heard many of the other VA compilations so I can’t be sure if the versions on those cassettes are demos as they are here, or if they’re studio versions compiled for cassette.  If anyone can confirm or deny, please feel free to leave a comment.

Various Artists- Dreams and Desires K7
1. Side A Intro
2. Richard Killing- Nervous Choir
3. Tag Fur Tag (Demo)- Xmal Deutschland
4. Diamonds In the Mine (Live)- Artery
5. Silver- Vazz
6. Sex Gun (Demo)- Colourbox
7. Ecstasy (Instrumental*)- The Wolfgang Press
8. Pain of Pride- Pink Industry
9. A Glorious Morning In Orton Street- The Band of Holy Joy
10. Side A Outro
11. Side B Intro
12. The Pilgrim’s Progress (Instrumental)- Clair Obscur
13. The Arcane (Demo)- Dead Can Dance
14. Can’t Get Used to Losing You- David J
15. In One Move- Illegitimate Sons of Christ
16. Pearly Dewdrop’s Drops (Demo)- Cocteau Twins
17. Iskra- In the Nursery
18. Free At Last- Ambrose
19. Illustrated- Andrew Grey
20. Tree Top Club (Demo)- Virginia Astley
21. Smile- Patrik Fitzgerald
22. Side B Outro

*download it here*


*not really an instrumental at all.  But we all know the Rema-Rema gag, right?

Intro- 12” discography

Posted in 1980s, 1983, 4ad, fingerprintz, Intro, jackie brookes, jimmie o'neill, minimal synth, new wave, shox, synth, synthpop on October 18, 2010 by Frankie Teardrop

Up next we have two donated singles by UK-based synthpop project Intro, both released in 1983. While these two rips were donated by bx59cppw, I just recently found the first 12” kicking around for a mere $5, so this one should be easy enough to track down for those who would like to own it for themselves. Definitely an affordable piece of synthpop heaven!

Some of you may recognize the track “Haunted Cocktails” from the Return of Flexi-Pop series, so you can expect more of the same female fronted dance grooves on the rest of these tracks. Great production, catchy hooks, and all the works are on display here. As for the parties responsible, Jimmie O’Neill was involved as a producer with several projects, including Fingerprintz and The Silencers, while Jackie Brookes was part of the original 4AD lineup, providing vocals for the Shox 7” (one of my first uploads). She was also a member of Siam (a synthpop outfit reminiscent of Berlin) and released a solo LP in 1984, which features a few alternate mixes of these tracks.

This should definitely hit the spot for fans of U-BahnX, Kim Wilde, Moev, November Group, etc. Here’s the info:

Intro- Haunted Cocktails 12”
1. Haunted Cocktails
2. Haunted Cocktails (Haunted Mix)
3. Departures

Intro- Lost Without Your Love 12”
1. Lost Without Your Love
2. Lost Mix (Muzak Superior)
3. Epic

*download both here*

Mass- Labour of Love CD

Posted in 1980s, 1981, 4ad, mass, post-punk, rema-rema, uk, wolfgang press on September 9, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for yet another delay, folks. Things will be sporadic for a little while longer, but I have two uploads today. The first continues the 4AD tradition, featuring Mass’ lone LP, 1981’s Labour of Love.

Mass formed in 1980, in the wake of like-minded outfit Rema-Rema’s demise. 3/4 of the experimental/post-punk outfit continued on as Mass, along with Danny Briottet. One single appeared before the record, which is attached to the end of the CD release uploaded below.

Mass’ sound continued the thick and abrasive path Rema-Rema laid out before…These tracks are moody, dark, and heavy. This trend would continue upon Mass’ quick demise, as after Labour of Love‘s release, members Mick Allen, and Mark Cox formed the Wolfgang Press, who were active throughout the rest of the 1980s and early 1990s. Meanwhile, remaining Mass members Gary Asquith and Danny Briottet went on to form Renegade Soundwave.

Without any further adieu, here’s the information for Labour of Love, complete with the CD release artwork + bonus 7” tracks:

Mass- Labour of Love CD
1. Mass
2. Why
3. Ill
4. Why
5. Isn’t Life Nice
6. Elephant Talk
7. F.A.H.T.C.F.
8. Cross Purposes
9. Innocence
10. You And I
11. Cabbage

*DOWNLOAD LINK REMOVED* – Mass discography reissued in 2011 by Desire.

Though the CD copy of this record has been out of print for years…4AD’s webpage does offer a digital copy of the record here, if you’re in the UK or are keen on the current exchange rate. Be sure to nab it if you love it!

The Happy Family- The Man On Your Street CD

Posted in 1980s, 1982, 4ad, brel, josef k, literary references, momus, the happy family, uk on August 26, 2008 by Frankie Teardrop

For my second post today, I’ll be tackling the first of a handful of requests for early 4AD material. I may have posted some of the upcoming releases in the past, but consider this an attempt to start phasing out some of the old divshare links in general. I may update old posts, or do fresh ones with full records in due time, so stay tuned.

Otherwise, this one’s a fresh post on The Happy Family, a UK based quirky pop/post-punk outfit formed in 1981. The band rose from the ashes of local band Josef K, and released both a three-track single and one full-length record in 1982 on 4AD records, landing the deal after a few support slots with the Cure. These remained their two official releases, though ten demos for an unreleased second album surfaced in 1985 as The Business Of Living.

The band’s sound is very different than the material 4AD was releasing at the time… Instead of budding ethereal or doom-ridden post-punk, the Happy Family had more in common with Brel-esque pop, tossing in several literary sensibilities.

Soon after the Happy Family disbanded, lead vocalist Nick Currie finished his schooling, and subsequently whipped up a solo career under the moniker Momus, who eventually signed with Creation Records. Momus is still active to this day…

The Man On Your Street was re-released on disc in 1992, tacking on the Puritans 7” at the end of the record:

The Happy Family- The Man On Your Street CD
1. The Salesman
2. Letter From Hall
3. The Luckiest Citizen
4. Revenge!
5. The Courier
6. The Man On Your Street
7. A Night Underground
8. Two Of A Kind
9. March In Turin
10. Puritans
11. Innermost Thoughts
12. The Mistake

*download it here*

Rema-Rema- Wheel In the Roses EP

Posted in 1980, 1980s, 4ad, adam and the ants, experimental, mass, post-punk, psychic tv, rema-rema, uk, wolfgang press on December 31, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Many pardons for the brief break. Many thanks to friends and readers for their support and encouragement this year! For the last post of 2007, I’ve uploaded an old favorite, a more experimental yet classic EP by UK outfit Rema-Rema.

Rema-Rema was a short lived 4AD outfit whose lone EP (4AD’s 5th release) served as a post-punk/experimental classic, and kicked off the careers of several other seminal acts. The band consisted of Marco Pirroni (ex-original Banshee), Gary Asquith, Mick Allen, Mark Cox, and Max. Wheel In the Roses appeared in 1980, a four track EP with one side’s worth of studio tracks and another consisting of live material.

Rema-Rema quickly disbanded, and most of the band’s members found success shortly. Marco Pirroni would join up with Adam & the Ants, Max would become a full time member of Psychic Tv under the name Dorothy, and Asquith, Allen, and Cox would form heavy-handed 4AD act Mass. Upon Mass’ demise, Cox and Allen would form the legendary Wolfgang Press, who became a signature post-punk act throughout the 80s and early 90s. Meanwhile, This Mortal Coil (4AD head Ivo-Watts Russel’s pet project) would recreate ‘Fond Affections’ for their debut record It’ll End in Tears, which featured several contributions by Rema-Rema’s original lineup. Big Black would also cover ‘Rema-Rema’, further cementing the band’s original impact.


Rema-Rema- Wheel in the Roses EP
1. Feedback Song
2. Rema-Rema
3. Instrumental
4. Fond Affections

DOWNLOAD LINK REMOVED- Click here to purchase mp3/FLAC via the 4AD webstore.

Shox- No Turning Back 7”

Posted in 1980, 1980s, 4ad, british, shox, synth, wave on November 2, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Sorry for the delay, ladies and gents…I’ve had computer trouble for a few days, and as of this morning (fingers crossed) I’ve gotten things back up and running, with only a few gigs of music completely lost. That said, here’s a quick Friday treat.

Shox were a British wave trio comprising Mike Atkinson, Jacqui Brookes and John Peters. They released only two tracks in 1980, comprising one of the first four Axis 7” singles, just before the label rechristened itself as 4AD that same year.

Jacqui Brookes would go on to sing for both Siam and Intro after this single, releasing a solo LP as well. Not at all sure what happened to the remaining Shox members after this lone recording appearance…

Shox- No Turning Back 7”
1. No Turning Back
2. Lying There

*download it now*

These two tracks can also be purchased digitally via this link to 4AD’s homepage:

Shox on 4AD dot com

Stay tuned next week for more resumed activity (*fingers crossed*), including an album request, a post on NYC locals Bell Hollow, and a bit of new material from the legendary Bush Tetras!

Modern English

Posted in 1980s, 4ad, british, modern english, post-punk, wave on August 15, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Today’s band is one that became a household name in the mid-1980s based on a one-off hit, but hasn’t made any commercial impact since, lost in the hearts of 80s nostalgia and easily dismissed as a one-hit wonder. Truth is that today’s band, Modern English, were more than capable of writing a myriad of other amazing songs, and a handful of seminal records in an emerging post-punk scene, even if they went mostly ignored by all but the impassioned.

This Essex-based band originally began in 1977, originally christened the Lepers. The band released a one-off single before changing their name to Modern English and signing to a budding 4AD records, the band being the first that Ivo Watts-Russel approached after creating the label. Both stylistically, and commercially, Modern English helped put the label on the map.

Musically, the band originally drew heavily from the doom and gloom of fellow contemporaries Joy Division and Bauhaus, a rude awakening for fans who stumbled across them after the perfect pop song ‘I Melt With You from their 1982 sophomore record, After the Snow.

Pressured after such a large success, the band fell apart after one more record, two of the original members departing for greener pastures, but instead of a side-project, the band revamped and kept pushing forward, occasionally releasing records into the 90s. Though they remained a college favorite, the band never again broke the US or UK charts. Despite sporadic output, Modern English remain together to this day, playing gigs from time to time. The band has a new recording contract with A.P.G. as of 2001, but there’s no clear word as to when to expect new material.

I’ve uploaded a handful of tracks from their debut record, 1981’s Mesh & Lace. The first was also their second single, while the second is a deeper cut and favorite from the record. Here they are, for your listening enjoyment:

download Modern English- ‘Gathering Dust’
download Modern English- ‘A Viable Commercial’

and for a nice dose of 80s nostalgia, here’s what seems to be the official video for ‘I Melt With You.’ Let’s hear it for the M&Ms theme song, ladies and gentlemen:

and if you want to toss some bucks around and pick up some of their records, here’s an Amazon link, which though some of their earlier material is out of print, still features a few used copies:

Purchase Modern English tunes on

The Fast Set- Junction One 7”

Posted in 1980, 1980s, 4ad, minimal, synth, the fast set, wave on August 14, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Some classic minimal synth for you today, ladies and gentlemen… Today’s band is the Fast Set, a one man synth project who’s first and only 7” recording was also the very first release on Axis, aka 4AD.

The Fast Set is comprised of avant-artist David Knight, who signed with with Axis records upon its inception in 1980, just before label-head Ivo Watts-Russel was forced to change the label’s name to 4AD. As a one man project, the Fast Set recorded just one 7” single for the song ‘Junction One’ in 1980. The b-side of the single was a synthetic dirge rendition of ‘Children of the Revolution’ by T.Rex.

The band’s only other recorded moment was a cover of T.Rex’s ‘King of the Rumbling Spires,’ released on a Some Bizzare compilation in 1981. Afterwards, David disbanded his project and went on to work with the likes of Danielle Dax and the Shockheaded Peters.

Here’s that lone single for your listening and downloading pleasure:

The Fast Set- Junction One 7”
1. Junction One
2. Children of the Revolution

*DOWNLOAD LINKS REMOVED* Click here to purchase these via 4AD’s official site.