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 Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   06-21-17 09:54

Anybody familiar with this?

Article at Julian Cope's Head Heritage site



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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   06-21-17 12:33

That article is a mess! Welcome to the editor-free world of publishing. I bought "Beyond The Sun" on release in 1997 as I had become a dyed-in-the-wool Associates/MacKenzie fanatic upon the 1990 release of the "Popera" compilation; the first Associates album to actually sit in front of me in a store bin after a decade of only reading about them. MacKenzie's suicide hit me hard because by January of 1997, when it happened, he had become a titan to me and I was obtaining all I could get my hands on. I cannot state too strongly enough, that hearing "Popera" became a watershed to me. It marked the exact point where I shifted my focus from the current music scene to look backward.

In 1990, I had followed British pop forward from Post-Punk and New Wave through the tepid C-86 scene to be followed by house music infecting everything soon afterward. I was buying music and enjoying it less for a good 5 years. To hear The Associates in 1990 was a realization that I had probably missed a lot of music back in the day that was truly world class, and from then on, I made it a point to ignore the current scene to comb over the things neglected during the period where I was swept up in the explosion of dazzling Post-Punk in the '78-'85 period. While I was soaking up those Ultravox and Simple Minds releases, there were things that either didn't drift down South where I lived, or my limited budget curtailed my purchasing choices to side with known quantities.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   06-21-17 14:05

Oh, yeah, the article itself is damn near gibberish. If a pal hadn't sent me that link saying "I think you'll really like this," I wouldn't have bothered. (I love Julian Cope, but so much of what's on his site is amateur hour.) But it did open up a window to an artist I'd only read about in these very pages and have never given much thought to. I'm gonna make a point of giving the Associates a go after this, but Beyond the Sun is what my friend was pointing me toward. It's like the Marc Almond record I hoped all the other albums I've heard by him would be.



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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Delvin 
Date:   06-21-17 15:44

> It's like the Marc Almond record I hoped all the other albums I've heard by him would be.

If not for Billy MacKenzie, Marc Almond could've been the Marc Almond of the '80s.



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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   06-22-17 07:03

Marc Almond has made some great albums, but Billy MacKenzie was mystical. "Popera" made a great point of entry as it collected the diverse and dazzling singles. The CD had four bonus tracks; the 4 A-sides from "Fourth Drawer Down," which was the crucial hook for me. I took a look at the song titles and decided that I would sample "White Car In Germany" first. A better first move I have never made as the song easily surpassed the impossibly high levels of accomplishment the title alone conjured in my mind. After that, I was hooked. "Beyond The Sun" is a great album. Really, the only MacKenzie album to miss was the tepid Associates "Wild + Lonely" album. The one time MacKenzie didn't fight the businessmen in charge tooth and nail.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

Post Edited (06-22-17 07:42)

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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   06-22-17 07:52

My mind reels when I consider what it must have been like to have heard "Sulk" at the time of release. To hell with the short-sighted, TP dismissal of it!! That is one mind-bending album! There are beats on it that are just unholy for their time and place. A truly spine-tingling album, that flits adroitly from effervescent pop to existential dread and abject horror, but all of the CD versions if it are not the original UK LP, for what it's worth. I have the 2000 V2 DLX RM. It's better than the German CD of the US edition from the early 90s. The new 2016 DLX RM is probably safe to go with, thought I do not have it yet.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: breno 
Date:   06-22-17 08:48

Quote:

To hell with the short-sighted, TP dismissal of it!!


Yeah, as someone who never heard The Associates until 2009 or so and instantly became a fan, I have to say it's one of the rare cases where TP steered me wrong - I can remember passing on many opportunities to pick up Sulk when it was current, but I'd read so much bad press on it I ignored it.

Then I read Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up, where he devotes a huge amount of space to the Associates and praises the hell out of them and that was a thing that made me go "hmmmm!" so when a copy of Fourth Drawer Down turned up at the local used store, I grabbed it and was pissed at myself for having spent 30 years not listening to them.

Of course, there's no guarantee I would've liked them had I listened to them in 1980. I probably would've, but God knows there are plenty of things I heard back then and dismissed because I didn't understand them at the time that I love now.



Post Edited (06-22-17 08:54)

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 Re: Billy MacKenzie - Beyond the Sun
Author: Post-Punk Monk 
Date:   06-22-17 10:51

"Fourth Drawer Down" is the bomb for me, though I will concede that "Sulk" is the better album. But at the end of the day "Kitchen Person" just blows me away! Rankine's overdriven jet engine guitar is beyond immense and the rhythm "loop" was made by putting a heavy weight on an electric typewriter return key!! It is a manic beyond belief sound.

Even back during the magazine, I noticed that TP was as dismissive of certain bands I liked as it was complimentary of others. Psychedelic Furs were always written off or damned with faint praise while their first two albums were immense to me.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

https://postpunkmonk.com
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

Post Edited (06-22-17 10:56)

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