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Remastered and expanded • Songlines film on DVD

Alphaville will reissue their second and third albums Afternoons In Utopia and The Breathtaking Blue in May, both with remastered audio and bonus material.

Afternoons in Utopia was issued in 1986, two years after the success of their debut album Forever Young. It features the singles ‘Dance With Me’, ‘Universal Daddy’ and ‘Jerusalem’.

These reissues have been personally supervised by Alphaville founding members Marian Gold and Bernhard Lloyd and for the two-CD deluxe edition of Afternoons in Utopia, the 13-track album is remastered on CD 1, while CD 2 offers 14 remastered B-sides, 12-inch and seven-inch remixes, demos and a rare live version of the single ‘Dance With Me’. It comes with a 20-page booklet.

While the gatefold vinyl edition offers just the remastered album, it’s worth pointing out that this does come with a 24-page large format booklet. This features archive photos and a new interview with Bernhard Lloyd and producer Peter Walsh.

The band’s third studio album, The Breathtaking Blue was co-produced by Klaus Schulze (briefly a member of Tangerine Dream in the late 1960s) and released in 1989. It features the singles ‘Romeos’, ‘Summer Rain’ and ‘Mysteries of Love’.

Rather like Eurythmics’ 1987 album Savage, Alphaville produced a video album, Songlines, which saw them commission short films from nine directors for each of the album tracks. The video for the song ‘Middle of the Riddle’ actually won an Oscar (!) for Best Animated Short Film in 1990 (it was renamed as ‘Balance’). Unlike Eurythmics, Alphaville have included this longform video as part of the album reissue. Even better, it was shot on 35mm film, so it now looks fantastic. The audio for the film is remastered as well, with the correct edits (where used) in place. Songlines has only ever been available commercially in Germany, on VHS or laserdisc.

This means that the deluxe CD edition for The Breathtaking Blue is a 2CD+DVD set, with disc two featuring remixes, B-sides and demos and the third disc features the Songlines film. As a bonus the DVD also includes the CD-Graphics which came with the original CD (The Breathtaking Blue was one of the first albums to include this on CD).

Vinyl fans don’t miss out on the visuals, since the remastered vinyl version of The Breathtaking Blue comes with the DVD as well. Like Afternoons in Utopia, the vinyl is a gatefold and comes with a large format 24-page booklet. Both vinyl reissues are 180g pressings.

The Afternoons in Utopia and The Breathtaking Blue reissues will be released on 7 May 2021, via Rhino. 

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Level 42 / The Polydor Years 1980-1984

10CD box set • Albums, B-sides, remixes and more

Cherry Red will issue The Complete Polydor Years 1980-1984, a ten-CD Level 42 box set that brings together the first five albums alongside an extraordinary amount of bonus material.

This new package features the albums Level 42 (1981), The Early Tapes (1982), The Pursuit of Accidents (1982), Standing in the Light (1983) and True Colours (1984). But that’s only half the story because five further CDs offer a wealth of seven-inch remixes (some new to CD), B-sides, 12-inch mixes and bonus tracks including early performances at the Regal Theatre in Hitchin (in Hertfordshire, England).

The set has been compiled in conjunction with Level 42 and band experts Paul Wallace, Paul Waller and Simon Carson. Tony Dixon at Masterpeice Masters has handled the remastering process.

Daryl Easlea has spoken to band members current and past and provides sleeve notes for this set and the good news is there will be a ‘part two’ which will continue the Polydor story and cover when the band become commercially very successful.

The Complete Polydor Years 1980-1984 will be released on 26 March 2021.

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14 Mar 2021 - YELLO - YELL40 Years

Deluxe 4CD set • 2LP vinyl • 2CD

Electronic duo YELLO are celebrating their 40th anniversary with, YELL40 Yearsa new retrospective issued across three physical formats.

This release will be available as a 4CD deluxe set, across two vinyl records and as a 2CD edition. The first two CDs offer a traditional ‘best of’ split into ‘first’ and ‘second’ 20 year periods. On the deluxe, the third disc offers ‘Mellow YELLO’ focusing on their more melodic, cinematic side and includes some hidden gems and collaborations like ‘The Rhythm Divine (feat. Shirley Bassey)’. The fourth disc in the deluxe is some of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank’s favourite YELLO remixes along with some previously unreleased re-workings such as Mark Reeder’s ‘Wet & Hard Mix’ of ‘Vicious Games’.

YELLO40 Years deluxe 4CD set in 60-page hardcover book

Surprisingly, not only does the brilliant 13 minute version of The Race not feature anywhere in this retrospective, there is no studio version at all, just a ‘live in Berlin’ variant from 2016. Bizarre.

The four-CD deluxe version is a 60-page hardcover book (apparently ‘strictly limited’) and contains exclusive and brand-new liner notes for every YELLO album released, including rare and never-before-seen photos. The deluxe features 71 tracks, the 2CD set offers 41 tracks and the 2LP vinyl includes a reduced 21 songs.

YELLO 40 Years will be released on 30 April 2021.

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Sunglasses Kid takes you out of the daily grind and into a world of highschool synth and pure pop jam. His music is a mix of vocal driven retropop and electronic instrumentals. As a producer he has collaborated with some of the biggest talents in synthwave and 80s revival. Kick back, light up a cigarette, drink a cherry coke and press play.

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