Friday, 20 June 2014

Music - Part 235 - Marc Almond

Marc Almond - The Dancing Marquis (Cherry Red)
16 June 2014

Former Soft Cell and Mambas frontman, Marc Almond release a new collection. 

Marc Almond is a British institution.  Mainly associated with his partnership with David Ball in 80s wonders Soft Cell, his career has been dotted with many superb recordings, many of which seem to go unnoticed.  We all know about Soft Cell and Gene Pitney, some may know of his adoration of Scott Walker and Jacques Brel, and others of his amazing albums as Marc & The Mambas, but let's not forget his solo work of impeccable quality.

Stories Of Johnny, Tenement Symphony and Variete dot an impressive career that almost ended following a serious motorcycle accident in 2004.  Taking time to explore Marc's back catalogue will be one of the most rewarding things any music fan could ever do.

Combining the two limited edition vinyl EPs, Tasmanian Tiger and The Dancing Marquis with two brand new tracks and two remixes, this collection paves the way for new album, the one man song cycle Ten Plagues in July.

Produced by Tony Visconti, the album opener and title track displays how to write perfect pop.  Straight into the instrumental hook, catchy verses, superb bridge and the song title.  You never lose the knack of writing a good tune, and it’s something that has never left Marc.  Sweeping strings and thumping percussion, add a wall of backing singers and there you have it.

For a split second, Burn Bright has a sound of Walk On The Wild Side.  The track goes to Marc’s balladeer side showing a voice that is more than capable of holding its own, sounding just like it did thirty years ago.  Tasmanian Tiger has its roots in Glam with a guitar lick straight from the Glitter Band vaults with a hint of Bolan.  Again, a mighty chorus in a mammoth production courtesy of Tris Penna.

Jarvis Cocker writes and produces Worship Me Now and somehow manages to get the feel of Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret Dancing with his perverse lyric and hypnotic sex club sound.  Libertine’s guitarist, Carl Barat pens Love Is Not On Trial another heartfelt track where he also contributes backing vocals.

Inspired by the death of artist Sebastian Horsley, Death Of A Dandy provides a track that rises and rises from nothingness to full band, strings, piano and chorus.  The penultimate two tracks So What’s Tonight? and Idiot Dancing, both produced by Almond are previously unreleased.  The former has a speedy beat with a dark guitar, and the latter is another quickly paced pop effort, immediate and unforgettable.

Ending with additional remixes of Worship Me Now by Roland Faber & Kal Luedeling and Spatial Awareness, the tracks provide a memorable end to the album.  More magic from a national treasure.


Cherry Red Records
Marc Almond website
Marc Almond on Twitter

Published on Louder Than War 15/06/14 - here


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