Spear Of Destiny: The Singles 1983-88 – album review

SPEAR OF DESTINY: The Singles 1983”“88 (Cherry Red)
CD
Released 16th July

We just reviewed a SOD gig in Winchester. The tour coincides with the release of a collection of the bands singles which we briefly review below.

Includes the UK hit singles ”ËœThe Wheel’ (No.59), ”ËœPrisoner Of Love’ (No.59), ”ËœLiberator’ (No.67), ”ËœAll My Love’ (No.61), ”ËœCome Back’ (No.55), ”ËœStrangers In Our Town’ (No.49), ”ËœNever Take Me Alive’ (No.14), ”ËœWas That You?’ (No.55), ”ËœThe Traveller’ (No.44) and ”ËœSo In Love With You’ (No.36).

Disc 1 concentrates on the standard 7” versions of all the bands singles between 1983-89 whilst Disc 2 has the 12” mixes with many appearing here on CD for the first time.

Out this month, by sheer coincidence, this stunning 2-disc set. A great introduction to the band if you’re not familiar with them and an essential purchase if you’ve got all the old 12 inch vinyl in the loft but wanna keep it in pristine condition.

If we’re honest, the usual 80’s extended ”Ëœdance mixes’ can be some of the most horrible sounding, dated artefacts from the era”¦ BUT with Spear of Destiny its not the case; they are the exception that proves the rule. These sound AMAZING! Great Big Drums and massive guitars but brilliant use of dub-style drop out and Ennio Morricone type touches (church organ); Gospel Soul backing vocals, Duane Eddy twangy guitar and beautiful saxophone melodies”¦ its all there and it sounds right. Kirks operatically over the top vocals were perfect for these ambitious arrangements. And the songs are consistently great; Boys Own stories of struggle & heartbreak, tragedy and heroism.

Spear of Destiny should figure prominently in all of the 80’s and Post-Punk histories and retrospectives, but always seem to be overlooked somehow. Unbelievable for a band that looked as good as the Clash, and had a cinematic, soulful sound every bit as emotional and stirring as U2 in their prime. The proof of their greatness and their recorded legacy is all here on these two discs

More info or to buy the CD visit Cherry Red.

DISC 1 ”“ THE 7” CD

1. FLYING SCOTSMAN
2. THE WHEEL
3. PRISONER OF LOVE
4. LIBERATOR
5. ALL MY LOVE (ASK NOTHING)
6. COME BACK
7. MICKEY
8. LIBERATOR (DUB)
9. STRANGERS IN OUR TOWN
10. NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE
11. WAS THAT YOU?
12. THE TRAVELLER
13. SO IN LOVE WITH YOU
14. RADIO RADIO

DISC 2 ”“ THE 12” CD
1. FLYING SCOTSMAN
2. LIBERATOR
3. ALL MY LOVE (ASK NOTHING)
4. COME BACK (DUB VERSION)
5. COME BACK (WL REMIX)
6. STRANGERS IN OUR TOWN
7. NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE
8. LAND OF SHAME
9. WAS THAT YOU? (PSYCHOLOGICAL MIX)
10. THE TRAVELLER
11. SO IN LOVE WITH YOU
12. RADIO RADIO

All words by Ged Babey. More work by Ged can be found here. To read Ged’s review of SOD’s gig from two days ago go here.

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.

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