What counts as 'on the album'?

June 19, 2017

 

As you know, Cherry Lipstick has started the process of completing a full retrospective review on each Duran album, starting with 'Notorious' and 'The Wedding Album'. 'The Wedding Album' review has generated some responses which, I fear, will start to snowball with each of the post-1995 albums – what should have been included?  Indeed, with recent albums a question is also – what tracks are actually on it? For example, is Planet Roaring a full member of the 'Paper Gods' club, or is it 'just' a bonus track?

 

These questions seem to have started picking up steam for fans when 'The Wedding Album' added Time For Temptation and Stop Dead as bonus tracks on the Japanese edition. Now, you'd have thought that Sin Of The City was an obvious closing track with its Big Final Statement. Who would want to listen to another two (lesser) tracks after that? But there they clearly were 'on' the album.

 

Alongside the rise of the bonus track came the demise of the b-side in the 90s.  No matter how good, I have yet to hear anyone say Late Bar should have been on the debut. It's a b-side - a great b-side - but not One Of The Nine. By 'Thank You', things got blurry with the floating 'missing covers' of Diamond Dogs (aaaarrrgh!) and Needle And The Damage Done (hmmmm!).

 

The CD re-issue of 'Big Thing' dumped a remix of Drug unpleasantly as a final 'bonus track' (thanks guys!) while 'Arena' was now incongruously popped-up from the gloom with the addition of Girls On Film and Rio. The curse of The CD With Too Much Much Space arose again.

 

By 'Astronaut', there was a perfect storm of a loss of the outlet for b-sides, a bonus track (Virus, in Japan), the availability of demos and downloading. Now we could all play the 'what should be on the album' game. Everyone was listening to a different album and the band's choice was bound to be disputed for different reasons by everyone.

 

So now when Cherry Lipstick reviews an album, what is it reviewing? For the record, it will be the album sans bonus tracks. So 'All You Need Is Now' ends with Before The Rain and 'Paper Gods' finishes with The Universe Alone. I wish Planet Roaring was on the album, and I wish Read My Lips wasn't on Liberty, but it isn't and it is. Blame the band. Again.

 

 

(if that says Planet Roaring, it doesn't count - read the rules)

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