In Mysterious Ways
Please note, territorial restrictions may apply to this product.
“In Mysterious Ways”, Foxx’s fourth solo album, was released in 1985, and was preceded by the singles “Stars On Fire” and “Enter The Angel”, both included here.
Disc Two includes nine bonus tracks: non-album a- and b-sides, rarities as well as 6 previously unreleased tracks. The booklet contains the lyrics to all the songs as well as rare photos, and the singles sleeves.
A PR company has been engaged for press and radio coverage, and John Foxx will be performing various concerts in Japan, Italy and the UK during the autumn.
|| ||Stars On Fire|
|| ||Lose All Sense Of Time |
|| ||Spin Away|
|| ||Shine On|
|| ||Enter The Angel|
|| ||In Mysterious Ways|
|| ||What Kind Of A Girl|
|| ||Stepping Softly|
|| ||Enter The Angel II|
|| ||Morning Glory|
|| ||This Side Of Paradise |
|| ||Enter The Angel (Alternative Version)|
|| ||To Be With You (Alternative Version)|
|| ||And The Sky|
|| ||Hiding In Plain Sight|
|| ||Shine On (Alternative Version)|
|| ||City Of Lights|
|| ||Lumen De Lumine|
The original lead singer of Ultravox, John Foxx left the band to become a pioneering synth musician in his own right. He released four acclaimed albums for Virgin, all of which are now reissued in remastered, expanded two-CD editions with previously-unreleased bonus tracks by Edsel. Sister label Music Club Deluxe hoovers up hits, demos and alternate versions for its own double-disc set, which was compiled by Foxx himself. Quirky, original and enjoyable.
Record Collector, Christmas 08
Though the austere synth-arcadia of Metamatic has donned spurs of critical acclaim, Foxx’s later work of the 80s really shines. When released in 1981, The Garden went Top 30 and then faded, even though Ultravox!’s Vienna (1980) was still in the charts. If there had been no Vienna, this would have been the fourth Ultravox album – and the best.
Every track is a meeting of immaculate rock and electronic beauty. Europe After The Rain dazzles and is followed by the anthemic, pulsating, careering beauty of Systems Of Romance. Torque is maintained throughout, especially on the Gregorian chant-rock of Pater Noster and the thumping excitement of Dancing Like A Gun. The entire album sounds like Systems Of Romance II (Night Suit being the twin brother of Blue Light), and that’s one hell of an achievement. That there’s an additional CD of bonus tracks of singles and alternative versions just ices the summit of this 10-tier wedding cake.
No time to rave over The Golden Section – Mount Blanc to The Garden’s Everest – while on In Mysterious Ways Foxx began to spacewalk in a vacuum.
Uncut, December 08
Solo survey of the original Ultravox man
A photographer, filmmaker, writer and graphic artist, Foxx perhaps isn’t as desperate to have his underrated early electronica albums rehabilitated as fans (like, say, Klaxons) might imagine. Any excavation of these glacial, prescient albums is certainly welcome, though. The earliest of these reissues, 1981’s The Garden, is airily atmospheric, while The Golden Section has psychedelic undertows and In Mysterious Ways feels staunchly romantic. A fine compendium of Foxx’s work, Glimmer is given additional gravitas by his post-Ultravox reworkings of some of the band’s best songs: his swooning “Hiroshima Mon Amour” strips the original bare, yet matches its intensity.
Hi-Fi World, January 09
One of the true musical innovators, John Foxx created the band Ultravox – or Ultravox! as they were originally known - and, before Midge Ure placed his grubby commercial prints all over it, pushed the electro-pop outfit to unknown musical vistas. Foxx left the group in 1979 and launched his solo career with the album ‘Metamatic’, which featured the chart hit ‘Underpass’. It is the albums that followed that initial outing which have now received special attention and have been re-released as 2CD editions including the original album and a whole CD of extras.
His second solo release, ‘The Garden’ (1981), was a sadly underrated work of excellence which included the sublime ‘Europe After The Rain’ and, in this edition includes four previously unreleased tracks: ‘Swimmer I-IV’, ‘Fog’, ‘Miles Away’ and ‘A Long Time’.
‘The Golden Section’ (1983), Foxx’s third solo album, saw Foxx wander further to the left of the synth-pop genre, avoiding the increasing dross that was accumulating in the commercial centre. This edition features more early or alternative tracks plus ‘A Woman On A Stairway’, ‘A Kind Of Wave’, ‘The Lifting Sky’, ‘Dance With Me’, ‘Annexe’, ‘Shine On Me’, ‘Young Man’ and ‘Wings And A Wind’.
Foxx’s fourth solo release, ‘In Mysterious Ways’, was his final album release for a period of twelve years. This introduced a warmer sound to his earlier solo works. There are five previously unreleased tracks here: ‘This Side Of Paradise’, ‘And The Sky’, ‘Magic’, ‘Hiding In Plain Sight’, ‘City Of Light’ and ‘Lumen De Lumine’. Also look out for ‘Glimmer’, a new Best Of... plus redone Ultravox tracks such as ‘My Sex’ plus ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’.
So why reissue these albums and add the tracks now? "There’s several reasons," said Foxx, "firstly digital technology has come a long way. Also, I’ve been working with a guy called Dallas Simpson from Dallas Masters and he’s a complete audiophile. He’s good at listening. He’ll listen to the tapes, appreciate what’s going on in there and then modernise it in a sympathetic way. We had to bake the master tapes, which were the fragile Ampex type which were nearing the end of their usable life so we’re on a mission to get all the music off before it all disintegrates."
It’s a full time job for Foxx at the moment, because he has a couple of hundred tapes which he needs to process. However, the task has sprung many surprises. "In doing the search we found tapes that were either incomplete or tapes that I’d passed over in favour of other mixes and some new material. When you go back to listen to those tapes and you’re someone else and you listen objectively, you may think, ‘That sounds great and sounds nothing like the final version’ because of different instrumentation and approach."
Foxx believes that it’s often worth including such early versions just to illustrate to the listener the journey that he has been on to get to the final piece. Of course, when you listen to a master tape, you’re listening to a full working environment. Foxx could hear the flickering of ideas, developments of promising themes and then, if they came to nought, the dropping of them entirely for new ideas that would take their place. Which meant that there was plenty of treasure to uncover. The results of which can be seen here.
He does admit to being a little censorial in his choice, however. "I do shiver at some of the things I did," Foxx added, "finding skeletons in the cupboard." But shouldn’t an artist display those skeletons for the public to judge? "In my, and everyone else’s case, the crap’s already there – you’ve already released it. You didn’t know at the time. You were swayed by fashion, you drove on the pavement. It would be hard to find anything that was more embarrassing. When you’ve been recording for thirty years you look back and think ‘My God I’d never release anything like that now'."
Foxx confirmed that he is also considering vinyl versions of these release, "although, I can’t really talk about them yet because we haven’t finalised anything yet." I asked Foxx about his views on vinyl and unsurprisingly they dovetail with many readers of this magazine. "When digital began, I listened very carefully and enjoyed the top-end but the rest of it sounded very weak. Now, things have come a long way which is why I’m reissuing these albums now because I think digital has almost ‘got there’. There is still a way to go, I know. I can hear it in my analogue synthesisers, especially the bass end. When I listen to old tapes, frequencies that are quite hard to replicate – especially from drum machines which are artificial but quite complex – are different in the digital domain. It’s the complexity of the harmonics, really, that still gets left out along with way. That’s what makes the original so pleasurable to listen to – it’s that intricacy and richness."
That’s what these reissues are full of - a richness of ideas. It's a sonic adventure from a true pioneer.