Sunday, October 23, 2016

a speck of dust has settled in my eye


yes, or if you like oh dear, this is another post relating to the band that very much was tin machine, look you see. it's also probably a repeat of stuff what i have had on here before, but i recently stumbled upon these items in an obtain stuff out of boxes adventure, so here we go again.

fear not, it's not another impassioned defence or argument in favour of this band. for that, you are welcome to join the 3000 or so people who have read my post The Tin Machine Myth, which was written after just one too many lazy articles appearing that dismissed the band. i am led to believe that some 50% of the actual band are "aware" of that post, and are very much aware of the fact that the music fans love stuff regardless of what so-call journalists might spew forth.

anyway, my rediscoveries of a month or so ago.......

yes, that's right, the two "special edition" CD singles off of Tin Machine from their most splendid and strangely presently unavailable Tin Machine II album. in regards of the latter comment, i suspect some sort of "rights" issue is involved, although i suspect you can get second hand copies easy enough.

to start where the band did, then, and in the reverse order of how the picture above shows them, You Belong in Rock N Roll, although the "n" is a very distinctive, done as only he could "and" by Bowie on the actual record. 

this was one of two CD singles issued for the song, and yes but of course i have both. this "in a tin" version of it differs from the other one by the inclusion of Shakin All Over, which is indeed a cover. 

effectively, it's a CD version of the 12" single that was released. as far as i know, and i stand to be corrected by a fellow fan, this single represents the only appearance of this cover in a digital format.

You Belong In Rock N Roll was the most successful single ever off of Tin Machine, climbing to the dazzling heights of 33 or so on release. do bear in mind that back then you had to actually sell a single for it to chart (there was no such thing as "streaming") and furthermore the fans had to go to an actual shop to purchase it. had you, in 1991, phoned HMV and asked them to deliver something to you at home, for free, they would have told you to f*** off.

if You Belong In Rock N Roll was the first single off of the band's second album and the best performing one, arguably the second, Baby Universal, was the better song. it's a more, how shall we say, accessible tune - quite mainstream as point of fact. if i recall right this one, along with I Can't Read off of the first album, were two songs that Bowie included in solo tours throughout the late 90s.

the somewhat thinner (as in same circumference) tin for Baby Universal holds a disc with the "single edit" of the song on it, along with three of the four or five songs they did for a Radio One session.

and yes, i do, somewhere, have the tape of the whole Radio One session which i sat and taped all by myself off of the radio. i am not sure what the extra songs were to what's included here, but i suspect one was in fact Baby Universal itself. my abiding memory of that Radio One session is that, for the most part, interview and spokesperson duties resided with the magnificent Hunt Sales.

here's a snippet of Heaven's In Here from the CD and indeed the session. one of the most explicitly sexual, graphic, sultry and downright dirty tunes what Bowie was ever involved with. depending, of course, on just how you all interpreted The Laughing Gnome, you strange people.

i'd say of all the things lost to a wider audience when Tin Machine was no more are the brothers Sales. Bowie of course carried on doing his thing. Reeves Gabrels stuck with him for a while, and most recently could be seen with The Cure. Hunt and Tony, however, seemed only ever to be available to an American audience.

is there much in the way to benefit to these "tin shaped" (for i suspect that was the idea) Tin Machine singles? well, as you can see in the below image, you got a sort of fold out kind of poster thing of the band with the You Belong In Rock N Roll one, and you got a free bonus circular sponge with the Baby Universal one.

not the most gimmicky of inclusions, then, but stuff all the same. i think the issue my generation and all those before me have with this "digital" music business is that with downloads you simply don't get products like this any more. stuff designed and made by people who had to think about what they were doing, and invested both time and talent into doing so.

should, in this day and age of memorabilia, these items be worth much? not so much as you might think. i did a bit of spot research and it seems you can pick up the Baby Universal tin for around £4, which is probably what i paid for it some 25 years ago. You Belong In Rock N Roll seems to command a price of around £12, which is likely to be 3 times what i paid for it. HMV, you see, charged - from what i remember - £3.99 for CD singles for the most part.

and no, of course not, no i would not part with them no matter what the value is.

this has, in all likelihood, all been stuff that i've written here before. well, if so, never mind, it's always splendid to look at some most smart Tin Machine stuff again.

i believe there was in fact a third single off of the second album, in the form of One Shot. never saw that one and never got it. one day, perhaps.

it remains to be seen if, or when, a Tin Machine retrospective set gets put out. as per the above link in yellow, the band delivered two really smart albums - ones worth investigating or revisiting, depending on which is true for you.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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