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Artist: MONOCHROME SET, THE
Title: 1979-1985: Complete Recordings
Format: 6 LP/6 CD Box Set
Label: Tapete
Country: Germany
Price: $170.00
"6LP boxset edition. Includes CD versions of each album; Edition of 700. Emerging at the end of punk era, The Monochrome Sets estrangement from society came from a more arty angle. This boxset is the full account of their frantically productive early period, the perfect document of an under-appreciated chapter of British pop history. Though widely unknown, they are one of the most influential British bands of the last 40 years, with the early Morrisseyand Marr, Blurs Graham Coxon, and Franz Ferdinands Alex Kapranos among their admirers. Though Ganesh Seshadri, aka Bid, never went to college, The Monochrome Set are often seen as an archetypal art school band. In 1979 they released a string of snappy, now highly collectible singles on Rough Trade, followed by early masterpieces Strange Boutique (1980) and Love Zombies (1980). In 1982 they released their third LP Eligible Bachelors on Cherry Red Records. Their major label effort The Lost Weekend (1985) contained their biggest hit "Jacobs Ladder". - Tapete.

"... the early Monochrome Set sound betrayed a fondness of Lou Reed and American psychedelia, and though they shared their generations sense of estrangement, they certainly werent part of the punk revolution. . . . [the Hornsey School of Art] was where lead guitarist Tom Hardy, later to be known as Lester Square, studied with a certain Stuart Goddard aka Adam Ant . . . The Monochrome Sets lack of breakthrough success is usually attributed to their inability to churn out the hits, but in hindsight their now highly collectible first four seven inches for the Rough Trade label, united here on one disc with all the singles from the early eighties period, prove that they started out as bona fide masters of pops ultimate format. Released in February 1980, their first album Strange Boutique, featuring the bands percussion-heavy theme song and the Johnny Marr-anticipating Love Goes Down The Drain, caught the Monochrome Set in full flight, quickly followed by the equally taut, funny and adventurously dynamic Love Zombies. 1982 saw them move to Cherry Red Records on their third LP Eligible Bachelors, with the catchy lead single "The Jet Set Junta" promptly banned because of its non-existent connection to the Falklands War. . . . After a financially disastrous American tour, the band were resigned to taking the major label shilling with The Lost Weekend (1985), scoring their biggest airplay hit with Jacobs Ladder..." - Robert Rotifer, Canterbury 2017.

Artist: MONOCHROME SET, THE
Title: Cosmonaut
Format: LP + CD
Label: Tapete
Country: Germany
Price: $24.00
LP version. Includes CD." At the end of the 70s, The Monochrome Set were part of the first wave of "post-punk" bands. Right from the beginning, the band earned a solid reputation as purveyors of fine pop, gaining praise from 80s contemporaries such as Morrissey and Edwyn Collins. In later years, this praise has continued with artists such as Franz Ferdinand, The Divine Comedy and Graham Coxon, all citing the band as a key influence on their own work. The Monochrome Set sound has often been described as "timeless", and that alone explains why, over the years, the band has continued gaining admirers. The Monochrome Set is black & white, at the same time, with no grey. Thats what the name always meant - delivering mirth and melancholy, pleasure and panic, delight and dread, wrapped up in tuneful pop songs with curious lyrics. The band seem to occupy a parallel universe, with a rich panoply of sounds and words, all somehow evocative of something just beyond reach or remembrance - yet the songs have an immediate simplicity and power. Cosmonaut, the bands 13th album, is a perfect example of this exhilarating mix. The title track opens with a Theremin cyber fly buzzing towards your skull before the song hits, launching you into a mirror dimension that is both familiar and alien. The whole album is a trip that starts with a hallucinating cash-till lady, then travels through dream-sets involving cannibalism, disaffected squirrels, strange gods, dying sweethearts, sexual depravity, Alzheimers, backward evolution, and ends in an operating theatre, amid a sea of medical tentacles. In short, a camping holiday. The trademark Monochrome Set guitar is ever-present, but this time complemented by delightfully busy keyboards, which give an added richness and spice to the album. In just 30 minutes, Cosmonaut catapults the listener into orbit and takes them on a zany, hallucinogenic joyride - not in outer space as it turns out, but in and around the arcane and fantastical recesses of Bids imagination. Cosmonaut comes with minimal risk of explosion, persistent floatiness and no disappointing space food." - Tapete.

Artist: MONOCHROME SET, THE
Title: Spaces Everywhere
Format: LP + CD
Label: Tapete
Country: Germany
Price: $27.00
Includes CD. "On one hand, the music is very melodic and cheerful. The lyrics, however, deal with death, decay, change... no wonder we are rather popular with the undead," says singer, guitarist, and songwriter Bid of Spaces Everywhere, The Monochrome Sets twelfth studio album. A very particular humor. And a unique sound: although this time banjos, Hammond organ, female backing vocals, and even flutes can be heard, experts and laymen alike will recognize: this is The Monochrome Set. Undistorted, nervous guitars, like the soundtrack to a French new wave film... but one starring Michael Caine, Louis de Funès, and Jean-Paul Belmondo and directed by Andy Warhol. Peculiarly timeless, it is a sound that cannot be categorized. Although rooted in the 1950s and 60s (the guitar sound, for example, is a hybrid of Duane Eddys and Sterling Morrisons), it still feels oddly modern. Then there is Bids voice, which this time is more reminiscent of the great American crooners than of Lou Reed. Bid wrote most of the songs in May and June of 2014, and the band recorded them in Brixton, London. Perhaps the bands popularity among the undead will diminish upon hearing the springtime air that can thus be detected in this music. While music historians and critics continue to grapple with the baffling reasons for this bands lack of mainstream success, the in-crowd has always known what they have in The Monochrome Set. Time and again, the story is repeated: Johnny Marr found a single by the band in Morrisseys record collection and decided it might not be a bad idea to start a band with the somewhat eccentric singer. The influence of The Monochrome Set on bands like Felt, Franz Ferdinand, Belle and Sebastian, and The Strokes can hardly be ignored. In early 80s Germany, the band heavily influenced one band in particular, Die Zimmermänner. And like every band that has borrowed more or less from Bid, Lester Square, Andy Warren, and Steve Brummell, they happen to be pretty good. So its fitting that Timo Blunck of Die Zimmermänner was the one to mix Spaces Everywhere in Hamburg. The Monochrome Set present an album that will become a modern classic like Eligible Bachelors and "Strange Boutique." And where is the best place to listen to the album? Bid: "In a deconsecrated church, without a mirror." There he goes again." - Tapete.

Artist: MONOCHROME SET, THE
Title: Volume, Contrast, Brilliance... Unreleased & Rare Vol.2
Format: LP
Label: Tapete
Country: Germany
Price: $23.00
“At the end of the 70s, The Monochrome Set were part of the first wave of post-punk bands. Right from the beginning, the band earned a solid reputation as purveyors of fine pop, gaining praise from 80s contemporaries such as Morrissey and Edwyn Collins. This praise has continued in the decades since, with artists such as Franz Ferdinand, The Divine Comedy, and Graham Coxon all citing the band as a key influence on their own work. The Monochrome Sets sound has often been described as timeless, and that alone explains why, over the years, the band has continued to gain admirers. Volume, Contrast, Brilliance... Unreleased & Rare Vol.2 is the sequel to the 1983 compilation Volume, Contrast, Brilliance... Sessions & Singles Vol. 1. Its a wonderful collection of previously unreleased and rare tracks spanning 1978 to 1991. These gems range from DIY works to high-quality studio recordings, some of which were improperly recorded or never released due to a variety of reasons (bad timing, odd decisions, forgetfulness) fully explained in the liner notes. The range of styles on display here is typical of this iconic and highly influential band -- slices of their sound can still be heard in indie and mainstream music worldwide.” - Tapete.

Artist: MONOCHROME SET, THE
Title: Super Plastic City
Format: LP
Label: Unwucht
Country: Germany
Price: $26.00
"Formed in 1978 out of the legendary B-Sides (with later superstar Adam Ant), THE MONOCHROME SET have released an impressing number of brilliant singles and LPs for labels like Rough Trade, Dindisc, Cherry Red and Él Records, culminating in their 1982 masterpiece Eligible Bachelors. Over the decades the band broke up several times but finally reformed in 2011 in their most classical line-up with Bid, Lester Square and Andy Warren, along with new drummer Steve Brummell. Its this line-up that recorded Super Plastic City - a great collection of 11 brand new songs and it has everything you ever expected from your favourite Monochrome Set LP: great melodies, Bids outstanding voice and a band that still plays as fresh as they did in the early days. The original CD was released by the band's own Disquo Bleu label in 2013. It was licensed to Unwucht for a small vinyl pressing of 350 copies." - Unwucht.

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