Volume, Contrast, Brilliance….Vol. 2, Unreleased and Rare
published: 25 /
Variable second raities compilation from the Monochrome Set, which will most likely only appeal to their hardcore fans.
Thirty-three years ago, the classic Monochrome Set compilation 'Volume, Contrast, Brilliance... Volume 1' was released, collecting together hard-to-find early singles, radio sessions etc. Now it's finally time for the second instalment. This time around we are treated to an album full of demo recordings and rarities, spanning from the band's early years in the late 70s to the early 90s, at whch stage they had recently reformed for the first time (they split up in 1985).
As usual when it comes to these kinds of compilations, the material presented has a shifting quality, to say the least. Most of the time it's actually quite easy to tell why the songs never were released or re-recorded in the studio. But with that said, there are some real gems on here as well, at least for a long time fan such as myself.
The opening 'Something about You', which was recorded back in 1985, is a classic Bid pop tune featuring just the aforementioned band leader, bass player Andy Warren and a drum machine. According to the liner notes, the song was forgotten during the band's hiatus, which is a shame, really. 'I Wanna Be Your Man', recorded in 1978 around the time they signed to Rough Trade, has all the trademark sounds from early the Monochrome Set, something that can also be said about 'Fly Me to the Moon', which was recorded at the same time. I also enjoyed hearing the demo version of 'Reach for Your Gun', a song that was released as solo single by Bid in 1986.
But as I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of songs here that you can skip without feeling too bad about yourself... All in all, this is a compilation that's preaching to the already converted, and I find it hard to believe that the band will find new fans with this. But then again, that wasn't probably their intention either...
Something About You
I Wanna Be Your Man
The Greatest Performance Artist in the World
Reach for Your Gun
Fly Me to the Moon
Whoops! What a Palaver
I Want Your Skin
Stories From the Book of Love
Black Are the Flowers