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Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven (Remastered)

Love and Rockets

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Album Review

Though the years have deadened its impact somewhat, there is still a visceral thrill to be drawn from replaying the first Love and Rockets album, a sense of the first step taken towards a brave new world, and a miasmic whirl of psychedelic intent that masks intents even darker than the preceding Bauhaus ever envisioned. Recorded and released in 1985, riding to club acclaim on the back of the "Ball of Confusion" remake, and aligning its makers with a destiny and fame that no one could ever have predicted, Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven ranks among the most deceptive debut albums of the 1980s — all the more so since the majority of CD owners have never heard it in its intended form. The original album, both in the U.K. and the U.S., omitted "Ball of Confusion" from its track listing. Of course, the lapse was swiftly remedied, with Beggars Banquet taking the opportunity to make a couple of other changes as well — the insertion of a remixed "If There's a Heaven Above" and the addition of the ghostly "God and Mr Smith." By the time Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven came up for the richly enhancing remaster it had been crying out for, many listeners had completely forgotten there was ever any other way of listening to it, an oversight that not only gives the 2000 edition a brand new sheen, it offers it a brand new interpretation as well. The keys to the album remain the same, of course — the churning guitar soup of "The Dog End of a Day Gone By," the sibilant glam sexuality of the title track, the chilling nursery-rhyme pendulum of "The Game." But the opiate atmosphere that chokes the wide open spaces leavened within every song only thickens in the absence of the remixes and the hit until, by the time you hit the closing acoustics of "Saudade," Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven emerges as profound an experience as any of the lauded trips of the original psychedelic era. And this time, the journey is only half over. Following on from the album itself, six bonus tracks round up four period 12" mixes (including the stunning U.K. revision of "Ball of Confusion"), plus two non-album B-sides, the percussive rock battering of "Inside the Outside," and the gospel-Bollywood hybrid that is "God and Mr Smith." It's not quite as adventurous a sampling as the bonuses affixed to the remaster of Express, but still it rounds out the experience with dramatic flair, pinpointing the sheer creativity that was sparking around Love and Rockets at the dawn of their decade-long career — and reminding you that that decade was over all too quickly.

Customer Reviews

This album has one of the best songs of the 1980's

"Haunted When The Minutes Drag" is one of the best songs of the 1980's. The power of the song is unmistakable as it builds and builds (like a modern day Ravel's "Bolero") and takes the listener away. If you liked Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", a classic song from the 1970's, you will like this song. Listen to the 8:03 minute version (a great buy at 99 cents) and play it loud. Listen to it in the dark, listen to it wearing earphones, listen to it without interruption and be carried away to another place. The rest of the album is very good and has many interesting songs. There are some people that argue the 1980's was a weak decade for music. This amazing song and good album is proof (one of many) that the 1980's had much to offer.

Biography

Formed: 1984

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Love and Rockets comprised guitarist/vocalist Daniel Ash, bassist/vocalist David J, and drummer Kevin Haskins, all former members of the pioneering goth band Bauhaus. However, the group didn't sound very similar to its first incarnation. Instead, Love and Rockets emphasized the strains of psychedelia and glam rock that appeared underneath Bauhaus' gloomy drone, adding elements of pop songcraft, folk, and R&B, as well as cryptic, self-important lyrics. For most of the late '80s, the group had...
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